Navigation | A comparison: Use of Kitchy images in song and dance sequences. Posted by Abie Troen

A comparison: Use of Kitchy images in song and dance sequences. Posted by Abie Troen

Posted by:  Abie Troen

At the beginning of the semester it was hard for me to digest many of the song and dance sequences – simply because they seemed funny. The weird combinations of shots and images put together with the tunes and lyrics producing clichés made me crack up. Characters could be seen running in tulip fields, then dancing in public squares, in natural reserves – with no apparent coherent order. The rules of geography, normalcy and reason seemed bent to the point of absurdity.

This was very apparent in my first encounter with Bollywood cinema, in the first film viewed (which in time has become my favorite) – DDLJ. Look at the following link – the characters are seen in the Alps, crossing bridges, in a bedroom – in various locations, which seemed (at the time) contrived and kitchy.

By now, the end of the semester, I have gone through a serious switch in my approach. These “absurd” elements are what draw my attention in the films, and seem to hold great aesthetic value.

How different are the aesthetic motifs used in DDLJ from those employed in Western music clips? This question became interesting to me and has helped me challenge my understanding not only of Bollywood music clips, but of Western clips as well.
A quick look at video clips produced in the same year as DDLJ – 1995 – can prove this point. The following links are to MTV videos of the top hits of 1995:

Janette Jackson, 1995 – “Runaway” –

Boyz II Men, 1995 – “Waters Run Dry” –

Maraiah Carey, 1995 – “Fantsay” –

Now take a look again at the song from DDLJ. “Tujhe Dekha To Ye Jaana Sanam”

In light of this comparison we can see how strangely similar the elements are. Or rather – how too easily kitschy elements are employed across different cultures to the same effect. After viewing these clips together with the Bollywood ones has given me a better understanding not only of Bollywood but also of my own culture. In a sense, all elements in both cinematic cultures can be viewed as equally absurd and bizarre, or perhaps equally powerful and effective.

Filed by abtroen at April 29th, 2013 under Uncategorized

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