Wednesday, February 01, 2012

We should get to know each other


If I normally include a video at the end of a blog post and call it "related video", but this post starts with a video and the post is about the video, therefore does it follow that the posted video is "unrelated"?

Yeah, don't waste too much time trying to parse that last sentence because we're just going to move right past it.

The video above with the amazing dance routive (you try shaking your head that much and not fall down, then tell me it's not amazing), comes from the 1965 Indian feature film Gumnaam, which is Hindi for "unknown" or "anonymous".

The movie was based on the Agatha Christie novel And Then There Were None, which was formerly titled Ten Little Niggers (apparently in 1939 a popular author could use a racist pejorative in a book title [can you imagine John Grisham trying to do the same thing today?]), from the song of the same name, which was formerly Ten little Injuns (I wonder which would have been considered more offensive by which people at what time).

Don't drive yourself nuts trying to parse that last one either.

If the music sounds familiar, but the amazing dance routine doesn't, it's because the music is used in the current Heineken commercial The Date.

And also, you're not familiar with Indian cinema.

The woman doing the frenzied dancing is Laxmi Chhaya, an Indian woman (If you don't know which kind of Indian, I'm just not going there. I've already used the word "nigger" in this post twice. Oh, great, now you've made me use it again!) who appeared in over fifty movies.

After retiring from the movie industry, she taught dance to poor children.

She died in 2004 from breast cancer.

The guy singing, is not the guy you see.

The voice is from Mohammad Rafi (no relation, I'm sure), his career was the-guy-who-provided-the-voice-for-the-actor-to-lip-synch-to.

In movie musicals and music videos the standard procedure is to record the music first, then, when shooting the movie or music video (or Olympic opening ceremony because the little girl who actually has the beautiful voice is far too hideous to appear on television) have the actors lip synch to the pre-recorded audio.

In India this is common and being a "play back singer" can be a long-running, respectable career.

Rafi's career ran from 1945 to 1980 and he sang over 7,600 songs in Hindi, Urdu, Punjabi, English, Spanish and French.

I don't know if he had a hobby.

The band in the video is a real band.

Crazy, huh?

They are Ted Lyons and his Cubs, and my extensive Wikipedia search shows they appeared in a few movies and not much else.

They did a Hindi song to the tune of The Beatles' I Want to Hold Your Hand.

And you thought it was just a song from a beer commercial.


Related Video (yeah, just shut up about it, okay?)

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