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Beth Watkins
Works at Spurlock Museum
Attended University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
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Beth Watkins

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mini reviews for June 2015
Chhalia 1960 [Spoilers.] Oof. If more of Manmohan Desai's early films are like this one, I'm never going to make it through his whole filmography.  Chhalia  focuses on one little Ram-Sita-y family, I think using them as a metaphor for Partition and its afte...
Chhalia 1960 [Spoilers.] Oof. If more of Manmohan Desai's early films are like this one, I'm never going to make it through his whole filmography. Chhalia focuses on one little Ram-Sita-y family, I think using them as a metaphor for Partition and its aftermath (which are the setting for the ...
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Beth Watkins

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<I>Teen Bhubaner Pare</i>
Along with Saat Pake Bandha  and Pratham Kadam Phool , Teen Bhubaner Pare  makes a trilogy of 1960s films with Soumitra Chatterjee about a young couple who should have paid more attention to the red flags that popped up before they married. Saat Pake Bandha...
Along with Saat Pake Bandha and Pratham Kadam Phool, Teen Bhubaner Pare makes a trilogy of 1960s films with Soumitra Chatterjee about a young couple who should have paid more attention to the red flags that popped up before they married. Saat Pake Bandha is the best of these films, combining the ...
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Beth Watkins

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<I>Agni Pariksha</i> and <I>Chhoti Si Mulaqat</i>
[Spoilers.] I wanted this to be a thoughtful comparison of two films made over a dozen years apart, the basic story traveling from one industry to another but taking its leading man and several visual details along for the ride. Unfortunately, subtitles did...
I wanted this to be a thoughtful comparison of two films made over a dozen years apart, the basic story traveling from one industry to another but taking its leading man and several visual details along for the ride. Unfortunately, subtitles did not materialize on Agni Pariksha, ...
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Beth Watkins

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<i>Chaowa Pawa</i> and <i>Jay Jayanti</i>
Doing some research on Indian remakes of American films while also spelunking through the filmography of Uttam Kumar has recently led me to two delightful Bengali films based on American classics: Chaowa Pawa , which is one of at least six Indian remakes of...
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Beth Watkins

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mini-reviews: catching up with 2014 (plus bonus 2013)
Hasee Toh Phasee SO GOOD. A heroine who is a complete, complex, smart, funny, imperfect person—and by imperfect I mean full of conflicting needs and passions, not just "falls down endearingly in front of the hero." And a hero who's an actual nice guy whose ...
SO GOOD. A heroine who is a complete, complex, smart, funny, imperfect person—and by imperfect I mean full of conflicting needs and passions, not just "falls down endearingly in front of the hero." And a hero who's an actual nice guy whose struggles are equally empathetic.
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Beth Watkins

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hopping and skipping through the decades: Bengali mini-reviews
(Another in an irregular series of posts with various short-ish reviews in them. There's no theme to this collection other than "stuff I happened to watch.") Saheb Bibi Golam  1956 When I first watched the Hindi version for our podcast on iconic female Hind...
I don't get nearly the sense of danger in the Bengali version that seems to haunt the Hindi one, which results in a corresponding lack in commentary on the decline of feudal society and all that juicy stuff that's in films like Jalsaghar. The debauched men don't seem as horrible, Chhoti Bahu's ...
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Have her in circles
238 people
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Beth Watkins

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simply fable-ous: <I>Bombay Velvet</i>
Somewhere in the final third or so, desperate to figure out how to negotiate successfully with the slippery man who simultaneously makes him and restrains him, anti-hero Johnny Balraj seethes "I get to decide how much I'm worth." That is the unyielding myth...
Somewhere in the final third or so, desperate to figure out how to negotiate successfully with the slippery man who simultaneously makes him and restrains him, anti-hero Johnny Balraj seethes "I get to decide how much I'm worth." That is the unyielding myth at the center of smooth, rich surface ...
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Beth Watkins

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<I>Agni Pariksha</i> and <I>Chhoti Si Mulaqat</i>
[Spoilers.] I wanted this to be a thoughtful comparison of two films made over a dozen years apart, the basic story traveling from one industry to another but taking its leading man and several visual details along for the ride. Unfortunately, subtitles did...
I wanted this to be a thoughtful comparison of two films made over a dozen years apart, the basic story traveling from one industry to another but taking its leading man and several visual details along for the ride. Unfortunately, subtitles did not materialize on Agni Pariksha, ...
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Beth Watkins

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one-a-decade mini reviews
Think of this as a very poorly organized survey course in Indian cinema studies. Bou Thakuranir Haat  1953 A young Uttam Kumar, only a few years into his career, wears a lot of sixteenth-century frippery and tries to protect the aging Pahari Sanyal from mac...
Think of this as a very poorly organized survey course in Indian cinema studies. Bou Thakuranir Haat 1953. A young Uttam Kumar, only a few years into his career, wears a lot of sixteenth-century frippery and tries to protect the aging Pahari Sanyal from machinations from a more sinister member ...
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Beth Watkins

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<i>Chaowa Pawa</i> and <i>Jay Jayanti</i>
Doing some research on Indian remakes of American films while also spelunking through the filmography of Uttam Kumar has recently led me to two delightful Bengali films based on American classics: Chaowa Pawa , which is one of at least six Indian remakes of...
1
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Beth Watkins

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mini-review: <I>Aabra Ka Daabra</i>
(The screen grabs are from the 3D version of the film, so they look awful here.) "A Hindi version of Harry Potter ca. 2000" seems like sufficient description, but even after watching the amazing reports on the film from both  Pretentious Movie Reviews * and...
(The screen grabs are from the 3D version of the film, so they look awful here.) "A Hindi version of Harry Potter ca. 2000" seems like sufficient description, but even after watching the amazing reports on the film from both Pretentious Movie Reviews* and Neon Harber's Deja View**, ...
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Beth Watkins

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hopping and skipping through the decades: Bengali mini-reviews
(Another in an irregular series of posts with various short-ish reviews in them. There's no theme to this collection other than "stuff I happened to watch.") Saheb Bibi Golam  1956 When I first watched the Hindi version for our podcast on iconic female Hind...
I don't get nearly the sense of danger in the Bengali version that seems to haunt the Hindi one, which results in a corresponding lack in commentary on the decline of feudal society and all that juicy stuff that's in films like Jalsaghar. The debauched men don't seem as horrible, Chhoti Bahu's ...
1
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People
Have her in circles
238 people
AbdulGaffar “MAGA” Pasha's profile photo
amrita rajan's profile photo
Jack Thomas's profile photo
Asim Burney's profile photo
Tars Tarkas's profile photo
Suzanne Linder's profile photo
Desi Girl's profile photo
Anushree Majumdar's profile photo
Amey Chinchorkar's profile photo
Work
Occupation
Museum exhibit development, education, and publications; thinking and writing about Bollywood films. Love - and miraculously compensated for - both.
Employment
  • Spurlock Museum
    Education and Publications Coordinator, 2003 - present
  • Wall Street Journal
    India Real Time columnist ("Bollywood Journal"), 2011 - 2012
  • Spurlock Museum
    graduate assistant/academic hourly, Education and Publications, 2000 - 2002
Basic Information
Gender
Female
Other names
Just because it's fine in Pride and Prejudice does not mean you should call me Lizzie. EVER.
Story
Tagline
Beth Loves Bollywood
Introduction
Hindi films museums writing coffee knitting architecture singing Shashi Kapoor travel Canada gigglesnort Europuddings lovely friends everywhere Masala Zindabad!
Bragging rights
Always up for pancakes. Usually on time. Seldom angry. Never bored.
Education
  • University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
    library and information science, 2000 - 2002
  • University of Toronto
    museum studies, 1996 - 1998
  • University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
    history, 1992 - 1996