That Gumnaam You Like

Teamwork! One of my regular editors, Stephen Horne, is a HUGE fan of GHOST WORLD and also of Bollywood cinema, putting me in the shade on both counts in spite of m immense enthusiasm for both. When he found out Criterion were going to release Terry Zwigoff’s modern classic, he was, to put it mildly, very keen to be involved somehow, anyhow, so I pitched the idea of us making a commentary for the clip from GUMNAAM, the Jaan Pehechaan Ho number that opens the movie. Stephen and his friends in Bollywood fandom provided the expert knowledge, and got us Roshini Dubey to do the velvety voice-over, I really just spoke to Criterion and compiled Stephen’s facts and insights into a piece, with him editing both words and pictures.

Here’s the best version of the song available outside of Criterion’s Blu-ray, again courtesy of Stephen. It will shake the cobwebs out of your head, especially if you Batusi along to it.



5 Responses to “That Gumnaam You Like”

  1. Ah, too generous – all your help was indispensable of course! Good thing our original plan to do a full-on video doc piece didn’t happen – my fanboy circuits would’ve surely overloaded.

  2. A big mainstream Bollywood Blu-ray revival is probably a way off yet — even when Bologna revives Bollywood films, they show not restorations, but films they WISH had been restored — but when it does, hopefully we’re well placed to do some of the extras!

  3. bensondonald Says:

    “TED LYONS & HIS CUBS” — The perfect parody of a big band name, hesitantly lettered onto the drum. I wonder if that was the band’s real name, or something in the script realized by a hurried prop man.

  4. Lyons was a real Anglo-Indian performer, so I’m guessing it’s real! Just one of the insights Stephen was able to supply. He even managed to speak to the surviving guitarist, though he couldn’t find out much…

  5. Ted & Co. were indeed more than just a one-off in GUMNAAM – our Bollywood expert friend Greta (who provided us lots of info for the “Jaan Pehechaan Ho” commentary) has a great post on her blog about the band’s various film appearances:

    And yes – when I spoke to Ted earlier this year, he sadly couldn’t remember much from GUMNAAM. Song numbers such as these were churned out in rapid fashion. It would’ve likely been just another day at the office for him and his Cubs.

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