Book launch: Disco Dancer

My book on Disco Dancer was launched in Kolkata at the Oxford Bookstore on April 23rd. The Telegraph interviewed me at the launch.

Why Disco Dancer?

It’s really bad (laughs) and yet, in a way, it’s also fantastic. It’s a combination of so many great things. If you look at the structure of the plot, it’s genius. It’s unimaginable, some of the things they thought of in a movie — a mother being electrocuted by a man called Basco, someone cutting a guitar in half or a tightrope walker throwing a guitar in a way that the power line goes around somebody’s neck… and it’s still played!

So you’re not a fan?

No, no I’m a genuine fan. I’m a big fan of Mithunda and his movies… Gunda and the series where he plays a James Bond-like sharpshooter, Gunmaster G-9… Suraksha and two more films. There is one movie where they show New York getting destroyed, so they had this little replica of the Empire State Building that gets destroyed. You could actually see someone’s finger press it down to destroy it… and New York’s finished!

And wrote about the book and the launch.

Disco Dancer also popped up in conversation with Mint Lounge, in this article on children of the ’80s.

Pre-liberalization, middle-class India was a place where foreign trips were an unaffordable luxury and Toblerone was as good as gobbledegook. Film-makers such as B. Subhash (director of Disco Dancer) attempted to capture the have-world and “create an idea of what posh meant”, says Anuvab Pal, whose book Disco Dancer (HarperCollins, 2011) is an attempt to capture that ethos. This “posh India”, entirely a product of such film-makers’ imagination, thus became inhabited by disco dancing, disco balls, a place where vamps wore revealing dresses and smoked cigarettes. wrote about the book here as did Deccan Herald.




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