As part of this month’s Mysterious Order of the Skeleton Suit Swapathon, in which M.O.S.S. Agents are given the choice of enduring the Trial of the Tiger, in which we must outwit and wrestle the psychic tigers of Tiger Island, or temporarily invade each other’s sites. Having long ago befriended the tigers of Tiger Island, I accepted my pal Beth’s invitation to appear on her blog, Beth Loves Bollywood, the finest site covering the most amazing in Indian cinema from Satyajit Ray to Shaitani Dracula. Beth invited me to watch and then discuss Disco Dancer (1982), starring Mithun Chakraborty, with her. She recorded our discussion in “A Special Audio Edition of Beth Loves Bollywood.”
Disco Dancer dares to dream of a world–or at least an India–where Christianity, Hinduism, and Islam are united by a love of disco and Mithun Chakraborty’s Jimmy the Disco Dancer. Will Jimmy overcome Sam, the progenitor of hostile disco? And will Jimmy survive not only an assault by Bob Christo’s gang of finger-snapping hooligans*, but a final assault on disco itself? And when will we finally address the heartbreak of one of the most misunderstood mental health issues of our time, guitarphobia?
So please check it out. There is a fun write-up of our team-up and plenty of fun screencaps. And listen in, if you are so inclined. My laptop mic is still kinda crappy, but Beth and I had a lot of fun, the movie is interesting and Beth is six kinds of funny. In the words of the theme from Disco Dancer, “Disco! Disco! Disco! Yeah!”
I saved a transcript of the tweeted portion of our responses while watching Disco Dancer at Storify. Our chat documents remain in the M.O.S.S. Archiviary and may be visited by those who have faced the Test of the Tiger.
Beth has charted the familial connections between Mithun and Satyajit Ray here. And incidentally, I realized the film I discuss in the beginning of the podcast, the one with a chimpanzee mechanic and a talking VW bug, is Shatranj (1993) and also starred Mithun. So Mithun has been a part of my life before I even knew Mithun.
Update: We’ve since discussed three more Mithun films (Wardaat, Suraksha, Gunmaster G-9) here. You should listen, it’s filled with action.
Update: Todd from Die, Danger, Die, Die, Kill! is contributing to the conversation with his review of the Indonesian remake of Disco Dancer entitled, Untuk Sebuah Nama (For A Name). Untuk Sebuah Nama is set amid the competitive world of Michael Jackson impersonation.
*Likely members of the Mumbai Jets.