Wednesday, April 17, 2013

The lady varnishes

Lata Mangeshkar has watched every Hitchcock film...and then some. Today's HT City tells me that Lata-ji loves Hitchcock's Gaslight in particular. Now, given that this isn't a Hitch film in the first place (which is okay, she is in her 80s and memory is treacherous for those of us less than half that age), I enjoyed the report's fussy inclusion of the correct year of the movie next to the title - even though the reference is part of a direct quote and it's unlikely that the great lady would have said something like "I loved Gaslight (1944) especially." Good to see some serious research going on at the copy desk.

(Having said which, what does one do when you're interviewing a legend and collecting quotes for a one-column snippet, and she makes a factual error? Do you gently correct her [assuming you know better yourself]? Can you simply leave the inaccurate bit out of your story, if the story is rendered pointless without it? And what does the poor guy on the copy-desk do when, after googling for a small detail, he discovers that the whole premise is dubious? I'm glad I don't have to face any of these dilemmas firsthand.)


  1. I thought of you when I read that Lata likes Gaslight (I've read so much of your blog that "Hitchcock" automatically brings you to mind) and wondered whether you rated the movie as highly. Had no idea the movie wasn't his.

  2. The reference to the year, I think, makes sense in this particular case given that the 1944 Gaslight is a remake of the 1940 Gaslight - the British production.

    By the way a lot of very young people around me misremember details such as movie director, year etc! A friend of mine once asserted that Awaara was released in the 60s!

  3. I found Latadi's comment quite funny. Have heard other stories about her, where she opposed construction of flyover in front of her flat citing some lame reasons. Even her tweets published at are unintentionally hilarious.

    @ Shrikanth - I agree with you. Sometime back, a friend told me he was disgusted to watch a Dibakar Banerjee interview, where he said something to the effect that Benegal made his name in 1980s.

    And Gulzar mentioning this that Parichay is not inspired from Sound of Music.

  4. Quite possibly the best title for any post ever. I pity the poor copy-desk googler, but for the rest of us, it's all good....