In the grand old days when Doordarshan was the sole broadcaster, only two films were available per week – Hindi on Saturday and Tamil on Sunday. Monday morning talk invariably revolved around those two movies as everyone would have seen over the weekend. When cable TV and private TV channels started becoming popular, Doordarshan started allowing private TV groups to make their own deal with Hollywood movie libraries and advertisers. For its part, Doordarshan sometimes broadcast movies from the Soviet Union.
Cinema from the Soviet Union was not as good as Hollywood but it was good enough. The movies had a weird Marxist twist, particularly at the ending. There is a Soviet film version of the English novel Treasure Island. In the end, they do not get the treasure and return back empty-handed. Soviet cinema even had Hollywood-style Western movies. They seemed to have all the thrills of a Hollywood make but the ending was an impromptu propaganda session on Communist anti-capitalist values. This did not really matter because in the 80s and 90s, we (us kids in school) were all supporters of the Soviet Union, which was a great friend and benefactor of India.
Recently, my Internet connection improved. For the first time in my life, YouTube is playing without any lags with speeds approaching 1000 Kbps. Strangely, BSNL is providing high speeds even when I am over monthly fair-use data limit. This was drastically different from a few months ago when it really went bonkers*. Dish TV had disabled recording on my recorder set-top box. I don’t watch TV programs live like ordinary people. I watch only recorded programs. So, and I switched to watching online videos.
BSNL continues higher speeds, even after exhausting quota.
Mosfilm, the Soviet movie production outfit, has turned over several of its famous movies online. Here are a few of them that that I saw recently, in descending funniness order.
- Operation Y and Shurik’s Other Adventures: A movie in 3 parts. (First and last part are safe for kids. Fast-forward for 3 minutes after 00.37). Extremely funny movie. My favorite line from the movie is the policeman saying “Dear citizens, alcoholics, hooligans and parasites..” alkogoliki, khuligany, tuneyadtsy
- Unbelievable Adventures of Italians in Russia: The movie is about a group of Italians who go to Moscow in search of a treasure buried by a dead grandma who escaped the Bolshevik revolution. I think this movie was shown on Doordarshan. I had multiple deja vus hitting me, particularly during the scene with the passenger aircraft landing on a highway. This movie has one of the best car chase scenes ever recorded in movie history. There is a scene with gratuitous 30-second nudity (obscured by a curtain) for few seconds at 01.09m which is not safe for kids. The background music is based on some famous compositions I suppose. You also get to see some famous landmarks in 1970s Moscow.
- Kidnapping, Caucasian style: The Shurik adventure continues in this movie. He helps a gang kidnap a girl thinking it is part of a local Caucasian tradition. Before he realizes his mistake, he is in the nuthouse… The most memorable part is the song by Aida Vedishcheva at (00:27m).
A little like Indian movies, many of these Russian movies feature song sequences. Here is another song of hers “Help me” set to the tune of the song Sway. The tune seems to be very popular in Russia. I heard in many of these movies.
Sway from the movie Dark City by Anita Kelsey
- Ivan Vasilievich: Back to the Future: Ivan The Terrible is brought to the present thanks to a scientific mishap. The guy who played Shurik, Aleksandr Demyanenko, is the scientist.
This song became an delightful ear worm.
Here is another song. Russian women are B-U-T-fool!
- Irony of fate: This 3-hour movie is supposed to be very famous and is routinely broadcast on New Year. [In order to whip up nationalistic fervour and fight the Nazis, Stalin once allied with the Church. The Commie dictator moved the birth of the Messiah to New Year Day so that Christmas celebrations could be allowed under the guise of a secular holiday.] The movie is about a guy who gets drunk in a sauna and mistakenly put on a plane going to a different city. Thanks to the uniformity of Soviet town planning, his address in Moscow has counterparts all over Russia. And, the taxi takes him to the same address in St. Petersberg and mayhem ensues.
Part – 2
- The girls: This is supposed to be a romantic comedy but it appeared a bit sad for me as I saw it without subtitles. All I can say the girl Nadezhda Rumyantseva has as much energy as a tactical nuclear weapon. The movie shows life in Communist cooperatives.
* – At that time, the Internet connection was extremely flaky, even flakier than it regularly used to be. It seemed like some monkeys were playing with the wires.. However, I turned the misfortune into something valuable. I wrote a software called NetCheck in both PC and Android versions. It provides visual or audio notification when the Net connection fails. It is now an indispensable application on my computers and phones/tablets. Interestingly, even with higher speeds, the Net connection continues to be flaky, particularly when I blogging or publishing. If I am passively downloading stuff or reading the news, the connection stays up.
New pictorial icons have been introduced in place of flat buttons. Now, you can ‘tweet’ a Twitter ‘status’ URL as is, or you can favorite or retweet it using the new icon buttons.
- Subhash Browser has been updated to transmit the Twitter message URL to EmailTweetor from the feed reader. When EmailTweetor receives such a message, it automatically sets the “tweet” URL as the reply-to URL.
A feed message sent from the feed reader of Subhash Browser to EmailTweetor.
(Of course, if you choose to do this sort of reply, then you will have to delete the text that has been automatically copied to the “Twitter message” text box and type your reply in situ.)
- EmailTweetor can now spread a message on up to 10 conjoined “tweets”.
- EmailTweetor now stops dropping newlines.
- EmailTweetor can now tweet animated GIFs. Many file pickers cannot provide the file location of the picked image. Hence, EmailTweetor converts the picked file to a temporary non-animated PNG. The new text box for pasting the image file location by passes file pickers and allows upload of images without any conversion to a useless PNG. You can copy the file location of image from the file explorer of Subhash Browser.
Text box to manually paste the file location in EmailTweetor
BTW, this GIF animation was created using the open-source app Fissure from Fdroid.org and tweeted using the updated EmailTweetor.
Download EmailTweetor from:
2000s – The Twenty Nadas or the Twenty Zeroes or the 2k0s
2010s – The Twenty Tens or the 2010s
2020s – The Twenty Twenties or the 2020s
The first decade can be referred as the Nada as nada means zero. Twenty may have to be included to differentiate from decades from previous centuries.
After yesterday’s update, I copied the APK installer file to the memory card of a phone. The file just wouldn’t install the update. It was corrupt. So I decided to add support for checksum hashes to the file explorer and download manager. Now it is easy to check whether a file has been correctly copied/downloaded by comparing it with the hash on the source computer/website.
The download manager & the file explorer have a new Copy file info option.
The information copied to the clipboard by this option includes the checksums. Many websites display checksums in download pages. On GNU/Linux desktops, you can use the
sha1sum commands for the hashes.
Earlier, the Update button updated the current RSS feed, as selected by the Feeds button. A different feed could not be updated. If the current feed did not have any new articles, then you will have to idle until the update got finished. If the Internet connection or the device is slow, then more waiting. Now, if you long-press the Update button a menu shows up allowing you to select any feed to be updated in the background. It does not switch the reading list until the download & processing is finished.
The feed reader used to crash if you switched to the browser in the middle of an update and returned back to the feed reader & tried to change the feed. A bug in the audio notification logic causing this crash has been fixed.
The integrated file explorer now opens local HTML web pages in the browser without showing a dialog of compatible apps (browsers, HTML Viewer, text editor, etc). This happens only if the file explorer was opened from the browser using the Open file option. Also, the explorer now remembers the last directory.
If the file explorer was opened from the main menu, the dialog will continue to be available.
Subhash Browser is a better-than-Chrome browser for Android with a built-in RSS feed reader and UI in Malayalam, Tamil, Kannada, Hindi, Urdu.