(2011, film/performance/neo-benshi, 45mins)
Anuj Vaidya’s Bad Girl With a Heart of Gold finds the artist in conversation with his own film of the same name. The performance explores the genealogy of the Bollywood vamp – from her origins in the Jewish stars of early Indian cinema to the iconic roles of the anglo-Indian actress Helen in the 60s/70s, and her eventual death disappearance from cinema with the rise of television. The experimental narrative weaves many of her signature roles together to pose the question: Can Helen escape her perpetual death by Bollywood?
The neo-benshi form takes inspiration from the traditional Japanese benshi, where an individual would provide the voices for all the characters in a silent film. In the neo-benshi, writers/peformers pick a film/ scene from a film of their choice, strip it of its soundtrack, reimagine and rewrite the narrative, and perform the script live over the projected image.
LitCrawl (San Francisco, CA), 2011
Open Space (Pune, India), 2012
Department of Radio/TV/Film, University of Texas at Austin (Austin, TX), 2012
Performance Studies Department, Northwestern University (Evanston, IL), 2013
APICC’s Festival of Asian America (San Francisco, CA), 2013
Wallfly, (Goa, India), 2014