Naag Panchami Fesssstival Continuing Professional Development Snake Quiz

compiled by jenni

A number of readers may be interested in using the accumulated readings of the Naag Panchami Fesssstival for the purpose of accruing Continuing Professional Development (CPD) points for their professional snake organisation membership.  To this end, the following active CPD quiz (The Quiz) has been developed to test the knowledge and skill set you have enhanced through the knowledge you have developed over the course of the Fesssstival.

The Quiz is divided into 3 sections

1.  Snake Identification Task   (30% of total mark)

2.  Multiple Choice Questions  (30% of total mark)

3.  Essay Questions  (40% of total mark)

Response sheets can be submitted online at the conclusion of this post.  Points will be awarded based on both accurate and well expressed completion of the set tasks and your results will be forwarded to your nominated snake organisation professional development registrar.

QUIZ

1. Snake Identification Tasks

For the pictures below, please assess using the following criteria, then make an assessment based on the number of, and degree to which, snakey characteristics are met.

A.  Real Snake or Fake Snake?

a.  Wears this outfit

a.  Is accompanied by these men

Wears this headgear

Sometimes looks like this

And wears this much eyeliner?

 

B.  The following clips demonstrate which handy filmi snake skill?

 
 

C.  Real Snake or Fake Snake?

Wears this headgear

Wears this outfit

Accompanied by this man

Sometimes looks like this

Wears this much eyeliner


 
 

2.  Multiple Choice Questions

A.  If you encountered this

or  this

Would you?

a.  Run

b.  Fall on your knees and beg

c.  Whip out your snake pipe and play

d.  Ask them round for a coffee

e.  All of the above

 

 

B.  What advice would you provide for these snake wannabe fashionistas?

a.  Make it shorter

b.  Make it tighter

c.  Put on some more jewellery

d.  Put on some more eyeliner

e.  All of the above

f.  Try one of these outfits, I think this look would really suit you


 
 

C.  Conventional fashion wisdom would have us believe that when dressing for a big night out, check in the mirror, then remove one piece of jewellery.

If you are a snake, is this

a.  True

b.  False


 

D.  Which ridiculous and short sighted Indian film industry wilfully and wrongfully denied Kamal Hassan the opportunity to do an interpretive snake dance despite his starring in a snake film?  Or to reframe the question:  Which humane and considerate Indian film industry prevented Kamal Hassan from inflicting another ridiculous interpretive dance on his unsuspecting audience – this time an interpretive snake dance?

A sample clip for the underexposed: ‘1 2 3 4 now’ from Punnagai Mannan

a.  Bollywood

b.  Tollywood

c.  Kollywood

d.  The public needs to be protected from any more Kamal Hassan interpretive dance.

e.   a and d

f.   b and d

g.  c and d

 
 
 

E.  Which of the following indicators would point to an acceptable or good standard of snake movie?

a.  There are no snake dances

b.  A toothpaste snake/steam snakes

c.  Any film where the essence of a character can be distilled to ‘Weepy’ or ‘Rapey’

d.  Jeetendra

e. Any snake dance involving someone who looks like Freddie Mercury

f.  A comedy side plot involving a man selling his niece.

g. Disney sanctioned, fabric at the expense of substance (think about it – the formula of snake to fabric ratio is a giveaway), Siddharth with his hair in a ponytail filled extravaganzas

 

F.  An exciting and really really really important new discovery was made by one of the participants in the Naag Panchami fessstival

This was

a.  The previously thought to be extinct and hence extremely rare and therefore very very exciting to witness indeed Bangla filmi snake sub-species Naagus Mongooseus Ladyi commonly known as Nagin-Mongoose-Lady which amazingly shape shifts between snake and mongoose when fighting.  WOW!!!!  WHO WOULD HAVE EVER THOUGHT WE’D HAVE SEEN VIDEO FOOTAGE????  SO IMPRESSIVE AND FABULOUS I JUST CAN’T BELIEVE IT!!!!!!

b.  A so tiny as to be virtually inconsequential magical snake in an arty film

c. A modern modestly clothed snake

 

G.  During the course of the 2011 Fessstival a paper was successfully submitted to the Journal of the Academy of Applied Filmi Snake Research and Ethics discussing which controversial issue.

a.  The neglected role of Kamal Hassan interpretive dance in snake cinema

b.  Mongoose abuse and community consultation:  Help or hinderance

c.  The directorial choices of Jennifer Lynch in the film Hissss and their consequences

d.  The legitimacy of weaselesque snake statuary in the snake movie industry

 
 

H.  The current research findings suggest snake venom is (most likely to be) on the following dominant colour spectrum range.

a.         Yellow

b.         Red

c.         Blue

Hint:  This snake is filled with venom


 

3.  Essay Questions

Choose two (2) of the following essay questions.

Essay Question A.

In the 1980 Telugu film Punnami Naagu, Chiranjeevi plays the role of a snake in which all of his bodily fluids are deadly.  If you were an intended victim, which of Chiranjeevi’s bodily fluids would you prefer to be killed by and why?

Essay Question B.

Beth (Illinois, 2011) posits “Snake movie grand finales should have confrontational dancing, hallucinogenic venom, flying snakes, imperiled children, thunder claps, and/or crescendoing been music—or at least quick cuts between good and evil snakes doing The Look”

Do you agree or disagree?  Discuss, using climactic examples from at least four (4) films in the snake genre including this climax scene from Doodh Ka Karz.

Essay question C

Given the lead character in snake movies is most often female and evokes a strong quasi-divine female warrior/protectoress archetype, does the oft made choice of item girls in lead roles essentially serve to simply reinforce, or actively subvert, the usual images of women presented in the dominant paradigm of Indian cinema? Discuss.

Or for the visuo-perceptually inclined:

Assessment task.

Please construct a to scale model of the giant sci fi, supernatural snake mothercraft in the film Devi (1999). Include three (3) recommended modifications, to decrease the likelihood of (a) departing prematurely and (b) (particularly on nights pertaining to the culmination of the Saros cycle) equiping the ship with some kind of early warning device to facilitate timely demon (i) detection and (ii) eradication. (Photographic/video record of the model ( phased construction and completed) and plan specifications of all modifications to be submitted online).

Notes:

PLEASE SUBMIT your double spaced in 12 pt Arial Narrow font responses to the Cinema Chaat Comments section attached to this post.  In due course you will be notified of the outcome at the email address you submitted with your professional Snake Spotting Organisation. 

If you really must cheat, it may cost you your life if you fail to correctly identify a filmi snake. Take your chances:

Section 1

A – Real Snake

B – The Reverse Suck Manoeuvre

C – Fake Snake.  No self respecting snake would ever apply such a miniscule amount of eyeliner.  Also, this man is NOT Jeetendra

Section 2

A – Answer: a. is probably your best bet unless you are a snake pipe genius.

B – Answer: e. All of the above or f.  Then, because of your clearly helpful and informed advice, they might consider not killing you.

C – Answer: b.  If you are a snake, the answer is, when dressing for a big night out, check in the mirror and add two pieces of jewellery and an extra head ornament.

D – Answer:  Depending on your preferences (and levels of resilience), the correct answer is either c. or g.

E – Answer:   b. A toothpaste snake /steam snakes and surprisingly, d. Jeetendra

F – Answer:  c.  A modern modestly clothed snake in Naag Lok.  A significant moment in the documentation of snake filmi history Beth.  Congratulations.

G – Answer:  b.  Mongoose Abuse.  I cannot emphasize enough what an important, yet vexing and complex issue the whole mongoose snake interface in films is for academic and scientific filmi snake communities.

H – Answer: If you really need one after the Hint, it’s c.  (and based on the current evidence, may range in hue from clear to blue-violet)

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An Open Letter on the Subject of Filmi Snake Identification and Research

The hallowed halls of the Academy of Applied Filmi Snake Research and Ethics are buzzing with the latest controversy. Our visiting snake expert responds to the (unfair, unjust and unreasonable) criticism levelled at her work by an anonymous  weasel professor. 

Professor,

I am gratified that you have provided the opportunity for further discourse and academic debate in response to the Filmi Snake Spotter’s Field Guide (The Guide)  in your comment about Beth’s scholarly analysis of the snake film Naag Lok.  Before I provide some additional comments in relation to the criticisms levelled at my work, I would also like to acknowledge the contribution of Beth (Illinois, 2011) to the evidence base of filmi snake identification.  As you noted, the principles of scientific rigour to which she has adhered, are laudable and set a new standard in the field.

Whilst Beth (ibid) has certainly identified two new areas for research in the roles of the transformative snake skin lens overlay and the serpentine tikka, I would like to draw your attention to some comments in the introductory section of The Guide:  (a.) “In this guide we will illustrate only a small sample of the many hundreds of filmi snake species featured in sub continental movies” (p. 1.)  and (b.) “Although scientific validation has been undertaken through consultation with both acknowledged experts and enthusiastic amateurs in the area, hypotheses are always subject to revision with an expanded evidence base.”

It is important, I believe, to acknowledge the audience for whom one is writing.  Whilst perhaps it can be argued that the scope of The Guide is broad, as explicitly stated, the intention was the provide some basic, yet practically helpful information, thus providing some guidelines and structure for filmi snake identification, for both professionals and lay persons alike.  At no point, I would like to emphasise, was The Guide touted as an exhaustive monograph.

I would specifically like to address the assertion that omissions of reference were made to the characteristic of venom and the role of the mongoose in filmi snake identification.

1.  Venom

Far from neglecting the role of venom in filmi identification, it is important to note that the results in this area are sufficiently inconclusive at this stage, for exclusion from The Guide.

The sample at the current time is simply too small to achieve any acceptable level of statistical significance.  Observational data suggests that venom may be a useful indicator, but we have conflicting information about both the impact of gender on venom, as well as some conflicting data about colour of venom (though it appears that venom is on the colour spectrum of clear to blue-violet).  The two things that the data demonstrates as emerging trends are (i) that all bodily fluids of the filmi snake appear to be venomous. And (ii) filmi snakes, unlike non-filmi snakes, appear to be able to suck their venom out of any fimi-snake victim and restore life (the Reverse Suck Manoeuvre).

2.  The Mongoose

The inclusion or exclusion of the role of the mongoose is indeed a vexed one.  As part of the extensive consultative process with a number of scientific and government authorities prior to the publication of The Guide, a submission was received form the Royal Society for the Prevention of Cruelty of Animals requesting that no reference be made to the role of the mongoose because of the clear instances of both mongooses and snakes being hurt, and even killed, in the course of filming snake movies.  Their substantial and compelling body of research suggests that publicity in these areas increases the likelihood of recurrence (to a 0.01 level of statistical significance).

This of course, posed a significant ethical dilemma regarding to the need for open scientific debate versus the need for a responsible approach to animal welfare.  In consultation with a number of eminent ethicists, it was determined that the scientific debate was best placed to occur in professional and academic snake forums rather than in a more populist publication like the Guide.  On that basis, the decision to omit was resolved.  For the edification of the scientific community however, a forthcoming article on the subject has been submitted and accepted for publication in the Journal of the Academy of Applied Filmi Snake Research and Ethics.

I hope this letter goes some way to addressing some of the concerns expressed about the perceived shortcomings of The Filmi Snake Spotter’s Field Guide and serves to further contribute to the spirit of open discussion and debate in the important area of filmi snake identification and research.

jenni

Sheshnaag

Sheshnaag is an excellent masala snakefest starring Jeetendra and Rekha, with a starry supporting cast and the added delight of Danny Denzongpa as the EVIL Aghoori. The Laxmikant Pyarelal soundtrack is mostly snake dance related, which means lots of snaky dancing! And I think director KR Reddy captured a vintage feel with Sheshnaag which doesn’t seem like a film released in 1990.

Allow Aghoori to describe his origins as a creation of the devil and show you around his cave:

 

 

My DVD has the worst picture quality but the most marvellous subtitles. Aghoori is hunting a nagin couple, Pritam and Banu, who unlock a treasure trove every lunar eclipse using amazing special effects.

They give the wealth to the needy and hold the key to immortality. Aghoori is obsessed with power and filled with venom, determined to become more powerful than the gods.

Identifying the snakes in this film is very easy as they are a) not shy and b) one of them is Jeetendra (ref The Jeetendra Effect).

While this epic battle between good and bad is being waged, there is evil afoot in the human domain. Champa (Rekha) is left to look after her mentally backward brother Bhola (Rishi Kapoor) and her horrible husband (Anupam Kher) after her father dies. Bhola is protective of all animals including snakes and he can charm any animal by playing his flute. He falls afoul of Aghoori’s henchman when he saves the female snake Banu (Madhavi), thus winning her gratitude. Champa’s husband wagers her mangalsutra and then her person in a game of cards – he is really vile. After calling on Krishna to help her escape a rape attempt, she runs away and leaps from a cliff to escape her pursuers. Just as I was bemoaning an appalling under-utilisation of Rekha, Banu uses her powers to transform into a replica of Champa and come to Bhola’s aid to repay her debt. They move into a nicely decorated mansion with excellent snaky decor and are set for the good life.

 

Jeetendra joins the household as a servant so he can be close to his wife and help look after Bhola. The rest of the story is then a crazy race to see if Aghoori will take over the world.

I really disliked Rishi’s acting, character and storyline in this. Bhola’s under-developed intelligence would have been challenging for any actor, but Rishi just opted for flattening his hair and mugging for the camera.

There is a romance track for him, as Kamini (Mandakini – not a snake despite those eyes and some questionable outfits) is driven into his arms by a startling bear attack. She’s a hunting, shooting type of gal from a family of animal hide dealers but clearly life had not prepared her for finding a small person in a bear suit humping her leg.

It doesn’t seem to be a good match, and Bhola’s utter stupidity doesn’t help matters. If you knew someone wanted to hunt game, would you call more of your animal friends to stand in front of the armed lunatics? Honestly. It’s a revolting episode and apart from all the fake blood pouring from animals, I think Rishi stepped on a pigeon for real. Bhola wins Kamini over with his gormless vapidity, and takes from her intended, a creepy gun toting cousin.  He swaggers around, confident that his sister will always protect him. When Jeetendra decides to make Bhola a warrior to protect everyone…well I’m sure you can imagine. Beth queried whether headbutting clay pots was a documented snake fighting technique. I suspect the technique was chosen as Bhola’s head was solid wood.

Rekha is a powerful actor and being a vengeful snake allowed her to unleash her forceful side. I question whether it was really worth jeopardising your immortality and powers just to save a backward fool. On the plus side she gets some awesome outfits. I preferred Madhavi’s dancing, but Rekha does handle the venom spitting (her venom strips paint) with aplomb and has mastered The Look.

 

Banu/Champa’s resolve and certainty drives much of the action and she takes responsibility for her family in both her human and snake roles. When Bhola drags her human husband back and expects Champa to accept him, she is unrelenting and cold despite the combined anger of the men.

I mentioned Bhola was annoying? Even allowing for times and morality having changed, how could anyone demand someone they love take back into their household a man who brutalised and humiliated them? It’s all wrong, and not helped by the bad acting. Rishi was lucky he had Anupam Kher in the same cast as it makes Bhola look marginally better. Anyway. Back to the snakes.

 

Rekha’s scenes with Jeetendra are sometimes quite touching as Banu/Champa is aware of the consequences of committing to helping the idiot human, and knows they are in danger from Aghoori too. They also get some more of those special effects. When (WHY?) she decides to sacrifice herself to save Bhola I was quite upset. WHY REKHA WHY???

Jeetendra is there. He really doesn’t have all that much to do apart from dancing, flying, biffo, biting, duelling and housework. He is not the dominant snake in the marriage and I think it’s safe to say that Madhavi/Rekha wears the lurex pants in the relationship. I swear he’d never seen a broom until this film, and he seems to torment Bhola more than he does anything else in that household. Jeetendra got some excellent snake powers including an array of coloured lighting effects and a unique fighting style.

 

His first fight with Aghoori is hilarious, and he also has a nice line in venom spitting (his is flammable).  His dancing…He is not good at partnering the ladies in their dancing. Luckily they seem to manage to navigate around him. He also did an interpretative vengeful Snake Dance which was memorable.

Madhavi had a much smaller presence in the film than Rekha, but her dancing is lovely and she had some fabulous snaky accessories.

She and Jeetendra employed a fighting style that involved jabbing the victim with their fingers rather than biting so I think maybe they had venomous manicures.  The outfits for all the snakes really are worth a look.

 

Danny Denzongpa owns the film. He is insanely evil and in cackling good form as Aghoori. I loved this performance and I cheered extra loud when Aghoori sent Bhola flying with a few well placed kicks. Not everything an evil person does is necessarily bad!

And what happens? I really can’t say. But I do give the film 3 1/2 stars!