Tuesday, December 9, 2008

Die Fälscher

i always used to spurn the stereotypical movies made by prakash raj's production house.. and the prime reason for this might be the frequent hearing of stuff like 'i liked kanda naal mudhal, i loved mozhi... i basically love these prakash raj kind of movies'...

the last line spoils it all.. no offence to folks who love kanda naal mudhal ( a good one ) or mozhi, which i found to be a bit cliched.. the contempt is not towards these movies...its mainly towards the last line.. its always put in this corniest way...

probably it is not the way the director intended the movie to be.. all these movies are pretty decent watches.. its analogous to the best dish in my office lunch menu.. or voting in elections.. all we can do is choose the best that we are served with..

its just that i am lucky enough to have identified a better lunch menu at a place around the corner.. and i havent voted till now..

i liked azhagiya theeyae.. mozhi was ok ok ( my alter is pounding me to let it outside to voice its actual views on that movie .. its a very harsh sardonic movie critic by the way )..

i happened to see the velli thirai when it was telecasted during diwali.. i missed the first twenty odd minutes... i didnt expect so much from that movie to be honest... i liked the movie very much..

there was a dialogue in that movie.. i couldnt actually believe that i heard that.. where prithvi raj tells how a movie should be... how it should not be manipulative... the ideal case should be that a director should not add sequences.. for the audience to laugh or to feel a particular emotion... the sequences should be dictated by the story...

i have great respect for the director viji .. and the main reason for this entire thing mite be the single dialogue.. its not just the dialogue.. its the way that he had done this movie in the exact way that the character of prithvi raj says..

the climax was supposedly inspired from bowfinger ... but thats perfectly ok.. since i was impressed a few good sequences.. nice acting by prakash raj.. thinking of this.. i occasionally feel that vijay is a better ACTOR than surya... a blog on that later (how i would love to be a vijay fan)

saw the movie Die Fälscher (the counterfeiters) yesterday.. winner of the best foreign film oscar for the year 2007.. it is fictional account of the greatest counterfeiting operation ever.. operation bernhard by the nazi govt.. where jewish prisoners from concentration camps produced millions of forged pound notes of smaller denomination.. and the plan was to mix them with original ones to destabilize the financial stature of United kingdom..

it tells the story of Salomon 'Sally' Sorowitsch.. who is a big time con man.. who gets moved from the concentration camps to work on this secret operation.. he is big wig of those people working in this... he gets special treatment for his talents .. sally is a great character and wonderfully acted by Karl Markovics...

to put it short, he is a true neutral character (in terms of RPG's)... i may not be the best person to give a definition for his character... so i have taken it from a site that describes such a character..

A true neutral character does what seems to be a good idea. She doesn't feel strongly one way or the other when it comes to good vs. evil or law vs. chaos. Most neutral characters exhibit a lack of conviction or bias rather than a commitment to neutrality. Such a character thinks of good as better than evil-after all, she would rather have good neighbors and rulers than evil ones. Still, she's not personally committed to upholding good in any abstract or universal way.

sally gets attached to a young artist in the camp.. he does the max that he feels is correct and that is to deliver the nazi officials what they demand.. so he could save the people around him.. there are lots of different characters in the camp... and one is that of adolf burger... who wants sally to stop doing what he is doing.. that is indirectly funding the german military.. adolf burger is a real life character who has written memoirs on his time in the camp.. sally trying to save the ones around him might postpone the defeat of germany...

the humiliation he suffers by the amoral germal officials, questions his lack of conviction of anything, which actually is a virtue according to me.. the film has a very great climax... my kind of climax so to say...

a must watch..

Friday, November 28, 2008

the WORLD of the zombie ELFs

only for those people who have tried their hands on any mmorpgs.. or any rpgs atleast... otherwise wont get that.. anyway... not different from my other posts.. so have a look...

came across this in http://www.xkcdb.com/

<%mewyn> You hear some noises in the distance.
<%mewyn> You see a zombie elf standing befor you.
<%mewyn> #chat
<%mewyn> The zombie elf asks you why he stayed up so late playing WoW.
* infralite moves north
* infralite picks up torch
* infralite looks south
<%mewyn> The zombie elf just kind of stands there with a sleepy look on his face.
* infralite picks up zombie
<%mewyn> Your actions are now encumbered.
* infralite puts zombie down
* infralite searches zombie
<%mewyn> You find 3 lembas wafers and a set of discs for WoW.
* infralite loots zombie
* infralite calls the zombie a hypocrite
< infralite> oh wait, why *he* stayed
<%mewyn> The zombie falls over and falls asleep.
* infralite retracts
* infralite leaves the zombie to be and wanders north
<%mewyn> You get zapped by a grid bug.
<%mewyn> You die.
< infralite> fucking rpgs
<%mewyn> Would you like your possesions identified?
< infralite> all the same ..
< infralite> [Y]
<%mewyn> 3 uncursed lembas wafers
<%mewyn> 1 cursed set of WoW discs.
< infralite> woot.

kinda liked that because it was one of the few jokes that i understood..

Hey...i know that guy

though i occasionally feel that i am not as blessed as a few of my buddies in a range of social graces, that might make them a quintessential street smart chap, my subconscious gets automatically convinced after it starts to consider the list of my talents, that usually have the potential use in the league of, a screw driver while watching a movie or a hippo in a cooking class... i am very much blessed with many unique skills that i bet no one reading the blog is capable of ...

speaking of which, i happened to remember about a dialogue by natalie portman's character from the movie 'garden state'.

She says that whenever she a feels a bit down.. she does something unique like... she goes "kyeonw... kyeonw...kyeonw...."(something of that sort) standing 4 paces from her bed and twitching like a worm on fire...actually in a good looking way(couldnt come up with a better example)... and asks the protagonist to something of that sort.. he feels a bit shy and reluctant... at that point she says...

"This is your one opportunity to do something that no one has ever done before and that no one will copy throughout human existence. And if nothing else, you will be remembered as the one guy who ever did this. This one thing"

i think u get the link...

coming back to the point.. i ll try listing a few of my idiosyncrasies..

1. not good with remembering routes. almost every road looks the same.. besides y do u need that when all you are going to do is ride on the pillion seat of an expert rider or when u have all the time in the world :)

2. the heaviest two wheeler that i have ever ridden on is my sis's tvs excel super and i am 22.. barring the one time that i tried my skills on a friend's discover.. and was pretty decent on it... anyway i love riding bicycle and till now i never felt the need to learn a bulky two wheeler... its good in sort of looking cool way... but since thats not going to get me any chicks.. y need this..

3.i know nothing about politics...i dont know when the next election is due in tamil nadu.. dont have a voters id... cant hold up a decent conversation on that.. this will be a difficult to believe .. but its true.. happened a few days back...
was reading abt something, when the name Manmohan singh came up.. these were the steps that my gray matter went thro

i) Manmohan singh... who is that?

ii) wait a sec.. i know that guy

iii) related to politics.. someone big i think

iv) wasn't he the prime minister sometime back?

v) oh oh oh.. or is he still the PM now...

vi) i think he is... unless i can remember someone else who might be the one
currently (heavy process goes on in the background)

vii) and finally since no other suggestion came up in my mind.. yeah got it.. he's the PM... (a nice pat on the back.. and a stupid grin on the face)

though this happened in a span of a few nanoseconds.. but this is how i processed it... but u can always blame the PM for not being very sensational :)

4.the same goes to sports.. not as bad as the former one.. am very much interested in playing a few games(other than cricket..dunno y)... dont have any knowledge about cricket... which prevents me to hold the lunch time conversations with team mates or friends and to write comments to the blogs of friends who are very much interested in sports...
i DISCOVERED that there was 'free hit' in cricket only a week back :(...

the list goes on and on... no idea of even the most familiar bus routes.. in both chennai and hyderabad... bringing a group of people to one conclusion..

in the words of homer simpson..

"How is education supposed to make me feel smarter? Besides, every time I learn something new, it pushes some old stuff out of my brain. Remember when I took that home winemaking course, and I forgot how to drive?"

but honestly i feel that i will learn them when i need them... there is no need for me to cramp my penthouse with these information , as it is already cramped with loads of trivia about many unique stuff..

Friday, November 14, 2008

Love Actually is all around

I had thought of watching a few romantic movies or to be precise flowery ones. The sarcasm is not on the romance but on it being flowery. My busy schedule doesn't allow me enough time to sit and watch them :). There are only a countable number of these romantic flicks that usually comes out of the mouths of those who typically find them too good. A few of the them being

1.walk to remember
2.love actually
3.notting hill

and a few others too whose name i am not able to recall now.

I really am not sure why i was skeptical about these kind of movies even before watching them. It might be due to reason that I have not encountered those emotions before, not in the form that they portray it in a few movies.
When someone says, " Dei, watch Walk to remember... saw it... its extraordinary.. very romantic... one of the very best.. was very realistic"..
i usually say "is it? have heard about it.. heard that it was good... will put it in my to-watch list".

Neither is their suggestion this corny with so much adjectives, nor is my reply 100% true.

The overwhelming symbolisms and abstractness of classic oldies can make you dizzy at some times, either because it is too heavy or it is incredibly incomprehensible, and it is at these times, that i crave for some crazy masala movie or a ridiculous romance to cool my head off. The unintended goofiness of a serious emotional sequence can pull out a good laugh.

I had kept these movies for a time like that. I did watch a few of these movies. The experience was kind of mixed. A few were pretty decent enough and a few were deadly duds.

I watched 'Love Actually' yesterday.

It - 'Follows the lives of eight very different couples in dealing with their love lives in various loosely and interrelated tales all set during a frantic month before Christmas in London, England' - from IMDB.

The film started out pretty decently, introducing lots of characters to the viewer in a very short span and a even more decent intro about on airports being places that can show you that love actually is all around.

It had a seriously high rating of 7.8/10 in imdb with about a 70000 votes. The movie had a brilliant cast that included Alan Rickman, Emma Thompson, Liam Neeson, Laura Linney and lots of others for very short cameos.

There occur a few incidents, a few mishaps a few confusions between the protagonists, but before the end of the movie they all recuperate with their loved ones.

It was decent enough if you overlook a few moments like, Prime Minister falling for his assistant and he refusing a deal with the U.S, to the standing ovation of the reporters, as the U.S president misbehaves by hitting on his secretary and finally a smooch with the secretary in the presence of an entire audience of a school function and to add to my distress even they started clapping.

To be short the entire Prime Minister episode was a big laugh. Other than that there were lots of mills and boons kind of, the guy sweeping the girl off her feet moments. I haven't read a single mills and boons yet, but its in my 'thousand things to do before i die' list, though I am not sure if i would be able do it.

This movie is not that bad actually, its just that i get too picky and nasty when it comes to reviewing such movies. I liked the part when the guy who loses his one sided love to a buddy, confesses it to her. It was a nice sequence. Nice acting too. The Billy Mack episode and Laura linney episode were also good. Alan Rickman(Severus Snape)who has one of the best articulation, was wonderfully wasted.

A piece of dialogue from that movie, where a nice boss suggests his lovelorn associate to propose to his lover soon..

Harry: Tell me, exactly, how long it is that you've been working here?
Sarah: Two years, seven months, three days and, I suppose, what, two hours?
Harry: And how long have you been in love with Karl, our enigmatic chief designer?
Sarah: Ahm, two years, seven months, three days and, I suppose, an hour and thirty minutes.
Harry: I thought as much.
Sarah: Do you think everybody knows?
Harry: Yes.
Sarah: Do you think Karl knows?
Harry: Yes.
Sarah: Oh, that is- that is bad news.
Harry: Well I just thought maybe the time had come to do something about it.
Sarah: Like what?
Harry: Invite him out for a drink and then after about twenty minutes casually drop into the conversation the fact that you'd like to marry him and have lots of sex and babies.
Sarah: You know that?
Harry: Yes. And so does Karl. Think about it. For all our sakes. It's Christmas.
Sarah: Certainly. Excellent. Will do. Thanks, boss.

Not a bad one. But the last lines spoil it for me.
'Yes. And so does Karl. Think about it. For all our sakes. It's Christmas.'

It might be entirely due to difference in culture, but I don't think I can find someone who says such a dialogue like this.

Just try substituting the word Christmas in the last line with say Diwali, Pongal.
See how odd it is. New Year sounds pretty decent, but still that dialogue is too corny. I cant stomach such conversations, but again that is just me.

But even after all these small things, its not a bad movie but seriously overrated.
A 6/10 would be a proper score.

It is a seriously sad thing that a few buddies of mine get enthusiastic about the movies that i rate low. They say, "If you find it bad, in most cases we would find it too good and vice versa". :(

Monday, November 10, 2008

I was browsing about any least bit of information that i could gather about the movie Nandalala and its director mysskin, when i stumbled on a blog... since i had no work today... owing to the unknown reason that made my so called higher mgmt decide that our team wont be having the scheduled 3 hr long call on mondays alone.. not tat i dont appreciate their generous gesture...
This blog had a tidbit about nandalala.. that was a bit surprising.. Nandalala seems to have similarity to the movie, KIKUJIRO by Takeshi Kitano... the only similarities, as of now are the two liner of the plot and a movie still that has been doing good rounds.. but i have so much belief in mysskin that it wont be that way... he is the only person in Tamil cinema that i feel surprised at.. he has all the things that mite add him to gr8 movie makers... its a bit too early to say but still he is of the likes of masterminds of cinema.. but since he is one of our own, that adds to the last bit of favoritism that makes me say this... the first time when i watched chittiram pesudadi and anjaathe, my jaw dropped... and i tell u one thing... this is not a very frequent thing to happen :)...
Mysskin has told about his admiration for Takeshi Kitano in many interviews.. so it is not wrong to have a look and feel of the movie someone admires.. to be honest, there are already so many plots in movies, that u cant make a movie that doesn't resemble something else... so as long as it is original it serves the purpose..
That blog was a good read .. so i was reading a few older posts of his.. and i came across a post about the score of a personality test...i remember taking one such test long back and thought tat i would take this... there was one particular question that went like this
I don't let most people close to me because few meet my standards
and the choices were from... very inaccurate to very accurate...

this question is not of the exact significance .. but when reading this i came to think of Antonioni... He is one of the most intelligent of movie makers... maybe the best... It seems that subtle intelligence in movies is a great turn on for me, than breathtaking chase sequences.. brilliant songs or highly emotional scenes... He would have answered to the above question as very accurate.. or so i think from the movies that he has made... I watched my first Antonioni movie during a screening in Hyderabad film Club...They were celebrating Antonioni and Bergman on the week of their death and they showcased BlowUp and Cries and Whisphers...
After watching BlowUp i didnt get why the movie was hailed so much.. that was one of my first watch at such movies that had a huge amount of symbolisms , visual cues... Later after reading about it a bit... i was mesmerized by his intelligence... a similar incident happened with David Lynch's Mulholland Drive.. another one of my favourites... then after a few watches of that movie... there was an enlightenment... I watched almost every other Antonioni after that... and as of now i have only 'The red desert' and 'Zabriskie point' remaining.. And i have fell in love with his work...

had watched passenger a week ago... another gr8 work.. though i love him for his intelligent pieces.. his movies nevertheless get only a 8/10 rating from me... that mite be because they are not the kind of movie that i would prefer to make... probably because they would be called as too elitist and many wouldnt see it...
the last scene of the passenger is one of the best cinematic moments that i have watched in my cinema life...
All his movies have one moment of spacial or temporal uncertainty for a few fleeting frames when you would be thinking.. did i see wat i saw just now...or was it something else... these moments could sum up his entire philosophy of cinema and people... 'how uncertain every so called fact that we hear is'...

i think this must be my most incoherent post till now... when i started it was going good only..poga poga sodhapdichu... :(

Thursday, October 23, 2008

I used to be a nightowl during my college days... though not to the full extent i used to wake up late watching movie marathons almost everyday.. the main reason for that was the awkward position of my PC which made it no longer a PC but just a C... and due to the omnipresent viewer discretion required for the kinda movies that i watch... dont get the wrong idea... u know the kinda environment we are in... one time the folks at my home called a guy in a soap pervert coz he was watching pictures of girls... and the girls where dressed full in saris.. they were standing like models for a sari house... all he was doing was giving a funny kind of reaction that consisted of an odd twitch to the face that remotely looked like a wink...
so i used to wait till the parade of domestic violence like girl planning for the abortion of her sister in law by giving her lots of papaya, with so corny a voice , because the sister in law knows abt her secret love escapades... that kinda stuff.. once the idiot box is switched off i switch on my "Idiot Box Reloaded"...
but that was only part of the reason.. the other reason was that i loved to work at night rather than at day.. its peaceful and serene..
Now staying with my friends I no longer have to wait till the Tv is switched Off... so i no longer stay awake late... hardly till 11.00...

After a long time I watched two movies in a row and somehow i stayed till abt one o clock at night yesterday... I watched "the talented Mr.Ripley" by Anthony Minghella.. It was one of the best movie experience that i have had in my entire life.. I sstarted the movie a bit drowsily.. but at the end of the 139th minute... i was sitting hyperactively at the marvel that i had just witnessed.. this movie has one of the best characters that i liked in the entire history of movies.. Ripley.. i guess he would join the elite club that contains others like Cabiria ( cant think of anyone else.. will write a complete blog on that one some day)..
The movie is based on a novel by Patricia HighSmith... whose other novels have also been made into movies... like strangers in the train... by hitchcock... I have to get hold of the novel.. But i think that Minghella made full justice to the movie by converting it in to so poignant a screenplay that i fell in love with minghella and finished watching "the english patient" immediately.. which i liked but not like the former one...
Matt damon is one hell of an actor... he is too good as ripley.. and gwyneth paltrow and cate blanchet are also too good... i wonder wat this movie would have been without this gr8 star cast.. too good a movie folks.. though not for all... its a bit slow.. that would be a few ppls opinion.. but not for me... so watch it at ur own risk...
ok times up.. have to catch the last cab for the day.. so making it short.. :)

Tuesday, August 5, 2008

Death of an unhappy moose

"Being a software engineer is easy.. all they do is sit around and do some occasional work... their sedentary work is nowhere close to the other tough jobs that ought to get more pay...." this is what many people think.... I have only one thing to say to the folks who dare think like that.... "Its true."

But u also need to listen to the other side of the story... a few software engineer's counter argument to the above said fact will be that they sweat their brains.. rather than their bodies.. which is a tougher and more enervating than a normal job and this has a bigger disparate array of associated mental ailments and occupational hazards.. the victims may get frequent violent thoughts to hit their otherwise normal colleagues,increased nausea,increased symptoms of bipolar syndrome and in a few worse cases they might even runcrazily behind four wheeled motorized transports like their loyal friends who come a few places down in the intelligence chain... and all these things happen due to the vivacity in the folks surrounding them... there are quite a few different types of abi-normal intelligence that they get to meet in this environment to which they silently contribute their share of abi-normality...

lets have a run down of the various kinds of abinormalities that are present in this sytem..one at a time.. so this post deals with the mr/ms/mrs.knowitall ( am not a male chauvinist)who can at anytime of the day list out two reasons for anything happening in a anyway... it can be anything.. y the code works.. y it doesnt..y the sun shines.. y it rains.. y his/her grandma is not good at dancing ...

an instance of them at their pristine logical zenith..

"see."...(hits the bench hard) .."there are TWO reasons that the moose didn't hang itself..." (moves the hand alongside).." the first one might be that the moose could have suffered muscular atrophy of its hind quarters due to extended exposure to bright sun and thereby not allowing it to freely kick the chair on which it was standing...".."the second reason mite have been that the moose changed its intentions due to the untimeley reverie abt his beloved wife "

usually such a long monologue is completed with an inspired look of pride, waiting for his fellows teammates to acknowledge his otherworldly intelligence..


"so to help the moose hang without any second thoughts.. we can do TWO things.. the first is that we can build a small shed where it can graze peacefully without fear of immobilizing its rear... the second is (another proud look).. we need to erase its memory before continuing the process of helping it hang .. because that would prevent the moose from having sweet thoughts about its better half.. BUT .. but this may result in an unexpected schizoidal embolism .. "


they also do the famed repeated stating of the facts that are usually eliminated due to their inane obviousness... this might be the reason for increased nausea in a few victims...

baring these occasional ramblings.. they might even be benevolent pious innocent happy helpful intelligent creatures.. but it so happens that these small outwardly incoherent talks may make the victims to not look into their other good characteristics... so to those sw guys who find these specimens in their daily routine... do try to make a few small talks to them... who knows .. u mite stumble upon an angel dressed as lucifer..

PS:"Everything is Lawful"

Monday, July 21, 2008

The Conversation

a relatively free day.. am officially free... no work till today evening or hopefully even tomorrow.. yeah thats what my situation has become now.. a small break from the everlasting drudgery and monotony of work is very hard to come by nowadays.. and it has hardly been a year that i started working...
i switched on my system.. and waited for it to load... opened my outlook.. no mails indicating more work... browsed around.. reading trivia about the movies that i watched in the weekend... as usual... opened media player..plugged in my earphones and started playing the existing list.. hadnt updated it for long... it had songs from a few latest releases... been hearing them for long... they were good and i had continued hearing them without changing for more than 10 days... the songs no longer were the same as i heard them for the first time... they had even stopped reaching my senses..
so thought of dloading new songs to hear... i love hearing original sound tracks from movies... and that too from movies that i love... one among them is 'the fountain' by darren aronofsky... my all time favorite.. there are quite a few others... i dont have a particular ear for great music .. but i can easily appreciate a few soundtracks that bring in the mood of the film.. i can easily find them out...i was searching for the sound track of 'the conversation' by francis ford coppola that i had watched long back and the music had stayed in mind.. i had really liked that movie very much... i watched ' the godfather' this weekend (second viewing) and was amazed by the atmosphere of the movie.. how coppola was good in setting the mood of the movie..

somehow browsing about the godfather i came across the conversation and started searching for the movies sound track.. i came across a site where there were samples of the songs... i have been hearing them for the past four hours now.. and will do so for a day or two before going to another new list... the sound track is very good... it evokes the bleak sensation of a rainy day..
but i am not sure if everyone will like it... for me hearing it each time associates it with the great movie and i recall how i relished the movie..
David Shire's original music was composed prior to production and played for the actors prior to their scenes to get them into the proper moods-- from IMDB..
the soundtrack contains mainly piano solos and a few jazz tracks...
the movie is about a private investigator Harry Caul specializing in audio surveillance.. a bit paranoid... a bit lonely .. he is observing a young and beautiful couple... he records their conversation for a customer... he later finds out that the customer is the husband of the young girl and the husband suspects that his wife is having an illegal affair.. Harry Caul has a few bad memories that he desperately wants to forget and this case seems to bring back the same old memories.. he suspects that something bad is going to happen... and what happens... the climax of the movie is very chilling... Gene Hackman brilliantly portrays the solitude and paranoia of harry caul.. reportedly coppola got the idea for this movie from Michaelangelo Antonioni's BlowUp ...this movie can stand on its own.. i had watched BlowUp long back.. thanks to Hyderabad film club... i got introduced to Antonioni... there are lots of places in this movie where he directly gives an ode to the movie BlowUp... a great movie and an equally great soundtrack... a must see..

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

A new wave

Long time no post.. So here comes one.. With my system dusting on one side because my graphics card has gone for an overhaul and as my motherboard does not have a onboard VGA port, it has been more than 45 days that I used my system.. So the last trip to Chennai was a long hiatus came to a short break.. I watched two oldies on my system in Chennai during my four day trip there.. It was in the queue for long.. Henry George Clouzot’s Les Diaboliques and Jean Luc godard’s Breathless.. It was my first try with both the directors..

Before trying my hands on the next movie reviewing I was pondering over the question ‘What would make a review interesting for the viewer to read?’ and thereby understand what made mine a drab.. [Sheepish smile].. When compared to other reviews my movie reviews gave the readers very meager idea about what the movie is all about.. The other reviews that I read online contained more information about the plot of the movie and occasional spoilers which is a grave sin according to my book of justice.. A person giving out spoilers of a great work of art should be shot, then hanged and then shot a few more times.. and just to be on the safer side...tied to a boulder and dropped in mid sea.. So to make my posts on movies a bit more interesting for the user to read.. i need to include some trivia about the movie...

The first movie, Les Diaboliques (the Devils) is the story about a ailing wife and a hard hearted mistress who conspire to murder their didactic husband.. the wife is a god fearing, good hearted person succumbs to the persuasion of the mistress as she is unable to cope up with the domestic violence that she endures... the husband and his ladies together manage a private school of some sort... the mistress is the planner.. who plans the entire murder .. they lure him to the mistress's place outside city and kill the husband.. a simple method to kill.. but portrayed very coldly.. it should be considered cold .. the year was 1955.. after the execution they dump the body in the school's swimming pool waiting for someone to discover it... one day passes and then another.. the body doesnt come up.. and when the swimming pool's water is removed they realise that the body is missing...

the remaining half shows how the different characters involved respond to the unwinding horror... H.G.Clouzot casted his wife vera clouzot as the wife (u need to watch the movie to appreciate the reason that i mentioned the above statement)... it is said that Alfred Hitchcock also tried to get the rights for the original material at the same time.. but missed it .. the last fifteen minutes are genuinely creepy even by todays standards.. no orchestral score . nothing and even then he manages to terrify the audience..Hitchcock was so impressed by the way HG.Clouzot made this movie.. that he made 'Psycho' as an attempt to outwit 'Les diaboliques'...

The next one is Godard's Breathless.. my first dip in French New Wave.. very refreshing.. became a fan of godard in just an hour and half... the story is about a young charming french rapscallion and his american girlfriend.. nothing of a plot as such.. which is a necessary part of the wave.. he steals at will when needed.. crime is not crime for him, but just a way of life.. the protagonists sense of morality might not be very appealing to lots...

the new wave movies had very radical expression methods... long trackking shots , jump cuts...lots of new cult directors owe a lots to godard... and one of my favorites Quentin tarantino named his production company on the movie 'a band apart' by godard... it is a visual feast.. not much on the story front.. it is a must see for those who love to watch a movie even if it doesnt has the so called twists ...

Monday, June 16, 2008

a painted veil

It’s been long since I wrote a post. I was thinking of writing about each and every movie that I saw. My last post got quite a few mild reproaches on the topic being so un-commentable, as it was more of a personal experience. Later, reading that post again I realized that it was only a bunch of incoherent sentences trying to express my feeling and I was really pathetic in dat, but that’s perfectly ok. I would still like to continue on that movie blogging idea. But it so happens that my high end system is seeing its not so good times and it is temporarily down for the past 15 days and will be so for another 15 odd days. So, as of now, no more movie reviews.

So fifteen days back I decided that I need to catch up on reading books, though not one of my favorite pass times. I would at any time prefer movies over a book owing to my very short attention span. According to me, it needs lots of dedication. I am the kind of reader who checks once in while, the percentage completion of the book and this frequency increases at the rate of increase of the philosophical content. But I still prefer reading a book with such content as is the case any delusional enthusiast. Thinking about it if it is necessary to read a book like that, I will definitely say yes. There are books that are damn slow and remain the same way through out but are very rewarding (not that I expect them to be rewarding).

The last time I went to Chennai, I loaded my bag with lots of old brittle books from my dad’s collection and started reading ‘Of human bondage’ by somerset Maugham. I loved the movie ‘the painted veil’ which I had initially watched mainly because of Naomi watts and the wallpaper that showed her sitting in a rowboat beside Edward Norton. That poster was more than enough to pull me into watching that movie. I loved the laid back pace of the movie. I remembered having a book by the same author and put it somewhere in the top of my to-do list. But I couldn’t read Of human bondage continuously, because it demanded more attention and time than I could spare at that point of time and pushed it down a few spots in my to-do list and kept that book back in to my bag.

Then I stopped reading for some time. I couldn’t get my interest into that book, and couldn’t switch on that easily to another book, thinking that the next one too would end next to this book in just another week or two. After that all I did was some occasional leisurely reading but not much. And about three four days back, when I was reading a particular part in a book, I got this momentary euphoria. I am deliberately going to strip a lot of my-feeling part and just write about it as just critic rather than a loyal fanatic.

All this happened when I was reading ‘The Grand Inquisitor’ from Dostoevsky’s The Brothers Karamazov. It is probably the typical feeling that it is supposed to invoke in a person who reads it, but for me it was like a revelation though it might lose its charm later in life due to a change in perspective. But I loved it so much. Nothing had been so thought provoking for me in books before. Lots of doubts and questions got answers, at least temporarily. Lots of things fell in place. It was not the best answer for the questions I had, but it gave a very satisfying answer for many. I already have an opinion that a lot of silly or absurd things that used to evoke a sarcastic smirk on my face though not understood by me at that time, serves some purpose for a select set at least, for which it is worth a praise. This reason is more than enough for a cynic like me to cut that sarcastic smirk part (Not yet implemented fully). A question ‘How could he do that?’ is always followed after realization by ‘wat’s wrong with that?’ or ‘it’s perfectly normal to do it that way’, even though not immediately. Everything is lawful. This is where my superior ego feels insulted after quoting a friend. This is again where it realizes (can be read as consoles) that there is nothing wrong with that too.

Ok that’s enough I guess... I am going to post it now before I miss my 915 cab drop to my house. Bye for now.

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

On movies and world domination

This weekend was very eventful, a movie marathon that I had been planning for long. A typical weekend will be full of, lemme think, hmm sleeping, eating[guttural groaning at a distance], more eating, some snacks, some drinks, eating and meticulous scheming with friends to take over the earth[groaning fades]. So this time I decided that I would skip on a few things and would watch more movies though it would make me utterly unsociable and callous to the core and postpone getting my hands on the crown of world domination part (evil laugh).

So I started Friday night with ‘There will be blood’. It was a long movie with a two very good performances, especially by Paul Dano, and Daniel day Lewis of course. But even with these performances, though it was not a drag at any point of time, it was not as good as I had expected. That’s mainly because I am a sucker for poignant heart wrenching tear jerker than a tale of greed, jealousy and all those stuff that you get to watch in a novel that spans the entire life of a person. The cinematography and the background score were good.

Next morning I started with Jimmy Stewart starrer 'Harvey', based on the Pulitzer Prize winning play by the same name. I wanted to watch this because of an article that I read about Jimmy Stewart. This movie wasn’t outright funny or moving, but definitely had it moments. I liked it. After a brief nap of a 4 hrs, I watched 'Ran' by Akira Kurosawa. Another movie that had been in line for long. It was too good. The cinematography was spectacular. Capturing the scenes in golden hours, that’s what he does. Brilliantly choreographed fight sequences and great acting. As per principle I won’t be talking too much on the emotional conflict and situations that the characters face. An aesthetic and audile pleasure.

I was yet to complete the last hour of ‘Shakespeare in love’ which I did at night and then watched the animated 'Hercules'. The humor was cheeky which was good at times and a let down at a few other places. The graphics a bit outdated. Anyway it was a nice watch.

I started the next morning with more Hong kong cinema. This time over I watched Ang Lee’s ‘Lust Caution’ (Se,jie). I have great regards for Ang Lee. When watching his movies I get the occasional unidentified emotion that I get during rainy days. I don’t know if it is happiness or sorrow that I am experiencing but happy that i am experiencing it. There was one particular sequence in this movie where I exactly felt that (The protagonist sitting in a double decked bus and a melancholic tone is played in the background). It is tremendous work, a bit graphic at times, but still, work that only an auteur can bring. If I start more on that I will start sounding crazy.

Then I saw ‘Notes on a scandal’ based on Zoe Heller's novel .Great movie with very great performances by both Judi Dench and Cate Blanchet. I watched this movie for Cate Blanchet. I haven’t watched much of her works. It was a twisted tale about being in loneliness. The first person narration by Judi Dench was smart as a whip. A much deserved oscar nomination. This was followed by ‘Notorious’ by Alfred Hitchcock. I could write an entire blog on Ingrid Bergman. I wonder how these yester year ladies pull out a stylish performance just like that. It was Hitchcock at his best. A very good entertainer. Razor sharp and witty dialogues, an out of the ordinary romance,an antagonist with interests in radio active materials who works against the government. what more could you ask for?

The last movie for this weekend was ‘The skeleton key’. After watching a lot of classics, I really didn’t want to watch this. This started only as a prank on a friend of mine. But after watching it, it felt good The kind of feeling that you get after watching a decent horror flick with a much needed last minute twist. A nice way to end the movie marathon.

P.S. From now onwards I have decided that I would be making posts on almost the every other movie that I watch. That would of course reduce the readability of the content. But I wanted to do this so that I would remember this after long.

Thursday, May 1, 2008

The Road not taken

This post is the result of the personal dilemma that I am in now. I wonder if everyone is happy with whatever they are doing in their life. By whatever, I mean the work they spend majority of their time in. When someone is young, he has interests in the weirdest, oddest and the stupidest of the things. Ask him what he wants to do in future, he says with the zeal that is only possible for the young ones. But while growing up, one starts to push aside his interests, calls it a hobby and starts working on the so called talents that are very much needed to sustain in a world of harsh realities. From what I could remember, majority of my time during my childhood was spent for this. Of course, it is the main reason that I am like this now for which I am very much contented.

But occasionally I get these pangs of, call it regret and conscience that tells me that this isn’t what I should be doing now, which is pretty common, I guess. I am at vain in understanding the reason for which many toss away their interests and choose a smoother and an easier route that guarantees sustenance. I have already walked a few paces in the comfortable yet insipid path and this failure in understanding makes me hesitant to go back to the fork and choose a tougher route. I am in the same old vicious cycle that everyone else is.

I have met lots of people who had very quirky ideas for life during their childhood but finally retired to the ways and means that is comfortable. To be honest, all these interests are not quirky by themselves, but they now sound unconventional only because of the alternate vapid path they have chosen now. A few of my friends who have a disparate (not actually) array of interests that includes archeology, paleontology, linguistics, movie making, forensic science, sports, finally settled in to a very charming and enticing career in coding and testing software which they do relish; at least that is what they say. Don’t mind the sarcasm; it is mainly due to my personal distaste for the field that I work in now.

I do not want to add to the cliché by re iterating Robert frost’s lines, which I will leave to the reader, but what I like about it is that those lines have a downcast and gloomy feel that says that the other side might lead to a pretentious meadow of lush greenery. I don’t know why, but I hate much prevalent optimistic quote mails that I receive every day as it overlooks the possibility of failure in your quest for ‘success’, for the lack of a better word. And I love these verses for the reason that it doesn’t do so.

For any person who loves any art form, music, movie or books, part of the pleasure lies in identifying good art, appreciating it and searching for more of it. I think that I am very good at a few things that I would love to take up as a career but I am not sure if it is just infatuation. Weighing the pros and cons and giving my justifications as to why I should continue whatever I am doing now, I occasionally feel that I might be one who is blessed with the ability to appreciate something but not create it. But there is this insatiable thirst that might make me go crazy and choose the tougher route one day. I may fail halfway through it or make it up to the meadow to find it is not as green as I had imagined it to be, or reach the meadow to find it as I have perceived it would be. Whatever it might be, I wish I would go nuts soon, stop having second thoughts about a few things and just take the plunge. Wish that day comes very soon.

P.S: I am not as indecisive and mentally unstable as this post may lead you to think, or am I??? :)

Tuesday, April 1, 2008

Experiencing life

I have been thinking of writing a blog for a very long time... but i havent been successful in writing one till now... since my subconscious is very good in arguing and convincing me against writing one... Anyway i am writing this particualr post just to make a start and so it is going to be crazier than the rest...

As i have said in abt me, I love watching movies and reading books because it helps in paraphrasing my thoughts and opinions. But for them, i would find it a bit difficult to convey something... so while talking to people i usually give anecdotes from movies or personal experience to convey something... a lot many find my opinions a bit odd and i find it a bit difficult to convince them when they retort against my views..

I came across a video interview of one of my favorite directors recently and in that interview he had expressed his opinions, i have always felt that but never could put in words... This interview was with Tarkovsky on his film Andrei Rublev. I have watched a few other works of his, but i had watched only half of this movie before... and since it was very deep in philosphy, i discontinued it then, and i was not in a mood for it at that time, i never finished it.. but i ll watch it completely soon...

when i watched that video, i was amazed at the way that he had phrased it.. I have felt in that way before... I dont have strong likes and dislikes except movies :) ... so i find it odd when someone says something with conviction... and that when goes together with a condescending tone occasionally gets on my nerves.. in the recent past i have come across situation where in people have told me that i should be doing a few things in a particular way.. because they have been in the situation before... i feel like telling them that i prefer doing it my way and learning it myself... rather than from their experience...

This is an excerpt taken from the documentry 'Andrei Rublev: a poet of the cimema'.

The pressure Rublev is subject to is not an exception. An artist never works under ideal conditions, if they existed, his work wouldn't exist, for the artist doesn't live in a vacuum. Some sort of pressure must exist, the artist exists because the world is not perfect. Art will be useless if the world is perfect, as man wouldn't look for harmony but simply live in it. Art is born out of ill designed world. This is the issue in "Rublev": the search of harmonic relationship among men, between art and life, between time and history. Thats what my film is all about. Another important theme is man's experience, in this film my message is that it is impossible to pass on experience to others or learn from others. We must live our own experience, we cannot inherit it. People often say: Use your fathers experience! Too easy: each of us must get our own, But once we've got it, we no longer have time to use it. And the new generation rightly refused to listen to it. They want to live it but then they also die. This is the law of life, its real meaning. We cannot impose our experience on other people or force them to feel suggested emotions. Only through personal experiences we understand life. Rublev, the monk, lived a complex life. He studied with master Radonevsky, at the Holy Trinity but he lived in variance with his teaching. He got to see the world through his masters eye. Only at the end of his life, that he lived his own way.

for more details on the movie.. http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0060107/

the video.. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=V27XlEDLdtE

I am not going to elucidate more on this because i feel that what he said was succinct... Its just that you either feel its rite or its not rite only by your experiences... I wont try to make u feel otherwise as i would be contradicting my stand till now.. :)

Thats it.. atlast i have completed my first blog... and i am publishing it immediately since my subconscious has already started its justifications as to why i should be deleting this blog...
Do write ur comments...