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 The graphics a bit outdated.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??? :)