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..
http://www.soundtrack.net/albums/database/?id=2814
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 ...