“I’ll let you be in my dream if I can be in yours.” – Bob Dylan
February 19, 2008
Wherever I have played.. wherever I’ve throwed those dies!
Wherever I’ve played.. the blues run the game.
Maybe when I’m older baby – some place down the line
I’ll wake up older, so much older mamma!
Wake up older, and I’ll just stop all my trying
September 29, 2006
August 22, 2006
I watched Lost in Translation today. Really an amazing movie. And apart from all the artsy appreciation (about camera, colours, direction and the completely natural feel that underlies every scene) that it surely deserves, it plays host to a really hot chick in the form of its lead actress :P.
On a corny note and coming to what I meant this post for, I was thinking what is really lost in translation becomes best apparent in a movie that tries to show a culture in the wrong language. Among the movies I watched recently, 15 Park Avenue was an not-so-major example of this phenomenon. The movie of course, with the Aparna Sen level team, was damn good in terms of maturity of its characters, acting and blah blah. However putting the whole movie in English stole the free flow from a lot of scenes – especially the ones with Waheeda Rehman who was clearly uncomfortable in English and was looking really constrained roting them out. The irritatingly lassu psychiatrist was another guy who was dishing out really “complete and correct” English sentences and looking pretty clumsy in the act.
Anyway, the Indian English movie that really pissed me off lately was Fire from the queen of bitches, Deepa Mehta. I mean what was the whole point of the movie. The movie has clearly been made keeping Western audience, at best frustrated NRIs, in mind. Apart from being all through in English despite the completely Hindi-Indian setting shown, the movie starts with showing 2 symbols that sort of introduce India to Westerners the way they know it – huge mustard farms with a farmer family and the Taj Mahal.
The reason why one would hate Deepa Mehta after watching this movie is not because of the content or the kind of depiction that she chose to use, but a nagging question mark on her intent behind the movie. I am sure that if an Indian had made the movie (perhaps in Hindi) to cater to Indian audience, it would have attracted comparable amount of mass protest and censorship troubles. He, however would have had a reason behind inviting all that trouble – that he felt strongly against the hypocrisy of our society right from the premises of Hindu religious philosophy and so wanted to make a creative statement on that. Or perhaps he had a motive of bringing things (that he thought were not in the right shape) to public light and consequently be a minor instrument of cleaning things up. Similarly, a foreigner making such a movie might have been too appalled by such a society and would want to throw it apart by shedding the pretentious garb of religion that it wears. However what possible inspirational motive could an NRI film maker have behind such a production? The only statement that this movie makes is that look, I come from a really shitty place called India and I’ll tell you what its really about. You guys were pretty much right when you thought India was all orthodoxy, religion and customs but its much worse than that – the whole society is flawed right from the basics and there’s no hope of it getting any better! Any average audience would have said “So?” to this but that’s not the space where she hopes to get her brownie points from. I’m sure with all the controversy surrounding the project, loud use of symbolism and of course lesbianism, she would have had the attention of the festival circuit, won some awards and felt accomplished in life. Of course other minor things to add to one’s irritation for the movie are the use of a straight rip off Bombay’s (the movie) OST and Shabana Azmi’s childhood mother who preachingly speaks in straight monotone English.
I really wonder what came over her to have also made a movie like 1947 – Earth which was, though far from brilliant, a really nice movie with a beautiful sound track used equally well throughout the movie.
Enough after a long time! Off to sleep
July 18, 2006
P.P.S. (Recent realization): WordPress provides a really screwed up image handling / uploading interface. This post stands testimony to this fact
July 6, 2006
Was twitching to post something since ages but didn’t know what to write so I thought I’ll just say a Hello
A lot of things worthy of being blogged have transpired and passed since the last time. I got a D in the course (Business Law) that I proudly expressed my interest in, in the last post. (Pulling some strings here and there however pushed me over to a marginal C)
Mumbai of course happened and gave me a really charming two months!
And finally yesterday found Salaam Bombay – a movie I was looking for since some time. Plan to watch it today & hope it inspires me enough to write more
Missed little bits here and there but looks like this was more than just a hello and I am content
March 30, 2006
End terms are in full force :-(. Just coming from the exam for New Product Development.
Definately the most worthless, redundant and cheap course I've ever done – yes its more useless than Intro to Robotics under shinyHead Ashish Dutta. The worst part is that I took it as an elective in the hope of a cool grade under a cool (and dumb) prof. This strategy has never worked for me but as always I never stop succumbing to it.
Anyways, tommorow is Business Law. Got to study for it!! Somehow I always had the gut feeling that I would regret taking this course but surprisingly I don't, thanks to the excellent profs taking the course – Prof Narasappa & Prof Murali.
March 16, 2006
A very common theme to discussions on movies has been a comparison of Indian cinema vis-a-vis the Western cinema. Such discussions normally tend to form quite an agreeable opinion that western cinema in general is superior to the Indian film industry. Unfortunately in the process, more often than not, the ability and richness of Indian cinema is completely discounted. This happens typically when the contributors to the discussion tend to have “purist” tastes – though they may show some regard for some of the old classics made in Bollywood, granting any touch of commendation to the contemparory Indian film industry seems to be totally out of question. However some new Indian movies like Mr. & Mrs. Iyer and Hazaron Khwaishen Aisi offer an undeniably deafening answer to even such purists.
It was after such a discussion with my friend, Aseem whom I regard often annoyingly purist in his appreciation, that I felt prompted to re-watch a few scenes of Mr. & Mrs. Iyer. Even in the second watch the movie was so beautiful that I could not forward any scene and ended up watching the whole movie :-). Though I am no good at comprehensively analyzing and commenting on any movie, the general impression that the movie gave me was of sheer brilliance. I had gathered over a lot of discussions that the most major flaws that were associated with even the “better” of the Indian cinema are a complete lack of subtlety of expression and consistency in integrating the various elements of the movie. Mr. & Mrs. Iyer incidentally comes out to be a winner on both these aspects. There are very few Inidan movies that would show communal riots in such a sensitive manner and yet not show any gore. More importantly the movie does not aim to handle the “issue” even in a remotely didactic manner. It simply touches enough upon the topic to make you think about the issue and see it in a more larger scheme of things.
Another thing that I pleasantly noticed about the movie was the strong sense coherence in every aspect. The movie actually literally looks a like motion picture with every frame looking like a picture taken too well. Somehow you feel that the whole team is in complete synch with the feeling of the movie – right from the camerman to the director to every actor and to of course the music. The background music of Zakir Hussain is totally awsome and gels beautifully into the experience of every scene. I wonder some times that why incidentally good Indian parellel cinema movies almost always have great music. Hazaraon Khwaishen Aisi, Bazaar, Ijazat, Masoom to name a few… Well that’s beside the point for now.
Talking about the lead actors obviously doesn’t make much sense. Any praise is not enough for the great performances by Rahul Bose and Konkana Sensharma. Interestingly the first time I saw this movie I formed an opinion that the lead actress is actually clearly south Indian :-). What was very exciting to see was that even small roles have been done by really great actors. A lot of scenes had me running into actors whom I had earlier seen somewhere in great performances, in relatively insiginificant roles in this movie. The old Muslim couple for example was played by Bhisham Sahni and Surekha Sikri (the one who’s in Mammo). If I’m not mistaken the Jewish guy in the bus was played by Anjan Dutta. The mother of the sick child and the irritated lady sitting next to Mrs. Iyer in the bus are also great actresses but I don’t recall where I’ve seen them earlier :-(.
Ok well perhaps I’ve been too appreciative of this. I always am about a lot of things – bad habits are hard to go. In any case this is the way I feel about the movie now and more importantly this is my blog, so I’m free to say anything :-).
February 20, 2006
Yes I had one today at a shop that calls itself Smart Guy. In fact there’s a big chain of Smart Guy Men’s Saloons in Bangalore and I feel grateful to them for decding to open up an outlet in this campus too. There is, however, one little problem with the barber they employ – he neither understands English nor Hindi. So after a a few experiences of sitting under his (un)crafty hands, I have realized that the best strategy there is too keep sitting quietly as he peacefully cuts his way through your hair. It’s not that the guy is rude or something – in fact he takes well any extra instructions from the customer. The problem is that his perception of the customer’s preferences are often far removed from the actual intent of the instructions. Moreover this satisfaction of (mis)understanding his consumers’ needs excites him to the point of acting more of an avid hair-cutter rather than a barber :-(.
As always there are some other things too that come with a hair cut like the satisfaction of accomplishing a project conceived long ago and progressively procrastinated for a long time, a much awaited bath and other material pleasures. Anyway, there’s a long way to go and more life to see before another such experience!
February 2, 2006
I’ve discussed this serial too many times with my friends. So I think there’s no point talking about how excellent the narration is, how great an actor the guy who plays Jack Arnold is, how good Norma Arnold looks as a mother, the detail in every episode and the good choice of music that they’ve made etc etc. Watching a few of the left over episodes and re-watching others over the past few days has made me think about the lead character, Kevin Arnold. Well more than think, agree to something that I read on an IMDB discussion a lot of time ago.
The contention was that Kevin Arnold would perhaps not be really nice as a person. In fact he might be quite an asshole. With every passing episode this impression seems to gain more strength :-(. The way he behaves with his friends, his family at times and his classmates makes one feel so. He looks like too crookedly conceited at times. I was wondering why this always tends to disappoint me. I mean after all he’s just a character and that’s how he’s been made for the story. Anyway, the serial is in every other way quite real life kind of stuff posing real situations that you ar easliy able to connect to, so Kevin again might be a real character. One thing that troubles me is that I very often tend to relate to him inspite of my bad opinion of him.
But then perhaps there’s more to the discomfort than me relating to Kevin at times. One always tends to think that Kevin is portrayed as some kind of a representational character for life at his age. And so he must be an average nice guy. Sadly enough, he often turns out to be just a not-really-nice average guy. Perhaps this goes beyond Wonder Years. People normally keep whining about having more real characters portrayed as heroes in any story form especially movies. But when the lead character is given some shades of grey you inevitable tend to subconsciously hope that he’s good. You actually keep on trying to fit him into the model of a hero. Then perhaps pure romanticism with black and white character does make sense! So is the effort to analyze people and make characters more real not worth it? I do have a feeling that I am exaggerating and generalizing out of proportion but still – just a thought :-).