Monday, October 13, 2008

A week of great films…

It has been a terrific week!!! I have watched five great films that have dazzled me; everything or atleast more than two things are superlative about each of them. And all of them have unfortunately left me doubtful of my own abilities as an aspiring filmmaker… Anyways, there’s a lifetime to find out if these doubts are justified or not…for the time being, I will talk about the movies;

The week started with ‘Adaptation’; It was a late Monday night and I was so goddamn sleepy but also hell-bent on watching this flick so with reluctant eyes but more than an eager heart I set out to see it and from the opening monologue itself, I was completely hooked on…The first dialogue of the film was something like this

Do I have an original thought in my head, my bald head?
Maybe if I were happier my hair won’t be falling off
Life is short; I need to make the most of it
Today is the first day of the rest of my life
Huh, I am a walking cliché
I really need to go to the doctor and have my leg checked; there’s something wrong with the bone
The dentist called again, I am way overdue
If I stop putting things off I’d be happier
All I do is sit on my fat ass
If my ass wouldn’t be fat, I would be happier
Then I wouldn’t have to wear shirts with the tails on them all the time…like that’s fooling anyone…fat ass…
I should start jogging again…5 miles a day…really do it this time…
Maybe rock climbing….I need to turn my life around
What do I need to do? I need to fall in love..

When I was hearing this, I couldn’t stop laughing because I could so easily identify with the chaos that the scriptwriter character, Charlie Kauffman was going through…I mean this is what I think about most of the times; things like ‘how I lack an original thought’ and ‘how I need to do this or that to improve my life’…it was all so hilarious, I replayed it thrice before seeing the rest of the movie.

The rest of it was also so great; it is a story of the scriptwriter, Charlie and his twin brother, also aspiring to be a scriptwriter and who is more interested in writing the ‘psychological thriller of split personality serial murderer who’s also the cop’ kinds. Charlie meanwhile is a loner struggling with mid-age crises, low self-esteem, intimacy issues and above all, a restless urge to write a completely original script. For this, he decides to adapt a novel about orchids and then his story, the novel writer’s personal story, the story in the book and the process of his writing the script all become a part of this film’s story.

It talks about so many things and yet manages to remain coherent and emotionally satisfying…the film debates about what makes a good script, the volatility of relationships, orchids, how passion directs or misdirects people, taking control of your life and so much more. There’s comedy, romance, adventure, suspense, drama, some unexpected action, tragedy, hell even some scientific ‘gyaan’ on evolution and orchids and all of this is neatly done without any spill-off or loss of track. It is one crazy brilliant script, accompanied by some great performances especially by Nicholas Cage in the dual roles of the scriptwriter twins and that of Chris Cooper as the enigmatic ‘orchid thief’ John Larouche. Coming from the man who wrote the path breaking ‘Eternal Sunshine of the spotless mind’, this is a rare movie for all to watch and enjoy…I thoroughly loved it and has become one of the few movies that I don’t mind watching more than once…

Next I saw Stanley Kubrick’s ‘Lolita’…again the setting was midnight on a tiring Tuesday but more about this and others in the next blog…I am off to sleep now…haven’t slept properly for most of the nights this week…but its been fun…

Sunday, October 05, 2008

A thousand little things to ask…

Normal people are supposed to have 60,000 thoughts every day…In case of my hyperactive (and often clumsily immature) mind that doesn’t rest even for ten – millionth of a second, its safe to presume that atleast a billion of thoughts must be clashing into each other every single day. And out of these many, many, many, many thoughts, quite a few are open ended silly questions for which I almost never have answers…

Like at the top of my head now; I wonder where Superman hides his enormous cloak when he is dressed as Clark Kent, with the neat suit and the normal pants?

Why am I always hated by my ‘likeable’ roommates? Do I have something called as ‘Roommatophobia’ which turns on some subcutaneous glands that emit some foul, repulsive secretion that excites the ‘hate’ hormones in them….I mean, come on…what’s the deal with me almost never having a great roomie? It is like I am cursed for this sort of scarred life….

Next on my list…why did I (instead of all the rich and all the mega rich people around me) have to lose my N95 (which incidentally was also a gift)?? And that too on the third day after getting it…

People like Van Gogh, Mozart, Nietzsche, Baron, Poe were fascinatingly original and brilliant in their work and truly unfortunate in their lives….Is blinding talent and unfailing misfortune a part of God’s package deal for every other genius? Or is terrible suffering the only one true inspirer?

Was 2/3 rd of the Spiderman 3 movie directed by an alien masquerading as Sam Raimi? Or did Sam Raimi think that SFX was more important to the movie and sat all along in the Sony VFX lab asking his juniormost AD to direct the film? I mean what went wrong there?

Why don’t I ever have my camera on me when there is actually a great ‘Kodak’ moment?

Is morality ever linked to spirituality? Can you be immoral and spiritual at the same time?

Why does a pimple make a preposterous appearance on my face exactly two days before I really need to look good for an event? And why does it always have to get bigger the day before?

Why is it that on days that I don’t apply the sunscreen, the sun just wistfully decides to turn a full-intensity glare on me? Whereas on days when I am actually fortified and dare the sun to come out, it is just pleasantly cloudy or rainy…

Is having short stature and big feet the next step in evolution?

How stupid and ignorant we must seem to the Powers watching over us as we fight for the terrain that isn’t ours, for the resources that are meant for all of us using the fragile excuses of religion and race, indicating a weak (though scientifically evolved) mind that is unable to conjure up a better reason for war….Is global warming and all its side-effects such as hurricanes, pole reversal, melting glaciers and rising sea levels an indication of the judgment day approaching?

Which kind of movie wins at the Cannes? The esoteric, unpredictable, innovative abstract kind or the emotional, predictable, slow but life affirming kind?

If ‘the secret’ [as indicated in the book ‘The Secret’] to having anything in life is just based on imagining that we already have it and believing strongly in it then why don’t I have the Oscar already? I give my acceptance speech almost every day… L

Is love the greatest myth of all times?

Another Superman one….If we have Superman, why do we need all the other superheroes on the Justice League? I mean, how many people could you possibly need just to keep the stone of Krypton away from Superman? Nine???

With just this little trailer of my erratic-thought-superhighway mess, one can imagine what a mad house it must be inside my head most of the times. With this valueless insight, I come to the end of the silliest blog I have ever written….but you must understand that I gotta put down my load of stupid inclinations somewhere…now that it is offloaded here, I will get back to my serious (read: boring) musings and introspections about everything and nothing…and hopefully next time will have something less brain-damaging than the above…

Saturday, October 04, 2008

High on music…..

My life is full of passions and obsessions; quite a few that border on the edge of insanity. One of those passions is music; not that I say that I am deep into chords, strings or that I can recognize an A - major from a D - Minor at the first beat itself but it is just that I respond to music better than anything else.

Music changes the air around me; filling it with the vitality that its rhythm dictates and this very change affects me; affects me so much that I lose track of the time and space around me. Cliché, but true. I have to make a deliberate attempt to stop myself from dancing to or emoting the way the song requires me to. Sometimes when I am in a mood to chill out, I let myself go even if I am in the midst of friends often ending up facing them red cheeked when I come back from my musical trip. They find it amusing; I find it an embarrassing but difficult to control phenomenon.

Many a times when I am not listening to a record being played on a player, I am atleast running one inside my head, if not singing it out loud. I am not a great singer but I try and put my feeling in it. When a song plays, several images run through my head; sometimes they are those that I have seen on the video, sometimes they are my own but there is almost no time when there’s none. Music stimulates imagery in me; some known some out-worldly….like revealing a part of me to myself that I didn’t know before. I feel things I never knew existed or some others that I thought I was incapable of comprehending in just a beat. Sometimes when I hear a beautiful song and the singer’s soul touches mine; it almost feels like love at first sight, fleeting and arresting; breathtaking and grounding; knockout and uplifting all at the time. With few of my favorite songs, the ‘love at first sight’ keeps repeating over and over again…

Music thrills me; entices me, fills up the bottomless void inside of me atleast for a while. It inspires hope, nudges my dreams, stirs up dormant desires, makes me wanna fly…Most of all it makes me feel alive...It is about the only thing that helps me shed my inhibitions completely and it is the only high I will ever need – rest of the stimulants being pathetically incomparable (Not that I have tried any but then never felt the need for them). Music is my addiction; not that I’d die without it but I sure feel like I stop living when it isn’t around…