Sunday, July 30, 2006

Impaired Vision

It is impossible to say "last week, this time, I was...", since I didn't have a Sunday last week.
The hole that has housed me the past seven days has a breathing terrace. More importantly, it has a vew. The spine of skyscrapers ending in the harbour bridge and the opera house. All laid out in an uninterrupted panorama.Flanking it are other terraces, much like the one I am on. With people on them, also enjoying the view, I suppose. And eating their dinner, like I am. Some wine. Some small talk. Smoking, maybe. Random church bells from somewhere that is not part of the view. I like rambling writing. Gives the illusion of being clever. I think on the whole, my ambitions far outpace my talents. I wonder how the real estate landscape would look like if the view ceased to be in the buyers' sights? The middle-of-things may become valuable. For all the talk on marginality, the periphery is still a privileged place to see the view. If only people could see that.
I had dinner for the first time on top of a hole. Tonight. Some stir-fry with rice. Enjoying the view. Eating out in the open that way, at sunset, surrounded by life scenes, I felt terribly alone. I am unsure if it was a good alone or a lonely alone. Only it wasn't unfamiliar. I suppose it is good to have travelled, and be travelling. Though I don't know if that makes me a traveller. Either way, so be it. I have this urge to fly a kite, the wind is perfect for that. I think of flying kites in the pols. How have I ended up here? What happens after an accident? I miss ___. I was going to write "you", but that has become problematic.

Friday, July 28, 2006

When the inexhaustible got exhausted

...repeatedly! I notice that I am probably the only participant at ___ not associated with a university. I feel, briefly, that is! It is not often that such uniqueness, such distinction simply, and effortlessly, falls into one's lap. In fact, I cannot recall this happening to me at all. By the way, it has felt strange to be asked two questions, and two only...which university? and, when is your paper/when do you read your paper? (reminds me of certain second-class train journeys. The inqueries were also limited to two questions, a bit different in nature). I wish I was a negative on both, rather than just the one. I would love to see the look in people's eyes - "what are you doing here"? But I digress...back to the point - This is when I decided I would start a new vocation, all on my own, just like that. I am a tourist who has begun to visit conferences. This one is the first one, but "has begun", I think, holds a promise to it. Much better than "recently commenced" or "just started". So my vocation, at least today, is to be a tourist at conferences. See the sights - nervous phd students desperately trying to extract papers out of 15000 word long dissertations, Eileen Fisher linen apparelled, fancy ethnic scarve bearers speaking passionately of ethnicities and sloppy tweed jackets rambling on about Ben-ya-meen. Oh, and students queing in for free food. And occasionally a germ of an idea. I don't have a dissertation pending. No paper criteria. I am here as an accident, I feel. An illegitimate. A bastard, really.

Sadly trying to establish relations that constantly are just beyond my grasp. No, I have not read Heidegger's Section 31 of some writing - the name of which was uttered in German, and I did not catch on - it is supposedly on endings & beginnings. Knowing Heidegger, it would be hopeless for me to even begin, for I will be pompously reminded that that was precisely where I lost something I need to recover (besides my intelligence, or maybe my intelligence). [moan]. I am intrigued by a paper on "gossip as a theatre historian's friend?" How do you legitimize a page3 methodology? One paper claims that to write a history of art one must operate as artists do. The other quickly issues a rebuttal that the work of art becomes a work of art through the critic. O-kay. In the session around architecture, of course Corbu makes an appearance. Good old Corbu! He never disaapoints. The whipping boy of stodgy historians. I can imagine Corbu saying "fuck you all". But then again, probably not; not if there was a project at stake. I don't know where I am going with this. Historians think anthropologists are lucky, in that they can play with form. Anthropologists seem to think that of Cultural Studies-ists. Ditto for Visual Study-ists. And finally, Visual Study-ists seem to think that ultimately it is the one that produces, the humble artist, who is lucky in that it is s/he who can truely experiment, unencumbered by the disciplines of an institution. H-uh?

But, that is the end of the itinerary. The ticket has expired. The sights recede, I am on a flight back home. 'Til next time, I suppose.

Thursday, July 27, 2006

nymph-o-mania: the good, the bad & the muddled

"Come seek us where our voices sound,
We cannot sing above the ground,
And while you're searching, ponder this;
We've taken what you'll sorely miss..."

Sirens (greek); Selkies (scotland); Merrows (ireland); Merry Maid (cornwall);
Lorelei & Meerfrau (germany); Rusalka (russia); Mermaid (hans christian anderson);
Narf (shyam-osaurus)

Nymphs seduce men. They entice tired handsome travelers and keep them hostage under the cold dark water for the rest of their unfortunate(?) lives.
Sirens (bird-women turned nymphs) sing hypnotic songs to lure sailors into destruction.
Merpeople "do not take kindly to those who enter their domain". They do not sing, but screech when above water. They have yellow eyes, broken teeth, wear chokers of shark fangs and carry spears to poke anyone who enters "their domain".
Mermaids, the fairer and kinder of merpeople, fall in love with mere mortals, give up their voices alongwith their immortality to be with one, and eventually turn into sea-foam to sing to lost sailors.
Narfs are confused nymphs with absolutely no mystical powers. They have bad hair-do, bewildered looks, and whiter-than-white albino skin that separate them from the rest of us. They come from the "Blue World" to warn, help and "awaken" humankind. Humans carry them around and use sign-language to communicate during narf-ous breakdowns.

Hylas & the nymphs: artist Waterhouse, 1896

Merpeople: harry potter (goblet of fire)

Sirens: artist Herbert Draper, 1909

Narfs: Shyamalanesque Lady in the Water

Shyam-Alan, you are still a cutie...

An_other coffee place

It isn't often that you hear a complete CD at one sitting in a coffee shop these days. I was very surprised to meet with an old favourite then. One hour of comforting anguish with Coldplay wailing over a rush of blood to the head. If only my feet were taken care of, I would attend to my head. I discovered yesterday that wet shoes keep blisters away. It is an incredbly beautiful day today (and I have an impending blister) in a part of ___...more like a Spanish colony, than an English one. Warm, soft and golden sunlight on stuccoed cream colonial buildings speak Spanish, or Portugese. English is made for sterner weather. And is probably more ordered. I wonder what language I dream in? My foot hurts...a tiny spot at the side of the arch. It is definitely the onset of a blister. Did I say it is a gloriously perfect day? I like to see places in peoples' eyes. I wonder what my eyes hold? When I try to gaze into my eyes, I see mirrors. The hotel I satyed in before my present accomodations had the awful idea of placing parallel mirrors along the corridors to the rooms. Needlessly glorifying the walk to the room. Amplifying the aching feet. Or the urgency to pee. It was a boutique hotel. I read somewhere that artists without friends weren't worth calling artists. The hotel was not friendly like.. It is obvious I cringed in it. Fancy hotels force you into seeing sights. Doing things. Walk ridiculously all day from sight to sight. Beautiful sights, without respite. Today I saw a Thonet Chair painted pink on Boundary Street. Do ruins ever become ugly? It would be quite something to go see a sight which has an apology mounted on it: "we are sorry about the ugliness of this once beautiful ___". Most ugly buildings identified as such are lived in buildings. In use. Put to use. Ab-used? I travel differently now. The more places remind me of another, the more I feel different. That I have changed. Since yesterday. Since a year ago. Five years. The Coldplay has finished. This next CD is rather melancholic. It is reminding me of my walk back. Groan! I think I should learn rollerblading before my next trip. I am done with walking.I came to ___ Street to shop. The only shops I seem to stop at today are ones with seats or restrooms. Today I met a chap who is a bodyguard with Cirque Du Soleil. I have never met a bodyguard before.He asked me if anyone had told me how beautiful I was, today? I answered that it was 7 o'clock in the morning, so no, not yet. A simple Thank You would have sufficed. But either way, I would've been presumptious, I think. I infinitely prefer having been to places than being in one. The pressure to do things is crushing. To my feet, especially. I saw my first "Whole Foods" woman. Says something about the n'hood. It is strange how 'diverse' for me has come to include the presence of "Whole Foods" people. Ethnicity isn't enough, it is habits. And the appearance of lifestyles. Apparently, the bodyguard remembered my smile from yesterday. What is going on? Do I have a smile permanently plastered on my face? Ugh! I think I will conclude my shopping day. I bought nothing. There is an accomplishment in that that I do not want disturbed. This winter, though, I am definitely wearing boots. The music has perked up. Maybe this is a good time to leave.I think people who shop are terribly optimistic. And I am getting tired of these one liners. One of these days, I should venture into staying with a thought long enough to see it go stale, purtrify and smell. Arbitrary endings still don't make sense.

Wednesday, July 26, 2006

s[L]ight seeing

There is an unexplainable terror to sight seeing these days. A sort of should-do with a must-do tinge to it, but do-I-have-to making repeated entrances. Want-to, one can guess by now, is absent.
I have found my slacking watering hole! Un Petit Creme, a small little tiny cafe, complete with a very frenchie sounding frenchman of obscure age and smooth voice. Has a naughty way of leaning in and asking one to repeat one's order. Of course one does it with a gratified smile. Makes up for an incredible start to the day.
Australians seem to like ketchup. There is a dissonance when I get it at my frenchie place, and when there are no fries in sight. Besides, it doesn't make its appearance in abottle, but is carefully placed in a petite ceramic condiment bowl.

My breakfasts are big. One way I can justify being in the cafe for as long as possible. There's a small white flat coffee, cereal, baguette, butter, two poached eggs (with cayenne and spring onins as garnish), orange juice and sausage links. Yum. Thankfully, I don't need to eat the rest of the day. Coffee and Camel Lights suffice (sadly, no American Spirits here).
It rains a lot, it seems. But I have discovered that walking in wet shoes keeps blisters away. So I won't complain.
Everyone should go to an opera at the SHO. It beats jostling around with hoards of tourists to get a glimpse of some concrete, or china-mosaic or glass.
Disney is everywhere. The latest incursion is in the Aquarium, where finding the fish Nemo becomes the common thread one hangs on to. Besides, every 'environ' comes equipped with its own background music. After all, watching a shark swim around has to be different experientially than watching a saltie just lie there, not doing anything for one's amusement.
But these are first impressions. More research is required...:)

Tuesday, July 25, 2006

Time Off

I would like to think that after a long time I had trouble with Tyme. Literally, I didn't have it, so there was no question keeping it. Grey skies and an 'every-place' light didn't help either. Everything seemed to be contriving to keep Tyme away. From me, that is. (Don't get me wrong, this place is not timeless). My hotel lobby had no clock (it was one of these contemporary 'boutique' hotels, aspiring to timeless-ness). The receptionist didn't wear a watch (passe). The hotel room didn't have an alarm clock (and refreshingly, didn't have a Bible either). The hotel TV didn't have cable, so no scrolling TV guide, which incidentally keeps Tyme. See what I mean? No timekeepers. I knew it was there, Tyme that is, for how can there not be A time? But for now, it was not for me to have it.
So I played along.
Didn't ask anyone directly for Tyme. Didn't put the radio on (in fact, I hadn't realised it till now that that would have been a way to get Tyme, for sure). Actually, it wasn't so much as didn't put the radio on as much as didn't think of putting the radio on. Took a long soak in the bath tub, as I promised myself I would through out the long flight. A really long soak. One where one dozes off and wakes up to find oneself quite frozen. So one soaks again. The ritual repeats several times. No Tyme interfering still. One steps out, dries oneself, and decides to take a nap. A snooze. A shut-eye, if you will. And then it happens....when does one get up? Tyme's nagging absence keeps me awake. I try to guess the time, so that I can guess when to wake up. Refreshed, hopefully. Doesn't happen.

I give in, eventually, when it is indeterminately dark outside but the place is still buzzing with activity. I walk into Un Petite Place, a Frenchie-owned coffee place that serves a short flat white coffee (more on that later!!!), and ask 'what time is it', and against all hopes, they answer numerically, 'half-past eleven, love'. Tyme on.

my whacky God, where are you?

Hermes kills Argus, artist Velazquez
Aphrodite/Venus, Goddess of Love and Desire, had an affair with Ares/Mars, the God of War. Love and Conflict goes back a long way.
The gloomy God of Death and Underworld, Hades/Pluto, abducted and married Persephone, Goddess of Fertility, only to set her free in spring and summer to create new life. Life and Death are symbiotic after all.
Athena/Minerva, Goddess of Skill and Wisdom, had grey eyes, and sprang from Zeus' skull. Where else can wisdom spring from?
Neptune/Poseidon had dangerous mood swings, had a knack for making sea-monsters, and was pretty bad at creating land animals. That's what being hormonal is like... welcome to my world.

'morning after' at a celebration of Dionysus, artist Alma-Tadema
The oldest Greek tragedies were religious rituals of sacrificing goats on stage, to honor Dionysus/Bacchus, the God of Wine and Tragedy. Wine and tragedy, well I'll be damned...
Cupid/Eros, son of Aphrodite, was a sadistic God who had gold tipped arrows to make people fall in love, or lead-tipped ones to dull passion. He married Psyche, the personification of human soul. Eroticism strives to become beautiful with a touch of soul.
Artemis/Diana, Goddess of moon, never married, loved skinny-dipping, and turned spying men into stags. You go girl!
Hermes/Mercury, God of travelers and thieves, was swift, clever and athletic with winged heels, and stole sacred cows of Helios, the God of Sun. Eccentricity has it's downs...
Circe, the beautiful sorceress, had power for spiritual purification, and turned men into pigs. Spiritual purification and turning men into pigs jive well together.
Apollo/Helios, God of Sun, Light, Music and Healing was possessive, ruthless and was famous for his mortal loves. He sent prophecies through Oracles in sacred shrines. No comment.

A Rembrandt of Hades kidnapping Persephone
Zeus kills Phaëthon, son of Helios, artist Sebastiano Ricci
Zeus & Hera, by James Barry

Venus in Botticelli painting. 'Calumny' is the female holding a torch, dragging a man. Ignorance & Suspicion, whisper to Authority. Treachery & Deceit, arrange Calumny's hair. Scrawny Envy, gains a hearing for Calumny.

Zeus, God of Sky and Lightning, ruler of Gods on Mount Olympus, seduced humans, nymphs and other beings, sexual fidelity never his strong point. Power and promiscuity feed on each other.
Hera/Juno, Goddess of Happy Marriage, wife of Zeus, ironically spent vengeful, spiteful times tormenting Zeus' lovers and illegitimate children. Nobody can hold a grudge like her. That's like a true wife!

Anemoi, the Wind Gods, (Boreas, Notus, Zephyr, Volturnus, Eurus and Aeolus) were imprisoned by Gods in stables, and would be let loose by Hera to cause disaster. Hell hath no fury...
Hephaestus/Vulcan, God of fire, forge and craftsmanship was crippled after Zeus flung him from the heavens in rage. He married Aphrodite and had a trio of cyclopean assistants. Spent much of his life chasing Aphrodite's lovers..
Aurora/The Dawn, "rose-fingered" Goddess, painted colorful morning skies from Isle of Aeaea. Yawn!

Zeus' daughters: the nine muses depicted by Raphael

Final Words:

My muses have left me. All my nine muses have left me, one by one.
I am suffocating in my museless existence.

Sunday, July 23, 2006

sunday forum - ask gollum

Gollum, yesterday, my neighbour's big, vicious dog snarled at my sweet little pup 'Chuha'. She freaked out and yelped. Why can't people keep their dogs under control? My poor pup was so scared... poor thing!
Gollum: My pet bacteria got attacked by a vicious, mean, nasty virus, Preciousss. Gollum is sad! My Bacteria has feelings... and it is human... but nasty men, dirty men does not want!! Sméagol hates nasty hobbitses! Sméagol wants to see them...dead!

Gollum, why are kids these days glued to the TV? What do you think of TV Programs?
Gollum: Patience! Patience, my love. We lead them to the Public Libraries "family life-style" section, the winding stairs... Up, up, up, up the stairs we go and then we come to... the tunnel... And when they go in, there's no coming out... Italian Cook books, Yoga books and Computer books... Do not digress into other sections Preciousss!... No!! Public Libraries, dirty hobbits!! TV is a bitch.

Gollum, what do Lions do on rocks?
Gollum: Lions is brave, Preciousss, he conquers rugged rocks without fear. He's always hungry. He always needs to feed. He must eat. All He gets is filthy oxens. And they doesn't taste very nice, does they, precious? No, not very nice at all, my love...

Gollum, why do super men wear capes?
Gollum: Gollum! Gollum! Supermen is free as a bird, runs like the wind, like an eagle, He soars across rivers and moutain tops. We hates them. He's a horrid fat hobbit who hates Sméagol and who makes up nasty lies!

Friday, July 21, 2006

Won't you miss me/won't you miss me at all...

"I know a mouse, and he hasn't got a house / I don't know why, I call him Gerald / He's getting rather old, but he's a good mouse"... [difficult, to the point of unlistenable] He is perhaps the least listened-to pop artist to have ever received such fulsome and, some might argue, extravagant posthumous praise. I just read that Syd Barrett, co-founder yet short-lived member of Pink Floyd, died. At some uncertain time. In some uncertain circumstance. Apparently the best songs were about him. Pink Floyd went on to become one of rock’s most influential bands. Many of their songs and albums dealing with the disintegration of the mind were either directly written about Barrett or influenced by his decline. Pink Floyd would then spend their musical careers answering criticisms that they were cashing in on their founder’s collapse. Syd's was a quintessentially English leavetaking - suburban anonymity.

Thursday, July 20, 2006


... nothing.
Just feeling like this since morning... Useless and ... pouty.

Bollywood hero Shahrukh Khan in Devdaas

Isn't every Bollywood movie a superhero movie?

Okay, a confession. Maybe more of stating the obvious than a confession. Or maybe both. In any case, I haven’t seen Krrish (seriously, why is the spelling so…rrrrrr?), nor do I really intend to. The reviews were engaging enough, so why be indulgent? But, much like like-minded people, I was a bit perplexed as to what made Kr-rr-rish that different from the rest of the stud-men brigade to deserve the category of Bollywood’s First Superhero (BoFS for short):

Yes he flies…but isn’t that a perception issue? If you watch things in slow motion, stud-men seem to be flying across the screen anyway.
But he flies like a bird…ahhhh, that’s a taste-issue. Kr-rr-rish chose a bird, some choose aeroplanes, and some others, maybe flies and bugs. Who knows? The point is that the choice for the analogy is subjective.
He runs like the wind…this seems to be an eyewash. What does wind run like? Does he run as fast as the wind? But wind can be really gentle as well (halu-halu-waara). Come to think of it, I run like the wind – gently.
Like an eagle, he soars….don’t get me started on that, but so does John Ashcroft. Soars straight into a cringing headache.
Grave as a lion, he does something on the rocks ...h-uh??? (I apologise, but there seems to be a bit much of the Nature Channel here).
And then some be-you-tea-fool lady enters his life (and takes him to Singapore…why?)…okay, I agree that would make any guy feel like a superhero, but you would have to fly longer, soar higher and be grave-er than those damned animals to be a superhero on that account.

post script: a case can be made of there being a basic mis_ in Bollywood's understanding of Hollywood's superhero genre. But as it has never understood it, it hasn't been misled by it.

my new 'it' guy

Kevin Smith | Silent Bob speaks!
one long entertaining speech on
Superman, giant spiders, gay R2D2 and Tim Burton.

Wednesday, July 19, 2006

summer camp no-nos

while we are still on this

Don’t Talk With Your Mouth Full…
"I'm not going to talk too long like the rest of them. Some of these guys talk too long. Gotta go home. Got something to do tonight."

Permutations and ruminations

Monday, July 17, 2006

let yo' body mooove...

they maybe at loggerheads with poor people, even if that's goofy...
but when Dubya is having a good time something is distinctly spooky.

party's just startin'. what the...?

quite chatty...boys will be boys.

Sunday, July 16, 2006

sunday forum - ask gollum

Gollum deeply regrets to have missed this week's Q&A session due to a prior engagement in Boulder for a fishing excursion. He sends his heartfelt apologies. He will address the questions received last week in his upcoming Sunday Forum.

unleash the kraken!

I have nothing against giant squids gobbling up ships, or 50 ft. long hungry sharks upturning boats with men (and naked girls)... ... or lustful, temperamental Gods on horseback, lurking around gardens to snatch away mortal (naked) women... ...

the collage (right) was created from various artists' sketches found on google images
... Actually I am all for it.
Fantasies are truer than truth itself. And graphic depictions have never lied back to me. Nor has my imagination. Since I
was 8 years old. This book on Renaissance paintings that I discovered in the attic... the keyhole to my vast wonderland... that nobody has yet succeeded in zapping me out of.

While this movie was dragging on and on for hours... I was busy inspecting the over-active suckers on the slithery tentacles of kraken... suckers with minds of their own... the fish-scaled mutated green bodies, fungi-clad, worm-ridden faces with hyper-ventilating sea anemones for parasites... I watched it all with bated breath. There was no other reason actually…

... well, there was one. To see Bugs Bunny run... slanting backwards... did I mention it's a Disney movie?

Jack Sparrow... Bravo! You got the whole bunny thing down pat.

Friday, July 14, 2006

Allez! Allez!...crap, slow news day

world cup final recap, or as one wished it happened....

Sunday, July 09, 2006

sunday forum - ask gollum

Have a question but don’t know who to ask? Well now you can Ask Gollum on the Sunday Forum. Each week our PR Officer, Gollum, will reply to questions received from one and all. Questions can be emailed to ask gollum or air-mailed to our Denver branch.
Gollum, what's your take on the blog culture? I think it's a very public world of narcissism and exhibitionism that has replaced the private journal. Where do you think we are heading with this?
Gollum: We lets history be the judge, Precious. We looks at it through history’s lens... This is not time we talks about it... No Precious... In a thousand years, it will come into focus... we makes a fantasy film about it, in three parts. By we, I mean Gollum. For Precious is lost... ... only poor Smeagol all alone... and the rest of you, nasty men, dirty men will all be dead!!

Gollum, what do you think of the contributors of this site, api & toski?
Gollum: One is a ho, other is a bitch... which is which... is anybody’s guessss...

Gollum, all the boyfriends I had so far were either too needy or too indifferent. How can I find the perfect balance?
Gollum: Throttle them, Precious! Throttle them all, yes, if we gets chances... Nasty Men, they’ll take it, steal my Precious. Thieves... We hates them!!

Gollum, have you ever egged a car?
Gollum: Yesssss... Makes us strong. Makes eyes bright, fingers tight, yes. Egg them all nasty buggers...!!

Saturday, July 08, 2006

O heavens, can you hear a good man groan and not relent and compassion him?

Franchise entertainment comes with certain obligations:
1. Thou shalt endure endless lines. If thou are further un-blessed, the heavens will pour down on thou in disgust, or mockery. But thou will still stand there, because nobody likes to feel like a sucker.
2. Thou shalt shut up and have fun, even if others are snoring around thou. Fairly loudly.
Thou shalt be headless. For the sequel will literally be all middle - but alas, not the guts - recalling the first, and anticipating the third.
4. Thou shalt have an adventurous spirit, with childlike curiosity to embark on the longest route to the next sequel.
O, and finally...Johnny Depp will no longer be the splendid surprise. Sigh...O, Johnny!

"Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man's Chest" is rated PG-13 (Parents strongly cautioned). It has some protracted action scenes, and a few moments of gruesome creepy-crawly CGI horror.

Friday, July 07, 2006

buying culture by the yard

The week so far:
A friend of the brother-in-law of a friend of mine had an interior decorator decorate his second house [I mean home] in Vail. In the study were rows of Thackeray, Dickens, Cowper - leatherbound and neatly arranged. And without pages.

And, a pretty young thing, immaculately dressed in a 60's inspired, throroughly mod Frankie a-line, with a green leather mini-tote-like-thing recalled the Cancer Society bash at the Invesco Field. You know, the one with miles of sushi, rolled up, of course.

Last night a DJ ruined my night by pontificating [is that a word?] on drugs when I asked if he played trans music, which is the limited extent of my dance music knowledge.

A guy actually entered the screening of an "Inconvinient Truth", midway, while conversing on his mobile phone. He talked all the way to his seat in the back of the house. Suffice to say, he went back home in his hybrid.

My friend brought from China a Mao-watch - the seconds hand is replaced by Mao's hand waving to the count of the second. My sister wondered what happened at the 6 o'clock position.

I missed an art show opening where the resident artist's clay interactive sculpture, with a string, was brought down by a three year old who yanked its chain. The gallery was delighted to enforce the Pottery Barn Rule. I was unfortunately at a Botox Bash.

to speed up the slow

hmm... ... just thinking about it makes me realize how long it's been I haven't seen a good movie (after post: the slow list, july 06). Well, to push things further, here is a site which will help you get list of hindi movies. (Click on either movies, actors or actresses) It will freshen up your dusty, cobweb cluttered memory. Not only should we make an official list of "Top critically-acclaimed, yet commercial disaster movies" but also crown the actor/actress who starred in most of those our king or queen of tragedy.
After this, we will move on to the Hollywood movies... that'll be fun actually! Al Pacino, Al Pacino and Al Pacino.

Thursday, July 06, 2006

the slow list

I hate lists - top 10s, 20s, 25s,, I got to wondering - can a list of the top-25 hindi movies be made, which were critical successes but box-office failures - or rather - disasters? The combination is important.

Wednesday, July 05, 2006

sell your soul to the devil

after the cross-pollinating bee, july 4th, 2006, Every super-duper hit movie in India these days, is followed by a buzz for an Oscar nomination... further followed by disappointment and wonder at why such "great" movies are not being acknowledged by Hollywood as masterpieces. Example, Asoka, Devdaas, Paheli only to name a few. Here are the Indian movies that got nomination for best foreign language movies so far:
01. Mother India (1957) -- an epic saga of the struggles and sufferings of an Indian peasant woman
02. Salaam Bombay (1988) -- about street children of Bombay, in the world of drug addicts, pimps & prostitutes (strangely similar in theme to Born into Brothels: Calcutta's Red Light Kids, directed by Zana Briski, which ended up with the golden dude)
03. Lagaan (2001) : fictional patriotic movie on Indian villagers fighting their British rulers

If you notice, "poverty" ( or is it "struggle for a better life"?) was the underlying theme for all these 3 movies... in other words "keeping it real" to what India was, or probably still is to the western world. For your amusement, some interesting excerpts from some of Academy's foreign language film committee members:
"We look at the films from the American point of view. What happens (in Bollywood films) is that in the middle of the scene suddenly (the actors) start jumping up and dancing and singing, which, to us, is ridiculous. When we see an Indian film and that happens, we don't know how to react to it. That's the problem."
"Lot of people walk out of films, because they get very boring. It is not out of disrespect. It is out of the fact that we have to see so many movies and we can't just sit there and be bored."

I guess Ms. Mira Nair leaves no stones unturned to make sure she is being recognized (?!). In her article, she questions, "And if the West is now waking up to our energy and confidence, will we be tempted to change? Will Oscar fever mean we temper our spice to suit Western palates?" ... then answers in mock defiance, "They'd better be careful. Soon this country will be run by people who look like us." and finally gives in... "The key to every seesaw is balance". Done with the street children of Bombay, and a colorful Indian wedding with songs and dances, she is moving on to "Namesake" (on migration and displacement) and "Gangsta MD" (hardcore commercial, which in her own words, hollywood is paying "good money" for). "India is still too far" her jaded friend had vented 18 years ago at the Oscars. Too far from what? Oscars? yes dear... if you keep losing your way and digress everytime. And with Gangsta MD, why do I get the feeling that was never the point to begin with?

On a side note, Satyajit Ray was the only Indian filmmaker who received an honorary Oscar (Life Time Achievement Award)... who's "World of Apu" got the Golden Globes at best. And this is one person who was never famous for compromising his integrity for commercial success.
And on a really really different note, how to sell your soul to the devil ... (for 18 and up, read at your own risk, will not be held responsible for your actions).

Tuesday, July 04, 2006

the cross-pollinating bee

I was going to use the queen bee, for the obvious analogy, but then realised that she doesn't actually do the menial task of cross[cultural]-pollination. And so, I suppose, Ms. Nair will reside among the rest of us, for now. Bit uncomfortable for the rest of us, I can tell you. Especially because this worker bee goes on about flying, and not flowers. And something about roots - but I can't be sure what she was talking about. Maybe you can...

The brilliant thing is that there's room for all of us--for our four-hour Bollywood extravaganzas and for my independent work--because we come from a place whose heart is as big as the ocean. And to those who worry about us filmmakers becoming more international than Indian, I say this: It is because my roots are so strong that I can fly.

Hmmm....there maybe room for all of us, but either partition the room, or enter when I have left it, so that I can make "Gangsta MD" independently of the 4-hr Bollywood extravaganza, but then claim inspiration from my utterly necessary room-y: finally, Bollywood ("Munnabhai MBBS") inspires a Hollywood remake. Seriously, look at me fl-ll-y-y-y-y. Better still, "look at me sooo-aaaa-rrr, like I've n-e-v-e-r done bef-ooo-rr-e" be sung in the manner of John Ashcroft. Better still, to be sung by John Ashcroft (move over Sonu Nigam, or Kumar Sanu or whoever else is the latest trend)

For those of you who are obviously not me, I had the following tabs open during all of this:,10987,1205385,00.html,,1785682,00.html
and of course, is Ashcroft singing)
Then got to to see Stewart mock it. It is worth it, I assure you.

slow news day

I seriously did mean to have written something presumably funny, or have watched the fireworks, but all the thunder and rain put a damper on both. I ended up watching the Daily Show clips on the internet until I was reminded of ways to enjoy chronic flooding...

another one for my pandora's box

Jonathan Rhys-Meyers
Match Point.

Sunday, July 02, 2006

SEW: Protest Donkey

"It is difficult for man to understand something if his salary depends on not understanding it"...and thus donkey-labour. Which can lead to asinine situations, to say the least.
photo courtesy:
quote courtesy: