Thursday, June 24, 2010

Heart warming/Enjoyable music

The fiction series Scrubs, seen+heard by me on Star World India, plays a piece of music during the introductionary sequence and sometimes at the start of a break and sometimes at the end of a break. That piece of music is heart warming. Or it is enjoyable. Or I have danced to it and thus expressed my enjoyment as well as showcased my dancing skills. Do you know the piece of music I am talking about? During the introductionary sequence, it is played between the first and second utterance of the lyric "I'm no superman". And when the start or end of a break is being announced, it is played before the only utterance of "I'm no superman".

Monday, June 14, 2010

Mike Leigh's cinema

Happy-Go-Lucky is a British fiction film with atleast two great Bringlish performances, one being the main character and another being her driving instructor (with whom she is acquainted since much before her first cum last lesson with him). The last shot of the film is nice and long, and must have been executed after very good preparation. The motion of the frame during it is started by a rightward track, followed by a leftward pan in combination with the rightward track, followed by a continuation of the leftward pan, followed by a upward track in combination with a slight downward pan to keep the subjects in focus.

The Twilight Saga novels and films

#Edward is brave in the films, almost getting killed due to his bravery in the second film. But his bravery was emphasised by presenting his mind reading ability as temporarily not working. The novels emphasise his disgust of vampirism and consequent love of/for Bella while never bringing him near his death, though he is definitely not afraid to fight in the novels. Jacob and the other shapeshifters are brave in the novels as well as films, thought it can be said all of them are simply not afraid to fight vampires but prefer to avoid fighting each other and harming those on whom members of their pack have imprinted.
#The fourth novel presents the smell of Bella's human-vampire daughter as being a combination of "the most beautiful perfume and the most delicious food" but does not compare its beautiful aspect to the smell emanated by any other vampire. Nor does the fourth novel rank its beautiful aspect among all the vampire smells in the world. However, that is rationally acceptable because some vampires are in love with each other and thus may not be thinking even twice about the smell of any vampire they do not love...unless it is a matter of survival or victory.
#The last sentence of the fourth novel is perfectly what was required as the conclusion of the novel series.
#Alice and Edward do not get into a fight with any member of the Volturi in the novels, whereas the second film shows them both subdued by members of the Volturi -Alice easily and Edward after a short struggle. As I pinpointed earlier in Edward's case, I now pinpoint that this presents Alice's future predicting ability as temporarily not working.
#I was thinking earlier that Bella's delivery of her human-vampire baby would be a unique scene in The Twilight Saga film series because Kristen Stewart would be screaming at some point(s) in it, but I recently saw+heard her scream in the films Twilight and New Moon. So nothing new to be expected in the cinematic version of Breaking Dawn on that front. Yet I am still interested in watching+hearing it because Kristen Stewart may portray vampire wrath in it very effectively.
#Each shot in the film series is either a lone sentence or part of a sequence which is a sentence or both loner and part. This is a prediction about the upcoming film Eclipse and the two films to be made out of the fourth novel Breaking Dawn, based on my experience of the first and second films.
#One advertisement of the film Eclipse made me realise that, though not absolutely clarified in the novels, vampires can jump further than shapeshifters.
#I had cast Chris Bauer in my imagination as the actor to play the role of the main character's father Charlie, but Billy Burke was cast instead in the actual films Twilight, New Moon and Eclipse.
#Showing the cast members of the film Twilight along with their names in the end credits was a decision which had an anti-climactic impact on me. But it did seem a nice gesture. And having to hear various sets of lyrics being sung while shots of vibrating water faded into one another behind the rolling of the crew credits was boring. The end credits of the film New Moon were more conventional, though I did not get see all of them and hear all the music tracks synchronised with them.
#Vampires are supposed to always seem attractive to humans in the novels. But most vampires are described as white (i.e. light skinned) in the novels. The films, on the other hand, failed to make me consider even one vampire attractive. So the films are less racist or colour biased than the novels. By the way, Emmett is presented as strong-looking rather than attractive in the novels as well as films.
#Vampire smells are considered "sickly sweet" by shapeshifters in the novels but the smell of Bella's human-vampire daughter is liked by at least Jacob because it is beautiful and delicious in equal measure for vampires and thus not disgusting for any shapeshifter.
#In the film Twilight, Alice seems to twist and break James's neck but is not revealed as having been sought by James for her blood when she was human. So the films avoid ranking the deliciousness of Alice's blood above that of Bella's blood. And blood does not seem to run within vampire bodies in the novels but is definitely absent from the insides of a vampire who wants to die and is killed by the Volturi in the second film.
#Edward is a mind reader as well as the fastest member of the Cullen family in the novels, which made me rank him alongside James. Emmett is the strongest member of the Cullen family in the novels, but he is never put into a fight with any member of the Volturi by the novels.
#Vampire snarls and roars are absent from at least the first and second films, though Edward does snarl or roar a bit with his mouth shut in the first film. And shapeshifters are able to neither snarl nor roar when human in the novels as well as films.
#James, Victoria and Laurent are barefeet in the first novel. Bella is barefeet according to one future vision in the second film of her as a vampire. This lack of the need for footwear is explained in the novels a consequence of vampires being rock hard. Shapeshifters are almost as hard, as established in the novels when Bella breaks her hand on punching Jacob and when Jacob breaks a branch off a tree on hitting it with his bare hand and when Edward breaks Jacob's hand on shoving it out of his way.
#Many of the music tracks used by the first film became a hit before the film's release, which is why many people became fans of the film and some of these fans became fans of the entire film series even before its subsequent installments were released. I detest this method of garnering attention, even if it was unintended by the director Catherine Hardwicke.
#The rules formulated by Stephenie Meyer regarding Bella's shielding ability are flawed. Edward can't read Bella's mind, Jane can't create an illusion of pain in Bella and Alec can't deprive Bella of her senses. But Jasper can create positive emotional changes in Bella. If my memory is serving me correctly, Stephenie Meyer categorized Jasper's emotional manipulation with Alice's future prediction. So perhaps I am wrong in calling the rules flawed.
#Stephenie Meyer has employed many cliches to keep readers engaged in The Twilight Saga novels. Her plotting has also avoided making many possibilities occur. Edward and Jacob want to kill each other many times, but a full fledged fight never breaks out between them. A fight between those arguing in favor of letting Renesmee live and the Volturi is also avoided. It is clear that if Caius had been killed in the fight that he almost lost to a true werewolf, he would probably never have featured in the plot and a distinction between humans able to transform into impossibly big wolves at will and "Children of the Moon" may not have been made. Jacob breaking away from Sam's pack and some members of it joining him to form his own pack prevented an attack on the Cullens by Sam's pack. Jacob's heart is broken by Bella but is eventually made anew when he imprints on her vampire-human daughter. Edward has sex with a human Bella while avoiding killing her, and the plot eventually rewards him for this by making a vampire Bella have sex with him. Jacob administers a cut on an angry Paul's skin in the novel New Moon and thus ends his fight with him but dissolves Paul's anger in the novel Eclipse simply by giving him the last hot dog. The shapeshifters are eager to protect humans from vampires but also want to avoid getting members of their pack killed or even hurt, so the two packs formed in the novel Breaking Dawn remain poised to fight the Volturi but seem relieved when the latter leave Forks.
#Light skinned/White vampires are presented in the novels and films as paler than light skinned/white humans. But the novels don't present dark skinned/black vampires as paler than dark skinned/black humans. And the films don't try to deal with this anomaly.
#Some shapeshifters at some points in the novels project aggressiveness towards some vampires but don't have a strategy in mind to successfully prove the menace of their threatening growls and snarls. Leah in wolf form snarled at vampire Bella when the latter was verbally expressing her anger towards Jacob but did not try biting and pushing back the latter when she lunged for Jacob's throat.
#At least 1 visual in either the first or the second Breaking Dawn film will become iconic. That visual will be a baby sucking the nipple of a baby feeding bottle that is filled with a red rather than white liquid. In other words, the visual will be a baby drinking blood rather than milk.
#One visual in the film New Moon scared me, partly due to the music in synchrony with it. The visual is a orange haired figure rapidly nearing our and a drowning human Bella's sight. In other words, Victoria had sensed Bella and was thus swimming towards her. This incident has now made me wonder whether vampires are able to perceive smells of creatures in water when the vampires themselves are under water...according to The Twilight Saga, of course.
#The most prominent aspect of The Twilight Saga is the romance. Edward and Bella fall in love, then Jacob and Bella fall in love though Bella loves Edward more than she loves Jacob, then Jacob's love for Bella ends, then Jacob and Renesmee become soul mates, then Bella's love for Jacob ends. So I consider my father's description of the The Twilight Saga novels appropriate for the films as well. He called The Twilight Saga novels "a love story in a strange setting".
#Jacob never dwells on the fact that it would be impossible for him or any other shapeshifter to kill Edward alone. Jacob believes killing Edward despite the latter's mind reading ability is possible even without a coordinated group effort. This is perhaps because most shapeshifters are hot blooded in most violent situations and most situations with violent potential.
#Vampires easily kill mountain lions and bears. Shapeshifters are not as strong, though Bella's humanly erratic/inconsistent narrative avoids stating this.
#Shapeshifters have a high threshold of pain because they cringe from neither getting hurt nor the process of healing once hurt. But once some bits of a vampire have been ripped away from his or her body, he or she may not be able to muster the will to continue fighting. Come to think of it, neither would a shapeshifter. And vampires join their bits back to their body, whereas shapeshifters probably can't. The novels and films have simply avoided mentioning these things. So I take back my argument that shapeshifters have a higher threshold of pain than vampires.
#Edward being stopped short by the illusion of pain created in him by Jane is a great visual presented by the film New Moon. I call it a great visual because Edward literally vibrates rooted to one spot. And the visual seems to have been crafted by either the actor Robert Pattinson alone or Pattinson in combination with special effects.

Sunday, June 13, 2010

Starcraft II: Wings of Liberty available July 27 onwards!

An advertisement of the video game Starcraft II: Wings of Liberty has been telecast recently in USA. It is constituted mainly by bits of pre-rendered cinematics, making it very attractive. Furthermore, one of the bits is in slow motion. But that is all by the way. What I want to describe is the background music of the advertisement, which is absolutely devoid of ambient sound. Two long swipes are made as successful attempts at generating awe but unsuccessful attempts at generating dread. The first swipe's conclusion is in synchrony with a visual as well as auditory/aural boom. After the second swipe begins a different but again unsuccessful attempt at generating dread, synchronised at one point of its duration with an extremely brief visual cum aural slice/slash and at another point of its duration with a slightly less brief visual cum aural clicking shut. A visual cum aural storm then becomes the dominator. A short time later, a visual cum aural smash replaces the storm. Many brief aural smashes are then delivered at a high frequency, and an aurally-storm-like but unsuccessful attempt at generating dread happens in synchrony with them. The advertisement's display of the video game's title before its release date concludes with three brief aural booms. By the way, the description of the Zerg recently added to the Starcraft II: Wings of Liberty page on wikipedia is more accurate than the description created by the game's developers: "the Zerg, a race of insectoid genetic assimilators" in stead of "the voracious Zerg". I too once wrote an accurate description of the Zerg: I do not consider the Zerg atrocity committers or evil because "they have been governed for almost the entire duration of their existence by a single consciousness that constantly wants to assimilate previously unassimilated genetic material". But I also called them a collection of many distinct species rather than a race, while calling the Protoss and the Terran two distinct species. I mean I did not call any of the three groupings a race. And the description of the Terran added at probably the same time to the Starcraft II: Wings of Liberty page on wikipedia also is accurate: "human exiles from Earth". I add now that the Terran are humans living in a "planetary sector" different from the one in which Earth exists.

Tuesday, June 1, 2010

Music tracks

Describing components of certain music tracks is impossible. Or perhaps very difficult. So I will try. The tune that starts Hey Ya! (of the Bollywood/fiction film Karthik calling Karthik) is a dance which is joined after a few seconds by the singer of the track's lyrics. A peak is repeatedly climbed by the singer. The climb is a very fast one, so I am exhilarated every time it climaxes. But the singing does continue beyond the climaxes. Otherwise the song portion of the music track could have been incomplete. Uff Teri Adaa (also of Karthik calling Karthik) also has some lovely sentences. It is started by Shankar Mahadevan's familiar voice and a nice tune but the first lovely bit starts after SM takes a break. Alyssa Mendonsa, from whose name I assumed that she couldn't sing in Hindi, sings all three lovely bits in a way that forms a sexy synergy with the visuals choreographed on it. Karthik calling Karthik (ditto) is a track that I have listened to repeatedly as well as call boring. B n B (of the Bollywood/fiction film Bunty aur Babli) is a track that I feel like tagging as belonging to the rhythm n rumble genre, because from that you can understand the reason behind its title. By the way, the film contains one great shot. The hands of the hero's father are shown joined and raised in mock respect towards the hero, but I felt that the hero is showing mock respect to his father rather than the other way round. I mean the hero seems to be doing a mock namaste to his father though it is actually the latter doing the mock namaste to the former. Khudaya khair (of the Bollywood/fiction film Billu Barber) is very engaging because of the singing as dictated by the lyrics. Take A Look Around (of the Hollywood/fiction film Mission Impossible 2) is full of great sounds produced by two guitars and a drum set. Its essence is hummable, but is one among several components of an earlier music track composed by some one else. Nyah and Ethan (ditto) is engaging as well. It is well synchronised in the film with the tragedy of the heroine going to her death, and is continued with the saving of the heroine's life. The Call (of the Hollywood/fiction film The Chronicles of Narnia: Prince Caspian) is synchronised with the departure from Narnia to Earth of the protagonist siblings, and is continued with the initial portion of the credits roll. Lyrics in it are sung by a very nice voice, which I call cute rather than grand. Into the West (of the The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King) is synchronised entirely with the film's illustrations displaying credits roll. Lyrics in it are sung by another very nice voice, which I call grand or majestic and which the music's composer called "like the voice of" the elf queen "Galadriel". Vide Cor Meum (of the Hollywood/fiction film Hannibal) is very disgusting because of its synchrony with the titular antagonist's preparations to cook and eat another human. By the way, the portrayal of the non-titular protagonist by an actress other than the one who portrayed her in The Silence of the Lambs struck me as metaphorically real because some individuals change a lot in ten years. A Dark Knight (of the Hollywood/fiction film The Dark Knight) is parts of the music during the credits display, starting explosively with the display of the film's title. By the way, the film also has a primary character portrayed by an actress other than the one in Batman Begins. But I will not state that the replacement is metaphorically real in this case as well, because the time gap between these two films is shorter both release and story wise. The Tragedy of Omkara (of the Bollywood/fiction film Omkara) is a very engaging music track. It has a bit of powerful meaningless singing, which is synchronised in the film with some violent events as well as one event or some events presented as starting paths of violence. So I did not think of this music track as tragic. Come to think of it, I also did not think of it as violent. I thought of it as a higlighter of violence and violent intentions. Taare Zameen Par (of the Bollywood/fiction film Taare Zameen Par) describes "being in space" according to one friend/colleague of mine, hence the word "stars" in the title. Or at least the starting tune of this music track mimics floating through space, having been impressed by many earlier audiovisual works of art on viewers+listeners with the visual highlighting of stars. Saawariya (of the Bollywood/fiction film Saawariya) has multiple climaxes executed by the main singing as dictated by the lyrics. By the way, I think the film must be very unengaging. Behti hawa sa tha wo (of the Bollywood/fiction film 3 Idiots) has a very good synchrony with the visuals during roughly the twelfth to seventeenth minute in the film. A tune that I associate with Ladakh or some other Indian region containing Mongoloids starts it, and is followed by a song that has an exhilarating start in synchrony with a frame tracking towards then over a cluster of mountain trees. By the way, Aamir Khan's wide eyed look as the technology-development-wise most brilliant character in the film has been criticised by at least one film reviewer as being an unsuccessful attempt to appear more than two decades younger than he actually is. But many viewers+listeners may have instead considered his wide eyed look throughout the film a believable portrayal of a very special mind. I certainly considered the look to be so. The Theme of Maqbool (of the Bollywood/fiction film Maqbool) did not chill me, perhaps because I considered it a piece of fiction. But some other music tracks have chilled me, for instance the above referred Vide Cor Meum. So this situation proves I am erratic in my instinctive/subconscious considerations. The theme of the killing (also of Maqbool) is heard while we see the titular gangster frame another for the murder he is about to commit, and concludes with two murders -the second being of the one who is framed [unsuccesfully, it is later seen+heard in the film] as the perpetrator of the first murder. The visuals, music, and sound of gunshots and thunder constitute a very chilling piece of cinema that did not chill me because I considered it a fictitious killing of only two gangsters rather than the death of many adivasis, the latter having made me cry when I first saw+heard it happen in the Hollywood/fiction film Avatar. By the way, I now consider the two or three frames containing Pankaj Kapoor's crying in Maqbool great cinema, because starting to cry at the precise moment asked for by a film is a challenge. Particularly if you are not Shah Rukh Khan, whose inflexibility and stardom dictate when should the precise moments be. Beera (of the Bollywood/fiction film Raavan) has some Hindi lyrics that reconstruct the myth of the demon king Raavan, calling his modern version -fictitious Naxalite leader Beera Munda, whose name is based on that of the adivasi struggler for Indian independence Birsa Munda- a possessor of ten foreheads {or faces, as dictated by ten different sorts of make up applied in the film by the character himself} and one hundred names {seems impossible since he is a person about whom people living in many regions other than his linguistic homeland would know nothing about}. This track also has lyrics in a language I presently know nothing about, dictating a gentle singing that the music's composer A. R. Rahman may be trying to pass off as adivasi. Behne De (also of Raavan) is synchronised in one trailer of the film with unpromising spectacles -namely a make up encrusted face of Beera, Beera sliding down a rock slope beside a waterfall, Beera and the film's modern Sita climbing up ropes suspended over a cliff, and Beera standing on a cliff beside a waterfall. By the way, one poster of the film shows a silhoutted Beera a symbol of violence-based authority -namely a shawl. This image is also present in several frames of the above referred Omkara, that film's titular political muscle man having a shawl wrapped around him in those frames. The Flower of Carnage (of the Hollywood/fiction film Kill Bill Volume 1) disgusted me because it starts immediately after the heroine slices of the long haired cranium of a female with whom she was having an epic samurai battle, revealing the unscraped brain of that female and expressing the relief felt by the heroine on having victoriously finished the battle. Twisted Nerve (also of Kill Bill Vol. 1) disgusted me because it conveys the strong determination of the heroine to kill certain dangerous individuals. The other music tracks also disgusted me because the film shows violence to establish certain characters as either cold-blooded killers or evil and the heroine as justified in killing some of them. The tune heard while the "Dev" portion (of the Bollywood/fiction film Dev. D) starts made me laugh a lot, because it made me think that the film was once again about to focus on the idiotic behaviour of the titular character. Which the film then did. By the way, both 2009 releases co-written and directed by Anurag Kashyap have a music track about the human world. And both music tracks are titled "Duniya", though the one in Dev. D is heard during the third last sequence and the one in Gulaal is heard during the last sequence and credits roll. And the one in Dev. D is a bit comical whereas the lyrics of the one in Gulaal are sung mournfully. However, a lyric of another music track in Gulaal was earlier mistaken by me as among the lyrics of Duniya. That music track is chilling and its title is Raat Ke Musafir. The lyric is "Insaan ke sheher me insaan ko khoj le tu" -a technical translation of it being Find human in city of human. I Can't Hold It (of the Bollywood/fiction film Love Sex aur Dhoka) is a music track that makes me want to laugh. Or it makes me laugh in my mind. I think its titular lyric is about the singer facing difficulty at holding a man's penis in her vulva because the penis is becoming limp. By the way, I have only heard it. I haven't seen+heard the film it belongs to. Aahun Aahun (of the Bollywood/fiction film Love Aaj Kal) is a music track I have enjoyed every time that I have heard it. By the way, I used to not think that the picturisation on it had a message, which according to the Love Aaj Kal page on wikipedia is "even though people these days try to make themselves believe that love is just an infatuation that goes away with time, in their hearts they still love each other with" the passion that earlier generations had. I also used to not think that any concepts are being represented by Jai and young Veer Singh, who according to the wikipedia entry respectively represent "Aam Janta/common man" and "Pratigya"/promise during the picturisation. I've Just Seen A Face (of the Hollywood/fiction film Across The Universe) has rapidly sung lyrics. This singing and the music collaborating with it are energizing. Maula Mere Lele Meri Jaan (of the Bollywood/fiction film Chak De! India) has a very nicely piercing start that sometimes has almost made me cry. The start is a piece of lyricless singing. Or it is singing of words in a language that I don't know, perhaps Urdu or Arbi or Farsi. Wings of Liberty (of the PC video game Starcraft II: Wings of Liberty) has a starting tune that is meant to generate adrenaline in viewers+listeners of any Matrix film, but then switches over to a different tune and thus goes on a path different from that of the Matrix music track containing the first mentioned tune. I Remain (of the Hollywood/fiction film Prince of Persia: The Sands of Time) was labeled boring by me when listening to it the first time, while watching the end credits display and walking out of the auditorium. But I later labeled its singing's collaboration with its instruments sexy. This happened perhaps because I was awed by the memory of my first experience. Now We Are Free (of the Hollywood/fiction film Gladiator) has been enjoyed by me every time I have heard it because I don't understand the lyrics, which are in Hebrew and seemed very boring when translated into English. By the way, I keep engaging with the lyrics of a music track even when they are in English and/or Hindi as long as I am not sure what some of them mean. I also have done similar or the same things with the dialogues in some films. During my first viewing+hearing of the Hollywood/fiction film No Country for Old Men, I thought at one point that the symbol of violence said "I didn't hear what the coin said" with one sort of glare but a later viewing+listening revealed that he said "Well the coin and I traveled to this place the same way" with one sort of smile. While viewing+hearing an advertisement of the Hollywood/fiction film Seraphim Falls the first time, I thought one protagonist's response to another protagonist's pleading question "Why are you doing this?" was "It revolves", which I understood as tit for tat. But while watching+hearing the entire film I realised that his response was "Seraphim Falls", which I understood as the site of a past grievance he had against the other protagonist. During my first viewing+hearing of the Hollywood/fiction film The Dark Knight, I thought at one point that the Joker said "...brought him down to arlampul", which I understood as having brought Harvey Dent down to a state of existing in Arkhum mental asylum. But one draft of the film's script contained "...brought him down to my level". So I eventually understood that the final cut of the film contained the altered version "...brought him down to our level". Main Title (of the Hollywood/fiction films Spiderman and Spiderman 2) exhilarated me when I heard it during the the main credits display before the start of the first film and made we want to see what came next. Its starting tune excited me even during the main credits display before the start of the second film. I was not as excited by the rest of the music track. But I labeled the few extra tunes in the second film's Main Title a declaration of progress. You don't dream in cryo (of the Hollywood/fiction film Avatar) partly exhilarated me. I mean the parts of it that stood out in my mind during the starting sequence of the film exhilarated me. Bella's Lullaby (of the Hollywood/fiction film Twilight) doesn't engage me in its uninterrupted entirety. But it is present throughout the film as bits that make some sequences of visuals and ambient sounds more interesting than they would be with some other category of music. Welcome to Jurassic Park (of the Hollywood/fiction film Jurassic Park) is very nice and exhilarating. I remember some of its parts more than any other piece of music played in that first film as well as its sequels. I don't know the title of the music track that plays during the starting sequence (of the Hollywood/fiction film Braveheart). It is certainly not the Main Title. But what should be noted is that it contributes to making the starting sequence a presentation of Scotland's physical/geographical beauty.

Sunday, May 30, 2010

Indian fiction films worth an Oscar each

Oscars should be awarded only in categories of fiction. Award them to screenplay writers, cinematographers, sound engineers, music composers, editors, actors, actresses and visual effects teams. And award them to directors of fiction films. But don't award them in categories of non-fiction. Because you Oscar committee members are unaware of many great non-fiction/documentary films. A Night of Prophecy [2002], Tales from the Margins [2006], Q2P [not found], Manjuben Truckdriver [2002], Sundari: An Actor Prepares [1999], In the Forest Hangs a Bridge [1999], Pretty Dyana [2003], Nusrat Has Left the Building...But When? [1997], Planeta Alemania -Observations from Invisibility [1999], Scribbles on Akka [2000], Word Within the Word [2007], Holiday Camp [2002], My Migrant Soul [2000], Shit (Pee) [2003], Language of War [2004], 7 Islands and a Metro [2006], Unlimited Girls: A Fearless Tale of Feminism [not found], The Die is Caste [2004], Black Pamphlets [2007], and Hot of the Press=Tazaa Khabar [2006] are some non-fiction films worth a viewing+listening. I saw+heard most of these named during the first/2008 edition of the Persistence Resistence film festival, which was a space whose description is best aided by the brochures then available and the banners then posted over there. The second/2009 and third/2010 editions of the festival have happened by now. I did not attend them yet I am sure they were as educational and striking as the first, particularly for first time attenders. To conclude my line of argument about the non-fiction film illiteracy of the Oscar committee, read now that none of the non-fiction films I saw+heard at Persistence Resistance 2008 have been nominated in the Best Documentary Feature category of the Oscar awards.
Meghe Dhaka Tara [1960], Hirak Rajar Deshe [1980], Taare Zameen Par [2007], Oye Lucky! Lucky Oye! [2008], Dev D [2009] and Gulaal [2009] are Indian fiction films seen+heard by me till now that are worthy of an Oscar each. LSD=Love Sex aur Dhoka [2010] is an Indian fiction film that I have not seen+heard till now but know as being Oscar worthy too. So the number of great Indian fiction films seen+heard by me is very small. That does not imply they are too few to warrant the Oscar committee's attention. Or actually that implication is correct. But that did not commercially matter to all these films except Meghe Dhaka Tara. So what am I trying to say? People can happily live without awards and nominations while making worthwile contributions to film making. Hence do I end this essay -grasping at the only piece of logic left to me.

Tuesday, May 25, 2010


The music is great. As is the visual synchronised with it. I am writing about the introductionary sequence of the fiction series Castle, the second season of which is currently being shown on the TV channel Star World India. The music played along with the ending display of credits is also great. I love dancing along with these two sets of music. They are two lovely sentences.


The first part of the final music track (namely A Dark Knight) in the film The Dark Knight is exhilarating. It beat my brow, and ran with my heart in all sorts of directions. The second part is what I thought of as sentimental and which made me think that it was about the love triangle formed by Bruce, Rachel and Harvey. Though I am not calling the first part sentimental, it is the one that almost brought tears to my eyes during my first viewing+listening of the film. I didn't listen to the fourth part that time. Listening to it on the internet, I discovered that it is the shortest but was nastily surprised by it because it is led by a sound belonging to the "evil performance" that starts earliest in the film (namely the music track Why So Serious?).

Friday, May 21, 2010


The fiction film Avatar is wrong about Earth's present or future being that of a "dying planet". The only death our planet can experience is absolute disintegration of its rocks, soils and magma. A bit like a star imploding or exploding. But a planet can become less favourable for life on and below its surface. The height of the Earth's oceans is increasing, which means that they will engulf/submerge certain lands that humans live on. So the noise about decreasing the rate of this change mainly has the human interest in mind. Conditions for other organisms that breath air rather than water shall also become adverse. But what concerns us humans more is the submerging of our villages, farms, fields, factories, towns, cities, beaches, roads, airports, and radiowave stations. So our planet is not "dying", it is becoming bad for some of us to live in.


Some day a lecturer in a film appreciation course may say "Are the credits shown at the end of The Dark Knight blue-grey or grey-blue? Are they bluish grey or greyish blue?" And this presence of blue may become an important point of discussion because the logo of Batman in Christopher Nolan's take on the comic book superhero is formed by blue and black (and perhaps white) flames before the start of the second film's first shot, and because the second film sequence in which Batman illegally arrests a criminal in Hong Kong has a lot of blue lights. The second film sequence in which Batman foils the Joker's scheme regarding the actual hostages and scheme regarding the two ferries also has a lot of blue lights. Most of the second film posters also have a blue tint. So blue alone and in combination with other colours is almost a motif in the second film, whereas brown alone and in combination with other colours was almost a motif in Batman Begins/the first film.


The Hollywood/fiction film Sweet Home Alabama contains one shot which made me laugh both times I saw+heard it. The shot happens immediately after the heroine reveals to her husband the hero that she took out all the money stored in their joint account. The first stage of his reaction is what made me laugh. He was finishing a can of beer with his stretched back when he heard her say "All of it", which froze him in that position with a pissed off expression. He then squashed the by then empty can to vent his rage. What made the shot funny was the angle it was taken from and the positioning of the actor and actress within it.

Wednesday, May 19, 2010


A. R. Rahman's music for the Bollywood/fiction film Jodhaa Akbar is considered by many a beautiful imagining of the musical culture/music flourishing during Akbar's reign in particular or the Mughal period in general. The lyrics of the music track titled Kehno ko jashne bahaar aa he, if my memory is serving me properly, are sung in the film by the legendary or historical vocalist Taansen (who was an employee of Akbar). The lyrics of Khwaajaa mere khwaajaa are sung in the film by two members of a dervish/Sufi group (who, the film may be wanting us to believe, came across the Mughal cum Rajput camp in the desert by chance since they lived a nomadic life). By the way, Akbar is shown to enter a divine-influenced state during that track in the film. I prefer to call it a photism, meaning the film's Akbar hallucinated that a divine light struck him. Moving on, read now that I considered some lyrics of the Azeemo shaan a shehenshaa unauthentic, that I considered them not belonging to Akbar's reign in particular. But I am probably wrong. I can't remember the other music tracks so I am going to stop writing now.


I want to have essays and mini-essays by me published even when they are absolutely devoid of loaded statements.


I halt looking at the three four-wheelers that have to pass before I can cross the road. A woman passes me from behind and I imagine myself as no one particular in her life's story till now. But I also imagine a cinema frame focused on me, gliding here and there a bit but never losing sight of me.


Someone mistyped the surname of the film Avatar's writer cum director. He or She typed Cameroon in stead of Cameron, making me forge a connection between the fictional lush vegetation on the fictional planet Pandora and the actual lush vegetation on the actual country Cameroon of the actual planet Earth.


All the envelops around the Earth are hollow spheres, hence they are called troposphere, stratosphere, mesosphere, thermosphere and exosphere.


I remembered at roughly 7.28 am today that a text about a skimpily clad woman in either India Today or Outlook magazine stated that she wanted to open and run a restaurant and that she looked edible. While remembering I understood that the text was equating the skimpily clad woman's planned-for restaurant with a brothel in which she would be one of the prostitutes. Humiliating metaphor.

Tuesday, May 18, 2010


The photo of a flying owl, taken from the National Geographic website, currently decorates my computer's desktop. The bush beneath the owl mimics its position/posture, as if the bush were a shadow of the owl...or another bird with the same wingspan and top to bottom length.


I have been listening to Evan Rachel Wood and the instruments in Blackbird, which is one of the music tracks in the Hollywood/fiction film Across the Universe. I like Blackbird. It can be called a very quiet track, perhaps due to its simplicity. Two harmonicas fill up each other's empty spaces during the first 22 seconds, are accompanied by a guitar or some other wire-based instrument during the next 122 seconds, and are left alone during the last 40 seconds. Since I left out Wood's singing from the previous sentence, now read me state that her singing complements and is complemented by the instrumental portions. I also like all or most other music tracks in Across the Universe. Teresa Victoria Carpio and the instruments in I want to hold your hand have made it nice. A sound made by a percussion instrument or guitar starts it, is accompanied by Carpio's singing from the 2nd second, and continues throughout. Carpio has evidently made one grammatical error, or the lyrics given to her already had that error. She sings "Yeay I...tell you something" but she should have sung "Yeay I...have to tell you something".

Friday, May 14, 2010


The makers of the Nahin samne tu sequence fooled me when I saw+heard the Bollywood film Taal, at least when I saw+heard it the first time. The hero of the film is focused on in the sequence. He is supposedly singing in the sequence, or at least his mind has supposedly been expressed by a voice that the hero does not possess. He is intermittently accompanied in this expression of his mind by professional skaters and dancers. I remember thinking of him as very skilled. In what was not consciously known to me, but skilled enough to deserve being accompanied by those skilled in dancing and skating. Silly silly me. The hero does not stretch his body as much as the professional dancers because he is very skilled at dancing as an expression of his mind! The hero drives a jeep rather than ride a pair of skates because he is very skilled at singing as an expression of his mind! These mistaken beliefs had remained within me and outside my notice until now.


A sequence of the film Happy Feet keeps getting mashed up in my memory with an image described by the novel The Life of Pi. The image is a refrigerator drifting by the protagonist Pi's sight. The refrigerator is obviously not working on account of it being stranded out at sea (away from any power source) like Pi and his boat, and contains putrefying food (revealed because Pi stretches out and opens the fridge or because it is already open). The sequence is the protagonist penguin attempting to free fish from a human net for the Arctic penguins's consumption and then giving chase to the ship carrying the net. I confuse this sequence with the written image perhaps because the former is preceded by a sequence that contains human litter/garbage floating on Arctic water and lying on Arctic ice.

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

11|5|10 About the documentary film Tales from the Margins

The sight of a cluster of barbed wires made me think that they had violent implications, as did the sight of a water covered vehicle window passing by partly lit nighttime neighbourhoods. Great compositions: the frame in which the focused on foreground is a loop of thread, and the frame in whose background a blue rectangle of cloth stands out. Tears did not come in my eyes when looking at and listening to the father of the disappeared (and probably killed by the Indian Army) boy sing a Manipuri [displayed in English AaBbCc.. form by subtitles] song, but they should/could have. The fact that the boy's father began to sing the song only after he became aware of his own presence in the camera's displayer, which happened when the camera operator flipped the displayer over in his {the father's} direction, is worth knowing.

11|5|10 & 16|5|10

I love some bits of Avatar's music. These bits mesh very well with what is shown (and, in some cases, whatever else is heard). The bits accompanying the first twelve frames contribute to a great start of the film. The bit which is a drum/percussion-based buildup starts with the frame tracking towards the ship within which the protagonist has arrived in the orbit of the planet as of then not yet to enter the film's story, though the absolutely first frame does indicate the protagonist's emotional attachment to the planet and the native way of life on it. Or the first frame indicates that the protagonist has a story to tell about himself and the planet. So the first frame can also be called an expression of retrospective attachment to the story that shall unfold in the shots that follow.
Coming back to the drum/percussion-based buildup, read now that I heard a 29 second extract of the music track it belongs to. The extract starts when an eerily/suspensfully engaging or merely engaging sound is a blown out of a trumpet/horn. That sound is followed by the drum/percussion-based buildup which then spills out, followed by another suspensfully/eerily engaging or merely engaging sound [this one produced by a singer]. The extract ends somewhere at the middle or end of a second drum/percussion-based buildup.
post script-The word frame in this essay is a substitute for the word shot because I have used the latter as a word for the combination that is a frame and the sound(s) in it +/or the bit(s) of music in it. The first frame is soundwise silent, as is the frame I described. Perhaps the former is not accompanied by any bit(s) of music either, though it is accompanied by a bit of music in one trailer/advertisement/promo of the film. Speaking of which, the 20th Century Fox logo shown in that or another trailer of the film includes atleast one Beverly Hills palm tree, declaring that the distributor of the film is celebrating the film's ecology-friendly message. This tweaking with the logos of major Hollywood film distributors is common. The globe of Universal shown at the start of the film Van Helsing, for instance, is grey rather than its usual green-blue and flames burst up from it, the flames and globe then transforming into the top of a torch held up straight by a man. The mountain of Paramount, shown at the start of Raiders of the Lost Ark, is followed by a frame containing a similarly shaped real mountain. These instances, however, constitute a category different from that constituted by the starts of the films Batman Begins and The Dark Knight. After the logos of the distributor and copyright holder are shown, a bat like shape appears: formed by a lot of bats flying from the left to the right of the frame in Batman Begins, and by blue-black frames approaching the frame in The Dark Knight. The former frame is accompanied by the screeching of the bats, and the latter shot is soundwise silent till the end and musicwise silent till the second last microsecond.

Thursday, May 6, 2010


It is not surprising that the Communist Party of China banned the film over there. The very first shot contains overt verbal criticisms of patriarchy ("What else could women get?") and social practices/power structures ("You only care about money. So might as well marry me to a rich man."). Significantly the film is based upon a novel called "Wives and Concubines", but is set in the house of a rich man who keeps only concubines, i.e., no wives -the former possessing a lower social status than would wives, and thus being more expendable. Furthermore the film's own title "Raise the Red Lantern" is more indicative of the dependent position of concubines, specifically, in China.
However, the title of the novel seems an intelligent choice. It may have given (some/many?) mainland Chinese, and other, buyers the impression that they were buying wives and concubines. If that was the case, then even the title is successful in criticizing the commodification and dependent, inferior position of women in China.

As I mentioned above, the film is also attacking those in positions of wealth and power. Songlian (two of whose dialogues I have quoted in the first paragraph) orders around Yang, often humiliatingly, since the power she has been given over Yang is one of the few sources of ego satisfaction, a.k.a., happiness in her life as a concubine. The cruel actions Zhuoyun commits are a result of the same instinct -the desire for the maximum available power, freedom and material happiness. The sense that very little is available -particularly in terms of freedom- to these concubines pervades the film, because it is set within the Cheng household from the third shot onwards.

Since all concubines and would-be-concubines are women the message that very little is available to the mass of Chinese women in general (as stated by Songlian in the very first shot) is also present. After all, we see nothing of Songlian during her father's life time -when she must have been more free and happy than ever again.
The first shot conveys Songlian's rage/unhappiness and her step-mother's selfish utilization of a social practice/position-of-power, concluding with the peaking of emotion: tears being held in by Songlian; a single tear then flowing down her cheek, accompanied by the start of steadily intensifying celebratory/cheerful music.
In the second shot we see the little independence that Songlian has managed to exercise, by knowingly or unknowingly setting off before the procession sent for her. Apart from that, the procession and its aforementioned music is one of the film's many illustrations of a woman's pigeon holed existence; and

"Raise the Red Lantern" is set in pre-Communist China. That doesn't mean that it is a "historical", since it is not concerned with the Why-When-How of patriarchy, women's oppression and exploitation, and the delineation between the rich/powerful and the masses in China. The film is only a criticism of some manifestations of these, and by extension, is criticizing all their manifestations in the past and present. For instance, lighting of red lanterns -representing patriarchal 'benevolence'- could not have been afforded by lower and middle class men. So the film is particularly attacking wealthy and powerful patriarchs, since their lives of convenience are partially responsible for the dirty politicking amongst their wives, concubines, children and servants: When the female servant Yang -who nurtures hopes of becoming a Mistress- realizes that the woman squatting and washing hands in front of her is the Fourth Mistress, she snatches the bowl of water out of her hand. This display of frustration -progressively established as justifiable- in turn provokes Songlian to begin exercising the little power made available to her, but in a more harsh manner than she may have otherwise.
Zhuoyun's instigation of Meishan's hanging is also ultimately a result of her dependent position. As stated by Songlian, these women "are like cats and dogs, but definitely not people".

The soundtrack of the film is remarkably simple, most pieces of sound/music not overlapping with other. In fact, none of the background music accompanies any sustained sound for its entire duration, and vice versa: There is no music accompanying the long foot massages, only short dialogues. And we don't hear the sound of the red lanterns being carried into any Mistress's quarter. That action is announced only by the clanging music that we heard during the pre-1st shot titles.
However, there are moments in the film when the only ambient sound is music: the music of the procession in the second shot of the film; Meishan's opera singing; Feipu's flute-playing.
Some of the same music is, at other points, part of the background. That too has an emotional impact: Songlian's emotional attachment to her father's flute; Songlian's desire for physical and emotional intimacy with Feipu -apparently the only young male in the Cheng household.

Most shots contain delightful colours, textures and shapes. However, what gives one delight in which shot is a variable. For instance, when we first see Meishan singing -after she has been established as a positive presence- the blue colour tone of everything and the red colour of Meishan's garment is most delightful, as is the joy with which Meishan sings; but in a subsequent shot [when the camera tilts up to reveal Songlian] what is most delightful is the inflow of two identical lines from opposite sides of the frame [until the camera halts].

Except Yang, all the people in the employ of the Cheng family -even the head housekeeper- are depersonalized. They possess far less wealth, power and social status than their employees. In fact, Yang's unwillingness to remain a servant also emphasizes this fact.
The servants possess far less wealth, power and social status than the Master, and his concubines and children. So they do what they are told (as stated by one of them). Even hang a Mistress. Significantly, the primary reason behind Meishan's hanging was not a 'sense of betrayal' experienced by the Master, but fear of the Third Mistress's adultery staining his name. So no charges seem to be levelled against Meishan's lover, Doctor Cao. Furthermore, the fact that we see and hear no more of Doctor Cao emphasizes that men get away with more than women.

Another instance that must have particularly bothered the Communist Party of China is the sequence leading to, during and after Meishan's hanging. The true horror and clandestine nature of such incidents -constantly occurring in China and many other parts of the world- is conveyed by, among other facets, showing Meishan and her about-to-be-executors/her executors from various distances. These shots -devoid of any corny or 'horror movie' music, the only sounds being Meishan's muffled shots and the rapid movements of the others- alternate with silent shots of Songlian following them, Songlian peeking at them. As in various other scenes and sequences, peaks of emotion are reached in this as well: when the about-to-be-executors have reached the terrace of the execution room, exposed regions of the black, snow-clad floor look like remains-of-the-dead (or something equally scary) strewn over it; when 2 hand-held shots convey Songlian's breathlessness, as she approaches the once-again-abandoned execution room, her rising breathlessness is conveyed by a piece of chorus music [which more and more voices join in].


I easily imitate the singer of the lyrics in the film Prince Caspian's starting-before-credits's-roll and ending-during-credits's-roll music track. But I strain my vocal cords trying to imitate the singer of the lyrics in the film The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King's starting-with-the-start-of-credits's-roll and ending-during-credits's-roll music track. This contrast parallels or, rather, is a reflection of the contrast between the two films. The latter film is grander. So is the latter film's music, partly because of the it's greater grandness. And so are the lyrics and singing in the latter film's aforementioned music track, again partly because of it's greater grandness.


A starting has to be made in order for something to happen. When the happening involves more than one person, the volition of each person counts. A surprise test was announced and the formation of regularly spaced rows was requested for that. Three people began to follow the one who made the announcement and request, who was walking towards the till then empty back of the room. I followed the announcer/requester and his first three followers. We formed the earliest portions of the earliest two rows. Then only did others start to form the front portions of our rows and all portions of other rows.


Terminator Salvation may prove to be as 'cool' a movie as The Dark Knight. May not sell as many tickets, but check out its third trailer. So exhilarating! I listened to that repeatedly, even when not inclined or able to watch.

One speculation, by the way. The Halycon (or Halicyon? or Halcyon?) Company holds copyrights over the movie, partly. The fictitious robot-creating Skynot was a company, too. So why not imagine The Halycyon Company's logo to be Skynet's. The two are one and the same, I say. Hee hee hee hee hee! Fantastic!

The third trailer has something the preceding two don't. A bit of singing, layered over soundwise silent images. Very gentle, therefore exhilarating. Why the cause-effect linkage? Because the vocals and accompanying instrumentals provide part of the trailer's promise. And cycling this promise through my mind contributes to the exhilaration.

Not every part of the promise impressed me, though. Some shots, utterances, sounds and music merely prevent incompleteness. I accept them for that purpose. The succession of ultra-brief shots at the end of the trailer, for instance: a sixty foot robot punching downwards, a citywide explosion spreading outwards, etc. I'm not saying that these won't impress in their full-length contexts. More than exhilaration may be impressed on viewers. Fear and worry, for instance. As of now/During the trailer, however, these experiences are not impressed.

The visual effects supervisor of Terminator Salvation said that 'the camera is always moving'. I guess he was counting some shots in every sequence, because I counted many shots devoid of camera movement in the trailer. He also said, at the outset of the film's post-production, that the challenge of his job would be to 'bury' the effects in the photography. Reminds me of a motorcycle robot by-passing burial under a falling wreck, at one point in the third trailer. The succession of shots in the trailer featuring these happenings evidently constitutes a single sequence in the film: a truck ridden by humans smashes through a smaller, empty truck barricading the road; the smaller truck's wrecked body is consequently thrown out of the speeding truck's path, spinning over and falling behind it; the robocycle skids easily beneath and past the arc of the wreck's bounce over the road, utilizes momentum to straighten up, then speeds past and ahead of us; a second robocycle enters our freshly panned and forward-tracking view, shouldering aside a debri separated from the main wreck. This last happening, particularly, is determinism in its usual form -action sequence. "Tiny-and-medium-sized debris descending in the wake of the wrecked medium-sized broken metal sheet hitting and bouncing off one robocycle's armour! Fantastic!"

Terminator Salvation has three cast-members as its primary stars. Christian Bale, Sam Worthington, Bryce Dallas Howard. The first has portrayed John Connor. He's the one whose commentary we hear in concert with parts of the third trailer. Among these parts, by the way, are two successive shots -soundwise silent, over which is layered that gentle music I mentioned- of human crowds evidently imprisoned by the robot population.

Bryce Dallas Howard's eyes are literally gleaming in two shots, impressing on me the stunned reaction that the amateur doctor portrayed by her is experiencing. This impression is allowed, perhaps by my belief that the chemistries and deliveries of these actors are...serious achievements...not comic acting.

Wednesday, May 5, 2010


Memory so easily speeds up when I want articulation of understanding to happen quickly. I had been repeating my understanding of something the makers of Solaris (a film) did. A bird is inches outside the frame during a certain shot. This belief is created by the twitching of some leaf/leaves and two chirps. I remembered the twitching as a very quick movement. But on 1|4|10 at roughly 7.45 pm I saw+heard that shot again. The presence and movement of a bird is certainly indicated. But the twitching is gentler and more prolonged than my memory.
p.s. My memory contained one brief chirp, which corresponded with the quickness of the twitching in my memory.

Like the shot described above, many shots in Solaris are lovely sentences. The one immediately after the one in which a bird's presence and influence are perceived. That shot is lovely in it's entirety. "Kris is walking through the forest" is it's description in the script. An extremely plain description. But the frame corresponding to that description is a mobile painting. Kris walks from left to right of the "forest" and the camera tracks leftward at an extremely slow speed. Obviously, the "forest" is actually not a painting but a location. But the location chosen certainly looks beautiful within the frame during the shot.
p.s. The inconspicuous leftward track corresponds with the extreme distance of the camera from Kris.
p.p.s. Kris disappears behind certain portions of the "forest" during some stretches of his walk through it.

The combination of green and black was lovely, was full of peace. Green plant matter dotting the black surface of the water in one portion of a small lake. I guess I called it full of peace because it was still but not stagnant. In other words, still but apparently clean enough to wash your hands and face with. Which is what the protagonist does after reaching one point of the lake's banks.

Witnessing the silent blanking out of a frame by starlight can be a metaphoric experience. When a star at a sun-earth distance from a space station is visible through a window of the latter, people walking towards the window would see varying amounts of the star depending on their angle to the window. And the vision of a camera following those people would get blanked out to varying degrees depending on the amount of light passing by the people. This is exactly what happens when Kris is walking with the support of two people during one shot. Two film critics have jointly described this shot as "Kris literally being led into the light" of Heaven/Divinity. And I felt at peace during this shot even before hearing the description or getting acquainted with Christian iconography.
p.s. The frame during this shot is mainly the result of a set, a strategically located piercing light, and the strategic movement of the performers and camera.

Witnessing the sound of bursting/shattering+bursting/shattering immediately after organ music may keep some first time viewers+listeners of Solaris engaged. The visual aftermath of that is a broken container of liquid oxygen, the top of which is shown spinning on a floor. From the spinning top, standing bottom and small shards the frame pans left to show a dead woman. Then, the frame during a later shot pans up from the open-eyed face and eerily spread out hair of the dead woman to show a distorted reflection of the same looking in a certain direction with purpose/intent. In other words, the reflection of the dead woman's face creates the belief that her eyes are seeing something rather than unseeing.
p.s. The reflector is a curved glass wall.

Broad and long aquatic grass created the belief in me that it was to seen as an equivalent of tentacles belonging to science fictional planet Solaris. This belief I kept in a compartment separate from the compartment of the fact that Solaris's director uses the same frame again in the film's final sequence as a reference to life on Earth.
p.s. The frame before the repeat is a descent through clouds which allow peeks at green hills. The frame before that starts by approaching Kris and ends by stopping near his right ear (which twitches a few times because Kris is talking).

The frames in which we see the planet Solaris are all, except for two, static. Meaning they do not pan, track, shift from wideangle to telephoto lens, or shift from telephoto to wideangle lens. And each of the static frames is distinct in terms of angle and/or pattern. Two of them focus on a large swirl each, but are at angles different from each other. One focuses on multiple small swirls. One focuses on what seem to be science fictional clouds. And one of the two non-static frames contains a yellow star on the cloud-lined horizon of Solaris and an arc of smoke or something else left behind by a rocket.
p.s. The moving frame described above seems to go from wideangle to telephoto lens, but it may also be tracking forward.

The seven successive frames depicting Kris's journey from Earth to the Solaris orbiting space station are lovely sentences. The second, third and fourth are lovely individually. The fifth, sixth and seventh are lovely as part of the sequence started by the fourth. The first is lovely as part of the sequence concluded by the second. A black rectangle dotted by stars, from among a cluster of which appears a gradually widening circle of the same colour as them, is the first frame. The second frame begins exactly when the circle has reached a certain width, making the former seem a depiction of movement by Kris's spaceship through outer space. The second frame contains Kris inside a glass shell, sparks cascading across the outside of the shell and the frame tracking back & forth (probably in combination with repeatedly switching from wideangle to telephoto lens & vice versa) during a certain stretch of the frame's duration. The third frame views the planet Solaris and the space station orbiting around it from inside Kris's spaceship. The fourth frame swiftly and briefly descends into the space station. The fifth frame views the switching on of one or two lamp clusters. The sixth frame views the sucking out of smoke or something else generated by Kris's spaceship during landing. The seventh frame views Kris and his survey of the landing cum take off area.

Witnessing darkness can be a metaphoric experience if the frame focusing on it approaches it, gets lost in it, then backs out of it. I felt a dread because the witnessing was accompanied by a certain sound. A drilling sort of sound, if my memory is serving me correctly.


I noted two incidents similar to each other yesterday. The Hindi word bhaap means steam as a noun, and bhaap lagaanaa means steam as a verb, while the Korean word bap denotes steamed white rice. This similarity in sound and meaning marks them out as co-incidents, meaning they may or may not have the same source(s). The English word soup and the Korean group of words seupyeol bokkeum -the latter a.k.a. the Korean group of words meaning 'watery stir-fried dish'- are also co-incidents, though I am sure that the former's source(s) is/are separate from the source(s) of the latter.


What if I am not completely dead when my organs are being harvested? Meaning I have been declared dead but am actually not dead yet. But the same observation can be made about those 'dead' people being buried or burned. So don't hesitate to sign off your organs to be harvested after your death!


Papa said, 'It is not bitterly cold'. Bitterly cold. Why do many often say that? I began writing these lines because I want to separate the sensation cold from the taste bitter. 'It is bitterly cold!', I write now, thinking of bitter gourds being harvested amidst snow and cold winds. What could be the most warmth bestowing food items prepared from bitter gourds? I don't care at present. I imagine a boiling soup. But I haven't thought the details of preparing the soup. Green in colour?

Monday, March 1, 2010

27/12/08 [SMS]

Among our co-passengers in this compartment of this coach is a man who has a hunched back. I mean hunched as in a physical deformity. Or physiological deformity. Or physiognomic deformity?
Like several more people sitting on the floor, the man was sitting on his haunches. My rough estimate is that his back was towards one corner of a corridor-facing side of one seat in that compartment of our's. More clearly put, the man was sitting in the corridor. Behind him was a woman: holding her infant child; sitting on the other corner of the seat I mentioned. During the only stretch of time that I looked at the man, the mother pulled or unzipped a sweater off her infant. Part of the sweater ended on top of the man's hunchback. On seeing this I easily made myself feel sorry about his plight:- 'here is he, unable to remove this intrusion/encroachment; here he is, too tired to...; here he is, hesitant/afraid to...; here is he, too tired+afraid to...! Such a bad feeling it must be to have a hunchback!' Probably that is why I recall seeing the man's hunchback as outlined by the shawl. Me making me feel sorry for him is what the above quote probably arose from. In which case the stream of thoughts/feelings contained by the quote is a creation of my writing. It is an exact recollection of my then stream of thoughts/feelings.

27/12/08 [SMS]

Back aches are stages in/of any day of/in a healthy person's life. For what is the back if not muscles and bones? And what are tendons and ligaments if not muscles (two sorts out of several)? Rudyard Kipling's Kim walked over and around many hills to reach the 'Chini valley' of his 'Hindustan', reaping much pain and ache. But the payoff was great! All the 'fat and sugar suet melted off his legs, to be replaced by various muscles'. Sure, both existing and newly extant muscles pained, ached, or ached-and-pained. Also sure that all were moving, working materials.

3/5/09 [SMS]

Kung Fu, a/the Chinese martial art, possesses an emphasis on qi (simply, 'energy'). Living beings have qi, the dead have none. But then -some possibly shall wonder or have wondered- how does flesh impart qi to its devourer. That the animal being eaten may be dying rather than dead is beside the point. The life of every blood cell swallowed ends. Coagulation is, by the way, another end. The unchanged nutrients are what really matter. If any nutrients are harvested from blood cells, some or all of them shall contribute to creation of qi. Generally speaking, nutrients create qi. [Of course, the energy created through nuclear fissile processes can be equated with qi.] Living beings utilize qi, restrict/shape qi. Claws on paws are a result of these processes. Smelling for quelling attacks is another result. Life is full of examples. I am not asking humans to semi-emulate tigers. Increasing the strength of our fingers, thumbs, wrists, etc. and altering our nails into sharp, thick, strong claws. Such usages and restrictions of qi are obviously not what I mean by the word examples. But, yeah, life is full of examples. The formulation and refinement of martial arts is a slightly different set of examples. Martial arts are human. They are a showcase not of biological evolution, but of their own evolution. Humans have used them against other humans..for 3 purposes- attack, defense, counterattack. The 'self-defense' that we talk of usually involves counterattacks, I guess.

27/7/09 'Greco-Roman' world

In the Mediterranean( and parts of Europe beyond), corn was the generic term for cereals that grew there. Those most produced and most consumed, of course- varieties of wheat and barley, not the maize ubiquitous in Mexico!! These bearers of the name corn, and olives and wine, were the three major agricultural produces in the Mediterranean.
Olives grew in groves or orchards, grapes -the source of wine- in vineyards, and corn in fields.....and so they do now.
Olives hung from branches of living wood, grapes from spineless plants( so tall they required manufactured support. Several grapevines could traverse a single wall.....and still can, I guess; but individual climbs around wood sticks or metal rods are the visible norm. Moving our eye further through the present, we can confidently say that corn has always perched on stalks of grass, and olives have always hung from trees.

Sunday, February 28, 2010

?/?/09 What for be the Film Perfume, or Fume per Film?

*Odours, odours, odours. Immense pleasure they give to the imagination named Jean Baptiste Granuille. An imagination of a novelist, 'adapted' by a team of filmmakers.
*Know that, in entirety, the film's name is Perfume: The Story of a Murderer. Whether the forebearing novel's title forebears too matters little. So is certainly my personal thought, or 'perhaps' invective. Pers-p-ective.
*When Jean( Baptiste Granuille) enters 'Paris city proper' for the first time on his own two feet, the movie's narrator says- he was not choosy...he was very greedy...his goal was to possess all the odours in the world...his only condition being that there were new ones.
*As if to remind a viewer here and there -that odour molecules are gaseous- the frame is defocussed here and there. Particularly the frame of the shot commencing the film's declaration of unique odours, of odours that 'shall never be born again'. The body odour of a woman in Paris, who is unknown to us and Jean, is first represented by a frame that 'twirls/swirls a bit' as it approaches him. But, actually, the trajectory of most odour molecules cannot be determined. Most odour molecules that have been, are, and will be. Perhaps human-made equipment of the present or the future shall trace solitary trajectories. I don't see any use of that, of course.
As if to remind a viewer here, another viewer there and so on -that odour molecules are gaseous- some shots are defocussed. The introduction to one 'extremely beautiful' odour is, additionally, 'twirling/swirling a bit'. That shot is so because of being Jean's earliest sensation at this magnitude, and being a 'natural emanation' from a human body (not from a cloth, an ink or an alga, but from a woman). Regardless, the trajectory of most odour molecules cannot, and perhaps shall not, be determined. Even less remembered and/or recorded.
As if to remind a viewer here, another viewer there, and so on -that odour molecules are gaseous- some shots are defocussed. The introduction to one 'extremely beautiful' body odour is, additionally, 'twirling/swirling a bit'. That frame/shot is so because it is the first time that Jean senses an 'extremely beautiful' odour, which happens to be emanating from/emanated by a human. Not a cloth. Not an alga. Not an ink. But a woman. Significantly, all the odours that Jean considers 'extremely beautiful' are natural emanations of young, slim, beautiful women with hairless vaginas. What of young, handsome men? What of young hermaphrodites? If the natural body odour of a woman with a hairless vagina can be nice, so can that of a woman on whose vagina hair is thriving, and that of a hermaphrodite, even if not of a man. Regardless, the trajectory of most odour molecules cannot, and perhaps shall not, be determined. Even less remembered or/and recorded.
As if to remind a viewer here, another viewer there, and so on -that odour molecules are gaseous- some shots are defocussed. The film's declaration of odours that are 'extremely beautiful' and shall 'never be born again' is commenced by one such shot. Additionally, the frame during this shot 'twirls/swirls a bit' as it approaches Jean, signifying the specialty of the odour nearing Jean's olfactory sense. However, the trajectory of most odour molecules cannot, and perhaps shall not, be determined. Even less remembered and/or recorded. Most odour molecules that have been, are, and will be. Perhaps human-made equipment of the present or the future shall trace solitary trajectories. I don't see any use of that, of course. Regardless, one aspect of the film is begun establishment of only after the 'swirling/twirling' frame has been exhibited. The 'extremely beautiful' odour signified by this exhibition is a 'natural emanation' from a human body. Not a cloth. Not an alga. Not an ink. But a woman. So what is that aspect? All the 'naturally beautiful-smelling' humans are young, slim, attractive women. Visual beauty has no worldwide biological connection in any human. If the natural body odour of a young, slim, attractive woman is nice, so is that of a young, plump, attractive woman, and of a young, slim, attractive hermaphrodite, and of an old, slim, attractive woman, and of an old, fat, attractive woman, and of a young, fat, attractive hermaphrodite, and........................................The same is true of unattractive women and hermaphrodites, plainfaced hermaphrodites and women, ugly women and hermaphrodites, repulsive women and hermaphrodites, uninteresting hermaphrodites and women, etc. Readers who object to my exclusion of men should consider what I have been considering- does testosterone induce stink on every man's skin and in every man's urine? is the average male stinkier than the average female and average hermaphrodite? However, I am sorry about not once mentioning boys(hermaphrodites; males) and girls(females; hermaphrodites) in this consideration of the olfactory beauty emanated by humans, if any.
*Ho! O! Vow! Yo! Jean was no anti-hero! He just did what he did! Sure, he looked scary in several shots. But that was merely a mindless scared feeling on my part.
*'Stream of considerations'- will he, the film's titular murderer, kill the thirteenth girl? he's killed he. will he be prevented from completing his mixture of 'intoxicating' odours? he's completed it. will he be killed? he's been arrested and being tortured.
was the perfume destroyed? did those with the say deem its 'genesis' disgusting? i want to witness its effect, if it has been left alone......would all humans in the world think that they are in paradise? if so, would other fauna think the same? would the paradise be Christian?
I don't care about the 'answer' to the last question. I certainly skimmed over Jean's exclamation that he knew all the odours in the world. Until his olfactory sense had neared them, he didn't know the (floral) odours extant and nurtured in Grasse. And during his entire life, he knew none of the (culinary) odours occuring in India, China, certain African countries, etc.
*Perfume: The Story of a Murderer is a heterosexual film. It does have a fleeting shot of two men beginning to make love with each other and several brief shots of two women making love. But all other bits of the film, including posters promoting/advertising it, are showcasing white, slim, young, female sexiness.
*The titular murderer considers the hair on each victim's head to be carrying a significant amount of her 'natural odour'. What about the hair on her vagina? Vaginas look beautiful, smell beautiful, feel beautiful.....when hair is allowed to thrive on them. Why didn't Jean clip off any victim's vaginal hair? Had society shaven it off: dominant notion of femininity: oppression?
*Title of this 'article'- Vaginal beauty versus Virginal beauty. ?!! Hence, it is tentative. No. I shall untitle this 'article'. I mean, no title necessary for this 'article'.

Not an elephant, owl,
alga, egg/ovule, (rhymes better than ovum)
(is closer than ovum, to owl,
in pronounciation)

Not a cloth, powder,
glass, plastic,
brick, paint,
stone, paper