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?