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.