Monday, January 12, 2009

The Globe is Golden

And so it is..

Rahaman wins the Golden Globe and he humbly thanks the billion people in India. Few months ago, my roomie woke me up and said India won a Gold at the Olympics, I turned around in my bed, pulled up my blanket  and said "So What, its just too much noise about too little a thing and it wouldnt make any difference". He disappointedly walked away saying to himself "Well, it definitely feels good, when its someone from your own country". I believe thats true. It might just be my lesser interest towards sports , or anger towards Indian attitude towards sports or it might just be my sleep.

I feel, elated, excited and more than anything proud for Rahman, for where he stands now, in the same room where Steven Spielberg and Martin Scorsecee stands. Its unbelieveable to see the nominations being announced on the side of Hans Zimmer, and then giving the award to Rahaman. And it would be a mistake to expect anything more from Rahman than what he read out from a visting card sized note he got with him. He had been a Man of action or rather music than words. And let him be so.I am almost done with watching the press meet and he still doesnt seem to be the one to speak. He keeps his smile through out though, as he keeps ours.

Anyway, thanks to my membership of FLIX at XLRI and my exclusive access to bittorrents , that i could see most of the GG and Oscar Favourites. Wrestler as expected has earned a well deserved award for Mickey Rourke. I am yet to watch Reader, Doubt and Revolutionary Road. (Just that i had an overload of heavy movies, especially european cinema). I would surely like to sit through Kate Winslet's acting.(Funny that she mentions that she has the habit of not winning and wins two awards after some amazing performances in Finding Neverland and Titanic). Just, if you hadnt heard about it, Frost/Nixon is a good watch, it fails to live up to the build up in the climax, but its insight into the minds and motivations of two individuals is worth a watch and a thought.(Those who flocked to the theatres over and over to watch the interview scene between Arjun and Amrish Puri in Shankar's Mudhalvan/Oke Okkadu , Frost/Nixon might seem subdued).

I am waiting to watch much raved about -Waltz with Bashir. And the other foriegn movie "I've Loved you so long" . Well it still startles me that something so Indian,but not 'by' an Indian, a Britisher (as it seems to be always , like it was with Richard Attenbourgh's Gandhi. I guess Tagore would scoff at me for my so called "Nationalism",the Gandhian way) , has gone on to beat movies like Curious Case and Sam Mendes's Revolutionary Road. Funny that, Jai ho wouldnt feature in Rahman's top 100 songs of his career, but it goes on to win the Golden Globe. I also wondered why and how, you will understand, when you watch the movie, when the Titles appear with 'O Saya' in the background , with Slum Kids playing cricket in the backyard of the Airport , and the police chasing the kids through the narrow gullies of the slum and thats when you introduce Rahman. And the man gives his best. And then you give it away to the cameraman to take over the slums(Cameraman is Danish , talk of globalisation), and he cuts three shots into a zoom out aerial view of the Dharavi slums, and the kids keep running, with such an uninhibited smile through what represents the Third World, you are sure to get goose bumps and yes a few votes for sure from the (if i may say so) First World.

Well that was more of an aside, but the point stays that movie making is the best marriage that one would ever experience, pioneers of science and art had been pouring in their contributions and appreciating each other with so much warmth that it continues to be my favourite. :P

Sunday, January 04, 2009

Of Curious Cases and Slumdogs

I screened the movie "The Curious Case of Benjamin Button" at my college. It was nice to see a few friends turn up. It definitely ate up 6 hrs of my time in a day as i watched it twice. We were pulling each others leg that how about a "Curious case of Benjamin Felix Rajkumar", coincidentally one of my friends who was watching the film. So what would be "The Curious Case of Kartheek Kanumuru" be.
"My name is Kartheek Kanumuru, I live unusually in usual circumstances, I do not see the light of the day and i eat once in a day and sleep well, really well" So much for my mini auto-biography.

I had been reading up a lot on movies these days, as usual, not very focussed reading but hopping from one interview to the other, one review to the other. So, thought its high time i writre something.

Firstly, The curious case of the slumdog, while all of Bollywood is busy making films based out of Florida,Canada, New York, and all other places where streaks of sunlight lit up sky scrapers and women can just help being beautiful and tantalizing, and world is all a paradise untill an indian family sings and dances for 2hrs 45 mins and then realises that they need to have a climax, A british Film maker had to come to Indian Slums and direct an movie based on an Indian Book and so we now we have the whole of India looking forward to see an oscar nomination for the film.

A fortnight from now, when Oscar nominations are announced, Indian media will rave about the movie and the portrayal of Indian Poverty and its slums and applaud the ensemble cast of slum kids who are the spirit of the movie. Teenagers will discuss that its a great film and in hushed voice say, about/from India. As they try to mince words like Yudhishtar did in Mahabharat, India will continue to suffer from its strangled creativity and insipid cinema.

Well, the truth is , as Anurag Kashyap wrote in his blog, even UTV and Reliance rejected to produce the movie when it was independent(Though i still like UTV for the way its promoting good movies through Spotboy). And to take a note on the poverty portrayed in the movie, Danny Boyle in an interview said that, they put the slum kids in school and paid for their education till they are 16. They even paid the rickshaw puller to take them to school till 16. (It really doesnt seem to work out, does it ?). Well, one thing that will still be indian for now is A.R. Rahman's soundtrack for the movie might just go on to get the Oscar Nomination. Check out the interview with Darren Aronofsky and Danny Boyle on how they made Wrestler and Slumdog respectively.

The Curious Case of Benjamin Button itself is a case of David Fincher, starting with Se7en (probably the movie which i have narrated the maximum number of times, i remember literally holding my friend to sit down and listen to the story), fight club, panic room, zodiac and this one is nowhere in that genre, but an amazing concept borrowed from fitzergald's short story of 1920s. One should appreciate the amount of work that had gone into the movie for all the digital mastering and make up. It will pretty much go down at the box office, because its like going to watch ManiRatnam's Amruta after he made Sakhi with Madhavan.Complete mismatch of expectations over an otherwise beautiful movie, actually one of his best. 

I am yet to complete darren aronofsky's wrestler. I am half way through it. This time he resorts to following the actor with his camera. Its really interesting how a director visualises the scene, it is so irritating for the first 15 minutes that you dont see the actor at all and then you actually realise that you are following him yourself. These are people who will continue to be mavericks and the nourishers of creativity.I am still waiting to tie up the camera to one of the actors(if i ever make a short again) and do a scene similar to that of Requiem for a Dream.

So, cut back to the blog of Anurag Kashyap, he is coming out with this movie 'DevD' , which has the rib tickling song about heart break and which is obviously now the heart throb of all the guys. Emosanal Atyaachaar. I just hope this goes on to be AKs big one and its time for the box office to make way for Abhay Deol. Its amazing that an actor had had such a clean record of films, Socha Na Tha, Manorama(An absolute respect to Roman Polanski's Chinatown, but not at all a copy), Ek Chaalis, Oye Lucky Lucky Oye. People like him , Ranvir Shorey and Vinay Pathak are finally having their space in the midst of a lot of crass acting(Come on , whats Hard Core Anti Family man, who would write such a dialogue and shoot it in prague, venice and waste so much money, i hope it doesnt come under GDP or GNP).

I am trying to dig into world cinema, will have to buy a TB HD and download as many movies as possible. I still coudnt figure out a single foriegn movie of AKs blog. All that will have to wait :( . I have placements coming up(are they really?). I will have to get back to some studying and move my ass. 

As for my movie plans, i have given up on making one more for now. I have sadly resigned to my laziness, (ok, this seems too sad, so let me rephrase). I think i am better at writing scripts than executing, though my anateur adventures on directing (if i could call it so, had been ok). But i still like my dialogues for sure. Ok, enough of the screeching trumpet sound.

Yaaaaaaaaaaaaahoooooooooooooooooooooooooo, I finally posted on my blog :)