Saturday, January 31, 2009

More Additions (Part One)

The My Favourite Pictures list has some newcomers. Please join me in welcoming them.

September (English) (1987): People expect Woody Allen to make funny movies. He is not supposed to make bleak, slow-moving, artsy movies about dysfunctional families, human despondency, gloom, loneliness and the sheer impossibility of finding true love (whatever that might mean). In this film, he's done just that...and more.

Woody Allen shot this movie twice. He had the movie ready when he thought he didn't like the feel of it and decided to re-cast, re-shoot and do everything all over again. The movie is about a woman recuperating after a suicide attempt in a house away from New York City surrounded by her friends and family who have decided to visit for a couple of days.

Entirely devoid of jokes with no respite from bleakness and an all-pervading, suffocating sadness, depressing and extremely brilliant in the same breath, it is another one of Woody Allen's non standard offerings which must be watched to be believed.

Sample from the movie:

"Well, what branch of physics are you involved with?"

"Something much more terrifying than blowing up the planet," Lloyd replies.

"Really? Is there anything more terrifying than the destruction of the world?"

"Yes—the knowledge that it doesn't matter one way or the other. That it's all random. That everything is resonating aimlessly out of nothing, eventually vanishing forever. I'm not talking about the world; I'm talking about the universe. All space, all time—just temporary convulsion. And I get paid to prove it!"

"Do you feel so sure of all of that when you look out on a clear night like tonight and see all those millions of stars? Do you feel that none of it matters?"

"I think it's just as beautiful as you do—and vaguely evocative of some deep truth that always just keeps slipping away. But then my professional perspective overcomes me, and I get a less wishful, more penetrating view of it all. I understand it for what it truly is—haphazard, morally neutral, and unimaginably violent."

Palindromes (English) (2004): I have raved about Todd Solondz before and consider the movie Happiness to be one of the best I've seen. Ever.

And just when you think that things couldn't get any better, he comes over and dazzles you with another absolutely brilliant film.

It is easily the bleakest of all his four movies. It is suffused with some moments of really very subtle and very, very intense dark humour - of the sort that will be really difficult to detect if you're not careful. It also employs a brilliant technique in using multiple actors to play the same character. You see films like this and suspect that one really has to find an inordinate amount of pleasure in the misery and suffering of fellow humans to detect the scope of laughter in such remarkably depressing situations.

All hail the prophet of dark humour!

Highly, highly recommended!

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

अथ वत्सा उवाच

"कल रात मैं अपने ही खुर्राटों की आवाज़ से जग गया"

[Last night I woke up from the sound of my own snoring]

Sunday, January 18, 2009

@ SatyaVrat

He thought he suffered from erectile dysfunction. Dejectedly, he flipped the pages of the book by Daniel Dennett on AI and Consciousness.

A smile spread across his face as he realised he was wrong. Totally so.

Wednesday, January 07, 2009


I am really sorry to hear that your mom has testicular cancer.

Saturday, January 03, 2009

The Sound of Muzak

Have been tripping on the soundtrack of Dev D. Sheer brilliance.

Oye Lucky... and Welcome to Sajjanpur soundtracks are trip worthy too.

All this awesome music makes me happy.

Nanga Fakir khush hua.


बोल बोल वाई डिड यू डिच मी
जिंदगी भी ले ले यार किल मी
बोल बोल वाई डिड यू डिच मी

[Speak, speak why did you ditch me
Take even my life, friend, kill me
Speak, speak why did you ditch me

Courtesy: Emosional Atyachaar from Dev D.

Heh...fuckin' A man!

Undercover - 2

It was Subbu's idea. All of it.

The comic book series was to be called Stan Man and Nanga Fakir with AK as the hero Stan Man and Nanga Fakir as his lazy, unmotivated sidekick Nanga Fakir. Despite their skeletal frames and zero interest in fighting crime, they were meant to sadistically mutilate whatever villains cared to come their way. Subbu's venture was important also because it would've been the first time that a Tam donned the mantle of the hero and a rustic northy buffoon tailed him along as his sidekick. He even expected the project to be funded by the Ministry of National Integration.

It was there for all to see - a grand success even before work on it could begin.

But then suddenly, Subbu found The Gym and as is usual with him, left the project in the lurch and the comic book never transcended its humble arbit-wingie-talk-routine origins. And so, two frail, bookish, sleepy, obscure, low profiled losers stayed that way unhappily ever after.

This story would've been comfortably forgotten had it not been for the fact that AK decided to visit Nanga Fakir after a year and a half and dragged the virtually catatonic Nanga Fakir out of his dirty, post apocalyptic wreck of a house and made him explore the dark, godforsaken recesses of the frigid concrete jungle.

It was fun though. Especially while the time the Gossip Machine was on full blast during the many two hour commutes to the City. I was surprised that Nanga Fakir still enjoyed such news as much as a middle-aged-housewife-bored-to-death-with-her-life would.

Among many stories of trips to cinema halls, confused wanderings in heavy snow and botched attempts to find their way across the City in minus twenty degrees (not really surprising - Nanga Fakir has been described as a 'lost soul' on more than one occasion), the prize for the best story goes to the one in which Stan Man and Nanga Fakir spotted the Tamil Nadu Bhavan on the 27th Street. Playing on the television, the SUN TV movie was the icing on the cake. Nanga Fakir and Stan Man fought hard the spontaneous tears of nostalgia as they welled up inside them and threatened to perturb their deliberately cultivated, carefree exteriors. And they'd like to believe they prevailed.

However, the heavy tourist-giri indulged in by the two had its toll on Nanga Fakir. He now sits on his bed convalescing. Heck, being undercover is so tiring!

Hey Subbu, it's not late yet. Make me a star!