Monday, December 26, 2011

Werner Herzog will eat his shoe

It is hard to tell when genius assumes the mantle of madness. In the world of films, the kind is exemplified by the Kubricks and the Herzogs - genius madmen in the wake of whose creative destruction we all cower spellbound. 

Welcome the new (and may we suggest 'the looniest') example - Ilya Khrzhanovsky.

NF has been a fan of Ilya for a couple of years now. His scorchingly original film - 4 - was mindfuckingly brilliant. (For the uninitiated NF sometimes describes the film as Linklater-meets-Tarkovsky-meets-György Pálfi-meets-Lynch. Though this should not let you think he's a linear combination - instead, his vision is as unique as these directors' when they were coming of age.)

Witness the fabulous article in GQ on his latest film that he's been working on since '06 - Dau - based on the life of the genius physicist Lev Landau. It's an account of genius, madness, obsession, pedantry; and a social experiment on such a grand scale that it relegates Stanley Milgram and Philip Zimbardo to small time tinkerers of the human psyche. 

Personally for Nanga Fakir, this is the most anticipated film of all time. All hail Ilya!

Saturday, December 24, 2011

It's that time of the year

After ten back to back episodes of The Dewarists you are left with the impression of having seen a very well made, slick series. It was heartening to see so many of NF's favorite musicians featured on one program - from Indian Ocean, Mohit Chauhan (of that legendary Silk Route), Rabbi and Shubha Mudgal to Midival Punditz and the Raghu Dixit Project. Some of the collaborations come off well enough; and that's more than what you can ask for. Personally, Papon (of that fabulous East India Company fame - nods to Somnath) and Swaraatma come off as minor discoveries of sorts, as NF promises himself to pay more attention to their music in the future.

The otherwise topnotch series has some irritating moments in between when the hostess Monica Dogra (of Dhobi Ghat fame) is compelled to add her private commentaries on the nature of music and life in general in the most cliche-ridden voiceovers ever (though truth be told, she's not the only one guilty of this misdemeanor). One comes off of this series strongly suspecting Monica Dogra of being a hack - albeit a very cute one.

Thumbs up overall though!


It's that time of the year again when Nanga Fakir visits home. All those brave souls who haven't quite forgotten him and can spare some precious, precious time are enjoined to visit Lucknow any time during the first two weeks of January.