Sunday, April 26, 2009

The Joker: The unstoppable force

Saluting the best performance of the yesteryear.

Disclaimer- If you are a fan, I ain’t exactly aiming this piece of flattery on Nolans’ brainchild on you. It is for the nitpicking, pseudo-intellectuals who believe to grab attention by cramming against THE Joker- Jokers.

Bruce Wayne: Criminals aren’t complicated, Alfred. Just have to figure out what he’s after.
Alfred Pennyworth
: With respect, sir, perhaps this is a man that YOU don’t fully understand.



Villains are bad guys. For the most part, they are boring idiots. Killing, raping, robbing and cheating. Is there anything else they do? Then came this guy. What he did was not any of this kind, actually. He kills yeah, but not cause of women, wine or wealth. He never even is interested in raping. Robbing, well he burns it. Hence it doesn’t count. Cheating- He is a joker. It is ofcourse a part of him, but that doesn’t essentially make him a villain. Atleast, accept that he is not stereo-typical.

The biggest strength of the movie is the characterisation,next comes the screen-writing. Actors did a commendable job as well, still to mould the 2D figures on comics into real people in a city is a challenge, really. It is very subtle. At the outset, we just could perceive the players- Batman, Mayor, Mayor’s girl, Commissioner and the Joker simply straight from the series or the prequels. Certainly, I had read so many reviews, forum topics, blogs and opinions; re-watched the film before writing this. They remarkably crafted in such a way that they aren’t ordinary. They won’t do things that normal people would do in normal situations. Refer-
1. You cry for help when the dynamite is set upon you and not ask to help an another victim who is far away, like how Eckhart or Gyllenhall do.
2. You imprison and won’t help a vigilante when you are a cop, as Gary Oldman does.
3. You don’t buy a Luxury hotel for a couple of girls who mess up the fountain, as Bale does.
4. Definitely, you won’t laugh when you are feet away from death if thrown from a multi-storey building, you know who did it.
THE freak himself says that they both (Batman and himself) would make choices that the others wouldn’t. That is one-side of approaching the movie, in its sense. Exploring the movie through its characters makes it more intimate and takes its deal of details we could notice. Closely examining in this perspective, we realise that even the butler and Lucius Fox (Morgan Freeman) behave in a similar fashion. Observe a butler asking a super-hero to “Endure!” and Fox resigning his job, just after a promotion. After all, I would be a crook if I don’t mention the penultimate scene. Didn’t you expect the thugs to press the button or even the civilians for that matter? Nolan, you were robbed at the Golden Globes Sir. I wish you could make it up in the Oscars.

Coming back to our prologue, the Batman is supposed to be the central character of the movie. But it turns out to be that he is reduced of his role in the sequel. It appears that the Joker is the real central character but to me both of them were given equal weightage. The screenplay, as I already mentioned is top notch. It starts off just holding you in terror, till the last moment. It all happens in the eye of yours and the clutches of the clown- Masterpiece of a crime/ dark movie (Note: NOT the superhero genre). The awe and mystery of the movie is in the Joker anyway. The hospital scene, where he sympathizes with two-face is the real crux of the movie. Accompanied by awesome music, his own co-written dialogues in the scene is the ‘matter’ of the whole film. But, for one lie he makes- He says that he doesn’t scheme and the others do, but after all the joker has to. It is astonishing to note that he is the best schemer of the lot. Note:
1. “I want my phone call!” - This is the simplest of the examples of the Joker phenomenon. He had planted the bomb in the phone knowing that he would somehow be arrested that night.
2. “They need you right now, but when they don’t, they’ll cast you out, like a leper!” - In some scenes the crowd brands the Batman a criminal too. Probably, Batman acknowledges this at the end.
3. It is amazing to carve several layers of a plot inside the same scene as in:
*The pencil trick: He anticipates an attack. Did you think it had no purpose? TA-DA!
*“He’ll find him and make him squeal! I know the squealers when I see them.” - The Dark Knight did it. The man with ‘no name’ knew it.
*“Ah-ta-ta-ta! Let’s not *blow* this out of proportion” - He knows that the goons would try to shoot him. The criminal with a class is prepared for that also.
4. “We really should stop fighting, we’ll miss the fireworks!” - It is a pity if you think he misjudged it. In fact, the sociopath had a remote to blow it off on his own. He is a genius: by that I mean Nolan brothers are, as well.
There are a lot more to see and appreciate, just in this aspect itself in the film. This phenomena starts showing from the opening sequences of the film only: “I kill the bus driver” and goes on till “You won’t kill me out of some misplaced sense of self-righteousness. And I won’t kill you because you’re just too much fun.” The Joker is the face of all the terror that wreaks and havocs our daily life. So, is with everyone. As a guy who is socially opressed we try to revolt- in Batman’s cape. Not just that, Harvey Dent is the symbol of the helpless politician juxtaposed with his second role- two-face where he becomes the revenge-seeker. I don’t have to repeat it with Gordon’s case again. In a nutshell, I would say that the Joker knew how it all was gonna end. I mean, the agent of chaos uproots a plan and turns it upon the schemer itself. And, he knows what response that chaotic situation would receive. So, he makes another plan to topple the plan of that someone else who would save the chaos. I believe he has alternatives when this turning plans on itself fails. This chain takes us to the finale. Hereby, he just is not a dog chasing cars. And for sure knows what he has to do when he catches one. As you would know, “It is all part of a plan!” In the name of this post, I sincerely and proudly pay homage to the mighty THESPIAN we had in our times. Hail Heath Ledger. R.I.P.

P.S 1: Please do appreciate and mention Nolan ‘brothers’ wherever. It sometimes hurts.

P.S 2: This actually is a recycled article, which was posted earlier in my personal blog.

Thursday, March 26, 2009

It is a restless moment. Hong Kong 1962


Wong Kar Wai
Director/Screenwriter/Producer from Hong Kong

The most romantic filmmaker of modern classic cinema who brought his masterpieces during the last two decades. He is famous for his unique style in film making with romantic visuals and sensual themes. He showed his uniqueness in his movies in the Hong Kong Cinema when the gangster and martial arts related movies were famous during the 90s. His movies bring out the emotions hidden deep inside your heart and stay in your memories forever.



He is the first Chinese director to win an award in the Cannes Film Festival and also he was the jury in 2006 Cannes Film Festival. His directional debut movie "As Tears Goes By" released in 1988 was screened at Cannes at that time. He turned the world's sight towards him through his later works like "Chungking Express", "Happy Together", "In the Mood For Love" and "2046". His first english movie "My Bluberry Nights" was screened in 2007 Cannes Film Festival among 22 films.



The notable trademarks in his movie are slow motion shots, jump cuts, too deviated angles in action shots, mood bringing face expressions in characters and especially the hypnotising soundtrack with soap opera. Inspite of his global recognition, he's not famous in his own country because of commercial audience. Tony Leung Chiu-wai and Maggie Cheung appear in most of his movies. Cinematograoher Christopher Doyle along with Wong gave a great piece of artwork in the modern cinema. His similar kind of love stories with stylish visuals and poetic script are treat for the movie goers. He's the only one among the directors like John Woo, Ang Lee and Yimou Zhang differing from action genre in Hong Kong Cinema.



Wong Kar Wai is a romantic, sensual, artistic and gorgeous film maker from Asia. He is a man of melodrama who have shown desire, lust, love, dream and all hidden human emotions mixed with colors, opera, moods, nostalgia and darkness inbetween the modern livng and urban alienation in a society. He is another impressive film maker in modern cinema.



"Usually I find that genre conventions get in the way of dealing with certain areas of character psychology, but one of my inspirations for 'Ashes of Time' was 'The Searchers'--a film which suggests how you can get inside an apparently opaque protagonist." - Wong Kar Wai.

Saturday, March 7, 2009

Preview- The Imaginarium of Doctor Parnassus


Terry Gilliam, the craftsman who gave us the brilliant 12 Monkeys and Brazil's latest movie is titled so. The film's huge popularity is solely due to Ledger's shocking demise recently. Plus, we have the box-office boss Johnny Depp playing a major role in the movie. The IMDb page might lend you some insight on the trivia about the film. The post-production of film is underway and we might expect the movie would become a summer blockbuster very soon. We present you the teaser trailer of the movie (with tidbits from Terry's previous movies) -


(Courtesy: Terry's fanzine)

Imaginarium is a moving-theatre run by Dr.Parnassus in London. He entertains the audience through his wit and magic. When he involves in deals with the Devil known as Mr.Nick, he wins some wishes but is cursed as well. This tale of wit, tricks and challenge weaved in fantasy and thrills looks promising. Other important Cast members include Christopher Plummer, Verne Troyer, Andrew Garfield , Lily Cole apart from Jack Sparrow and the Joker. Parallel worlds, evil intervention, black-magic, theatre with the undertones of Dreams, Fatherhood, Good against evil, Deceit from the eyes of Terry Gilliam arouses my interest.



When the official trailers and images release, we would keep you posted. Watch this space.

Saturday, February 21, 2009

Harvey Milk


"I am not a candidate, I am part of a movement. The movement is the candidate."



Harvey Milk, a forty year old gay moved to San Francisco from Newyork in 1972 and started his life as a gay activist, fighting for the gay rights, who later entered into local politics and after several failures he succeeded as a San Francisco Supervisor in 1977. He was assassinated by his fellow supervisor Dan White along with Mayor George Moscone after his success and raised voice for the gay rights in U.S.

An inspiring biopic about a person who is the first gay to enter and win an election in american history. Another compelling story about gay activists like "Philadelphia" and "Brokeback Mountain".

A sensational, tragic performance by Sean Penn. I never knew anything about Harvey Milk before. But Sean Penn's performance moved me to know more about Harvey Milk's life. Milk is full of surprise and inspiration. Gus Van Sant have delivered this movie with a best cast having Emile Hirsch, James Franco, Diego Luna and Josh Brolin along with the stunner, disturbing actor Sean Penn.

Every character have been portrayed well to prove their responsibilty towards their role. Gus Van Sant's another artistic portrayal made and presented well in the name of "Milk". 



I'm amazed at the film, maybe not at the content. But still homosexuals are human beings who are struggling for their own rights and still hiding in the closet. This happened 30 years ago, but still they are fighting for their rights. Never mind a human's sexual orientation, consider his destiny. Harvey Milk is a man of words with power to prove his existence in the society. He is impressive, energetic and spiritual.

Now I'm awaiting to watch Rob Epstein's Oscar-winning 1984 documentary "The Times of Harvey Milk" after watching "Milk".

This must be the best movie of 2008 and Sean Penn deserves more for his performance.

"A homosexual with power-that's scary."

Zenith of Indian Film Noir.

The art of the Thespian who was never won.


People were in the clutches of Industrial revolution, world wars and British rule. Their only mode of rejoicing was the theatres. The drama slowly evolved into cinema and was in its formative stages. Noir or stylish mystery movies, with sexual and emotional themes in the subversive overtones and social life of the people less focussed are one peculiar genre in particularly Black and White movies. Movies like Chinatown (Roman Polanski), Touch of evil (Orson Welles), Double Indemnity (Billy Wilder) have been doing well in the 40s and 50s, which had brilliant expressionist depictions of the frame. In India, it was not that dense and rigid, but well Noir movies were popular in their age. I say this in the vernacular context of Andha Naal (1954), which I believe is a work of art which hasn’t been surpassed by other Noir movies of the period such as Puthiya Paravai, Adhe Kangal, Nootrukku Nooru, etc. And yes, it was the greatest Tamil actor- ‘Sivaji’ Ganesan who played it to perfection in the lead role.

Cast: Sivaji Ganesan, Pandari Bai, Jawahar Seetharaman

Director: S.Balachandar aka Veenai Balachandar

Banner: AVM

 

The movie draws downright inspirations from Rashomon (Akira Kurasawa) and Citizen Kane (Orson Welles), still manages to be one of the finest movies ever made. Andha Naal is a period movie - first of its kind in the era it was made. It is the product of extensive research and analysis. It happens in Madras during the IInd world war, when South-Asian cities were bombed by the Japanese. The locales and the backdrop are completely new to the audience who had been witnessing mythology and folklore for ages. The style of movie-making provokes deep insights unlike any other Indian movie that released before. It radically changed the way music was used for movies as in the case of its contemporaries which had a minimum count of two dozen songs. The camera angles and techniques used were inspired, but pathbreaking. Montages, voice-overs, flashbacks, deep focus, fade, zoom, rally, recur and the application of gestures in place of the dialogues were critical breakthroughs. 


The story is simple- A detective unfolds the mystery about an Engineer’s murder as he enquires the usual suspects. The perspective keeps changing, which provides interest to the otherwise monotonous script. This murder catapults a series of events, which expand into realms of the social life and conditions of India before Independence. Sets, costumes and dialects are typically portray a Madras which existed in the 40’s. Performances, apart from the obviously excellent Sivaji Ganesan (about whom I’m restricting myself from writing- I’d never stop) never upset us. To quote scenes, there is a speech given by ‘Sivaji’ Ganesan in a students’ consensus. The powerful dialogue delivery, minimal yet apt music and stand still, close-up camera shots in this particular scene are noteworthy. The detective tries to get evidences near the scene of murder in a beverage stall. The juice vendor’s casual dialogues, his striking accent and a realistic set with information about the plays of that days and a small folk number he sings is such a treat to watch. The wit of the detective throughout the movie is remarkable. The convoluted script and the sequence of events that are knit together are masterfully crafted that the dominoes if disturbed spoil the whole design itself. The non-linear fashion of story-telling sure has a reason and fortunately doesn’t end in an ambiguous climax. S.Balachandar, the filmmaker who gave us few other good movies like Bommai has to be given due credit. If anyone told that they could see the end coming, they are lying. 

And all this was astonishingly accomplished 50 years ago. And is yet to be surpassed. Period. 

Friday, February 20, 2009

Charulata



English title : The lonely wife
Language : Bengali

The movie vividly portrays an upper class Indian household in Calcutta set at 19th century. The plot is deceptive in its simplicity since it lays the foundation for a film that is stunning in its poetic and philosophical depth.

Charulata called “Charu” by her intimates, belongs to the Bengali upper class, leading a life of idle privilege. She is the wife of Bhupati , who has inherited wealth and uses the freedom that he is thereby privileged to possess to publish a political newspaper.
charu is adored by her husband who is one of the most respectable aristocrats in the higher social activist in calcutta,He jokes that his newspaper is his “second wife”, but Charulata understands that it is she who is the second wife and his paper the first. Charu knows and loves her husband too well to complain and suffers her loneliness.

Charu loves her husband and seeks to please him as best she can (embroidering a handkerchief and slippers for him), but is starving for both attention and aesthetic stimulation. Bhupati and she are poorly matched in their interests. Where he is practical and political, she reads Bengali literature and poetry (which he dismisses as sentimental rubbish). Bhupati thoughtlessly remarks "Where do you find the time?" when she gives him the handkerchief to which she dryly replies "Time is all I have." Failing to recognize her talents, he has no desire to read fiction or poetry and only wants to deal with political matters. She is unable to share her emotional life with her stolid husband.. Her only companion of near-equal social stature with whom she regularly shares her living space is her sister-in-law, Manda ,but Manda is relatively shallow and more than content to pass her day in idleness and card playing, and exhibits passion only for ice cream.




The tension of the film profoundly deepens when, into this imperfect relationship, a new element is introduced. Bhupathi’s young cousin, Amal, a recent college graduate, has been floundering in the next phase of his studies. Bhupathi invites Amal to stay in his household, for a while to help with the newspaper, but in reality to rest, rejuvenate himself, and reestablish his bearings.
Just out of school, Amal wants to be a writer, but Bhupati has no position for him on his newspaper staff. Amal writes from the imagination, and Bhupati only finds space for scientific and political prose—he can't even comprehend the metaphoric reference in Amal's poetic title "Light of the Moonless Night." In contrast,

Charulata feels an immediate kinship of spirit with Amal. Here, at last, is her equal in intellect and emotional sensitivity, who shares her interest in writing and love for literature and poetry. Amal reads poetry to her and awakens her deepest feelings. Charu quickly develops a strong attachment to Amal, akin to love, because he feeds the deep emotional hunger that has existed unfulfilled within her for so long

Bhupathi receives a letter containing a marriage offer for Amal. Charulata is distraught at the thought of Amal leaving but must carefully hide these feelings lest she pain her husband with the revelation of her attachment to Amal.

Umapada(Bhupati 's brother in law) has been systematically delaying payments to creditors and hoarding the money, and has now absconded with it, leaving the paper bankrupt. Amal, shamed that his good friend and cousin has been betrayed through embezzlement by one relative, now realizes that he, himself, is threatening Bhupati with a deeper betrayal by his attachment to Charu. The honorable Amal makes excuses and departs immediately.


A letter now arrives from Amal, announcing that he has accepted the arranged marriage, with means that Charu will likely never or seldom encounter him ever again. Bhuparti hands the letter to Charu, with no expectation of it causing her undue pain, and leaves. Upon reading the letter in private, Charu breaks uncontrollably into tears and, in the midst of this, Bhupati returns, now realizing for the first time the extent of the emotional attachment between his wife and his cousin and the extent to which he, himself, has neglected her. Bhupati realizes Charu's feelings for Amal. He is broken, shocked and bewildered by it.He rushes out of the house, wanders aimlessly in his carriage. On his return, Charu and Bhupati make a hesitant gesture to reach out, but their extended hands remain frozen in a tentative gesture.

RAY - The storyteller



The opening sequence is a piece of cinematic poetry. We see the young wife Charulata moving from one window to another in her house. She observes the activities of the outside world through the window blinds using opera glasses. She is like a caged bird in her mansion. We sense her curiosity and desire to know the outside world.

The frame freezes when they join hands again with a message "The ruined nest".The shot is frozen and is followed with still images of Charu's half-lit face, Bhupati's half-lit face, a servant holding a lamp, a mid-shot of Charu and Bhupati and finally a long-shot of them.It was ray's cinematic answer to Tagore's original ending in which Bhupati has to go out of town and Charu asks him to take her with him.The two are about to reconcile and then prevented from doing so.

Ray conveys the innermost feelings and thoughts of his characters without any dazzling technique and with minimal dialog. An another wonderful sequence is the swing sequence in the garden. In this scene Charu, who has been resisting her feelings for Amal, gives in and admits her love to herself. It is about eight-minute long sequence with almost no dialogue. With innovative camera and narrative style, Ray depicts Charu's state of mind and her dilemma.

Satyajit Ray is a master at subtly communicating through artistry and cinematographic technique in action and dialogue alone. We see, for example, Bhupati’s face acquire a glow when he is in his newspaper room. He conveys Bhupati’s preoccupation with his work and neglect of Charu when he walks past her in their home, taking no notice of her as she watches him plaintively. Amal’s arrival is punctuated by a storm. With mere gestures, Charu expresses her innermost romantic feelings at the beach, by pulling Bhupati’s first grey hairs.

Ray’s craftsmanship is sublime.

Taxi Drver

Taxi Driver

Year -1976,Language -English

Direction-Martin Scorsese

Starring -Robert De Niro,Harvey Keitel,Jodie Foster

I never dreamt in my life that a film can affect me so profound and deep.To me,Taxidriver is nothing but the nuances of this meaningless world captured through a disturbed person.Taxi driver makes an attempt to define whos hero,maybe who is human.Travis sees people everywhere,he talks to people everywhere,he smells people everywhere,but there is hardly any connection between him and them,he never feels connected.He seems to be used to his loneliness gifted by the lifeless city.His social skills just helped him to piss off his girlfriend.Hes always in a dilemma whether hes abnormal or the world around him.We feel pity when his girlfriend disses him.Hes hurt by the true color of the city and hes having a hard time to digest it.He even searches for a help,but finds none.He just wanted to do something,anything. Driven by the emptiness, Travis makes a vow to make things right in his own way.And the film takes a drastic bend when Travis decides to rescue a young girl from brothel.Travis is nothing but a victim of urban alienation.

This is one of the few films which involves a deep character study.Travis takes his girlfriend to see Porn on his first date.He thinks by assassinating the senator,he can restore the system.
Hes defined by others than by himself.When Betsy breaks up with him,he did was yelling
And calling her names.He does not know hot to communicate with the outside world.But,hes got
The balls to change what bothers him,unlike the rest of us.Hes the one person whos intimidated
By the complete break down of the system.


If it was not for the biogrpahical quality,i doubt taxidriver would be this compelling. Paul Schrader had beautifully dismantled the urban life.Without getting too morbid, he captures the essence of hopelessness. This film may help you if you are on the edge.We can feel that travis is for real and hes outhere among one of us.

Undoubtfully , Marty's best as far as i am concerned. The placings of monologue were perfect.I never seen anyone who uses the camera so meticulously and gracefully. He just takes the direction from just being a craft to a real art.He was surely ahead of his time.i could not possibly imagine how the hell he conceived the climax sequence.

The scene where Travis and Betsy gets into argument at the cinema hall
Was handled with a sharp subtleness.There are many moments which showcases the raw eerie state of the city,like when Travis buys guns and pistols as easily as if he was buying groceries,when a man talks about killing his wife on the back of his cab,when Iris says That she was there by choice and doesnt want to go home.Talking about the climax violence,I felt it was needed for the film,and was a trend setter in its own genre.


What to say about Bobby,i really dont know.He just takes acting to the next level probably to the pinnacle of it.Hes a true genius and the only one of his time.He just belongs there.Its hard for us to detach the character n bobby to analyze his acting,coz,we never can.How many times i see only travis not a single trait of De Niro.If anyone want to learn acting, I would strongly recommend this one,this is nothing but a textbook in fine acting.The scene where he talks with the secret agent is just enough to say what is good acting.

The cinematography just suits the script.We can feel the morbid effect in almost all the scenes.No bright colors were used.And,the oscar nominated score is brilliant.


And at the end of the day,Taxidriver leaves with many questions for that we never want to find an answer.We have every chance to be a hero,everywhere,everyday and on every moment.But the question is,Do we take it?.I just want to quote a single line from the movie.
We all are fucked, more or less.



Trivia:
The script of the TaxiDriver was first handled to Brian De Palma,he only suggested Scorsese to take the project.

The script writer Paul Schrader attempted suicide just few months before writing this script.

To getinto the character,De Niro actually drove cab for weeks.

Scorses did a cameo in this film in two scenes,you can see him sitting near the door,when Betsy was first shown,second as the angry customer talking about killing his wife.

Saturday, February 14, 2009

Kill Bill- The herald of tributes.

Quentin Tarantino was always known as a man with an explicit taste. He was a great fan of Asian cinema, in particular. Kill Bill may seem like an outright action movie at the outset. On keen observation we find that it has immense detailing and fathoms of depth in terms of the narrative, characterisation, dialogues, camera angles and most importantly his depiction of dramatic features which are purely 'asian' in nature. And FYI, the story of the movie is not even wafer thin. It is just 'Kill Bill'. 

The central character is the Bride aka Beatrix Kiddo - Uma Thurman. These kind of nicknames are found in Indian movies, in particular. We normally find smalltime outlaws in India called with special nicknames like these, don't we? Everything around the massacre is typical Bollywood (or Kollywood) style. The villain comes straight down to the hero's place. He says some macho dialogue and kills everyone in the family or whatever and just somehow the hero survives. In return the whole band gets it back from the hero after a ressurection phase. This is an average Indian film (or I dare say fiasco!), ain't it? But Tarantino is just too abnormal to make it an over the top action-thriller that completely stuns everyone. Contrary to public opinion, he makes us accept that an average desi script is much better than a neo-noir American script. Spaghetti westerns, Japanese Samurai flicks, Indian masala, American technology- What more do you ask for? In a way it is a tribute towards all these styles of filmmaking that were unnoticed or outdated. But he cuts the negatives of every style of movie making and of course makes the screenplay pure 'Tarantino brand.' 

The tech specs of the movie making are breathtaking. He starts the movie with the precursor scene, piledriving right away with the best dialogue in the film- 

"Are my actions sadistic? At this moment I believe that you are aware of the fact that this is me at my most masochistic."

-This is unadulterated American style- as in Scorcesse or the present Fincher's movies. The movie starts off with a song during the credits and immediately followed by a stunt sequence. Right, our own Indian after all. Moments after all the action, the two people who were fighting start talking like high school pals who meet after marriage- This is the 'tarantinoic' stuff which makes it so special. All the combat and drama take place in non-linear dimension, as always. Just as we watch the sword fights, we tend to tap our feet and fiddle our fingers. It is that awesomeness attached by default with his choice of songs. Hitting the nail on its head is Quentin's power. He manages to do that in style with his super-cool songs that play at the right moment. Green hornet, Twisted nerve and Battle without honor or humanity are my favorites. In my honest opinion, this is the most stylish piece of artsy motion-picture ever filmed. The ultimatum is this- anything can look cool in the hands of this weilder. 

It is a compulsion again and again to acknowledge the genius of the man. We have a specific sequence where Uma Thurman is comatose and is bed-ridden. We observe a mosquito biting her at a distance. It cuts abruptly and gets closer. Cuts, close-up. Cuts, close-up. And we finally see just the proboscis of the insect. A similar close-up sequence is there in Kurasawa's Seven Samurai in the very beginning of the movie. And what follows the scene is Uma Thurman trying to get rid of her coma as she calls it- "Wiggle big toe." These type of rhyming dialogues usually feature in Spaghetti westerns as in Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid and Leone's texas sagas. It is too notorious of Tarantino to note that amidst all this tribute rituals, he has the time to name the car which Uma Thurman lifts as 'Pussy wagon' and paint it pink. He also remembers to say thanks to the anime of the Japanese films. The whole Hattori Hanzo sequence was all pure Chinese filmmaking. The villain's face not shown till the final moments of the movie is again Bollywood suspense movie business. In Vol. 2, we are exposed towards venomous snakes of Africa. I'm not so sure about African movies, but still I could say there are telugu movies generally attracted towards using snakes in roleplay. There is my own Rama Narayanan who made movies with snakes. Not to forget the yellow suit she wears for the 'Crazy 88 showdown' which is a sign of respect shown towards the Kung fu master Bruce Lee.  

She's the baddie. She closely resembles some other baddie who is the brain child of another genius. Right- Alex Delarge of Kubrick, Stanley.

This way, Tarantino makes way for himself in the simplest of situations to show his gratitude and affection towards the masters of the game. Note Uma Thurman's mighty walk, with all mud covered resembling lint Eastwood in The Good, The Bad and The Ugly.In a way, he pays homage to himself in the movie. Elle driver takes on Budd with the Black mamba to aid her. As he is bitten by the reptile and is in his final minutes, she dictates a peice of Internet findings where she says- "... gargantuan volumes. You know I've always like this word 'gargantuan', I so rarely have an oppurtunity to use it in a sentence." There is a strikingly similar situation in his Pulp Fiction's most popular breakfast scene, where Jules Winfield (Samuel Jackson) says "You read the bible son? I have managed to memorise a passage in these years to make use of in situations like these. Ezekeil 25:17 ... " There is so much in common between both the scenes. Both were 'pulpy', and in a way of no use at all. Even if these dialogues weren't there the victims would've been killed anyway. Both Elle Driver and Samuel Jackson were gruesome villains in their own ways and captivate the sense of 'evil' and assasinate in such a charismatic manner. As discussed earlier, the subject is too dense that every scene is woven so detailed, that ironically follows a funny scene and to shatter everything a piece of kickass music would appear. Just when you haven't settled yet, we get to see some unique way of blood gushing ot from all vessels. That is how he pulls it off. Magnificiently and Majestically. It is one hell of a way to pay tributes. And I have paid mine. Hail Quentin!

You think I'm funny?

"You think I'm funny?"


"You mean, let me understand this cause, ya know maybe it's me, I'm a little fucked up maybe, but I'm funny how, I mean funny like I'm a clown, I amuse you? I make you laugh, I'm here to fuckin' amuse you? What do you mean funny, funny how? How am I funny? "


"I don't know, you said it. How do I know? You said I'm funny. How the fuck am I funny, what the fuck is so funny about me? Tell me, tell me what's funny! "

Tough guys don't come in bunches. They aint got any principles. Lowlife cowboys working for mobs all the time. They talk abusive. They do abusive. Be it Tommy or Nicky or Joey La Motta. He's insane. He's funny. He's fucking kiddish. He makes you laugh up your ass. At the sametime, keep in mind. He'll make you scare the shit out of you. I swear to God. No other actor have made you scare while making you laugh like hell in the history of american mobster actors you ever came across.

Everytime pesci appears on the screen, fucking amazing scenes they are. he's a fucking genius, a terrific made guy of all time. Scene by scene he's funny and scary. Good fellas reminds me of the one and only Tommy character beyond de niro's role. One of the best characters of all time. Psychic! Horrible! Funny!


Joseph 'Joe' Pesci (born February 9, 1943 in Newark, New Jersey) is an Italian-American Academy Award-winning actor, comedian and singer who best known for his roles in films such as 'Goodfellas,' 'Raging Bull,' 'Once Upon a Time in America,' 'My Cousin Vinny' and three Lethal Weapon movies.



As far back as I can remember, I've always wanted Tommy as one among in gangster movies.

Friday, February 13, 2009

INGLOURIOUS BASTERDS




Movie Name: Inglourious Basterds
Year of Release: 2009
Lead Roles: Brad Pitt, Diane Kruger and Christoph Waltz
Languages: English, German, French
Writer and Director: Quentin Tarantino

Inglourious Basterds is an upcoming ensemble war film/spaghetti western written and directed by Quentin Tarantino. It has the largest cast of characters (with speaking roles) of any Tarantino film to date and is currently in production with several locations, among them Germany and France. Tarantino plans to complete production of Inglourious Basterds in time for release at the Cannes Film Festival in May 2009. Filming began in October 2008. The title (and partial premise) of the upcoming film is inspired by Italian director Enzo Castellari's 1978 movie Inglorious Bastards.
According to The Hollywood Reporter, "two story lines converge: One follows a group of prisoners-turned-soldiers whose mission is to take down a group of Nazis, and the other follows a young Jewish woman who seeks to avenge the death of her parents by this Nazi group."

The film will be divided into five chapters:
* Chapter One: Once Upon a Time in Nazi Occupied France
* Chapter Two: Inglourious Basterds
* Chapter Three: German Night in Paris (filmed in "French New Wave Black and White")
* Chapter Four: Operation Kino
* Chapter Five: Revenge of the Giant Face



This is going to be Quentin Tarantino's sixth movie, a WWII film starring Brad Pitt, Diane Kruger and Christoph Waltz, which will be released on August 21, 2009, co-financed by The Weinstein Company with Univeral Pictures. Tarantino have been working on this script for almost a decade. This movie has been described as Kill Bill meets The Dirty Dozen meets Cinema Paradiso.



The unconventional storyteller, the composer's director of all time and the young terrible writer, the glorious Mr. Q is back with a bang of inglourious basterds. I can't fucking wait for the awesomeness of this fucking genius's another piece of artwork.

ONCE UPON A TIME



IN NAZI-OCCUPIED FRANCE



ACTIVATE



INFILTRATE



EXTERMINATE



YOU HAVEN'T SEEN WAR
UNTIL YOU'VE SEEN IT THROUGH THE EYES


OF QUENTIN TARANTINO







A BASTERD'S WORK IS NEVER DONE

The woman next door



Movie Name : The Woman Next Door
French Title : Femme d'à côté, La
Directed By : François Truffaut
Language : French
Genre : Drama, Romance

The cry in love ; The pain in love
The feud in love ; The lust in love

The madness in love ; The stupidity in love

The urge in love ; The tragedy in love


The woman next door explores every aspect of love and concludes that love can never be lucid.

Love is employed as a main character and the way love acts on lead pair frames this story , in simpler terms, 'Story of a happy married man and woman who sacrifice everything for love'.

Bernard is married to Arlette.
Mathilde is wife of philippe .

The silence in love

* Bauchard family invites the Coudrays for the first time after shifting their residence. philippe introduces mathilde (his wife) to his guests. After greeting benards wife she turns to bernard . There is silence , a mysterious silence .

* On a mall shoppie, where mathilde meets bernard, there is silence again which confirms the presence of love . A past love .



The madness in love

* Bernard takes many days off for work while mathilde lies to philppe to meet bernard and talk about good old times .

* " Come we 'll run away & start a new life now " Bernard says to mathilde .

The pain in love

* The central figures are in love, but know they could not live together. This gives them intense sadness.



The feud in love

* There is a sense of urgency in their love affair as in a place where all the people know each other,it is highly improbable that any love affair can remain a secret

* They themselves seem the biggest obstacles to their own happiness with a waving sense of passion to each other , where sometimes it turns to hatredness.

The tragedy in love

* On passing through levels of pain and grief mathilde goes to extreme step of frustrated love.

François Truffaut - filmmaker who has mastered the art of human emotions

A modern romeo - juliet by François Truffaut

Thursday, February 12, 2009

Theeviravaathi: The Terrorist



"You're supreme: A thinking bomb."

Movie Name: Theeviravaathi: The Terrorist
Year of Release:
1999
Lead Role:
Ayesha Dharker
Language:
Tamil
Cinematographer, Writer and Director:
Santosh Sivan

This is a story about a naturally born gynoid built with self-destruct mechanism by a liberative
organization for a mission to assassinate a personality for the sake of a group of oppressed people fighting for the freedom of their own country.

The Terrorist is a Kaleidoscope of emotions and environment surrounded by a revolutionary
soldier's last days. Its a special treat for your eyes and it drives you through a heart throbing journey filled with fear, rage, beauty, love sacrifice and soul.

The main characters in the movie are the main lead "Malli" done by Ayesha Dharker, her eyes, nose, lips, a strand of hair, tears, sweat and the notable supporting characters are drizzle, river, trees, minefields, cyanide capsules, a black screen and an explosive belt with a red button.



The earth might have seen only the after effects of a war. This movie have shown us the before effects of a one man army waiting for the battle.
No creature on earth would've gone through a rehearsal for birth or death, while "Malli" had.

The spontaneous affection of a dying comrade, a fearful young boy's loneliness and dark life in the battlefield, the mysterious, motherly vision and silence of a seven year comatose patient
in the next room looking at her through a small hole, a talkative, caring old farmer's beautiful view about his life and especially the womb growing inside the thinking bomb diluted the revolutionary, ravaging mind of Malli. Thus the movie started ending from the beginning to the end giving the audience a neutral view about warfare.



Santosh Sivan, the cinematographer's directional debut was The Terrorist. He used his camera to write the script of this movie. Every frame has got a great visual theme consisting of highly defined color tones. I doubt direct view wouldn't be better than the camera's view of nature in this movie. Sivan have used a method of highly extreme close up shots with dulled backgrounds to show the depth and scope of the character's situation. Without much dialogues, the movie speaks a lot. The emptiness in Malli's performance started filling up and overflowed at last.



In the climax, on the halfway to the mission to finish the target, the subject starts suffering from Cognitive dissonance, an uncomfortable feeling caused by holding two contradictory ideas simultaneously. There ends the movie leaving a knot untied.

The Terrorist is a biography of a suicide bomber's last days that remain in our memories forever.

Angel - A




Movie Name : Angel-A
Directed By : Luc Besson
Language : French
Genre : Fantasy


Andre and Angela .. 2 main characters of the movie.



Andre is a cheat .He keeps lying all the time . He owes money to almost all the criminals in paris .He gets beaten up by those badies every now & then . He knew that he cant repay his debts and he decides to kill himself .On the verge of committing a suicide he gets onto a bridge and looks around . There he notices a girl(Angela) trying to do the same thing. When he is about to warn her, she jumps in and he jumps after her to save her . He saves the lady .

A 'conversation' takes its place there . At the end of the conversation the lady thanks him and promises to do anything for him. He explains her about his problem and also told her that his head would be severed anytime if he doesnt pay the money which he owes. Now, she turns out to be a real money spinner by finding a lot of kinky ways of generating cash and to pay off andre's debts. Andre gets curious and wants to know why she is doing all this .. !!



The lady Angela is an angel from heaven. She is practical , beautiful and captivating .. these are the attributes that comes to ones mind when u see her first on screen . There is always a question in viewers mind of who she really is ? and what is she really trying to do .?. On traveling through the story ,the identity of Angela gets unveiled and we realise that she is godly. The way and moment of revelation of Angela s identity is done in a witty way.

She makes Andre to speak truth and helps him in getting rid of all his debts and problems. Many times Andre and Angela end up in fighting for inane things. Andre gets amazed on knowing who she is . The proofs for him to believe her originality makes him ask if she was a magician. Later he believes in what she says and does what she asks to do . In that way she makes him know his powers and his internal abilities. In this process of discovering himself he falls in love with Angela .

The cast is perfect . Jamel Debbouze and Rie Rasmussen help in movement of the movie with their screen presence and their chemistry . Debbouze as Andre looks nervous portraying the character . Rasmussen looks godly and angelic with carefree expressions.

One reason for which i recommend this movie is for its black and white photography by the cinematographer. Movie covers a vital part of paris showing its beauty and the emotions between the lead roles in a black and white frame . Screen shot of any frame of the movie would be a good desktop background in black and white for your pc .The director shot the movie in black & white may be because he depicts a direct contrast of characters in each and every means. Andre and Angela are just the opposites.



When the movie gets built in a perfect way and everything gets over as predicted, the movie loses its credibility . May be the end is made in such a way to play it safe by trying to please its viewers . But it looked artificial .There are certain scenes which are long enough to make you bored. There is a repetition in dialogue now & then and unwanted detailing which had nothing at the end of the scene.

The movie is just like a fairy tale. This is a must watch for fans of fantasy movie lovers. This movie makes you smile through out its length. The relation between the lead role is very beautiful.The penultimate scene in which Angela talks to Andre in front of a mirror leaves tears . The narration makes us check if we love our inner self and if we admire our own qualities .

A feel good movie to have a re-check and to re-invent yourself .

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Amadeus





Movie Name : Amadeus
Year Of Release : 1984
Lead Roles : F. Murray Abraham, Tom Hulce
Directed By : Milos Forman
Written By : Peter Shaffer

'Amadeus' is a movie made on Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart .This man has written a concerto at the age of four, his first symphony at the age of seven, a full scale opera at 12.. This movie is a tribute to the greatest composer ever lived .. thanks to milos forman n peter shaffer ..

This movie is named Amadeus , which in latin means 'loved by god' or 'gods love'. This is a perfectly matching title for this movie . Why was this movie named Amadeus ?? Each and every time when salieri opens up to god " why dint god give him talent ?? Why dint god love him but loved mozart and why he created him as a genius with copious talents in him ?? . God loved Mozart . so an apt title was given to this movie .

This movie is an adaptation of the Peter Schaffer play. Milos Forman shows impeccably craftsmanship with this film. The story of the great composer is told through the eyes of salieri . Everything about this movie is very good .. Casting, sets, costumes and the shining element in the movie is Music .. Its not jus the music of MOZART , the way they have used his compositions and interwining it around the movie is perfect .This generation which misses the operas of the olden age can watch this movie to get to know how an opera would look .



Tom hulce is perfect, and now you cant think of anyother person who can play Mozart.For people like me who never knew how mozart lived would say " oh!! was he a fun loving person , was he this , was he that ..n yeah he is a genius ."

F. Murray Abraham's performance in this is jaw dropping. His gestures, his glances while he is telling the story as an old man are incredible. The anger and jealousy that he portrays are seen in his eyes ..

The following few lines are addressed to God by salieri ( aft knowing Mozarts talent) ..

salieri : "From now on we are enemies, You and I. Because You choose for Your instrument a boastful, lustful, smutty, infantile boy and give me for reward only the ability to recognize the incarnation. Because You are unjust, unfair, unkind, I will block You, I swear it. I will hinder and harm Your creature on earth as far as I am able."

This is the way how he gets jealous on Mozart and the way he starts hating Mozart and god n asks him why he chose a filthy person like Mozart to serve thee . The story is told through the eyes of salieri .F. Murray Abraham's Oscar-winning portrayal of Salieri alone makes this film infinitely watchable .



Amadeus takes an objective view of the life of Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart by having Viennese Court Composer, Antonio Salieri narrate the tale. Salieri reveals his part in Mozart's demise and illustrates his legendary hatred for Mozart throughout the film. Yet underneath Salieri's hatred lies an admiration for Mozart's talent that stretches to adoration for Mozart's music .

Salieri is a mediocrity who ascends to some measure of success by dint of hard work and perhaps a little bluff. Mozart is a genius who composes better music than Salieri ever could, without any effort. Salieri's unique torture is that he is the only person who can see this - indeed, Salieri is in all respects the only clear-sighted person in the entire film.
Salieri is So clear-sighted that when he later expresses the belief that divine intervention was responsible for some of the things that happened, Mozart really is intolerably awkward, but all in all no-one understands him so well as Salieri does.

This movie has got a very good climax which makes the viewers to watch it in their edge of the seat . The climax gives us a glimpse how Mozart composes . It leaves goosebumps all over .

Even in death, Mozart is still better than Salieri.

The best piece of art ever made :-)

NETWORK




Movie Name: Network
Year of Release: 1976
Director: Sidney Lumet
Writer: Paddy Chayefsky

Not since the dawn of time has America experienced a man like Howard Beale! Neither do I?

I was completely blown away on watching the movie, Network (1976). A perfect script which i would call as a "HISTORY" or "PROPHECY" in film making, written by Paddy Chayefsky and directed by Sidney Lumet.

This movie depicts the power and influence of television on a country rather than any other communication medium. The cause and effect of the movie suits the current period very well, independent of the time the movie was made. Media was shown as the most cruel among all weapons used to inject any false propaganda into people's mind faster than any other medium.

This is not at all a satirical black comedy or drama like most of them say. Network is more than a movie or a documentary, a reflection or rage of every citizen towards the so called "society" of humanoids. A well crafted play about individuals and their cruel responsibilty against the primal forces of nature.

While every other TV network was trying to increase its ratings for months by broadcasting hell of lies, within one single night a man was on the whole front page of daily newspapers named "Howard Beale", a TV news anchorman who increased his TV network's rating to peaks because of the reason he was yet to be fired due to his lousy ratings.

The movie had given us a modern Nostradamus who predicted that in the near future of the world, there won't be any democracy, any country. The world will be only a college of corporations. All men will share a common profit, in which all men will hold a share of stock. The world will play only business. Yes, that near future is not far anymore. It is running as the present world.

It describes life as a corrupt comedy, a funny show full of virulent madness. Audience will laugh on looking at themselves like a tragic comedian. The ratings will go up and down week by week in our shows. Everyone will be incarnated by their daily business life. At last life is bullshit. "Bullshit is all the reasons we give for living. And if we can't think up any reasons of our own, we always have the God bullshit."

It is no wonder this movie won four academy awards and four golden globe awards, which don't even have a single soundtrack. Network is nothing but a great script written and played well by the actors whom deserved what they got. Hail Peter Finch who is the only actor to won posthumous award till date, the last but not least legendary performance as Howard Beale. William Holden gave his topnotch of acting as Max Schumacher. And Beatrice Straight appeared on screen just for four minutes to win the best supporting actress, the best and briefest performance. Faye Dunaway's madness in her performance got her the first academy award. After all, a powerful movie written by Paddy Chayefsky and directed by Sidney Lumet with no special genre or prototypes of usual film making. But still i wonder how ROCKY won the best picture award while there were "Network" and "Taxi Driver" in the Oscar nominees list.

Every depressed human having rage on this fucking society whom feel alienated, will go to their windows and stick their heads out and yell "I'M AS MAD AS HELL, AND I'M NOT GOING TO TAKE THIS ANYMORE!'" like i yelled when watching this movie.

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Hearty welcome!

"Hello there!"

We will keep it simple. This is basically a blog about movies, by people with mutual interests and acquaintance. What we do is talk. And the talk is about the talkies, the people who talk and are being talked about from the talkies. Pure truth straight from our hearts. We wish you too get trapped. BTW, thanks for visiting our weblog. You're welcome any day of the year. Good day.
 
Cheers,

Arun Saravanan

Aravind aka Travis Bickle.

Shankar aka La Motta.

Venkatesh aka Venkiraja.