-A window ajar is a prelude in building to the joy of being limitless! That uneasiness of being familiar somehow, sometime, somewhere.......

Thursday, August 30, 2007

Blimey and Bollocks

1. How to feel up a feminist...?

All characters , events, based on real persons.

Buffalo Soldier..

Friday, August 24, 2007

On long lost truths..

There are some truths that are eternal, they dont change in shape or form. One of very first such ones that I remember is the one I picked up at school.
It was written and hung up on the class room ; we sat before it day after day not knowing what it really meant. And it was only long after completing school that the eternity of its value dawned on me.
Most of the readers who went to school with me might remember;

There is no substitute for hard work.
After all these years it still awes me how applicable it is all across regardless of anything and everything.

And I was reminded of this now because I found another favourite on youtube recently. When I had first come across it long back , I had marked the page in the book and went back to it many times over a period of time to chart how I was changing myself.

Thursday, August 23, 2007

Ghost world...crazy diamonds

I had to check this video out after the song was featured on the Ghost World soundtrack. Absolutely crazy, but, frigging brilliant. Why is that all the good things have to be dug up always?

Ps-I think the term crazy doesnt even remotely justify her ecstasy. Since the clock runs anticlockwise, check the lady from 54 to 44 seconds. The Australians have a term for such enviably rapturous and incorrigible madness. Its as crazy as a cut snake derived from how a cut snake prances all over the place. Thats the term wanted.

Tuesday, August 21, 2007

Bourne FAQs

Things that you always wanted to know about Jason Bourne but didnt know where to ask.
When is the Bourne computer game scheduled to be released?
Most of the Bourneseries computer game is now complete and should be available for entertainment in a few months.

Is Bourne ambidextrous?
Bourne is a natural right hander, however he is trained to use both his hands on a reflex level.

My girlfriend doesn’t like Bourne, what should I do?
Buy her a card and Harry potter book and say good bye.

Is Bourne gay?
Ha Ha you wish, asshole.

I have motion sickness. Should I take Dramamine before watching the movie?
Unfortunately we cant answer that question without being a snob. You can take your brain to the cinema instead. If you have one.

I don’t like Bourne at all but my son adores him. What should I do?
You should get a DNA test.

I love the story of Bourne ultimatum but I found the editing too pacy ? What do you think?
I think your cinematic sense is zero. You should stick to help movies like Titanic
make millions, where they take three hours to sink a ship. Or go and find the Holy grail or something.

I see no artistic value in constantly shaking the camera. Isn’t it abusive towards the audience?
Not exactly. Perhaps a lesser audience yes. Let us restate the premises once again and forever.

Bourne is not your typical action movie which is often a pot pourri of this, that and everything possible like card games or drinking orange juices or cheap dialogues. Bourne is action from the word go, to such an extent that it is futile even to discuss the theory of action.

Any real cinema enthusiast would pick up that the director makes it clear in the Moscow prologue shots what’s it all about.

Bourne is being pursued to be killed.
Bourne is traumatised by his past.
Bourne has to fight.
Bourne doesn’t want to kill.(my argument is not with you)

That’s the template. There is no further plot or story. Its only the form which takes precedence over content. People who often complain of unwatchable shaky camerawork overlook the fact that Bourne lives only in present. Unlike other action heroes who choose to fight consciously, Bourne performs on a subliminal reflex level. Things happen even before they happen and as we see they happen constantly throughout the movie. Moreover, Bourne doesnt represent anything; as he says, he is just fighting for himself, no glorious cause or secret mission. So when you are telling a story of such a man, you would have to be really naïve to use deep focus photography, linear perspective or long shots to make sure that the audience comprehend the plot. Lets leave the Tom Cruises and Steven Spielbergs to that.

Bourne is basically about two unique attributes, pace and motion. Any such story with involves such dynamism is justified only by singular narrative. And since Bourne himself doesnt know the whole story, the camera has to narrate only bits and pieces of his perspective as the events progress in the movie. That’s what makes Bourne special. Why do you think the music is so tick?

Let me illustrate what I have said above with a few scenes I remember:

Consider the scene where he is assaulted by agents at the Waterloo station. The action is so fast that you cant see all the agents in one single shot. Camera, often alternating between Bourne's field of vision, and the approximate field of action, narrates how quickly the fight takes place - an arm being swung here and a limb being kicked there. Motion, space and pace. It is only because of this you feel the energy in the movie, which is what Bourne is all about. Fast decisions, quick thinking, classical ground espionage. It would be unpardonable crime if you put three medium range cameras and edit the action for the viewing comfort of the audience. Then, the visual information would simply be processed as in any other action movie: the hero fought bravely to disable few chaps. The very essence of Bourne would end up being stymied.

The only alternate to depict such intense fast action would be to have multiple cameras at different angles and fast edit it so that perspective expedites the illusion. This has been used in some movies. The one I can remember from the top off my head is Hannibal. The first market action sequence by Julianne Moore has no less than six cameras. If you watch the scene you would see. Although such a technique would definitely increase the pace of action, It would in no way justify Bourne's lightning reflexes. In case of Bourne where the action itself is the story, the pacing has to be far more innovative. Hence the haste. The camerawork is not novel; as mentioned earlier the technique has been used before fleetingly - classical example being Saving Private Ryan. In Bourne its used throughout, because it needs to be used. Also if you notice, in other parts of the movie, the editing and camera are used as tools to set the pace, often slowing down and often building up the speed of the movie.

Consider one another scene; the first CIA meeting at Langley: the shots are edited with quickly varying subjects of focus not lasting than a few seconds. It is a tool purely to narrate the heat in the room and as a build up for further action. That’s what is the art of cinema all about, isn’t it?
And if you look back, whenever directors have tried innovation in narrating a story like Memento, Pulp Fiction, The Blair Witch Project etc people have complained that their head aches or knee hurts or that they feel sick. It is only sensible to suggest they see a good doctor.

Anyway, the bottom-line is this. If the camera was not uni-narrative , Bourne wouldn’t be half the Bourne he is . And for thinking through this, and creating a great series the credit should go to Greengrass and Damon.

I am, in this context reminded of Jules et Jim where Truffaut blazes through the movie with jet engine narration. And what about Eisenstein's earlier ones where the viewer's attention is commanded mercilessly ? It's only because of these unique creative expressions, they are what they are now.

And, ladies and gentlemen, let this be heard, we are witness to one such unique creative narrations here. Rest assured, I am convinced, this is going to kick off something big , as if it hasnt already. (Remember Makers of Casion Royale admitting of going through miles of earlier Bournes clippings?)

All the talk apart, look who was Bourne today?

Sunday, August 19, 2007

Fonejackers inc..

The faulting, dear Brutus, is not in our starrings,
but in ourselves, that we are underlingtinngdings.
—From Julius Caesar (I, ii, 140-141)

For those of you who havent yet known about the Fonejacker, check out this ribshaking real comedy.

For Racial correctness, here are the other equally hilarious picks:

Saturday, August 18, 2007

Bourne memo..

Woah!! There’s lot of noise made about the editing and camerawork used in Bourne ultimatum, especially from our friends across the pond. Also, some of my friends here have said that they find the camerawork too free and compromising the action. For now, I’m saying that I shall give my defence in detail laters.

Friday, August 17, 2007

Future is history...

This is it. We’ve just returned from the Ultimatum and I can easily say it is the best action movie we’ve had for a while. Damon has carved a niche for himself, believe me I cant see anyone else as Bourne. He has come to portray the perfect emotional and professional core of the man chasing his past.

Greengrass is superb; he breaks every single rule of action filming* thus almost innovating a genre that can only be termed as dactionmentary. The chase sequences are right at the top , on par, and at times even better than Ronin. John Powell, holds onto his standards of earlier Bournes. What more, there are no unwanted women who walk before the camera just playing women.

As Greengrass himself put it so wonderfully: Its not about looking at woman in a bikini coming out of the sea.

Can I just add to that, neither at a man. Nor passing 20 minute sequences of playing card games for action movie. This is pure business. Smashing in every sense of the word.

* almost no angle lasts more than a moment.

Thursday, August 16, 2007

Les Lauriers sont coupes..

Opening segment of Dujardin's Les Lauriers sont coupes, one of the loveliest openings for any book and more significantly the paragraph that inspired James Joyce to get into Stream of consciousness.

Evening light of sunset, air far away, deep skies; a ferment of crowds, noises, shadows; spaces stretched out endlessly; a listless evening.
And, from the chaos of appearance, in this time of all times, this place of places, amid the illusions of things self-begotten and self-conceived, one among others, one like the others yet distinct from them, the same and yet one more, from the infinity of possible lives, I arise.
So time and place come to a point; it is the now and here, this hour that is striking, and all around me life; the time and place, an April evening, Paris; an evening of bright sunset, a monotone of sound, white houses, foliage of shadows; a soft evening growing softer, and the joy of being oneself, of going one's way; streets, crowds and, in air far aloft, outstretched, the sky; Paris is singing all around me, and languorously composes in the mist of ended shapes a setting for my thought.

~ Edouard Dujardin, Les lauriers sont coupes , Translation: Stuart Gilbert

Its Paris, but not April though.

Tuesday, August 14, 2007

Post Traumatic Post Modernism...

Oulipians are Rats who build the labyrinth from which they will try to escape.
~Raymond Queneau

The message was handwritten. Cursive feminine letters. As known - It was a healthy girl. The mother was fine, a bit exhausted. His secretary earnestly congratulated. And there were many handshakes . He cut short the meeting and cancelled the day’s schedule.

He has seen this many times. Yet he cannot remember . Or forget. It is neither prose nor poetry, it is like a critique. A complete stranger reserving the power to hurt you. Again and again.

The dark torsos of trees were trailing rapidly beside the road. The leaves rustled in the wind. Autumn is a wretched season. Full of remembering , forgetting and longing he thought as he drove on.

They all had agreed to call her Susan after her late aunt. All the requisite shopping had been completed a week before the expected day. Grandma had even knitted a pair of tiny woollen socks. Pink coloured.

He continues in this state. Of speculations. Ifs and If nots. And If onlys. A world opens inside his head, drawing him away from everything , mostly himself. It doesn’t hurt after a while. He just gasps when he wakes.

On the way he thought of buying a champagne and a box of Thornton’s . He decided to take a right at the next intersection. It felt so ethereal for a minute. Almost. To be a dad.

When he wakes up at night, he finds himself shivering and drenched in sweat. He silently watches the arcs of light from the passing traffic climb onto the room walls. He tries to remember. But nothing comes to his mind. His despair is married to the fact. That he has to live with it. He weeps.

The autumn sun sunk slowly in the greying sky, casting long sombre shadows. The traffic was light. He hummed along with Cohen on the radio as he turned right. He wasn’t driving too fast. But as it often happens, he just couldn’t stop when he wanted. It was too late.

The girl wore a pink skirt. She had turned seven a week before.
It was later in the hospital mortuary he learnt she was called Susan.

PS- I have exercised my chosen constraints. The consciousness has been cut into four slices each. Present and Past alternates in successive paragraphs. Admixed tenses are symbolic of this. The last two lines is a specific attempt aimed towards a reader who requests an easier understanding.

The motif is Post Traumatic Stress Disorder, dealt in present, while the event is a memory of the past. The write-up is a depiction of a nightmare in the ailment.

Monday, August 13, 2007

Sort of rant.

Between downloading songs and making birthday calls, I have spent the last thirty minutes of my life, reading blogs from the Indian blogosphere I notice a lot of people writing absolutely mindless stuff , like hey its wrong to be judgemental or hey that’s a generalization etc.

I want to say just this. Consider it as learning or if worst prejudice.

I am because I judge people. If I am not judgemental what am I supposed to do-- Breathe in and breathe out? Even a potato can do that. It is our judgement which makes us what we are, the point however is, to borrow a unique phrase from a certain unshaved gentleman, to change it.

And to change it , you should be open to reason.

Next, -- try placing your tender palm over a burning candle, even before you realise you would have withdrawn it into safety. Now do it again. And again. Well, if you have done it thrice as I had asked you, there is something wrong with you. Because even a two day old lab rat knows better.

And that’s the basic tenet of functioning of consciousness, first to associate the various stimuli and subsequent responses into wholes which are then generalised by learning. We learn because we associate and generalise. The point as usual is how rational would you be with your generalisation.

Over and out.

Sunday, August 12, 2007

oNe TwO ThRee...

bLuE gRey BLaCk

dRiViNg bIkINg WalKiNg

GoDaRd TrUfFauT FeLLiNi

IzZaRd ClEEsE SellErS

JAsOn BoUrNe JaMeS bONd AUsTin POwErs

PAraDisE LoSt MaHabHAraTa ODysSeUs

KUNdeRa MArqUez MuRakAmi

LoNdOn EdinBuRgH DuBlIn

PotATo pEPper BroCColLi

KAtIE MeluA JoSs sToNe NiNa SiMoNe
KaTie meLuA.

LaGeR BeeR GUinNeSs

scaRlEt joHaNsSon mOnIca bEllUcI cATheRine ZeTa JoNEs
ScaRlet JohAnSsoN.

BEacH MoUnTaiNs CitY BreAk

BaCh MoZarT BeEthoVen

TreAclE TiRaMisU BlAck FOreSt

Amis BaNVille McCarThY

MaN U CheLseA LiVerPooL

JOhN GalT LeoPOLd bLooM AttIcUs FinCh
LEopOLd BloOm.


BMw AUdi vW

BoB dyLAn MaRvIn GaYe LeoNARd CoHeN

PAniNi FiSh n cHiPs, SuShi
FiSh n ChiPs.

Toni MoRriSon JeAnEtTe WiNtERsOn MaRgareT aTWooD

BoNNard CeZzaNne MoNet

EMaIl TeXt SNaIl MaIl
SNAiL mAil....

Monday, August 06, 2007

On Her Majesty's Secret Service

Cat got your tongue?
Knowsley, Liverpool.

Friday, August 03, 2007

Jason is Bourne again...

Jason is no spiderman or no James Bond. He is professional yet vulnerable; he fears and is feared by, he fights everything and everyone including himself. And thats why we love him. Jason is Bourne again tonight. Have been told that it is slick and stunning as it can ever get; I cant wait to watch it. I have fond memories of the series, it represents one of the great reading time during my teens. And unlike other movies that have let down their parent books, Bournes have been remarkable. And there is John Powell, of course.

Take anything- Action, editing, cinematography, script etc; one of the rare instances where 21st century technological entertainment has faithfully reflected the imagination of the 20th century.

PS- Soundtrack was released last week, anyone know why its not on itunes?

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