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

Friday, February 29, 2008

Banville meri John

I would like to live forever . I find the prospect of leaving this exquisite world, I find it devastating. I find it infuriating.

I keep thinking what kind of day would I like to die on? Would it be as beautiful, would it be one of those beautiful pearl grey , slightly mauve days in June? Would it be one of those days in September, one of those puissant skies? Would it be depths of winter, you know, those bleak mid-winter days?

None of them suits me. I don’t want to go on any day. I want to stay forever.

Who else thinks that's almost like Doestovesky's words spoken by Brando in The Last Tango in Paris ?

Thursday, February 28, 2008


Anyone up for this?

PS - Thanks J.

Reading ole Love Letters,

Where is the Gentleman?

Idiots + Bullies + Slaves + Prisoners + Money = Cricket.

Can we add this seeming gentleman to the playing eleven in the ring? That would keep things quiet for a decent while.

Monday, February 25, 2008

Some World Music

Weeping Meadow, Eleni Karaindrou, Greece

But It Rained, Parikrama, India

Lane Moje,Željko Joksimović Serbia

Tijuana Dream, All India Radio, Australia

Wednesday, February 20, 2008

Love Will Tear us Apart

Nouvelle vague, the French band famous for their song In the manner of speaking , doing a cover of Love will tear us apart. Is okay.

But here's the original. Out of this goddamn world.

Tuesday, February 19, 2008

Why Banville is Word God?

A few days back in an online group, a debate was opened about the personal significance of John Banville's writing. Here is a Fellow-Banville-Lover writing why he is important to her: He articulates a feeling that you thought couldnt be articulated. The following is an extract from The Newton Letter, why I agree with her- fond memory of a feeling, when I was young and discovering United Kingdom jaunting all across on trains. He captures the very pulse of the moment, and it is why I have to return to Banville again and again.

I WAS BORN DOWN THERE, in the south, you knew that. The memories I have of the place are of departures from it.I am thinking of Christmas trips to Dublin when I was a child, boarding the train in the dark and watching through the mist of my breath on the window the frost-bound landscape assembling as the dawn came up. At a certain spot every time, I can see it still, day would at last achieve itself. The place was a river bend, where the train slowed down to cross a red metal bridge. Beyond the river a flat field ran to the edge of a wooded hill, and at foot of the hill there was a house, not very big, solitary and square, with a steep roof. I would gaze at that silent house and wonder, in a hunger of curiosity, what lives were lived there. Who stacked that firewood, hung that holly wreath, left those tracks in the hoarfrost on the hill? I can't express the odd aching pleasure of that moment. I knew, of course, that those hidden lives wouldn’t be much different from my own. But that was the point. It wasn't the exotic I was after, but the ordinary, that strangest and most elusive of enigmas.

Sunday, February 17, 2008

Friday, February 15, 2008

Crossing Over

And dying to watch my man in this.

Supposedly, only for ten minutes on screen, but thank god for that. Before the mysterious Milk.


Stroszek is the proof why Herzog is a visionary.

Wednesday, February 13, 2008

Omega Minor

R, Eventually managed to get the hot copy; expect yours soon.

Monday, February 11, 2008

Préparez vos mouchoirs

Quasi delusional, hopelessly absurd, psychotically comic, Blier product; oscar winner 1978.

Sunday, February 10, 2008

There will be Blood....

The Kubrickesque meditation of the first fifteen odd minutes of the movie is a prelude to the opera that follows - There will be Blood. It’s hard to regard it as a movie; it’s a performance of just one man, Daniel day Lewis. For, he reduces other actors around in the world to almost CGIs.

The only two other things that stand a chance to make any impression in the movie are: Oil, which defines the backdrop- Daniel’s drive and a stand in for typical love interest. And, two: The music which forms the background, stepping in as a substitute for Daniel’s emotions.

The rest of the cast are reduced to numbers, in presence and dynamics.

You can already see how it is distinctly different from any other Hollywood product in recent memory. The movie doesn’t have a story or even an intent to narrate one. It is just a reflection of the being of one man - and as it goes in most of such cases - an upcoming American venture capitalist, ruthless and willing to let his drive consume him and turn him into an enigma. But unlike Hearst, Hughes etc. Daniel isn’t bound to anything or anyone - he comes into the movie fully-formed, without a past( No q-u-a-r-a-n-t-i-n-e) without a destiny to claim as success(rosebud). He knows of no love or belonging. We watch him totally dominate a movie for three hours and still we walk out not being able to tell if we really know him. But yet when we see him talk and walk during those scenes, we feel as if we know him - the cunning in his response and the uncompromising crookedness in his being. But then there are sudden surprises of poignancy and tenderness, which we get taken over by, even when we know it is a put-over; like, Daniel smiling at his baby boy on a train, or when he so convincingly claims to be a father, a family man. Though you suspect him, you cant help but be charmed. And soon when, in one of brilliant scenes in the movie- he leaves his hurt, pleading and impaired son to rush back to the Oil-well, for some reason, you arent as surprised as you naturally would be.

That is the beauty of the movie; without any doubt it has in it one of the most enigmatic charecters ever to come out of Hollywood.

For Anderson ( not the promising one from Darjeeling Limited), I am not sure if the movie is a really conscious effort. But if it is, he has done a superb job; Watching the movie I shuddered at those decisions : when and where to take the camera off Daniel’s dickensy face. More importantly, all the credit should go to him for not spoiling it with banalities; one love interest would have royally damaged the movie and pulled it on par C grade flick. I haven’t read the book nor know anyone who has, but I felt the brother(?in law), a mcguffin to side narrate Daniel’s psyche could have been handled better.

Other members of the cast are almost reduced to extras, except at times Paul Dano, who though refreshing is unfortunately asked to act opposite a behemoth out-of-the-world performance in a very unsupportive narration to his role. He is promising though, reminds me of Ed Norton in early days.

The only other thing in the movie that truly justifies the enigma of Daniel is the absolute wonder of Greenwood background score. Its not just the choices of the scores ( Brahms to build it up- remember Scorsese using Bach’s Toccata and Fugue for Hughes in The Aviator) but also the use of music to reflect Daniel’s mind. For instance, in the Oil-Gush scene the music alternates between muffled heaviness and the bustle of the gush depicting the failing hearing of HW (Daniel’s son) and the chaos of the incident following hitting the oil bed respectively - two possible conflicts within Daniel, a man, to whose emotions we hardly have any access on screen.( dont know about book)

It is easy to see how it is not a typical American movie; it isn't about tapping oil or making profit out of it or about religion versus money; it is about your nihilistic devotion to your narcissism, all the while well aware of its pathos. And, like all such things in nature, stronger beats the slower and the powerful destroys the meek. You see, there has to be blood always.

I can easily see why people might not get it or even hate it. Yes, Its different. To an extent that it might take a while to register its value; in the process I fear it might lose out the Oscar to another wonderful effort by the Coens. I think No Country conforms more to the American definition of a movie.

As for acting and Oscars go this year, well, firstly I have seen better of Javier Bardam than in No Country ( eg Mar Adentro ). I think it is easier to play a powerful author backed role like Antoine. On the other hand, Daniel's charecter could have been easily spoiled by a lesser actor. Plus, Daniel has two veins which pop up on his forehead when he is at his best: well, one won an Oscar long back and the other I reckon should get one soon.

Thursday, February 07, 2008

One hundred hours of solitude

Granta's one hundred! Damn neat. That should take care of a few evenings.

Monday, February 04, 2008

Promise of Innocence

Childhood is the sleep of reason.
~Jean-Jacques Rousseau

Boys @ Beach Mangalore, Karnataka, India

To be nobody but yourself in a world which is doing its best, night and day, to make you everybody else means to fight the hardest battle which any human being can fight; and never stop fighting.
~ee cummings

Boys@ Derwent waters, Lake District Cumbria, England.

Also this one here.

There will be Music...

Radiohead Jonny Greenwood’s score for There will be Blood is the best score for a cinema in recent years. Innovative, multidimensional, and very moving. The last time I was so ensorcelled by the notes was perhaps Mullick’s The Thin Red Line. Have downloaded the stuff and listening on repeat.

Saturday, February 02, 2008

The Joyce of Writing

Both Joyce and Ulysses were born on this day, without whom and which English litearature would have been an individual nightmare of a collective neurosis.

What in water did Bloom, waterlover, drawer of water, watercarrier returning to the range, admire?

Its universality: its democratic equality and constancy to its nature in seeking its own level: its vastness in the ocean of Mercator's projection: its umplumbed profundity in the Sundam trench of the Pacific exceeding 8,000 fathoms: the restlessness of its waves and surface particles visiting in turn all points of its seaboard: the independence of its units: the variability of states of sea: its hydrostatic quiescence in calm: its hydrokinetic turgidity in neap and spring tides: its subsidence after devastation: its sterility in the circumpolar icecaps, arctic and antarctic: its climatic and commercial significance: its preponderance of 3 to 1 over the dry land of the globe: its indisputable hegemony extending in square leagues over all the region below the subequatorial tropic of Capricorn: the multisecular stability of its primeval basin: its luteofulvous bed: Its capacity to dissolve and hold in solution all soluble substances including billions of tons of the most precious metals: its slow erosions of peninsulas and downwardtending promontories: its alluvial deposits: its weight and volume and density: its imperturbability in lagoons and highland tarns: its gradation of colours in the torrid and temperate and frigid zones: its vehicular ramifications in continental lakecontained streams and confluent oceanflowing rivers with their tributaries and transoceanic currents: gulfstream, north and south equatorial courses: its violence in seaquakes, waterspouts, artesian wells, eruptions, torrents, eddies, freshets, spates, groundswells, watersheds, waterpartings, geysers, cataracts, whirlpools, maelstroms, inundations, deluges, cloudbursts: its vast circumterrestrial ahorizontal curve: its secrecy in springs, and latent humidity, revealed by rhabdomantic or hygrometric instruments and exemplified by the hole in the wall at Ashtown gate, saturation of air, distillation of dew: the simplicity of its composition, two constituent parts of hydrogen with one constituent part of oxygen: its healing virtues: its buoyancy in the waters of the Dead Sea: its persevering penetrativeness in runnels, gullies, inadequate dams, leaks on shipboard: its properties for cleansing, quenching thirst and fire, nourishing vegetation: its infallibility as paradigm and paragon: its metamorphoses as vapour, mist, cloud, rain, sleet, snow, hail: its strength in rigid hydrants: its variety of forms in loughs and bays and gulfs and bights and guts and lagoons and atolls and archipelagos and sounds and fjords and minches and tidal estuaries and arms of sea: its solidity in glaciers, icebergs, icefloes: its docility in working hydraulic millwheels, turbines, dynamos, electric power stations, bleachworks, tanneries, scutchmills: its utility in canals, rivers, if navigable, floating and graving docks: its potentiality derivable from harnessed tides or watercourses falling from level to level: its submarine fauna and flora (anacoustic, photophobe) numerically, if not literally, the inhabitants of the globe: its ubiquity as constituting 90% of the human body: the noxiousness of its effluvia in lacustrine marshes, pestilential fens, faded flowerwater, stagnant pools in the waning moon.

~ James Joyce, Ulysses

Friday, February 01, 2008

Gastronomic Trivia

Petits pains aux legumes is Pav Bhaji.

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