{Of all lies, art is the least untrue - Flaubert}

Tuesday, December 26, 2006

The Time has Come...

As the cliché goes, the time has come. I will be on a trip, starting today, to Bangalore, Hassan, Belur, Halebedu, Kalasa, Kudremukh, Hornadu, Mangalore, Udupi and back to Bangalore. I don't know much about the places, just read about them on internet. I am taking my camera along for company. I will be back to Hyderabad next year. So, its the last post for this year.

About personal life, it went fine, but I am sure it will take some drastic turn next year. Professional life was good too, may be because I don't care much about it anymore. This year was not a good year for me film-wise, I was able to see about 80 odd films out of which 20 were Bollywood/Hollywood types. There are few films that I saw this year, that changed the way I look at them and were immensely satiating. Here are few of them:

Fat Girl: I was surprized by the audacity of this film and the way Anaïs say, "Don't believe me if you don't want to". Highly recommended.

Ten: It is the most experimental film I saw this year. Out of the ten episodes, there are few that are alarmingly heart breaking and true. Dancer in the Dark closely follows as runner up in the experimental category.

3 Women: The performance of Shelley Duvall is extraordinary. Either she acted too well, or she is like Millie in real life.

Week End: An example of art of the extreme type and film making of the highest order. Its disturbing as heavens and funny as hell.

Kinsey: I always felt that biopics are not film-material in any way but this film proved me wrong.

Late Spring : Another film by Ozu that proves that you can make same film with same cast year after year without losing an iota of novelty. The last scene where the old man peels an orange is even more painful than the farewell of Noriko.

Code Unknown : Its a crumbled masterpiece that shows us how fragmented and interconnected our lives have become.
I have a feeling that I am missing some films in this list, but one can always write next year !

Few directors I discovered later this year

Robert Altman : A truly American director. He visualized our society as a troupe sitting under shade and sunlight of a big banayan tree stage, with life of hopes and dreams crossing each other, ruptured and reared by the sentiments of family, sex, politics, race, cast and condition.

Mike Leigh : A truly British director. I saw three of his films this year, Naked, Secret and Lies and Vera Draka. Although we know he has mellowed down in all these years, but what strikes in his films is the human chord, the perfectly believable characters, the sentiments without going sentimental.

Brian de Palma : A true successor of Hitchcock. The Prom party scene in Carrie is like a greek tragedy (In Indian tradition, one can vaguely equate it to the story of Kannagi), everything good and bad is destroyed, and the climax says that this tragedy lives on. And above all, orgasmatic crucification of Carrie's mother by flying knives.The Museum scene in Dressed to Kill, is a great example of how camera can do all the menacing and peeking. Its also an example how a simple hooking scene between strangers can be turned to art. Reviews of his films here.

In Bollywood films, I liked Jaan-e-man, Khosla ka Ghosla, Lage Raho Munnabhai, Gangster and Taxi no. 9211, in that order. I found Rang de Basanti, Omkara and Dor quite overrated, in that order.

Reading wise it was a bad year but I think it was better than the previous one. Thats all I read.
1) The Sorrows of Young Werther
2) The Old man and the Sea
4) The Importance of Being Earnest (text here)
5) The Overcoat, The Nose and Dead Soul
6) The Stranger
7) The God of Small Things
8) Short Stories (Parinde and Kavve aur Kala Paani ) by Nirmal Verma (Anubhuti profile here)
9) Poems by Nagarjun (Anubhuti profile here)
10) The Quilt and other stories by Ismat Chughtai (more links here)

and Alok, I still include short stories along with novels :)

Happy New Year to all !


Jabberwock said...

Cool list! I'm gratified that you mentioned those scenes from the DePalma movies (especially the museum one, which is a huge personal favourite) - he's a director I get very protective about.

bhakit said...


Thanks for excellent information on movies. Wish you a very happy and healthy new year.


Alok said...

more info about the "drastic turn" in personal life please... I am very interested and i am sure other readers are as well.

and it is the same with me too about the professional life ;)

nice variety in the list, I have to see lots of Altman films and may be rewatch a few de Palma movies. also haven't seen dressed to kill yet.

anyway hope you enjoy the trip and happy new year to you too.

you make me feel bad, I have lived in bangalore for so many years and yet haven't been to any of those places :(

AD said...

Yeahhh... the 'drastic turn in personal life' really calls for more info! and that too ASAP.

The places that you guys intend to cover are too good..this should be the subject of the next post (eagerly awaited).

Have a nice trip. HNY '07 to you.

PS: Adding links for the books, just like you have for the movies, would be helpful if one is interested to get more info about the same.

km said...

Ah, you've picked *great* places to visit (I am from the vicinity, so pardon the obvious bias!)

If you are doing Belur/Halebedu, try and include Somnathpura (40 kms from Mysore.) That way, you'll get to cover all the three major architectural marvels of the Hoysala empire.

Altman will be missed :(

anurag said...

Sorry for responding so late !

De Palma was a great surprize for me. I am planning to see more of his films. Next will be Blow-out. Any recommendations ?

Thanks a lot !

The trip was fine. I too didnt go to many places when I was in Bangalore. Its not to do with me, but its more to do with no. of 'enthu' ppl near by :)

I have added the links for books too.

what drastic change can come to my life... you guys already know it :)

We went to Kalasa from Belur/Halebedu, didn't turn for Somnathpura. may be some other time !

Sandesh Prabhakar said...

Hope you had a memorable trip. Happy New Year!

Rajeev said...

Outstanding! I want to watch movies and read books like you too.

Looking forward to the drastic changes in your life. I want to dance in your marriage like I've never danced before.

ராம் said...

Quoting .. Rajeev.....

Me too.. If I will get an Unlimited suply of Bhang... :)

"Paan.. banaras... waal..."


anurag said...

Thanks Sandesh


I was thinking of doing Salsa in your marriage in front of ghodi :) At least Ghodi will have a good time.. something different for her too :) I have acquired a skill to salsa on any beat, even on Reshamiya's songs :))

Push. said...

what was there in jane-man... why did u like it...anurag...

anurag said...

Ram, for sure :)

Push, I wrote briefly, why I liked Jaan-e-man here.