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.
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 !