Monday, May 27, 2002

hello clement
i am at the brousing centre with my sister, trying to give here a address in the so called global village.
i dont want to use world wide web, sounds like a big booby trap.
kind of caught in the spider web sort of thing.

Saturday, May 25, 2002

why i like picasso more than matisse?
any picasso painting will create an immediate emotional contact with the viewer which i think is the primary function of any visual art. matisse paintings always kept me at a distance even when i was attraced by their dazzling beauty.

i wish some one invent something which will help us play life more safely.

Monday, May 20, 2002

‘One may have a blazing hearth in one's soul, and yet no one ever comes to sit by it’ said Vincent van Gogh. Go warm yourself by Vincent’s blazing hearth—visit for the complete gallery of his work.

Time Magazine’s ‘Best photograph of the 20th century’:
Place de L'Europe (1932) by Henri Cartier-Bresson.

Identifying the Dead, Russian Front (1942) by Dmitri Baltermants
Wall Street (1915) by Paul Strand

Time Magazine’s ‘Best sculpture of the 20th century’:
Bird in Space by Constantin Brancusi.

Guitar (1912) by Pablo Picasso
The Chariot (1950) by Alberto Giacometti

Runners-up in Time's selection of best painting of the 20th century:
Still-Life with Chair Caning (1912) by Pablo Picasso
Dog Barking at the Moon (1926) by Joan Miro.

Friday, May 17, 2002

Click here for Henri Matisse’s The Red Studio (1911), which Time Magazine selected as the best painting of the 20th century.

Thursday, May 16, 2002

I have so many other things to be attending to now, but here I am blogging. Like someone said, ‘A man can do any amount of work as long as it is not the work he is supposed to be doing at the moment.’

Last weekend was a ball. You see, I’m the only person I can show love to right now. Everyone I care about are out of reach, at a distance. So all the gifts I have are showered on myself. Thus, I’m forced to enjoy myself. Quite a predicament, eh? Anyway Hrithik Roshan came down to Pune on Friday to inaugurate a multiplex named Inox, and the very next day I saw two films there—Monsters, Inc. and The Deep End.

There are four screens at Inox with about eight different films playing at different times. Tickets cost Rs 90, but the atmosphere of relaxed luxury there seems worth it. Ticket-booking is computerized; the seating, projection and sound were great. But one serious flaw: they interrupted the films for an interval, Indian style. I wish cinemas in India would show films the way they were designed to be exhibited—from beginning to end. The vast majority of Indian film-makers have the interval in mind when they film—sort of like breaking down the film into two acts; but not so the Western filmmakers. For cinephiles like me, these are serious issues.

Monsters, Inc. is a terrific animated feature from Pixar Studios, the folks behind the Toy Story series. There was a great animated short called ‘For the Birds’ preceding the actual film. The film itself dazzled with its visual panache and invention. The plot is appropriately far-fetched and wacky—about a parallel monster world fuelled by the energy they obtain from the screams of frightened children. The characters (voiced by the likes of John Goodman, Billy Crystal and Steve Buscemi) are endearing, and there is an exhilarating climax set in the midst of a zillion doors zapping around on wires in a huge factory. The outtakes at the end were hilarious.

Well, it appears I’m a great fan of animated films, because I really don’t remember having disliked any animated feature I’ve seen so far. Many of them would make my list of films I’ve truly enjoyed—times when you savour the pure magic of the medium of cinema. For me, animated films have always meant visual splendour, good-storytelling, imagination, creativity, subversion, wit. Why do live-action features suffer in comparison to animation? Is it because the former are easier to make and thus lack inspiration? Or is it because the camera is cumbersome and unwieldy compared to pencils (or pixels)?

Scott McGehee and David Siegel’s The Deep End seemed a rebuff to my aspersions on live-action cinema. It was an original, involving, riveting, stylish film about love, desperation, sacrifice and the enigma of desire. Brilliantly realized by the director-duo, their script is honest, sharp, relentless. But the most striking element of the film was the performance of the lead—an obsessed mother played by Tilda Swinton. Hers is the kind of macho performance one would only expect from the great method actors—startlingly intense, totally convincing, brutally honest. It was one of the finest in recent memory. I’m a convert. The Deep End is not to be missed.

And that was only Saturday. How did I cross Sunday’s river of ennui? Went to the cinema, of course. This time to Vijay Cinema, still my favourite, because it is the only one I know in India that shows English films without an ‘interval’.

Another animated feature, called Ice Age. Great fun. Set during the Ice Age (of course), the plot follows a woolly mammoth, a sloth and a sabre-toothed tiger on their journey to return a human child to its father. Sounds like stuff for small fry, and it is more cartoonish than, say, Monsters, Inc., with a good deal of slapstick. But it is funny, at times laugh-out-loud, slapstick. However, that does not mean that the film is less polished. Its animation style is actually quite different from the somewhat undifferentiated style of Disney, Dreamworks and the like. The prominent voice characterization, that of Sid the Sloth, is by John Leguizamo, the superb Latino actor. (I noticed him first in Carlito’s Way, turning out of nowhere to stab Al Pacino, at the end of a flamboyant climax in which director de Palma attempts impressively to top his own great railway station scene in The Untouchables. And then he played Tybalt—the Prince of Cats—in Baz Luhrmann’s Romeo+Juliet, and Toulouse-Lautrec in Luhrmann’s dazzling Moulin Rouge.) Some great scenes like Sid ‘inventing’ (American) football while fighting dodos for a melon (!), and a high-speed amusement-park style ride through ice caves. And, oh yes, there’s Scrat, the jinxed squirrel.

Forthcoming films here include Michael Mann’s Ali, Mathieu Kassovitz’s French The Crimson Rivers and the Hughes Brothers’ From Hell, with Johnny Depp.slfr

read your poems. please give them names. at least for reference.
i liked one about birds flight. its striking.also the one about fear. but that one is too sad.dont you have any hope in life.
please write more poems in the line of the former (if i may say so). because i believe that it has more art even though it too is very sad.
thanks for the review of my poems.can you point out the flaw in the poem across 'the night sky'.
i want to improve it.

usually i dont go to porn-sites. today i opened a site by accident. it's called
it shows female nude photographs in which they look more like female nude than water melon split wide open.
if you don't mind do check this site.

Saturday, May 11, 2002

Fobbin tom is a mad jack of all trade trapped in a sloth's body.
A late bloomer, who muffled the roar of his genius and compromised his passions to get into good certificates of the morons who don't even know the difference between art and horse shit. (Familiar story. right?)
A native of aluva, a clot of ugly government buildings, houses and proud short-tempered people around the national highway 47.
He loves painting. A self thought painter who wants to paint the way nobody has ever painted. So far he is painting like everybody else. But that day is not far when people would stop and look at his paintings that looks like nothing they had ever seen before. He likes the paintings of van gogh, Grunewald, Cranach, Chagal and Picasso.
He likes reading. But haven’t read much. He likes Dosteyski and Gabriel Garcia Marques.
Favourite poem is seamus heaney’s blackberry picking
In popular music he loves bob Dylan and bob marly, Kenny Rogers, springsteen, kishore Kumar. In classical music he admire the grandness of Beethoven as well as the heart tearing piety of Kishori Amonkari.
( clement please check the thumbnail of me before post suggest any change in style or content)

Thursday, May 09, 2002

Who are you, Fobbin? Tell me so that I can put it up there in the ‘participants’ section of Salon.

Nothing to write. Nothing to blog. I’m not in control right now. Got to get back on track.

Today morning played Coltrane and Davis. Coltrane’s Blue Train; Davis’ Porgy and Bess.

Yesterday it was the Beatles.

Tomorrow is Friday. Got to grab this weekend and put it to use. Time truly flies.

Aeschylus said, ‘Words are the cure for a diseased mind.’ Montaigne says, ‘I quote others so that I may better express myself.’

Wednesday, May 08, 2002

hello clement
i am blogging from chennai.

travel rejuvenates. the movement of your body against the wind. movement of mind against the inertia of existence.
i feel good. but i am very much aware of the nature of this happiness. its like the fullmoon.exist only for a day.then it will wane towards the blackmoonday.

Monday, May 06, 2002

On Sunday, saw Govind Nihalani’s film Deham—adapted from Manjula Padmanabhan’s play Harvest. Someone had called it India’s first science fiction film. Well, then I must add that it’s not really a promising start for Indian SF.

The worst part of the film is probably the truly cheesy special effects. Set in Mumbai in the year 2022, the scenario of the film calls for some futuristic sets and props. What is provided here is utterly inadequate and amateurish. Whether it is fair to judge the FX here against those we are used to see in the billion-dollar extravaganzas churned out by Hollywood is another question. My opinion is that Nihalani should have either learnt a few lessons from those American film-makers who have stretched a tight budget decently (John Carpenter’s Dark Star springs to mind), or kept the project aside until he’d got hold of the required resources.

But, even aside from the effects, Nihalani surprised me by making such a silly film from a highly acclaimed play. I suppose Ms Padmanabhan will not blame Nihalani for ruining her play, because she shares the screenplay credit. Anyway, this confused ‘high-concept’ hodgepodge failed to showcase the brilliance the judges of the Onassis Prize saw when they awarded the 1997 prize to her play. (The credits even mention the prize.)

The film is photographed by the director himself, and even there Nihalani does little justice to his reputation gained through his pioneering role in the Indian ‘parallel cinema’ movement. (He was the cinematographer for Shyam Benegal’s Bhumika, a personal favourite of mine.) The only interesting stuff in Deham is a very short sequence of shots of the crowded chawls of Mumbai early in the film, and then a beautifully shot shower scene with actress Kitu Gidwani towards the end of the film (and even this latter seems ultimately like a soap commercial)—the rest of the cinematography is bland and unremarkable. The music too is devoid of class, sounding mostly like Kenny G trying to play seriously.

Nihalani’s earlier film Drohkaal was terrific—a truly tense thriller with all-round brilliant performances. (Its high-profile remake into Tamil, starring Kamal Haasan, paled in comparison.) Because of this and because of the source material, one had high hopes for Deham. The film’s publicists also touted the NETPAC (Network for the Promotion of Asian Cinema) award for Best Asian Film it had won at some chhota European festival. But in the event Deham proved to be a profound disappointment. At least those silly SF movies turned out by Hollywood in the 1950’s with aliens in bear-suits would make one laugh—but the sombre Deham offered no such solace during its two dreary hours. One left the cinema with no immediate hope for a desi 2001: A Space Odyssey or Blade Runner.slfr

Saturday, May 04, 2002

Here in Pune yesterday, I came across an FM radio station called Radio Mirchi. Found out it belonged to the Times of India group and began broadcasting only this week. They had started earlier in Mumbai, Indore and Ahmedabad, and plan to kick off in a few months in other cities including Chennai.

It rekindled an ambition I used to cherish earlier—a radio-show of my own. How about introducing to this tasteless generation the fun to be had with real rock music? The Beatles, Dylan, Springsteen, the Stones, U2, Radiohead, et al…. I consider myself a good teacher and just maybe I could make a few converts…. A taste for jazz or classical is even more difficult to develop, I think, though, of course, only difficult, not impossible.

This radio DJ ambition of mine was later superseded by a desire for my own film review show—one that damns the shit and shows off the gems; that will open the eyes of those who think films mean cleavage and jerking hips (or maybe it will put them to sleep).

I had talked up Nesly about the possibility of such a show on any of the Malayalam satellite channels—a sort of youth-oriented regional arts magazine focusing on the English / Malayalam / Hindi films releasing in Kerala, and also such events as the film festivals. What do you think, Fobbin?

‘Publication is a self-invasion of privacy.’ - Marshall McLuhanslq

wash the meanings of these words off and then flavour them with some feelings. salt them, pickle them and then sell them to your friends. ask them to taste these words with the music turned on and with their loved ones next to them. they will remain forever grateful and return to you for more.slcw

‘fear no more the heat of the sun nor the furious winter's rages.’
fear only the death grip of the soil that will bind your limbs.
fear the roots that will bind your body.
fear the eternity that will eat your flesh.
fear the silence of your heart filling your veins with stone.
fear the weight that will not let you lift your eyelids.
fear the mud that will fight your breathing.
fear the memories of touch, of light, of smiles, of food, of water.
fear the state of being that will not let you be.
fear being unable to suicide.slcw

thoughts are ellipses
slice them horizontal and vertical
measure their radii
and watch them intersectslcw

In the blue sky of the afternoon
a bird takes wing
to the music of his brother.
He soaks his body
in the rain of the sun
and he shows his gratitude
in the arc of his flight.
As his brother's music
reaches a crescendo,
he becomes one
with the sun and the sky and the light
and he disappears
into the beauty of the transient
and returns no more
to dance to the music of his mate.slcw

overdose on your emotions. overdose on your pains. see the green and the red. deny the pink and the yellow. embrace the black and deface the white. as for the blue, feel it, marry it, and then try to kill it. chase the violet and squeeze the orange. hide from the grey and spit on the gold. slide your throat over the shining sharp of the silver; and then see the red and see the green. shout hallelujah!slcw

do you remember the colours of the dark?
do you remember the shades of grey?
do you remember the ashes God gifted you?
do you remember those feet of clay?
do you remember the taste of disillusionment?
do you remember the shock and the loathing?
the fear and the sorrow?
and the sadness of dawn?
and the quiet of the Sleep?slcw

nightmares are birds that fly in the dark. no destinations, no reasons. just the silver of the dark and the hush of silence whispering to each other. the clouds that hide the moon are not trying to tell you anything. they are only dancing to the tune they hear. if the music you hear is making you sick, it is only because you are too tired to dance.slcw

faith is a leap in the dark. faith is to believe you will sprout wings as you enjoy the fall.slcw

Okay now, let’s see what I can find in my notebook.

Here’s something:

The old man
sitting on a chair
in his garden
chases his memories
among woods
bathed in autumn light.
His life
still has a spark
you will not guess
from the glaze
in his eye.slcw

An Indian film called The Warrior is getting rave reviews. Check out what Peter Bradshaw of The Guardian has to say about director Asif Kapadia’s debut film.

The Guardian’s Derek Malcolm (the guy who seems to turn up at all the IFFK’s) has written a piece on Satyajit Ray.

And Sam Raimi’s Spiderman is out this week. Stephen Hunter tells you why you should see it.

Since we last met, I’ve seen two films.

The first one was Ron Howard’s A Beautiful Mind. I remember Howard’s Apollo 13 having impressed me. Many critics have quarrelled with his latest film having won the Academy Award, but I thought it was a superb film nonetheless. Its problem with the critics, I suppose, was because it was a glossy Hollywood production. It tells a story that deals with genius, madness and illusions. The acting is top-notch (Russell Crowe is particularly impressive) and the story-telling is fluid.

I saw the second film today—Heartbreakers, starring Sigourney Weaver, Jennifer Love Hewitt, Ray Liotta, Jason Lee and Gene Hackman. Hewitt is ultra-cute, and Liotta was very good in an offbeat role for him. Hackman, of course, is an old favourite, and the nicotine fiend he plays here is another addition to his great gallery of characterizations. Seeing Jason Lee reminded me of Cameron Crowe’s irresistible Almost Famous—a wonderful tribute to the rock music scene of the 60’s and 70’s. See it if you can, but be warned: Penny Lane will break your heart. That brings us back to Heartbreakers—it was an entertaining film, as much for Hewitt’s push-up bras as for Liotta’s funny lines (‘It’s not what it looks like, Honey; her hair got stuck in my zipper.’) and for the script’s play with morality.slfr

‘last one week life was muddy. i felt like jumping into vangogh's wheatfield and to run thru the dry hay roaring mad and morphing into a rabid dog and bark bark bark at the crows and my flesh shredded and gut spilled by the angry leaves till my white milky canine bone shine and i fall with throat dry and a black feather between my fangs.’ - Fobbin on 2.5.02

That’s bloody good stuff, Fobbin! (Despite questionable grammar.) And thank the muddy week for getting that para out of you. I would.

You’ve already posted six poems, Fobbin. Keep them coming! (We’ll drop the quotes around ‘poetry’ and ‘poems’ for the time being.) You asked me what I thought of them. Here goes:

 First of all, they carry enough of poetic sensibility, I think, to justify their being called poems.
 I have a few quarrels here and there with the punctuation and the language.
 ‘Across the night sky’ was probably the most striking and also the most flawed. The lines on Chintu’s mother are quite good and I liked the title ‘Dreaming inside a cubicle’.

All rise and say hello to the Great Absconding Blogger.

Well, I didn’t mean to, but I got lost. What does it matter now that I’m back? And thank goodness it was not blackmoodseason ;-).

hello there...
any body home.
i am kinda gettin bored in here talkin to myself.

what is happening there clement? dont even have time to blog ?
yesterday i and neslie went to thiruvananthapuram. we had a talk with the people with whom i was planning to work.
i have decided against forming a partnership with them. they are people without vision. they just came here to fish because someone told them there is a chaakara here. i told them i'll work with them on contract basis. meanwhile i'll concentrate more on the project at ernakulam.

so why the silence.
talk my friend talk. push aside whatever is blocking your way.
now the time is 5.30 pm
tomorrow i'll blog at 9.00 pm and want to see your post.


Thursday, May 02, 2002

art, literature, philosophy............not bad clement . in fact it is pretty good. this is what makes you think you are the so called clement pananjikal. don't worry it will pass. and you will call yourself son of man or buddha.

life? fine? are you kidding?

last one week life was muddy. i felt like jumping into vangogh's wheat field and to run through the dry hay roaring mad and morphing into a rabid dog and bark bark bark at the crows and my flesh shredded and gut spilled by the angry leaves till my white milky canine bone shone and i fall with throat dry and a black feather between my fangs.slcw

Wednesday, May 01, 2002

Hey there, Fobbin. I don’t remember—is it been 4 or is it been 5 hours since I’ve been here jazzing up this baby blog? But I think she’s getting prettier. I’m impressed with all the html coding I’ve done on the template.