Monday, December 14, 2009

From the Bible

The Lord speaks through Samuel to Saul as follows: “Now go and smite Amalek, and utterly destroy all that they have, and spare them not; but slay both man and woman, infant and suckling, ox and sheep, camel and ass.” (I Samuel, 15)


Monday, September 21, 2009

Two fast action flicks: Getaway and Shaft

An action filled masterpiece from Sam Peckinpah starring Steve McQueen and Ali McGraw. Exemplary acting from McQueen and McGraw depicting a turbulent relationship amidst robbery, double crossing, violence, chase, murder and sex. For Peckinpah these are familiar territory and he delivers the movie with exceptional cuts and montages. What's lacking in the movie is the original score by Quincy Jones don't keeping up to the flow and punch of the visuals.

Directed by John Singleton of Boyz n the Hood fame, Shaft was different and better than Getaway in its soundtrack by the great Isaac Hayes. Shaft was made as kind of a sequel to the 1971 Shaft directed by Gordon Parks starring Richard Rountree which originally had the Isaac Hayes soundtrack. Exceptional action sequences, dialogues, great overall acting from the cast makes this movie a great cinematic experience.
Obviously after seeing this movie there are few things that I must do. To get the original soundtrack and the 1971 version of the Shaft, which is said to be even hotter.

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Tokyo Monagatari (Tokyo Story)

Parents visiting their children and their family in Tokyo quickly realizes that their visit has added more burden to the struggling middle class existence of their progeny. The parents, sad but totally accepting their situation return back to their home. Ozu with his incomparable sense of humanity have composed this film to perfection. Black and white film was rarely so near poetry. Without melodrama and emotional outbursts, with the characters smiling when they are most hurt, subtle like a river flowing, Ozu tell this story so Japanese in look but universal in the language of cinema. The flow of story and the emotional coherence of the shots are so perfect that you will never notice that almost all of this masterpiece is made of static shots. One of those rare gems in the history of cinema.

Wednesday, April 08, 2009

Pune traffic

One good thing about driving in Pune is that you are free to improvise upon the rules of the road. If you think that you are not moving fast enough, take the wrong side.Though there already is a stream of vehicles in the wrong track, you move faster than the morons in the right track. Now by any chance if the wrong track traffic clogs up, you can always crawl back into the right track. In doing so expect some difficulty caused by the righteous morons who were watching your activities for sometime.

Another great thing you can do in Pune is to jump signals. If you happened to be the first one at the signal and also happens to be very upright about traffic rules, you are in for great fun. The wait for the signal to turn green is only a minute but people generally are in a great hurry. You are squinting at the signal for the green arrow. But by the last thirty seconds of that long wait people behind you will be making a lot of fuss and noise. You might turn around to see what the matter is, only to find out that they are actually shouting at you for being the party pooper. The traffic from the other sides have stopped and there is a gap of five odd seconds for your signal to turn green but that five seconds should not be wasted. Young girls and retired senior citizens alike will speak to you in ornate tongues and make sure your adrenaline is gushed and you promptly jump the signal.

Wednesday, March 04, 2009

"...religion is an inescapable artefact of the wiring in our brain..."

Monday, February 23, 2009

"Do not be daunted by the enormity of the world's grief. Do justly, now. Love mercy, now. Walk humbly, now. You are not obligated to complete the work, but neither are you free to abandon it." - The Talmud

On Lalu Prasad Yadav and the Indian Railways.

Saturday, February 14, 2009

It's nice that (probably) the first "fuck" in feature-film history is uttered by a woman – during Molly Bloom's climactic monologue (9min 57sec) in Joseph Strick's 1967 version of Ulysses.
Good, no? Fun with profanity.

Thursday, February 05, 2009

Bach/Mozart v Hooligans

Theodore Dalrymple writes:

[...] I was interested to read in the local newspaper how the proprietors of some stores are preventing hooligans from gathering outside to intimidate and rob customers. They play Bach over loudspeakers, and this disperses the youths in short order; they flee the way Count Dracula fled before holy water, garlic flowers, and crucifixes.
Leys was sitting in a café where other customers were chatting, playing cards, or having a drink. The radio was on, tuned to a station that relayed idle chatter and banal popular music (you are lucky these days if popular music is banal only). But suddenly, and for no apparent reason, it played the first movement of Mozart’s clarinet quintet, transforming the café into what Leys called “the antechamber of paradise.” The customers stopped what they were doing, as if startled. Then one of them stood up, went over to the radio, and tuned it to another station, restoring the idle chatter and banal music. There was general relief, as if everyone felt that the beauty and refinement of Mozart were a reproach to their lives to which they could respond only by suppressing Mozart.