Thursday, December 16, 2010

Film Festival Diary - IFFK 2010

Think I'm retiring from this year's edition.

20101215 Optical Illusions
Was supposed to be "a delightful comedy" according to the blurbs. Delivered in parts. Interestingly characters albeit without depth - a blind man who regains his sight and along with it pessimism, an employee being trained for unemployment...Lots of humor understated

20101215 Zephyr
Nobody reminded me..what I'd noted day before yesterday! Made-up Symbolism and Songs with Meaning tire and stress me out now. Cow lost (calf without mother), mother of protagonist comes home. Later mother leaves, cow returns. Not all without substance though.

20101215 Certified Copy
If you have a good enough copy one won't miss the original. Movie illustrates the point beautifully, starting with discussions about Art - paintings and their copies. Then the lead characters (a writer and a fan) role-play as husband-wife. The lines are quickly blurred. Intriguing.

Decided to go for 3 today!

20101214 The Light Thief
Movie about an adorable inventor in the middle of nowhere. Slow-moving but poignant.

Decided to take it slow. Going for only one movie today

20101213 Lola
Remind me to never watch movies about bringing up a kid alone, woman director. No substance, some good music.

Announcement in hall: "I kindly request you to switch off your mobile phones."

20101213 Silent Souls
Depressing Russian movie about belonging and death. Merjan rituals and vodka-washes...Perhaps a dream the director or the author dreamt, should have stayed a private fantasy... Must say the movie was made with genuine feeling though

20101213 The Grandmaster
Japanese movie (1960s) captivates whether you know anything about the game of Shogi or not. Powerful acting by daughter of the Grandmaster in the scene about the Silver-Bullet move stands out as a highlight.

20101212 Of Love And Other Demons
Boring boring. A prototype of the pretentious art-movie stereotype. Provided me with a most refreshing power-nap. Rabies, a priest's love affair with a teenager...shot mostly in darkness and dungeons...made me long for the lights to come on. Shots of faces half in darkness, half in light seem to be the director's favorite trick to provide symbolism...slipping into the dark side...

20101212 Apart Together
A nice Chinese movie about a man returning to his lover after 50 years and planning to take her back from her husband. The husband agrees! Enjoyed a song that reminded me of the drinking songs of Malluland.

20101211 The Daughter-In-Law
Nice to be touched by genius every once in a while, Silent movie from Kyrgyzstan with no dialogue. Powerful storyline. Symbolic interludes with shots of animals are a little bit cheesy but acceptable.

I'm delegate number 13309.

Saturday, September 18, 2010

Card Hacking With The Aashaan

On a lazy Saturday morning, nothing better to do - decide to analyze cards along with Nithin "Gokul" Rajagopal aka Cindy aka Aashaan, who has an insanely good visual memory...

Each face card (JKQ) is different!
Only card with a raised weapon - King Of Hearts
Only king without a moustache - King Hearts - He also has 4 hands in views. Hands up?
Only people with curls inwards - King Of Hearts and King Of Diamonds
Jack Spades is the only guys with multiple curls
Only cards showing the side-view - Jack Of Spades, Jack Of Hearts & King Of Diamonds
They don't care? Looking away from Sign - Jack Of Clubs, King Of Spades, Queen Of Spades, Jack Of Spades
King Of Clubs and the Queen Of Hearts don't have their sign on their attire! All the rest do!
(C)20100918 Aashaan

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Who You Are Versus What You Are

Of late, I have been analyzing various social interactions and personal conflicts from the angle of Who-You-Are versus What-You-Are and I've found that it explains a lot of things: from extravagant weekend shopping sprees to Daddy-wasn't-there situations to I-won't-talk-to-you-anymore personal crises...

Who You Are: There are things you do because of your intrinsic nature. You are who you are. That's the kind of person I am!

What You Are: There are things you do or want to do because of things you have no control over. Victims of circumstance is what you are. I do what I have to do!


Army officers: Attention!
People who spent most of their lives working in the army come to expect similar levels of discipline and no-questions-asked obedience in their personal lives as well. They expect you to listen to what they have to say (Attention!) and this is what often leads to coffee-table monologues!

Beggars: What kind of cheapo are you?
A beggar pleads with you for money persistently. Finally, you are touched and finally give him small change. Then It has happened to me!

Beggar: Please...Please...Please... (What You Are: Beggars beg)
You: No...No...No... (What You Are: Refuse requests for money from strangers.)
Then you finally give in...give him small
You: Here take this. Hope this change helps. (Who You Are: Human being with empathy)
Beggar: What? 50 paise!!! (Who You Are: I gave up my dignity for this!!??)

There is an Ego associated with both these components of our personality and this leads to conflicts and problems. Our irritation with people we interact with usually expresses itself with the protests: Who does he think he is? What does he think I am?

It is easier for the What-You-Are component to override and control the Who-You-Are component. I guess how comfortable you are with the sudden switch-overs will determine how happy you are...

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Professionally Good!

Can an exceptionally good doctor be an evil person?

A high degree of benevolence is intrinsically associated with some professions. People working in these roles are supposed to help people commonly held to be "un-evil” and we often subconsciously confuse the professional with the personals. Surely, some of the good in the work he does would rub off on him, wouldn't it?

The character of Dr. Hannibal Lecter (Silence Of The Lambs) was so shocking and effective primarily because of the inherent traits we tend to associate with doctors and cooks. Given that Hannibal the Cannibal was both a doctor, a good cook and a connoisseur to boot, the line of dialogue, "I ate his liver with some fava beans and a nice chianti." comes as a real blood-curdler!!!

People who are “professionally” good could include -
Doctors: Save us from disease! (Godly actions)
Cops: Save us from bad guys! (Father figures. They enforce the law which is for the greater common good, ensure justice)
Cooks: Feed us! (strong association with Mother, care etc. They feed you, would never knowingly poison you, would they!)

So we tend to assume that if they are good at what they do, since what they do is for the good, they must also be good persons who will not want to do you harm. Surely, he cannot be a bad person!

There are also many movies where the "good cop" hero, also does a lot of bad, evil things. Dirty Harry, for example.

Given the choice of a lawyer, a politician and a doctor, and all of them are ready, willing and equally equipped to help (say, take care of your dog) you, who would you rather go to for some help?

Monday, February 01, 2010

Notes To My Child

Don't lose:

* your curiosity and sense of wonder. Never hesitate to question Why or to ask Why not!
* your openness and ability to accept new things. This is what I thought, but it could work that way too and, you know what, it might actually be better that way.

* your lack of inhibition and shame. Don't be afraid to try out whatever's on your mind. People might think it's silly but hey, it's just them, who cares!

You'll be better off if you get rid of:

* Your naivete and innocence. Some people are evil, though most of them are harmless because they are selfish as well. You'll be better off with a slight(but hey don't overdo it), mean streak.

* The need to be/feel rewarded for every little thing you've done. Yeah, that was great all right but not everybody realizes it.

* your impatience. It could take some time before things improve.

Sunday, January 31, 2010


We would love to go green, but we need your a line you often hear from corporates nowadays. It's become so prevalent that there is actually a word that has been invented for it: greenmailing, as opposed to blackmailing.

It's only a change of shade, you know, from blackmail to greenmail. The greenmailer also aims to exploit a sense of guilt in you for his private gain. But one difference i:, the cheapo greenmailers don't have the guts to admit that they are engaging in cheap greenmail, while the blackmailer has no qualms about doing so . What was that about, Honor Among Thieves?

GREENMAIL in action

* The Bank asks you to opt for account-statements by email. Save Paper!, they say.

Distorted viewpoint? Hardly. These pleas are more about saving petty overhead expenses than about the environment. It's all about the bottom-line, and that is the bottom line!

* The Bank then sends you printed fliers about their latest loans and facilities. They even have the temerity to send you (and keep on sending you!) paper reminders of the importance of opting for paperless email-statements!

More flagrant examples of greenmailing are on view at hotels. The Hotel asks you to reduce your water-usage in the wash-room. Water is Scarce!, a prominently placed poster proclaims. The Hotel asks you to not expect a fresh towel/sheet every day. We need to Conserve Resources!, they say. The Hotel asks you to cooperate during the scheduled switching off of the air-conditioner for two hours...with the energy used by an AC in an hour can be used to...blah blah... Use less, save the environment!

Yeah, right!