Monday, April 21, 2008

it's nothing...

I tell you everything that is really nothing, and nothing of what is everything, do not be fooled by what I am saying. Please listen carefully and try to hear what I am not saying.

memory cells?

You see every drink of liquor you take kills a thousand brain cells. Now that doesn't much matter because we got billions more. And first the sadness cells die so you smile real big. And then the quiet cells go so you just say everything real loud for no reason at all. That'ok, that's ok because the stupid cells go next, so everything you say is real smart. And finally, come the memory cells. These are tough sons of bitches to kill.

more on golf..

I was watching "The Greatest Game Ever Played", and I can not agree more when I say that it's a gem of a movie. But what I would still say is, "The Legend of Bagger Vance" still stays a masterpiece - a class act. I can watch the movie on and on and on and on.

Having watched Bagger Vance earlier, I sort of preempted all the scenes of the movie - could relay Bagger Vance and Junuh right in front of my eyes, while Eddie was talking to the golfer every now and then. Ahh - gotta watch it again now. Breathtaking. Marvelous. Gold.

Getting Lucky - Part II

Ways to get lucky..?

  • Pay attention to your surroundings; you won’t spot good luck unless you look for it.
  • Strike up conversations with strangers; you might meet the love of your life or make an important business contact.
  • After you meet someone interesting, follow up with an email or a phone call.
  • Stay relaxed, even in pressure situations; it’ll help you be more aware.
  • Vary your routine everyday. Walk on the other side of the street, or try a new lunch joint.
  • Be aggressive about making changes you want. Still thinking about going on a country-wide trip? Just go already.
  • Follow your hunches and gut feelings; many seemingly random occurrences are actually the result of good subconscious decisions.
  • Treat nagging doubts as alarm bells; they’re often right, even if you can’t pinpoint the reason.
  • Expect good fortune; if you think something’s going to happen, you’ll be more likely to spot it when it does.
  • Believe in lucky charms. It doesn't have special powers, but the confidence it gives you is very powerful.
  • Smile. People will smile back, and suddenly you’re off to a good start.
  • Outlast bad luck; often a negative turn of events creates unexpected opportunities for good results.

Thursday, April 17, 2008

You can only get smarter by playing a smarter opponent..
..and the problem is that we have far more opinion than information..

Tuesday, April 15, 2008

The Mystery Girl - Rebecca..



A masterpiece of stylistic contrasts, Rebecca would likely have come apart at the seams but for the relentless intensity of producer Selznick. It is adapted from the reflective, dreamlike novel by Daphne Du Maurier, but directed by the claustrophobic “Master of Suspense” Alfred Hitchcock; it was subject to Selznick’s own uncompromising vision of sweeping grandeur and absolute fidelity to the novel. But somehow these conflicting elements fused as one, to create a first-rate epic romance with a unique, enigmatic texture of its very own.

It’s quite fitting that the central character of ‘Rebecca’ goes unnamed. Rebecca, the character, is the most talked about, admired and hated character in this film but you never see her. You guessed it, she is dead. Her presence/ghost still haunts the walls and rooms of her former home, Mandelay. Her widowed husband Maxim De Winter (Lawrence Olivier) has since remarried a younger, more na├»ve woman (Joan Fontaine) who goes without a name (“hey you”, ”Mrs. De Winter”). Maxim seems to be broken up over the death of Rebecca: he never seems happy, jumps into violent outrages, and almost jumps off a cliff. His young wife is constantly compared to her and constantly falls short. Rebecca was a woman of noble class, intelligent, strong, commanding, and most important breathlessly beautiful. The simple “second Mrs. De Winter” can’t even hold up her own against the brooding Mrs. Danvers, Mandelay’s chief maid. Mrs. Danver’s is a mean, spirited, and somewhat insulted that Maxim would marry under Rebecca’s standards. Her loyalty to Rebecca’s legacy creates a friction between her and the new wife.

Given that this is a Hitchcock movie, nothing is what it seems, obviously. It is a testament to the old master´s technique that the film plays like a supernatural thriller, but the film eventually evolves into a drama and a mystery.

Despite the many forces pulling “Rebecca” in all different directions, the film emerges as a coherent and intriguing whole. It manages to be both sentimental and unvarnished, both fairy tale and thriller, both faithful to the book and a compelling work in its own right. Hundreds of films fall into the “gothic” camp; this is one of the very best –an expansive, captivating classic.

Monday, April 14, 2008

October Sky

"October Sky" is a teen-years biography of a NASA scientist who got his start building rockets in his basement. It is so full of spirit and letter-perfect filmmaking that I defy anyone to watch this movie without getting a tingle in his or her heart.

Thrilling in the best sense of the word, traditional without being corny and with a script, photography and symbolism that could be the basis of a film literature textbook, "October Sky" is a classic in the making. It's just a pity it didn't get Oscar nomination.

The picture stars Jake Gyllenhaal as Homer Hickman, a coal miner's son determined to break away from his assumed destiny following in his father's bleak and dangerous subterranean footsteps. Inspired by the launch of Sputnik in 1957, Homer buddies up to his school's nerd to pick his brain about physics. They eventually garner the curiosity of whole town and get ire of his unsupportive father.

The defining moment in "October Sky" comes half way through the movie when Homer is left to fend for his family after his father is severely injured in the inevitable mine cave-in. Homer sees his dreams dashed and surrenders to the fate his father always had in mind for him. Hard hat on, pick axe on his shoulder, he's about to go down into the tunnels for the first time.

Like the opening shot of "Contact" that takes us on a three-minute tour of the universe to show us just how small we are, a brilliant 60-second sequence summarizes the entire picture in one flawless and powerfully symbolic sequence.

The director knows how to be subtle - Homer's mother spends her spare time painting a mural of a Beach on her drab kitchen wall, which goes almost unnoticed until a bullet pierces the window.

Jake's performance, while overly wide-eyed in the tradition of 1950s-style dreamers, is so easy to rally behind that every time one of his missiles sears into the sky, the audience feels the same rush he feels.

From a film theory point of view, "October Sky" is a a shining example of nearly flawless filmmaking, brilliant in script and execution. But more than that, it proves that a movie can be 100 percent traditional and still be fresh and exciting.

There is so much more I could say about this movie. It's just peppered with both understated and towering cinematic master strokes. But suffice to say, go watch it!

Thursday, April 10, 2008

Khuda Kay Liye..

If given a choice between Pakistani movies and Pakistani TV shows/serials, one would settle for the small screen any day.

Cinema in India has undergone a sea change and whether one likes it or not, the harsh fact remains that cinema here is entertainment driven. In that respect, KHUDA KAY LIYE is miles apart.

You really don't take to the film at the outset. For, it takes time to come to the point, but once it does, there's no stopping it. However, there's a flip side as well. A theme like the one depicted in the film is not everyone's cup of tea. Although one does identify with the proceedings, the film is more for the thinking viewer, for those who dissect cinema after watching it, it's a film that sparks off debates and discussions.

One cannot turn eyes away from the fact that Khuda Kay Liye is a well-made film that reaffirms a dangerous fact - the world is only getting more and more divided!

The film depicts the dilemma the well-educated, progressive-thinking and liberal Pakistanis face, post 9/11. The West looks at them as potential terrorists, while fundamentalists frown on them.

The educated and modern Muslims are in a difficult situation because of their approach towards life and their western attire. They are criticized and harassed by the fundamentalists and on the other hand, the western world sees them as potential suspects of terrorism just because of their Muslim names.

The film has two stories running concurrently. The elder brother wants to pursue music as a career and leaves for the U.S. The younger brother is so influenced by the fundamentalists that he turns into an altogether different person completely. The younger brother's story of forcibly marrying a woman, the woman wanting to flee from his clutches but can't, takes you back to the Karisma Kapoor starrer Shakti-The Power. The elder brother's story is novel and deftly executed. In fact, the elder brother's story is heart breaking.

Director knows exactly what he's talking about and has handled several portions with dexterity, especially the penultimate 20 minutes in the courtroom. Only thing is, the chaste Urdu spoken by Naseeruddin Shah is difficult to decipher. Naseeruddin Shah, as always, is awesome.

There can't be a better way to portray such sensitive things with so much ease. The sound track will surely make your emotions flow. I still have one doubt: Whether Muslim people willingly choose the way they lead their life or whether they are the victims of the society and the traditions and the culture in Pakistan.

Wednesday, April 09, 2008

Golfers paradise


The mind is restless, turbulent, obstinate

and very strong...

To subdue it is...more difficult

than controlling the wind.


Arjuna's observations to Bhagavan

Bhagavad-Gita Chapter 6, Section 34


Bagger Vance, a caddie who helps World War I hero Rannulph Junah find his “authentic” swing on a Savannah golf course in 1931, is one of a kind. More than a helper with a few words of great golf advice, Bagger Vance is a fictionalized version of Bhagavan, the supreme Hindu god. And Rannulph Junah isn’t just a golfer from Savannah, Georgia. He is a fictionalized version of Arjuna, the mortal whom Bhagavan assists in the Hindu scriptural epic, the Bhagavad-Gita.

The 1931 golf match at the Links at Krewe Island between the fictional Junah and two of golf’s greatest legends, Bobby Jones and Walter Hagen, never happened, of course. But the backdrop of The Legend of Bagger Vance is very real. A sensational golf match would have provided folks with a much-needed diversion from the daily grind of Depression-wracked America.

It wasn’t long ago that the idea of golf instantly brought to mind the pot-bellied over-fifty crowd with plaid slacks and two-tone shoes. But even before Tiger Woods swept that image away in the real world, the aura of the game was changing in the movies. When Kevin Costner—playing a hard-drinking club pro who has squandered his talent for the game—gave Renee Russo her memorable hands-on golf lesson in Tin Cup, the idea of the golfer as macho male sex symbol had arrived.

Now, in this Robert Redford movie, Matt Damon steps up to the tee to take on Costner’s role of the prematurely over-the-hill golf genius.

If you give this movie a chance and let yourself be drawn into the tranquil and beguiling scenes of a young man struggling to find his courage and keep his balance in the green arena of the course, you’ll forget the deficiencies of plot and acting and all the rest. It has a lyrical sincerity. It catches the way in which golf takes you away from the preoccupations of daily life and transports you to a world where nature seems simultaneously friendly and indifferent to your plight. It’s a good-hearted movie about a game that never lets you forget that how you hit the ball and read the greens and cope with the hazards tells you something true about yourself.

For the millions who play the game, this movie is compulsory. For the millions more who have wondered why apparently sane people go slightly mad when they head for the fairways, it will help to explain what the madness is all about.

Waterfront?

When I watched "Ghulam" about ten years back, I found the script amazingly refreshing, and the performances were superb. Siddhu (Aamir) could really carry the movie on his shoulders (as he quite normally does these days) - those days, he was just coming out of chocolate-y boy image, and hence to carry off such a persona was breathtaking.

However, when I saw "On The Waterfront" a couple of years later, I was shocked, to say the least. The movie was a rip off. I mean, OTW came many many years ago, and was one of the best performances of Marlon Brando (though I like him most in Godfather, for no reasons at all).

I wonder whether Brando make On the Waterfront great? Or was he just great in it? I watched it yesterday yet again, but still couldn't decide.

And Pigeons - is there something in them that I fail to see? Cinematography is just wonderful, and rightly so, the movie grabbed as many as Eight Oscars! A must watch.

Take this for the starters,
"If I spill, my life ain't worth a nickel."
"And how much is your soul worth if you don't?"
"Which side are you with?"

"Me? I am with me!"
Do you believe that God loves you with all his heart?

Do you feel that God loves you with all his heart?

What's the catch?
"Come here, give me a kiss."
"Why?"
"Because I need it!"

Tuesday, April 08, 2008

Casablanca

..and following Notorious, Casablanca is an obvious choice. I know I have office running in the morning, but can't really let Ingrid down by not watching her best performance ever, with Bogey also doing the tricks..

So here's something to relive the moments..

Ilsa: [laughs ironically] With the whole world crumbling, we pick this time to fall in love.
Rick: Yeah, it's pretty bad timing. Where were you, say, ten years ago?
Ilsa: [trying to be cheerful] Ten years ago? Well, let's see...
[remembers, smiles]
Ilsa: Oh, yes, I was having a brace put on my teeth. Where were you?
Rick: Looking for a job...

Notorious

Wonder why Ingrid didn't get an Oscar for playing Alicia in this awesome 1946 Hitchcock movie..and Cary Grant's brilliant, as always.

My favs:

Alicia: Don't ever leave me.
Devlin: You'll never get rid of me again.
Alicia: Never tried to.

___________________________________

Devlin: A man doesn't tell a woman what to do; she tells herself. You almost had me believing in that little hokey-pokey miracle of yours, that a woman like you could change her spots.
Alicia: Oh, you're rotten.
Devlin: That's why I didn't try to stop you. The answer had to come from you.
Alicia: I see. Some kind of love test.
Devlin: That's right.

Friday, April 04, 2008

Smile..

Every time I read this post, I fall on the floor laughing!

Here's something for you to smile, today - "http://abhinav-gupta.blogspot.com/2006/12/peg-by-peg.html"

Wednesday, April 02, 2008

Back to normal..

Now that I am back to a streamlined way of living (read going to office, coming back, watching a few movies a day; going to bed on time, waking up early...yes, I said early, going to office again..yaada yaada..), I shall see the facets of corporate life yet again, in a different way.

As of now, it looks interesting; exciting; thought provoking; and above all, asking for lots of hard work. Need to go back to those technical days, when we paid no attention to the profs in class. It does come back!