Monday, May 30, 2005

a theory of evolution, monsoon etc...

A group of apes that ate magic mushrooms began to think differently, their perception evolved, abstraction became a faculty of their mind, they created music, they began painting. They evolved and became human beings.

"What do you think?" I asked
"Possible" replied Parashu. Parashu was busy reading the mind of a girl who thought she was committing harakiri. I left him alone.

I could already smell the monsoon in the air. The spirit of my ancestors within me rejoiced. My genes react to the smell of rain. Today is 30 th of May. Yesterday, It had rained in Kochi i believe it is part of Kerala. Man always is trying to predict God's next move, but God is happily playing in the puddle.

What is the difference between genius and stupidity?
Genius has limits- Albert Einstein

Tuesday, May 17, 2005

framed by the chruch

framed by the chruch
Originally uploaded by Parashu.

the good_naveen anthraper

the good_naveen anthraper
Originally uploaded by Parashu.

A freeze from joshua's short film. Naveen J Anthraper plays the role of "good". Naveen who?
Naveen is guitarist/ rocker from kochi with sizeble female following.

Monday, May 16, 2005

ruins of dhanushkodi 2

ruins of dhanushkodi 2
Originally uploaded by Parashu.

The ghost town...

dhanushkodi church in the ruins

dhanushkodi church ruins
Originally uploaded by Parashu.

old man and the sea

old man and the sea
Originally uploaded by Parashu.

At Dhanuskodi we met an old man. He told us stories about the ghost town on the beach. He told us about the houses, stations, warehouses, schools and church that the british had build. Amongst which the church was the only recogniseble structure. He pointed far into the sea taking our eyes to the place where once the house of president abdul kalam stood.

The wind was blowing in from the sea. Tiny particles of sand stunk our faces. But the old man struck a match and lit his beedi. The wind did not interupt him as though there was a pact between them. Afterall he was the only surviving member in the town that once was a busy trade center. His hamlet stood saperate from that of the fisher folks. The road that lead in and out of Dhanushkodi divided them...

josh with the cast

josh with the cast
Originally uploaded by Parashu.

Parashu and me went to along for the shoot of joshua newton's shortfilm. The location was danushkodi, near rameshwaram, tamil nadu. This place is the southern most tip of India, sri lanka is around 74 km from here. There was a thriving port town here till 1950, with railway station which had upto 6 trains coming in daily, that was supposed to be very busy station back then. Then, a tsunami like phenomenon took the entire town under the sea. Today only ruins of the town are seen here. and amongst the ruins, a church is the only recognisable structure. The finale of josh's film unfolds in this church of the ghost town.

Thursday, May 12, 2005

Kingdom of heaven- Grey hero and white villian

The story has a stronger political and philosophical message, as opposed to the primal emotions of a wronged father in 'Gladiator'. Even though it is very timely given the political climate of the world, 'Kingdom of Heaven' will have lesser universal appeal.

Queen Sibylla "There will come a time when you wish that you had done a little evil for a greater good" Balian stood silent. Profound statement is wasted because the professed time does not come. After the surrender of Jerusalem to the army of Salaudin. Sibylla and Balian ride back to a little village in France and live happily ever after!! The film looks like it is edited out to cater to the box office demands. The duration looked like it was too small to tell the story the director really wanted to say. Especially the relationship between Balian and Sibylla looks incomplete and underdeveloped. Their on screen passion does not have proper build up. Hope we get to see the film from Ridley Scotts heart which would be possible if there is ever a director's cut.

The film does manage to break a few stereotypes. For one the people from the Middle East are portrayed as disciplined, belonging to a more advanced society than the Europeans who are mostly shown as crude and barbaric. Sallaudin is portrayed as a noble visionary general. This is the first time i have seen a villian with a halo portrayed in pure white, as opposed to the shades of grey on the hero.

Parashu liked the film. He is yet to recover from the sheer scale of production. (He has not seen 'Lord of the rings')

Saturday, May 07, 2005

Silence on mount kailash

Gowri Chandrashekar a.k.a Jomol better known to malayalam film watchers as Janaki kutty called a press conference where she alleged her parents of having cheated her off her 'cash'. It was not shocking since it looked like a rerun of incidents that unfolded after 17 october 2004.

At a facilitation ceremony during a public function held at Cochin, Meera Jasmin cried. The bad blood between her and her parents was material for prime time TV news. TRP rating hit new highs, Kerala discussed Meera into the night onto the pillow.

Next morning stale headlines in the leading newspapers - photo of the crying star, the glycerin free tears flowing down her famous cheeks. It had one generation shell shocked and the other found expression.

The stereotype of the suffering parent watched shell shocked, they had witnessed the birth of a retribution- The tyrant parent and the suffering children. One whole generation's muted scream had found voice.

Now a few old question will be re-examined 'Why are old being pushed into old age homes?' Magazines will re-analyse. Stories on the subject will have new twists.

"Hope that this will not become a new vocabulary for justification of cruelty towards parents"- said Parashu.

A report during that week in the inside pages of Cochin edition of newspapers went largely unnoticed, a father had hacked his only son to death as he threatened to kill him and his wife.

A couple sat silently atop a mountain as their rather cute elephant like son, circumambulated them. Today there was silence.

Thursday, May 05, 2005

Propagating equality of sexes- a blueprint for the media

Parashu defines woman thus-

"Woman is female of the human species. The male is called man. Like in the case of most mammals it is the woman that bears the off springs and nourishes them" . All the differences between a man and a woman begins and ends with reproduction function, in all other ways they are similar, or to phrase it in a politically correct manner- they are 'equal'.
The real position of equality of the sexes therefore rests on one factor - impact of reproduction function on the the physical, psychological and spiritual aspects of man and woman. Assuming that a human being is body, mind and soul.
Victimization. "The weak is victimized by the strong".
When we in the media propagate the issue of victimization there is an implication of assumed weakness of the victim. When we pump the messages of woman as a victim, the task of reinstating woman to her rightfully equal status becomes very difficult.
In case of Regina (of Kunjalikutty fame) media not only lost an opportunity to shred the popular stereotypical victimized woman mould instead they twisted the truth to play to the gallery for monetary gains. After all in this case she was not the prey, she was the hunter. Showing the reality of Kunjalikutty being the victim would have been a step in the right direction towards portrayal of woman as the one who victimized the 'lost to lust' man.

Parashu says to us in the media, 'Nevermind there is always a next time'

Monday, May 02, 2005

Digital Malayalam Cinema: An irrelevant discussion of a relevant issue

I overheard a Malayalam film producer's PA in conversation with Parashu. Now this dude knew all the inside stuff, when i say 'inside stuff', i mean 'real underbelly stuff'. The kind of stuff that won't get written in the media. The powerful media is expected to be fearless and truthful, but the editors are after all folks with families and career aspiration.

Unlike these editors Parashu is fearless, at the same time he is wise enough to know that most of that discussion lay outside the topical scope of this blog. There was this passing bit in the conversation that i found more interesting than deals and kinks of the famous.

I must tell you guys this...he spoke of digital cinema projection. Parashu was excited by the time 'the insider' had left. He told me how the Malayalam film industry could get its glory back. Malayalam cinema with capability of the innovative subject selection, could phase out the threats it is facing from the other film markets. If only MACTA and film exhibitor's association saw with the clarity he did...

The possibility of film projectors in the theaters and multiplexes going digital would be liberating. This technology is available now. Imagine a filmmaker being able to shoot on digital, edit the film in his home pc. burn the product on to a DVD. Marketing it. Getting censor clearance and put it on the exhibition. Sounds simple and alluring, alley!! It is the economics of the film format which is hindering the technical competitiveness of Malayalam Cinema.

Conversion of film to and from digital format is a very expensive option. while in the big markets like west and the big Indian markets where cost is not a consideration, film is worked upon digitally to make enhanced visuals. That is why foreign films and current crop of hindi, tamil and telugu films have better production value. Now-a-days an art house film in those market can afford minimum budgets ranging between 2-3 crores. But for small markets of the size of Kerala, a film that costs more than a crore and an half for a mainstream film is financial suicide.

That is where digital format comes in. The digital projectors being a new technology can be expensive. What if the Kerala film distributor's and exhibitor's associations can collectively take initiative to bulk purchase digital projectors in place of film projectors. Then the cost of production of the film would come down. That would mean democratization of the film industry, letting new people into the industry making some old hands redundant (this would come in with its fair share of flux) but in the end; one of the more mature film industry and market in India would survive. This would also mean some people would have to give up the habits of deals and kinks, which is easier said than done. Till then we movie goers and cinema at large would have to suffer for their pleasures.

(disclaimer: This piece would make filmmaking in the future sound alluring and simple, Complexities of ever changing film grammars, technicalities and other intricacies , are conveniently ignored to maintain the focus of the topic of discussion. Parashu or the writer will not be take responsibility for any such illusion of simplicity and resultant acts that the above discussion conjures)