Friday, 1 May 2015

April 2015: Films

Red Desert [Il Deserto Rosso]

Revisited. Still in awe as the first time.
Existential crisis at its peak. Man vs Machine. Industries.
The smoke.
In the end the child asks his mother why the smoke is yellow. It is poisonous, says she. Won't birds die when they fly through it? Asks the boy. No, they have learned by now that the smoke is poisonous and don't pass through it, says the mother. 
The tale Monica Vitti says to her son before his legs become all right. About the girl on an island. Who was singing? Asks the child. 'Everyone was singing' says she.
Nothing matters. There is only your emptiness with you. What am i but Monica Vitti in an Antonioni.
The part you liked the first time. Her speaking of taking everything with her while moving to a new place.
The music in the title sequence you wonder where it was from. By the end of the story it becomes diegetic because that's the song of the island.

3rd April 2015
Chidambaram G Aravindan

Liked it except for the narration by Gopi character in the end. Didn't like the woman at the temple in the end. Aravindan's style was ahead of his times. The body hanging limp in the cattle shed shot is beautiful. So is the shot in which Gopi peeps in through a window to see him hanging like that.

Things to copy: A shot in which a body is hanging that way in a room and someone is peeping in from outside. Work on sound to make it the opening scene. Show both the people without cutting. Do NOT cut.

6th April 2015
Innale: P Padmarajan

Allegorical about relationships. Past.
A woman who has relationships with two men.
Sexual jealousy of Jayaram and Suresh Gopi. The reason behind the prolonged kiss in the kitchen.
The dream sequence. No explanation to it. Yet evocative. Past is the protagonist. Aptly titled.
Things to copy: The opening sequence. The site of accident and rescue operations. People being pulled out of an upturned bus. Lit torches. Human power. Police. A good way to begin. Then cut to the whiteness of corpses.

On what basis was Jayaram cast and Sreevidya's son? [Never seen a more beautiful face than hers. May be Sweta Menon's] There is possessiveness for the mother also. It is all woven into the fabric with great care and ease at the same time.

A place where the brilliance of script is seen is with the Innocent, Lalitha episode where the photo Innocent shows is the one we see Jayaram try to take once.

6th April 2015
Detective Byomkesh Bakshy: Dibaker Banerjee

Liked the concept of Calcutta Kiss. As the name for the paan and the mystery around it. Otherwise a film like any other. Felt that the essence of Kolkata is missing even in this. Why?
Why do i feel only i am capable of showing the world the Kolkata i saw. I am seeing.

Kariyilakkaatupole: Padmarajan

Padmarajan was a male.
Second viewing. Slowly realizing the genius of the director. Karthika shall be my idol.
A woman who didn't give a damn about a womanizer is 'tamed'. With sex. It was not sex. It was rape.
But the good thing is that the woman raises the daughter alone. Unnimary becomes friends with the woman again and rejects Mammootty altogether.
Most male directors want to create an aura that Mammootty has in the film. Why is that so important.
The montage when Rahman kills and the paintings on the wall are staring at him is good.
Title cards with the picture of the cot is good too.
The mise-en-scene shows experience. Experience matters.

Novemberinte Nashtam.

His dream sequences are out of ordinary. The man is obsessed with relationships. Incest. Lesbian love. Amazing how he incorporated all that into commercial malayalam films.
Madhavi is just so pretty.
In one of the flashbacks in which they are both children she is a nun. Very clever.
The way Prathap Pothen's murder is intercut with the dream about the dog.
The song which is dedicated solely to the sister in law and Madhavi's relationship. What was that relationship but two women throwing men out of their lives. It is soon after that that the woman realizes she has missed her periods. How? Suggests physical intimacy. The brother is slowly moved out of the picture. Madhavi says she will disclose the details of the pregnancy to her sister-in-law and not her brother. Madhavi's death is not shown. Did she die really?

Namukku Paarkkaan Munthirithoppukal

To copy: the scene in which vineeth is sleeping with flying curtains. So night. So christian home. It is repeated in the end when Mohanlal comes to take Shaari. Shaari is beautiful as a lover.

11th April 2015

When there is a death people are only told that the person is 'serious'ly ill. It is only when they reach the hospital that they know. Or only when they actually see the body. Like how you saw appachan. Like how you hope against all hopes that it's not death that they mean by 'serious'.
No Malayalam film in which i have seen male sexual jealousy explored this way. Padmarajan was a feminist who wanted to hide his feminism. Suhasini's certain retorts to Mammootty are brilliant feminist statements. By making Mammootty kill the boy he made a strong statement against machismo. Unbelievable for a malayalee male director who was so popular.
Realized i was watching it for the second time when i saw that scene in which Mammootty's jeep had lost its brakes. Had seen it on TV and remembered that portion alone.

Introduced Rahman he did.

14th April 2015

Changed everything. So much to copy that i have to watch it shot by shot and make a note of it. Also planning to screen it in the main theatre with subtitles. 

17th April 2015


Life changer. So new. So fresh. It's a baby. Like Vib said it is negating the medium called cinema itself. You were just watching people's lives. So political yet not preaching. This must be the first time a dalit issue is being brought on screen in fiction. In this manner. How the wife says that he had no protection and that he was in the habit of going in drunk because it was impossible for any human being to bear with the smell if they were sober.
The second time he is arrested is also so political. And the mise-en-scene. Holy Moses! What craft!
What great use of sound. Sound and cinematography are invisible like how it should be.
How the family chews on sweet jeera after they eat out.
The portion where the judge on holiday asks his relative to change the name of the child, wear rings etc. Without saying anything it becomes political.
When lights are switched off it is a pseudo end. Then cut to the judge's holiday. Wow!
It was not a film i watched. It was another medium which the rest of us are unaware of.

Alaipayuthe: Maniratnam 

Didn't like it much. Wrong casting i felt. Lacks finesse. Just another film.

Margarita, with a Straw: Shonali Bose

Hard to say why i didn't like the film. Liked some parts. But nothing worth remembering. Hated the date with yourself idea which was shown through a mirror. So immature. Amu was better in many ways i felt. Not sure since i watched it long time ago. Nothing noteworthy or 'lootworthy'.

A Scene at the Sea: Takeshi Kitano

Loved it except for the montage in the end which seemed like something lifted from a mediocre Malayalam film. Liked the craft. The use of repetition, repetition of space in different permutation combinations of characters. Good.
(About a deaf boy who tries to learn to surf. His girlfriend, father, friends etc.)

Sonatine: Takeshi Kitano

The opening frame of the fish. Too good. Lost track of who was killing whom and who was who. Yet the film is good. How does he do that? In the end he tried to go back to the bad montage use. This time it was much better than the one in A Scene at the Sea. 

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