Mdeii Life - Anand Krishnamoorthi's blog
Monday, September 25, 2006
An Irish what?
Apparently I am named after the Irish goddess of fertility, cattle, and prosperity, who is also known for comforting and teaching the dying (Wikipedia).
Cattle? What do they mean? I am not even Amit Varma.
Saturday, September 23, 2006
The union mafia's film "bandh"
Today the Tamil film industry has chosen to "honour their kalaigner". The umbrella union of film-workers (FEFSI-Film Employees Federation of South India) has effectively called for a two-day halt to all film activity.
This is technically not a bandh to filmmaking, but surely irritates us non-believers and non-sycophants. FEFSI card holders, even if they are full-time employees of private production houses, like ours, are compelled to not work. As a result we have to cancel and reschedule a whole bunch of shoots. Our own electricians and set-riggers are afraid to work, fearing union reprisals (கார்ட கிழிச்சிடுவாங்க ஸார்) The genny-operators we hired, are to lose two-days of 'bata'. Our reschedule is going to cost us four times over because we lose two more days next week to Gandhi Jayanthi and Aayutha Pujai.
If you want a fucking holiday, why the fuck are we paying for it? And who the fuck are you? Because we includes the worker who's losing two-days' wages.
Friday, September 22, 2006
The Favourite-Disembodied-Voice List
Since I work in the sound business, (and incidentally, Nilu grants that my work is cool enough to blog about) I have to contend with hearing disembodied human voices for a significant amount of time some days.
For long, Priya Ganapathy of Bangalore's Radio City FM topped my favourite-disembodied-voice list. That list has now grown to two to include the exquisitely named Yael Ksander of WFIU. The station and A Moment of Science podcast also feature music that seem to have originated from somewhere between Windows 95 and Birla Planetarium.
Sunday, September 10, 2006
Remarkably boring! Nevertheless a decent enough excuse to meet long-time-no-see people.
Sunday, September 03, 2006
VV is a successful film because it has some really important things going for it. And for this reason I admire it. I also salvage some dignity by insisting that my qualifiers to this praise are not forced, to feign some sort of neutrality: I actually like the film.
Most Tamil films enter that phase in their production where lab dates and release dates give people heart attacks. This film too, (from what I have heard) unfortunately fell prey to the demon that plagues Tamil cinema post-production. As a result, the grading and the sound mix are rubbish. Not that it had any great cinematography or premixes to even start with.
The strength is the screenplay, which is not tight, but certainly engaging. The direction of actors is for once in Tamil cinema, a factor to even consider, if not to mark for praise. The performances of all actors including Kamal, helps tremendously in 'engaging' in the screenplay. Gautham could even have cut down a bit of flab off it considering his ability to extract excellent stuff from his actors. Nevertheless, the platform he has created for these performances is straight out of the American Television 'textbook' (the widescreen HD sort anyway). This is probably the biggest 'affectation' he suffers from; but for Gautham, the roving camera, and the staccato cuts are borrowed devices of a grammar he understands really well. He thus saves himself from a 'pretentiousness' tag.
Indian filmmakers have always been lazy enough to make 'lifts', while it appears Gautham is instead trying to seek the reason for the boringly pervasive success of slick Hollywood productions. And if he finds consistent success, he will surely get more people thinking of Tamil cinema as a larger investment destination.
Kamal Hassan is paunchy and balding, and Jyothika is sagging, wide and unpainted— the stuff Tamil cinema does not have the expertise to hide, but the temerity to be in denial of. Gautham has slyly piped up and pointed out that the king is indeed naked; while appropriating for himself a great deal of respect for doing so. Another stumbling baby step towards better Indian cinema.
For trivia and goofs, please go elsewhere.
Imsai Arasan 23am Basil Fawlty
Another hit from the Shankar stable, and thus it reeks of the same dung that permeates Tamil political cinema (well exploited by Shankar). But what really excites me is its willingness to be its own parody, and it has certainly succeeded in doing so. Just when it begins to take itself seriously, it fucks itself and its audience in the arse, points this out, and makes us all laugh at it. The farce is a dangerously explosive medium and here is a film to prove that Tamil people have a seriously wicked sense of humour, and Shankar the ability to tap it. Vadivelu, I have always insisted, is one of Tamil cinema's greatest actors. He has proved me right yet again.
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