Inception: A bit out, maybe

#INCEPTION REVIEW

*SPOILER ALERT: This review may ruin the fun for you if you understand it.*

Nolanity:

  • Layers of existence
  • Noir elements
  • Questioning of reality
  • Brilliant pacing

Anti Nolanity:

  • Relatively linear timeline
  • Lack of closure
  • Non-retroactive climax

Notable:

  • Best gravity-less sequence EVER.
  • Yay for teamwork!
  • Love Joseph Gordon-Levitt, Michael Cane, Ellen Page (in that order).
  • Love Cillian Murphy, even though he’s not a good actor.
  • On the fence about Marion Cotillard.
  • Still hate Leonardo DiCaprio, even though he’s an amazing actor.

Last Word:

  • Not the best Nolan. Both Prestige and Memento are conceptually superior.
  • Still, miles ahead of regular Hollywood.
  • Special effects are amazing, most realistic to date.
  • Limited rewatch value.

~~ TerenceReview by Terence T. T

Going Local

In the sleepy corners of a languid Madhya Pradesh a small group makes Prayas (effort) to practice the current global buzz-word — “go local”. Focused on preserving the nuances of local language along with oral, graphic, traditional art-forms and practices, the group plans to use an indigenous play — “Kaun Bhoom Te Bhari” multiple shows with a massive cast — to make a film.

Unaddressed Differend

Shackled Motherhood.
Producer: Chandan Gupta
Documentary. English.
20’37”
EMRC, Indore.
2005.

“I would like to call a differend the case where the plantiff is divested of the means to argue and becomes for that reason a victim.

This side of the bars

This side of the bars

If the addressor, the addressee, and the sense of the testimony are neutralized, everything takes place as if there were no damages. A case of differend between two parties takes place when the regulation of the conflict that opposes them is done in the idiom of one of the parties while the wrong suffered by the other is not signified in that idiom.” [Lyotard, Jean-François (1988). The Differend: Phrases in Dispute. University of Minnesota Press. pp. 9.]

Here is a case of differend where the party is single. Convicted women are privileged to keep their children under six years with them in prison cells. Some women do not accept this privilege as it would brand their children permanently as jail-birds. It is always the children who pay for the crimes of their mothers — when with their mothers, their freedom is restricted, outside the prison they grow in separation.

Despite government’s senitivity — special allowance for food and clothing besides medical aid — the problem remains unresolved. Kind officials and concerned citizens chip in to mitigate the misery, but even best efforts do not bring normalcy in life of the children.

Waiting for Dusk

Godhuli.

Jasjit Purewal & Meenakshi Vinay Rai

Togetherness

Togetherness

Documentary.
Hindi.
26 minutes.
PSBT, Prasar Bharti.
2009.

Old age is a problem in itself though in words of senior citizens in the film, “it has its own charm” granting one freedom – “I am answerable to no one”.  The collage of comments, at times unspoken, interspersed with remarks of Rajee Seth presents everyday truths with poetic emphasis. A PSBT – Prasar Bharati presentation, the film might have included more optimism.

The generation gap has always been there, but the ‘future shock’ the present generation of the elderly faces creates a unique situation which needs action plans on part of government as well as public service organizations. While the material wellbeing has reduced many discomforts , the increasing pace of life has intensified the weight of time – the aged and the retired have ample while their active children and acquaintances have very little, especially for them.

Every third thought?

Every third thought?

Psychologists agree that problems caused by loss of attention turn complex with an acute sense of alienation, which did not exist in the country three or four decades back.

Today even the young suffer from lack of attention because their parents, siblings and even friends are all engaged in absorbing activities of their own. The household routine is getting mechanized with frozen meals and packaged outings. A difference of five years is sufficient to create generation gap, so the elderly find it immensely difficult to connect with their children, what to say of the grand-children. The death of Indian family system which seemed unquestionably impregnable to them comes as  painful surprise. The young are being encouraged to plan for their retirement through investment in various tantalizing schemes of dubious future. A whole generation that has become absolutely materialism-oriented should start thinking in more concrete terms than money. Thoughts of the aged themselves might provide a clue to possible lines of actions.

The creative use of folk music of Banjara-s and Bhopa-s grants gaiety to a somber topic.

Sonorous Sounds the Veena

Stalwarts of Veena

Stalwart of Veena: Zia Mohiuddin Dagar

Phir Veena Madhur Bajao.
Chandan Gupta
Documentary.
Hindi.
25 minutes.
EMRC Indore.
1999

Why should we talk about a decade old film when there may have been several more on the subject? First, Veena has been accepted as an element of Indian Culture which requires safe-guarding by India and the proposal for same is being submitted to UNESCO for inclusion in its Representative list of Intangible Cultural Heritage. Secondly, this film is able to catch, however fleetingly, the essence of Veena and Indian music.

The challenges to Veena are external as well as internal. The complex instrument requires self-control, selflessness and concentration; these values are hard to practice and thus artistes look for easy alternatives. Very few of the practicing are aware of the science behind their art. It is only the chosen few who have seen or heard the Shruti Veena — the instrument which manifests the sacred Shruti-s all at once. The film examines innovation as fulcrum to a paradigm shift. Despite its instructional format, due to imaginative camera-work and excellent editing, the films succeeds in keeping viewer captivated all through.

Blank Verse: Meaning in Cinema

In an age of calculations and audit, art has not escaped this scrutiny. The moment a burgeoning artiste discovers his talent, he also faces the questions – at what cost? His nearest and dearest would not relent in dissuading him from such a drastic step. No more. The age which welcomes such instincts is here. Democratic values aimed at empowerment of the individual have succeeded in creating an acceptance of all individual traits. On the other hand, concept of majority often muffles the voice of minority. The aesthetic possibilities in the masses create entrepreneurs who usurp the role of the artiste. Titillation replaces delight, hype instruction. In an age where transcendence from the material is no longer validated in public domain, immediate gratification rules supreme. In carrying out this function of gratification, the transcendental or art-for-art artiste proves to be a disaster. The options available to him are to learn tricks that would put him in league with entrepreneur-artistes or to turn to activism. While the former allows him to retain beauty, the latter accords him the power of truth.

Most artistes in the maturing field of cinema keep this side of fame. They vacillate between truth and beauty; rejection of material having brought them little reward. Together with successful ‘artistes’ they constitute the creative space in the post modern age. Considered prosaic once, the genre of documentary films has gained a whit more respect – due perhaps disappearance of poetry from mainstream itself. Yet, they cover a wider range today. The form has gradually evolved. True, it still can be labeled as ‘propaganda’ but this political concept has lost ground to commercial advertising. Artistic and the activist – both instincts find release through this genre of film. One may challenge national and international policies, probe history from skepticism of one’s liking or pore over local questions with poetic nostalgia.

Thus were rovers stayed

“Aur Ghumantu Thahar Gaye”

Directors: Meenakshi and Vinay Rai
Documentary.Grinding an Axe?
Hindi.
23:30 minutes.
Leo Arts Communications,
2004.

An Axe to grind?

The subject has a romantic appeal and one may come across several documentaries on Nomads. With a crisp historical background that traces how a warrior tribe that had served as national and international backbone to distribution was tainted by the British rulers of India in 1871, the film rapidly moves to present. Man behind the movement to settle these wandering people – Gadiye Lohar, Banjara-s, Bawaria-s – holds that unless same constitutional protection is extended to these people which is available to scheduled castes and scheduled tribes, the promise of founding fathers to wipe away tears from every eye shall remain unfulfilled.