A Day With The Director

December 17, 2008
Unni, Me, Arun, RENJITH, Hari, Damu

Unni, Me, Arun, RENJITH, Hari, Damu

When we reached Tiruvandapuram at morning 4 0’ clock nothing had any amount of certainty. Standing in the packed train for more than four hours to reach here, had already made us tired to death. The plan is to meet the acclaimed writer-director Renjith for an interview for the college magazine and to have some good fun at the ongoing international film festival of Kerala. Except for that plan, everything was in perfect chaos at that point of time. The friend who had an uncle, who supposedly was arranging everything for us, was not even available on the phone. Our expectations were quiet low and we were completely prepared to get kicked in the ass.

It all began when we heard that our college magazine has got three pages reserved for an interview every year. Since the editor was a guy from our own hostel, we made sure that we will do the interview this year.
Since then we had kind of elaborate plans and all such stuff. It must have been several months now. We tried to contact Renjith on phone but failed many times. So, everything was in ‘out-of-the-hands’ state when last day suddenly I got a call from my friend. He said Renjith had agreed for the interview on 15th morning 8 o clock (that was a day after tomorrow then!) at Tvm. It was 200+km and just one day ahead. Wow!

The plan was to make the questions for the interview while in the train during the 4 hour journey. But the train was fucking too crowded. Not even enough space to stand straight. Fantastic. Also some friends called telling that they probably couldn’t make it.

So now we stand at the capital city perfectly unaware of anything that’s coming our way.
Square one state!

After some 2-3 hours came the Friend’s phone call. Things gained pace with that. The vagueness started to disappear and to our own surprise, everything started to get into an order. At 10 o’ clock morning, we finally talked to the man on phone and he asked us to come. The venue was a theatre. Two of his movies were going to be screened today and he was awfully busy. We found him in the middle of a group of some top shot directors of Malayalam. Now, assuming our excitement level is your job!

Renjith

Interview lasted for something like one hour.

The man was just electrifying. He started to give elaborate answers to each of our questions with such ease and frankness. He suddenly took the control of the whole deal going on. We felt a particular warmth and love in the way he reacted. We felt valued!

It was a cricketer’s delight at his maiden century or a child’s excitement on being at the top of an elephant or the  ecstasy of the lost at being heard. It was beautiful. May be the interview wasn’t that good. But when we finally walked out of the place for some food, we felt really good.

Then there was a bunch of worthy movies to watch at the IFFK. But bad luck for us there. A pass was required to watch the movies and what did we knew. We went to watch Priyadarshan’s Kanchivaram, and were surprised by the huge crowd there. We understood that it was impossible without a pass and peacefully roamed around the city talking a lot of photographs and gradually started back home by noon.

It was still a worthy deal for us anyway.

I will post the interview (which was in malayalam) after our college magazine comes out. The photos are strictly copyrighted.

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O brothers…

November 27, 2008

Coen brothers

After watching two of their movies back to back now, I ‘am left speechless over here. That feeling you rarely enjoy from the rarest of those movies, yeah I ‘am having some of them now. Yes sir, I ‘am speaking of the great Coen brothers. The two headed director who has (have) blessed our times with their supreme artistry in filmmaking. The two films were, ‘O brother where art thou?’ and ‘Miller’s crossing’. It was an experience which has got me thirsting for more and more.

There is a hell lot of amusing patterns and symbols followed by the Coen’s in each of their works. Starting from the easily recognisable alternation between black comedies and crime noirs to the very detailed aspects of colours and tones, there is a lot of them. For instances, in the movie ‘O brother where art thou?’ you wouldn’t see a single green leaf! Leafs are kind of yellowish instead. The entire earth has got this yellowish green template throughout the movie. This yellow is perhaps the colour of the movie. Think of ‘Fargo’ and the colour is white. There is a tone to each movie, of which the colour forms an integral part. The wide range of tones, plots and characters which they introduce through their movies are just awe-inspiring.  Now, like ‘Miller’s crossing’ most of their movies are set in the past, over a certain period of time. Homage, references etc. are dispersed all over. ‘Miller’s crossing’ is a huge homage in itself to the crime noirs of 70’s & 80’s. Presence of a ‘cool-under-fire’ type of character (mostly in the lead) is one another thing. Like, Tom Regan’s in miller’s crossing, The Dude himself in ‘The Big Lebowski’, Marge in ‘Fargo’ and Anton Chigurh in ‘No Country…’ Simply those characters are so much fun. There are a lot more of such patterns, like the spinning materials (the ball in ‘Big Lebowski’ and the Hat in ‘Miller’s crossing’) seen in their different movies or the frequently used fast talking characters (mostly Steve Buscemi). (read more here)

Above all these, it is the sheer intelligence exhibited in the plot development and presentation, which distinguishes the Coen’s Bros as film makers. The kind of talent involved in drawing two extremely different characters of Anton Chigurh and The Dude, with equal clarity, is indeed one of the rarest qualities. The Coen movies are the most wonderful show-case to characterization of greatest intensities. It’s extremely difficult to forget a character from a Coen movie, because they appear before us as almost complete human beings with a certain amount of eccentricity. I hear people complaining a lot about the vagueness in the plot of ‘No country for old men’, but before me it is the one of the greatest character studies of all time, where the film makers goes to such extent of realism in the plot for its ultimate aim of faithful character elucidation. ‘O brother…’ is also basically a very beautiful character study (a lot of characters), where the only difference is that the characters are a bit more fictional (the right word is poetic). The comedy in Coen movies is of the highest quality, which is a right mix of the dialogue driven type and the situational type. ‘Big Lebowski’ is one movie that had made me laugh the most. A guy who has seen this movie first, wouldn’t recognise ‘No country…’ as a work from the same directors. That is something indeed, right? The intense detailing in the plot is another important aspect. Like in the case of Miller’s crossing. The plot is very complex and thick but quiet ingeniously offered. It would require you a couple of watching to recognise the cleverness in the plot.

The technical side of Coen brother’s movie making is also as rich as the creative side. The photography, editing etc. are almost flawless. The Visual language is stunning. Music, BGM etc are also of the topmost quality and is of perfect coherence. I read that the sound track of ‘o brother…’ was a bigger hit than the movie itself! No wonder.

Now, I haven’t completed their filmography yet. Highly acclaimed movies like ‘The man who wasn’t there’ and ‘Blood simple’ remains in the yet to watch category. But am already on it, anyway.
Oh and yeah, without people like Coen Brothers and their works, how dreadful our lives would have been…!


Adam Gilchrist Does That In Style

January 27, 2008

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Adam Gilchrist, one of the best wicket-keeper batsmen the world have ever seen, bids adieu to cricket in style. It was surprising to everyone but it was perfect! Well, my admiration for the man just multiplies. 36 years. 12 years of international cricket. 414 test dismissals. Uncountable key performances for his nation. Well he gave enough to cricket and his country.  Most importantly, he quited on time. Let others learn something from him.

No wonder he is the most loved Australian player in India. For his amazing talents in wicket keeping, his unshakable batting style, for his dedication to his team and for his outstanding discipline on the field, he is not gonna be forgotten easily by any true cricket lover. Gilly, you were always right!

 

Links: Dropped catch became defining moment, Adam Gilchrist , Shock retirement


‘Bari Sahib’ Passes away!

January 12, 2008

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Edmund Hillary with Tenzing Norgay

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‘Sir Edmund Percival Hillary’  the first man to scale the great Mt. Everest, will now live in our memories!
Sir Edmund Hillary was truly, one of the most inspiring persons the world have ever seen. Let us salute the outstanding life of this outstanding person, for all those inspirations, his adventurous life have left on our generation.

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