Popular Posts

Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Horror Movies - Top Ten

I have been a horror movie buff since childhood.
Of course, then it was just the simple fun of being treated to spooks and chills, watching monsters and zombies amidst graphic gore and blood-curdling effects....
As a young adult I came to know what the regular horror films churned out by Hollywood actually symbolized, the morality lessons that were coated in metaphors and made enticing for the average American teen. For the pre-pubescent boys and girls, the films were a release of sorts, sometimes establishing the conventional mores, and sometimes helping them grapple with their raging hormones, with all the accompanying confusions & insecurities.

However, I have been exposed to all sorts of horror movies over the years, and the fascination might have waned by degrees, maybe I am more observant of the nuances and the underlying compulsions, maybe I am appreciative of the execution and narration more, yet, the charm has stayed on. I know, I speak for many when I address this love of mine. Hence, I offer for my readers, a list of the ten very best horror films that I have seen over the years, this is yet another compilation based purely on personal preference. I had promised a couple of my friends this listing, and here it is.

My favorite horror films - Top Ten:
pics appearing from top to bottom under the list -
1) The Sixth Sense (1999);
2) The Exorcist (1973);
3) A Tale of Two Sisters/Janghwa, Hongryeon (2003);
4) The Others (2001);
5) Hostel (2006);
6) Psycho (1960);
7) Jaws (1975);
8) Alien (1979);
9) The Omen (1976);
10) A Nightmare on Elm Street (1984)

Friday, August 20, 2010

Paris, je t'aime

Paris, je t'aime [Paris, I love you]
is one of the brilliant collage films that I have ever seen!
I was absolutely thrilled to catch this 2006 film
that has brilliant assemblage of 18 short films
made by eminent directors from across the world.

Paris - as a city - has always intrigued us.
We look up to it principally as a city of love,
passion, art and culture.
The film too explores the city of Paris from
various such perspectives, some known....
some not much explored before.

The directors include Gus van Sant, Christopher Doyle,
Gurinder Chadha, Tom Tykwer, Walter Salles,
Alexander Payne, Alfonso Cuaron, Sylvain Chomet,
Vincenzo Natali, Wes Craven, Nobuhiro Suwa,
Oliver Schmitz, Richard LaGravenese, the Coen Brothers,
and several others.

Each segment of the feature is located and filmed
at the diverse arrondissements (municipal districts
or boroughs) of the city of Paris.
People of diverse cultures, expressing themselves
through diverse sentiments, dimensions and
narratives, albeit brief, can thus be seen and that is
as much an exploration of the city as of the sensibilities
ensconced therein.
I would recommend the film to all my readers and
to the lovers of pure cinema.

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Mister Nobody

Here is a poem, which though not written by me, is something that I would definitely want to share with all my readers:

Mr Nobody
Author: Unknown

I know a funny little man,
As quiet as a mouse,
Who does the mischief that is done
In everybody's house!
There's no one ever sees his face,
And yet we all agree
That every plate we break was cracked
By Mr Nobody

'Tis he who always tears our books,
Who leaves the door ajar,
He pulls the buttons from our shirts,
And scatters pine afar;
That squeaking door will always squeak,
For, prithee, don't you see,
We leave the oiling to be done
By Mr Nobody

The finger marked upon the door
By none of us are made;
We never leave the blind unclosed,
To let the curtains fade.
The ink we never spill; the boots
That lying round you. See
Are not our boots they all belong
To Mr Nobody.

Needless to say, I loved this poem.
It is simple yet interesting.
And now, I am going to talk about a film that I have just been lucky to catch.

The film is called "Mr. Nobody"
and it is fantastic !

"Mr Nobody" is not an easy film.
It has many layers.
However, it connected with me wonderfully.
For me, it was a complete cinematic experience.
In all its complexity, in the magnificent exploration
of the possibilities that emanate from choices,
the film breathed life to my own thoughts too.
I wnat more and more people to see it.
It is really unfortunate that this 2009 film, by the acclaimed Belgian director Jaco van Dormael, hasn't been released here and it isn't likely that it ever will.
My fellow film-buffs must surely catch it on video.
I would love to exchange notes on it.
It has several points and counterpoints for us to talk about, and hence I refrain from posting a detailed review of the film.

Watch it, folks!

Promote Your Blog

Monday, August 09, 2010

Best Friend

Who would you call your best friend?
That is a question we often ask ourselves.
And it is a pertinent question.
Recently, most parts of the world celebrated Friendship Day with much fanfare (ranging from exchange of gifts, cards, sweet messages to special celebratory get-together's) and there was no dearth of friends screaming their allegiance, loyalty, trust et cētera.
But do we really value true friendship in these times of confusion and cacophony.
Aren't many of our so called 'deep' bondings actually quite phony?
All of us, at one point or the other, have longed for a best friend, a special someone, irrespective of gender or other broad, or need-based, specifications, with whom we'd share the strongest possible friendship; one who'll go all out to be there for us, in times of crises, big or small; one who will never judge us; one who'll never back-stab or even be critical behind us; one who can be trusted hundred per cent; one who will make us unwind and feel good about ourselves - no matter what.....
ya, it's a tall order.
The cynics will say, 'It's madness!', or at best, 'nothing but a lame romantic notion', or 'a utopian concept that is long past use'!
Maybe they have a point.
But still two friends, of whatever age or sex, can still find so much comfort when they call each other BEST FRIENDS.
I am privileged when a so called e-friend of mine introduced me the other day - when we met for a face to face chat - to a friend of his as "He is Anindo, my best friend!"
It meant a lot to me.
In fact, it meant the world.
As I had been on that day harbouring grudge against a particular back-stabber, and had been thinking that the acceptance of the new word 'unfriending', as opposed to the age old 'befriending' made much sense...... yes, on that very day....... my 'best friend' showed me how a small introduction - comprising just three words - can be so fulfilling.
I am keeping my fingers crossed. May I be able to be worth the tag. May we both live up to it.

Monday, August 02, 2010


Kolkata, my city, is often shown in films or in television serials as a city which is unanimous with many known facets but, interestingly, it is a far more complex and heterogeneous in reality. Often, I feel that there are many Kolkatas, many fringes, many ghettos, many marginalised sections, many strange & unique dimensions that do not get explored enough in popular media.

This year, I saw Kolkata in its renowned and resplendent visuals in Birsa Dasgupta's debut feature film called "033", but did know whether to laud it for its music-video-like appeal or pass it off as yet another glossing over in a picture-postcard-like depiction.
Again, there was this film called "Mahanagar @Kolkata", by Suman Mukherjee, and it was quite a novel approach, though tad more ambitious than able. The film - for a large part - had brilliant depictions of the underbelly, of the marginalised, decadent segments, and I must salute the courage shown by the director to do so. However, the director failed in the third segment (the film being a collage of three distinct segments, loosely tied up as a single narrative) as he tried to go somewhat offbeat in the portrayal of the desperation and despair of the urban yuppies; it came off as false and hollow apart from being show-offish.
I am happy to note that Kolkata has also been captured in many of this year's Bangla releases like "Shukno Lanka", "Le Chhakka", "Clerk" and "Ekti Taarar Khonje" - with mixed results. "Clerk" (reviewed earlier in my blog) scores highest in its depiction, according to my evaluation, in terms of content and style/manner.
May my city be the lensmen's delight ever more. And may the films too go a step further to show the many of its hitherto undiscovered and untapped aspects.