Ratheesh KrishnaVadhyar's Journal Below are the 10 most recent journal entries recorded in the "Ratheesh KrishnaVadhyar" journal:

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May 11th, 2015
02:32 pm

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Baby
Watched Baby, a Hindi thriller film directed by Neeraj Pandey, who has been specializing in this genre. It is a watchable thriller, with a few very engaging sequences in the second half.

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May 6th, 2015
09:23 am

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Apu Trilogy Restored
Great to hear that the Apu Trilogy has been digitally restored completely. The trailers of the restored version indeed look amazing!

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May 4th, 2015
11:27 am

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Ulsavam
I am going to miss the Koodalmanikyam Ulsavam this year :(
Thankfully, the temple website streams the sheeveli live and the audio quality is reasonably good, so I can at least get some feeling of involvement.

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April 17th, 2015
01:43 pm

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My Father's Glory
Watched My Father's Glory, French film directed by Yves Robert based on autobiographical novel by Marcel Pagnol. The film portrays Marcel's childhood days set in the early 20th century France.

For most of the young boys, their father would be the greatest role model and hero during their childhood days. Marcel was a great admirer of his father, and he took pride in his father's achievements - they may be winning a small lawn ball game, or a success in a hunting expedition. Most of the film shows the Pagnol family holidaying in an idyllic remote village, and their various mini-adventures in the countryside.

My Father's Glory is feel-good film that has several heart-warming moments in it.

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March 20th, 2015
09:55 am

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Sons of Babylon
Sons of Babylon, film from Iraq, tells the story of an old woman's search for her son, who had been taken into the Iraq army in 1991 and has been missing since that. 12 years later, she is still hopeful of seeing her son again, and goes looking for him in the prisons, in mosques at remote places where she hears severely disfigured people are given shelter, and eventually at mass graves that are newly uncovered. She is accompanied by her 12 year old grandson, Ahmed. The boy is initially reluctant to follow his grandmother, as he probably doesn't have any emotions attached with his father whom he has never seen. However, slowly he gets affected by his grandmother's reactions, and starts giving her his full support.

Sons of Babylon is a sad story set in the grim background of war-torn Iraq, and almost every scene is set at desolate and barren landscapes, at abandoned and damaged buildings, at public places filled with debris and smoke, or at graveyards. However, the humanly interactions still emerging even in this seemingly hopeless background would touch us - like the little boy selling cigarettes in the bus stand who develops a friendship with Ahmed and invites him to Baghdad, or the soldier who is eager to help the old woman and the boy in their search.

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March 15th, 2015
06:46 pm

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Persepolis
Persepolis, graphic novel written by Marjane Satrapi, tells her own story during the period of 1980-1994. Marjane was the great-granddaughter of Iran's last emperor, her grandfather was a communist, and her parents had a progressive outlook. The first part of the book narrates Marjane's childhood days. Along with her personal life, we also get to see the political upheavals in Iran as seen through the eyes of the young girl - The suppressive regime post the Islamic Revolution, the war between Iran and Iraq, and so on. The second part of the novel narrates Marjane's days in Austria - her loneliness, experiments with newfound freedom, identity crisis and nostalgia.

Marjane maintains a touch of humor throughout the book, even when dealing with difficult situations. Her narratives are candid, and the illustrations are mostly minimalistic but have a unique style. Persepolis makes a wonderful reading overall.

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March 13th, 2015
09:51 am

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Wild Tales
Wild Tales, film from Argentina, is a collection of six unrelated short films that have a "common theme of violence and vengeance". I liked all the short films, but my favorite in the collection was the third one, which shows the confrontation in a deserted highway between a rich man driving a posh car and another driving an old car, which eventually results in a "crime of passion" in the eyes of the police. There is an element of bizarreness in the stories that add a special touch to the shorts, and when watched together, they give a unique feel.

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March 4th, 2015
09:57 am

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Maus
Read Maus, graphic novel by Art Spiegelman which was the first (and the only one so far?) graphic novel to win a Pulitzer Prize (1992). Maus is based on a series of interviews Spiegelman had with his father, Vladek, who was a Holocaust Survivor. The narrative is having two threads, with one thread following the life of aging Vladek as miserly person (he would keep a gas burner on for entire day since the gas is free as part of the rentals, but matchboxes he has to purchase) who has paranoia about keeping things in order, among many other things. The other thread tells the story of the 1940s through the words of Vladek. Spiegelman uses animal faces to represent different people - So, Jews are drawn as rats, Poles as pigs, Nazis as cats, Americans as dogs, and so on.

I felt that Maus is a masterpiece. It redefines the media of graphic novels, and it is no wonder that it is regarded as a landmark in the history of "serious" picture story books. The story is touching, and the black and white sketches are brilliant.

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February 21st, 2015
03:55 pm

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Films on Music
Watched two brilliant films related to Music - Amadeus (1984), telling the story of Mozart through the words of Antonio Salieri, a contemporary composer who was intensely jealous of the young prodigy, and Whiplash (2014), which is about a young and ambitious drummer and his strict and fearsome teacher (played brilliantly by JK Simmons).

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February 15th, 2015
07:54 am

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QED
Finished reading Richard Feynman's QED - The Strange Theory of Light and Matter, which records a series of four lectures Feynman gave on quantum electrodynamics at UCLA, in memory of his friend Alix. Feynman says that Alix was always curious about Physics and wanted him to explain things to her. The lectures were prepared with an aim to explain fundamentals of QED in a "simpler way" without exposing too much details to the audience.

The first three lectures that discuss about various properties of light and photons are easier to understand and are interesting as well, but towards the end of the the third lecture, it starts becoming more and more complex to understand. The last lecture discusses about subatomic particles, and I could just quickly browse through it.

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