Ratheesh KrishnaVadhyar's Journal
Below are the 10 most recent journal entries recorded in the "Ratheesh KrishnaVadhyar" journal:
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KL 10 Pathu|
KL 10 Pathu, debut film by Muhsin Parari, tells a simple story set in the Malabar area of Kerala. Apparently, there is nothing much to call as "new" in the story, but the director has a humorous narrative style, which makes the film an interesting watch, even though I found it a little difficult to understand some of the dialogues which had a heavy Malabar accent.
It is good to see several new, young directors coming up in Malayalam Cinema in last few years who all have a new and refreshing approach to the narration (though they all seem to derive inspirations from each other - The "new cinema" as a whole stands apart; but the individual directors themselves are yet to establish their own clear signatures). The new directors are supported by a group of talented new actors, too. I wont call the resultant films as great, but they are interesting to watch and are certainly better than the unbelievably pathetic films that are now being made (and with consistency) by the veterans, who had made many memorable films during 1980-2000s. I feel the new directors are capable of filling the gaps, and hope they would come up with more significant films in coming years.
Toxic froth has filled the surface of Bellandur Lake once again
, and has started spilling over to nearby places. The frothing was seen a few months back too, and there was news about the lake catching fire that time.
It seems until some 30 years back, Bellandur lake used to be a clean water body hosting a healthy aquatic life, and the surrounding villages used to use the water from it for drinking. Spreading to nearly 900 acres, the lake used to be a very scenic spot with its surrounding greenery and bird life, I am told by some of my colleagues who were brought up in Bangalore. Land grabbing, industrial pollution and pathetic city-planning over the years has reduced this lake (and also many other lakes in Bangalore) to this state.
When I was looking at the photographs of the frothing on the Internet, my son joined me and commented that it looks very beautiful like snow and he wants to go and watch it. Indeed, these are the kind of tourist attractions we are capable of developing for the next generation.
The Match Factory Girl|
Watched Finnish film The Match Factory Girl (1990), directed by Aki Kaurismaki (this is the first film by the director I am watching). The 60+ minutes long film with minimal dialogues, follows the life of Iris, a lonely girl working in a match factory. Iris has an unhappy look on her face all the time, with a tinge of hatred towards the World that has abandoned her. After her job, Iris has to work in the kitchen at home, while her mother and stepfather spend time drinking alcohol and watching television, and they use up the meager income that Iris receives from her job. Some deliberate attempts by Iris to find a boyfriend, end up in a tragedy.
The narrative is mostly gloomy and depressive, but the skills of the director in developing the atmosphere with precision, and the excellent performance by the actress who plays Iris, make The Match Factory Girl a very remarkable movie.
The Sanjay Story|The Sanjay Story
, written by Vinod Mehta and first published in 1978, soon after the swearing in of the first non-congress Government in India, is a biography of Sanjay Gandhi till 1978. The new edition of 2012 has an introduction added that mentions about Sanjay's death in the aircraft crash in 1980, but apart from that the book is said to be a reproduction of the original edition. I had earlier read and liked another biography written by Vinod Mehta on Meena Kumari
, and the biography of Sanjay Gandhi too is an equally well-written book.
In the first chapter of the book, Vinod Mehta writes briefly about Nehru, Indira and Feroze Gandhi to set background, and subsequently he writes in detail about Sanjay's days in the Dune school and later in England as an apprentice with Rolls-Royce, his Maruti adventures, and "experiments with Nation Building" during the days of Emergency. The author has attempted to give an objective analysis of the personality of one of the most controversial political figures of Independent India, and though the book does not bring out any "new revelations" as such, it is still shocking to read about the open corruption and squandering of public money associated with the Maruti enterprise, and the horrific violation human rights done as part of Sanjay's initiatives related to population control and beautification of India.
Watched Her (2013), the story of a person who falls in love with a computer operating system with artificial intelligence, which is capable to evolve a virtual personality of its own, interact with the users, and develop relationships. I felt it was a well made film of an interesting concept.
My Mother's Castle|My Mother's Castle
, directed by Yves Robert is a continuation of My Father's Glory
, adapted from a series of autobiographical novels written by Marcel Pagnol. In this film, we see young Marcel wanting to go back to the village getaway, and the family deciding to visit the village during every weekend. Similar to the previous film, My Mother's Castle
too starts with showing the expeditions of Marcel in the village, but most of the movie is dedicated to the adventures of the family as whole, as they stealthily traverse a short-cut path passing through several private estates, during their weekend trips between home and the village.
We would want to have many more of such stories from Marcel's childhood, but the narrative abruptly breaks and jumps to an epilogue, which briefly talks about the happenings in next few decades, when most of the people in Marcel's childhood - his mother, brother, friend - pass away. "Such is the life of a Man - Moments of joy, obliterated by unforgettable sadness
", an elderly Marcel comments in the background as he recounts these incidents, and the film ends in a touching way.
I see the following messages from the program that I use to connect to a VPN from my home:
"Posture Assessment: Initiating.."
"Posture Assessment: Successful"
"Posture Assessment: Failed"
I have been using this program for several years now, but am yet to figure out what "Posture Assessment" means. It would appear as if the program is using laptop camera to capture my video and then make sure that my sitting posture is as per the recommendations..
Read two short Malayalam books published by Green Books - Akadameeyam by KL Mohana Varma, and Ingineyum Oru Cinemakkalam by Akbar Kakkattil.
Akadameeyam is a collection of memoirs by the author related to the time period when he served as the secretary of Kerala Sahitya Akademi. Many of these articles talk about the author's interactions with renowned writers of Malayalam - Thakazhi, Kovilan, Ayyappan, VKN, CV Sreeraman, Balachandran Chullikkad, among others. There are a few articles where the author talks about a few unpublished writers who had come to visit him at the Akademi as well.
Akbar Kakkattil's book is a collection of talks with different personalities associated with Malayalam Cinema. The book is divided into two sections - The first section contains talks with a few veteran producers, directors and artists representing the initial period of Malayalam Cinema, including TE Vasudevan, Appachchan, KS Sethumadhavan and Vincent. The second part contains talks with a few actors who are known for their performances in comedy oriented roles. The selection of artists interviewed in this book looks like very random.
Both Mohana Varma and Kakkattil have somewhat similar writing styles - their prose is straightforward and easy to read, with a touch of humor on them. Both of these books make some interesting read.
Mrs Funnybones is a collection of 26 articles written by Twinkle Khanna, containing very humorous observations and narratives of day-to-day life happenings in her life. Her two children and husband Akshay Kumar (who are fondly referred as "The Prodigal Son", "Little Monster" and "The Man of the House") feature prominently in most of these articles.
I have seen some of the Bollywood movies in which Twinkle Khanna acted during her acting career in the late 1990s - I don't think she ever had a significant role to play in her movies; They were all mostly typical hero-oriented Bollywood masalas, in which the heroine is reduced to just a glamor ingredient. But the author Twinkle that we see in Mrs Funnybones is completely different from the characters she had played - She has an amazing sense of humor and a way with words, and I found this book very amusing to read.
Birdman of Alcatraz|
Watched Birdman of Alcatraz (1962), a film based on the life of prisoner Robert Stroud. Stroud spent 54 years of his life in prison, which included 42 years of solitary confinement. While he was in jail, Stroud once happens to rescue a baby sparrow, and he raises it in his cubicle. After this incident, he develops an interest in birds. Over a period of time, Stroud accumulates a big collection of birds in his cell, and when the birds are affected with a disease, he starts doing research on bird diseases, which results in development of medicines, and a whole book on the subject.
Apart from depicting Stroud's keen interests and persistence in learning new things, the film also focuses on the lifelong ideological contests between him and a jail warden, which are probably fictionalized. It is an interestingly narrated film, and has some powerful performances.
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