Sunday, November 16, 2014

Goodbye to Langauge: review of a film by Jean-Luc Goddard

Decades back we'd queue up for a Goddard flick not to savor the layered meanings of his films but to watch unabashedly jump-cut images of naked women filling up the projector screens. Not that we were not interested in meanings but somehow they eluded us amid his multiple jump-cuts and his overt concern with material objects and the meanings thereof. The scenario hasn't changed since then although  there's no doubt that his movies give an insight into a very imaginative & boundary-less mind of their director.

Friday, November 14, 2014

Coming Home- Review of a film by Zhang Yimou

Today was the day of watching a Chinese film at the Kolkata International Film Festival and the only other time I’ve watched a full-length Chinese feature film , not counting the martial arts ones, was roughly 8 years ago in Hyderabad inside  a quaint theatre within the complex housing the LV Prasad Eye Institute in Banjara Hills. Coincidentally the director of the film was same, Zhang Yimou . Zhang is a multiple award –winning, much acclaimed  director. The film I saw in Hyderabad was Zhang’s third film , Raise the Red Lantern which was originally made in 1991.

Chambermaid Lynn- Review of a film by Ingo Haeb

Chambermaid Lynn is based on Marcus Orth's award-winning novelette. Its a story of an OCD patient who is obsessed with cleaning and of prying into other people's lives. For the first disorder , she has her job at an hotel as a chambermaid .  For the second , she preys upon her single hotel guests and tries out their personal effects & clothes till she reaches an extreme point where she secretly find's out a male guest's keen desire for sadomasochistic sex. A discovery that helps her seek her own limits of sexual pleasures , more pleasurable than uninvolved sexual liaisons with  her boss who trades sex with Lynn for covering up for her "misdemeanor" in her job. While the narrative is detailed enough to provide the viewer with an unbiased view into a deviant's mind  without being judgmental about it; its  the sound (or the lack of it) and the cinematography that captures the dramatic moments on the screen; be it a sudden slap on the behind after a long passionate wait or the dream sequence  with her lover.

Wednesday, November 12, 2014

Rob the mob : Review of a film by Raymond De Felitta

The 20th Kolkata International Film Festival has just started.  This year, I have bookmarked four movies from the festival website that are being screened in City Center & Purbashree. Was just in time to catch the first one today.

Rob the mob is a fictionalized version of the modern-day Bonny & Clyde story , albeit a true one, on the short lives of two ex-convicts  Thomas and Rosemarie Uva . The duo started off by sticking up a florist but got arrested . After their release they set upon an  idea of robbing "social clubs" of retired mafia bosses anticipating correctly  that victims will not call the cops.

Friday, November 7, 2014

Arindam fails to reverse the fortunes of either ATK or ISL:- An ISL match report on the ATK Vs.PuneFC match in Kolkata

ATK , short form of Atletico De Kolkata, was playing against the less fancied side Pune FC today at Salt Lake stadium ; their home ground . The result was widely expected to be in favour of  ATK, who had not only been sufficiently rested but was with their coach, Habas  and key striker , Fikru back from suspension.  Pune was riding high with their first win in their last match in the ongoing first edition of ISL, the Indian Super League.

The wings aren't exactly fluttering for the ATK captain , LuisGarcia

Although ATK had started with a bang in the tournament-opener against Mumbai FC winning it by three goals to none and followed it up with a win against North-East FC and Goa FC, they slowed down on the way drawing three matches  and relied on taking succor from a pretentious record of not having been beaten, yet.  Against Pune FC  today  ATK’s mid-tournament-game ended with a whimper when they lost by one goal to three. Although all the goals were spectacular (starting with Dudu's powerful opening goal from a header & followed in the second half by a mind-blowing long-range inside-step shot from Kosta), the game was largely sedate and often a display of listless  football .  ATK scored the only goal through a penalty after Pune FC’s goalkeeper, Arindam , lacking anticipation & sense of proportion, made a needless charge inside the box against the eventual penalty-scorer Fikru . With the score line at 1-2, ATK was expected to rise , shine and draw level  but they flattered to deceive with their brand of football and eventually let in the third goal through a David Colomba freekick from outside the box that managed to sneak through the legs of the wall past the valiant Shubashish under the ATK goal.

Thursday, October 30, 2014

11 everyday ironies

  1. The costlier the product , the lousier is its service.
  2. The louder  the promise, the lower is the probability of keeping it.
  3. The more things change, the more they remain the same.
  4. The bigger the ad-size, the lower is the sales.
  5. The more one gets, the less one gives.
  6. Lower the knowledge,  bigger is the lack of judgment. 
  7. Higher the education qualifications, the lower is the ability to take risks.
  8. Higher the inflation,  the lower is the growth of income.
  9. More the aspirations for peace,  larger are the conflicts & wars.
  10. Higher the money supply, larger is the inequality of income.
  11. Higher the sophistication of automation, the  dumber is the society.

Tuesday, October 28, 2014

10 reasons why ISL scores over IPL in Indian sports

A panoramic view of the Salt Lake stadium, Kolkata; one of the 8 venues for ISL
Indian Soccer League , ISL (abbreviation of India Super League) has just  commenced with much fanfare ,excitement and addition of  more-than-incremental doses of commercialization , professionalism and quality to the decades-old Indian national soccer league that had been long characterized by slow, mediocre games with very localized fan following. 
Eightteams are in fray in ISL with each team playing the other twice (home & away) in a group-format until four qualify for the knock-out stage in another 8 weeks. Eight key top world-cuppers & European League players who have quit the game a year or two back have been roped in as marquee players for the ISL teams along with existing players from the lower division leagues across the world. The format allows fielding maximum of 6 foreign players . Since majority of the players are from the European leagues (unlike the flood of second-grade Nigerians that dominated  Indian soccer for 2 decades); the game also has  acquired the pace & tactical flair of the latter.
A fortnight into the league, the games in ISL  have already picked up a new breed of fan following across the eight places in Kolkata, Delhi, Chennai, Pune , Kerala, Mumbai, North-east &  Goa. Interestingly these fans were so long monopolized by  IPL, the premier T20 cricket league & its association of film stars and entertainment. For sure ISL will have to compete with IPL for the sporting bucks of the fans and here are ten reasons  why ISL should have the advantage over IPL when the fans make a decision to open their purses.

Wednesday, October 15, 2014

Chotushkone (The Fourth Angle): Review of a film by Srijit Mukherjee

Srijit Mukherjee  , the ace film director from Bengal, not only ensures that he gives his benevolent producers box-office hits after hits but this time in Chotushkone  , he puts forth the tribulations & pains of producers in the Bengali film industry.  However boring that concept may otherwise be for the audience, it is entirely Srijit’s mastery of  craftsmanship that transforms an unappealing concept into a thriller of a movie.  However one still doesn’t feel emotionally beside the producer; even notwithstanding Trina’s (played brilliantly by Aparna Sen) tearful breakdown in the end.
Chotushkone is about the fourth angle , literally, although the excellent narrative sketches out not an angle but a  hidden perspective that unfolds dramatically,  after the triangle has been etched out to perfection , and finally goes on to engulf it.  Since Chotushkone is a thriller till the last of its 157 minutes it’d not be proper to go into the storyline except to say that powerful performances from stellar actors , whose real lives have been blurred with reel lives, make it  literally a thrilling experience to sit through.