A Hard Day’s Night

31 08 2007

almost hard, almost night.

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8pm, August 30, 2007. Three Blocks from work.

As I wait for the lights to turn green, a head pops out of the car in front of me. Two ears and a tongue. Reason #42 to get a cameraphone (even if it offends the delicate sensibilities of your dear friends).

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Maggie? Faye?

30 08 2007

There has been much talk and thought about portraiture in recent times. And a case of mistaken identities regarding the person in the Image Header above. So figured this is a good time to put up these images that have been bookmarked away for the longest time. (For a post on the Talented Mr.Christopher Doyle.) They are from 2046.

Maggie:

Maggie

Faye:

Faye

The cool* thing about these images is that you get to see the other half of Maggie’s face in the reflection and the same side of Faye’s.

Shooting the reflection of one’s face, as any good photographer will tell you, is not the same thing as shooting the face directly. Lovely pictures even if you ignore all the lighting nightmares these kind of shoots would involve.

By the way, did you read this? The chinese government will begin regulating reincarnation. And I thought the Vatican was Loopy.

* remember coolness is always subjective.





The Letter

29 08 2007

In response to Spacebar’s post.

She had to rush back to work after meeting him. An hour later, all critical issues taken care of, she hurried to the breakroom and opened the envelope. There they were, nestled in a neatly folded sheet of paper that looked like a program guide, two passes for Bergman In Retrospect, that was to run a whole week, starting tonight. He would never give up, would he?

In the few months she had known him, nothing was guaranteed to cause as many stormy arguments as their tangential movie preferences. Everything was negotiable, except Films. Then again, they had hardly known each other for two months.

She loved the languorous lusciousness of Wong Kar Wai. And the animated vibrancy of Almodovar. For him, it was always Bergman and Tarkovsky. They were just too brutal and harsh for her. Of course they had a shared list of film-makers they liked. For Instance, who in their right mind didn’t love Truffaut?

Was this his way of having the final word? Not one but two tickets! Once he was gone, who was she supposed to watch Persona or Winter Light with? Other friends refused to ‘be subjected to art films’ (yes, with the inverted commas) and he knew that. With just two days left, she might even consider watching these films with him, for him. But once he was gone… Did he really expect her to go around begging someone to go with her? She turned a ticket over to read the fineprint. Of course they were non-refundable. Bah!

Finally, she goes online, calmly orders all the Almodovars she can find (including that one, with Banderas, he abhors) and ships it off to his new address – express mail. They will wait for him in his new apartment. Ah!





Once in a Red Moon?

28 08 2007

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Total Eclipse, August 28, 2007

The picture was shot by a friend, N, at about 3:30 am.





Bourne Again

7 08 2007

Bourne Ultimatum by Paul Greengrass dazzles for a film in its genre. The plot, as is to be expected, isn’t exceptional, except that it does its part by setting the stage for some deep (for its genre) introspection, brilliantly choreographed fight sequences, bomb attacks, shootings and street chases in disparate settings. While managing to capture the essence of so many beautiful cities in the midst of all this.

Tangier has its vibrant market bustling with people, crazy dirt-bike and scooter riding on narrow streets, life bustling around the French cafe, dormant domestic afternoons in the intricately tiled narrow corridors and rooms, rooftop chases across walls that are covered with glass shards. Tangier is where the first spectacle in the movie takes place – the long graceful capoeira-like but gruesome man to man combat. The sequence starts out with a scene where Bourne jumps into the window of a house from the rooftop across the narrow street. (The stunt-double does a free jump and is closely followed by the cameraman, who also jumped right behind him). You are completely immersed. The fine-tuned sound effects make your pulse race.

Then there are Italy’s charming cobbled streets, heavy doors and tiny windows. And Italian cops, some nice espresso. The Waterloo station in London and New York bring you back to steel and grey, but not without their own kind of beauty. The photography has been so precisely planned that you never have to swerve off the plot or the protagonist to soak in the locale.

Bourne has always been about more than just thrill and action. It has been about introspection and identity (yes, I know, how trite), but I think its main appeal has been its no-nonsense approach. There isn’t a love interest, not a single kiss (if you discount flashbacks). I am seriously impressed. Here is one movie with two female actors. Both perfectly capable, independent and intelligent. The young female lead doesn’t even look anorexic – didn’t they get the memo?

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Matt Damon has improved with age. I am glad he decided to check-in his i-am-smarter-than-everyone persona at the door (sort of) and moved on to trying his hand at different things. His Jason Bourne is very good, as the New Yorker review agrees,

Matt Damon, at least in the “Bourne” series, looks like a bullet. He has short hair, no stubble to speak of, and a blunt nose. In violent scenes, his eyes go dead, and he has a strong, compact body, which he hurls through the frame, ricocheting off walls, windows, cars, and fences.

There are nuances that appeal to the geek in me. For instance, the ubiquitous cellphones – as cameras that transmit live video across continents, untraceable prepaid phones, tracking devices – all of which are used in a very realistic way. The VW lover in me is also in for a treat – very good product placement here.

It was in the end, it was two hours well spent.





Move

6 08 2007

Does it still count as a move, if everyone around you has moved and you stay put in the same old place?