Apu Trilogy Review

For five and a half hours, I had the privilege of experiencing Satyajit Ray’s visual poetry on family, friendships, poverty, joy, sadness, love and everything in between. When it ended, I knew I had probably watched the greatest tale to have ever graced the silver screen, but this realization of boundless joy was accompanied with an atypical feeling of incompleteness. After much contemplation I realize I feel in this manner because the actual movie began when the credits rolledI, for the past five and a half hours, had been at the folly of thinking I had been mesmerized by the world of Apu. Little did I realize it had been my own world which I was witnessing through Apu’s eyes.

So does that mean I was born in a poverty ridden Brahman family in Bengal ? No, it doesn’t and the world I am talking about here is not bound in the petty confines of the physical dimensions. It exists within each one of us, it exists within you dear reader, a world full of fantasies and desires and aspirations no is privy to except you. What Ray has created here is not a movie, it is an experience. Apu’s tale is relevant here, because it encompasses all of life itself. And as it progresses, we sympathize with his sorrows and rollick with his joys. But why do we for an individual whose life and where it plays out are so distant from the world we firmly inhabit ? Because in this roller coaster ride Ray crafts us for us, it is the emotions and not the scenarios from where it emanates that hold their worth. We have felt what Apu has felt. The scenarios where we have maybe different, but the emotions are there – stark naked, unadulterated and pure.

Further accentuating this experience is Ravi Shankar’s hauntingly beautiful ragas, enveloping us into a world of their own. Creating beauty of poverty is no mean task, and much credit belongs to Subrata Mitra for his groundbreaking use of bounce lighting which helps this work evade from the dull look of black and white which has resulted in audiences evading its predecessors.

In The World Of Apu, there is a scene where Apu throws the manuscript of his autobiographical work in the depths of mountain gorges in a desolate state after the demise of a loved one. It was then I became aware of the absolute greatness of the work I was witnessing, for Apu had transcended from a sanguine to woebegone in front of my very eyes. Yet, we hope for him. For in the midst of all these tragedies life has engulfed him in, we see in a crystal clear manner a man has right stuff and might someday make a movie like Pather Panchali himself.

I broke down repeatedly when I was watching Apu trilogy, not because of the pain it is ridden with, but because I could not believe I could love a movie so much.

RATING :- 9.9 / 10

THANKS FOR READING. IF YOU HAVE LIKED/HAVE DIFFERENT VIEWS / HAVE ANY  DOUBTS, PLEASE SHARE. I WILL RESPOND TO IT AS SOON AS I CAN. AND PLEASE SUBSCRIBE FOR MORE. YOU CAN FOLLOW ME ON MY FACEBOOK PAGE TOO https://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100011549616628 YOU CAN ALSO E-MAIL ME ON castlebang786@gmail.com OR favebook2011@rediffmail.com

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Copyright : All written content on this site, unless otherwise noted, has been created by the website owner. As such, the content is the property of the website owner. This content is protected by Indian and international copyright laws. If you wish to reproduce, re-post, or display any of our content on your own site please only do so if you also provide a link back to the source page on this website and properly attribute authorship. Our preference is that you seek our permission before doing so. If you see anything on this website that has not been properly attributed to its originator please contact me. In response, I will attempt to correct the attribution of the offending material or remove and/or replace it. All material on this website is posted in accordance with the limitations set forward by the Information Technology Act, 2000. If a documented copyright owner so requests, their material will be removed from published display, although the author reserves the right to provide linkage to that material or to a source for that material. As a website devoted to discussing and reviewing movies and television I will at times, for illustrative purposes, present copyrighted material, the use of which might not always be specifically authorized by the copyright owner. Such material is made available  for purposes such as criticism, comment, and research. The website owner believes that this constitutes a “fair use” of any such copyrighted material because the articles published on this website are distributed for entertainment purposes

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Only Yesterday Review

I could never make sense of the division of fractions which involved reversing the numerator and the denominator to multiply. I hated Mathematics, and was always better in writing essays, although my loved ones would choose the former in favor of the latter any given day. And I also happen to be a very picky eater. So when I watched Isao Takahata’s Only Yesterday, I felt like hugging myself, having found an acquaintance in Taeko which I had never found in real life. And guess what ? She is a girl.

Although I admire American animation (Wall-E and Ratatouille adorn my Great Movies collection), I have with good reasoning always considered it inferior to Japanese animation. I have strongly felt that computer animation can never top the beauty that hand-drawn strokes evoke, which seem to transcend every frame from a mere cartoon to a larger than life experience.

Furthermore, there seems to be a dearth of strong-willed, free-spirited female characters in American animation. With the exception of only Merida from Brave, every animated movie from the United States seems hell-bent to constrain girls into thinking that finding the Charming Prince Perfect seems to be their only tryst with destiny.

And here comes a wonderful bundle of joy from Japan which addresses both these pressing issues without ever drawing attention towards them. The more I think about it, the more I admire the way Takahata has incorporated the aspects American animation has evaded and even more, the tranquil manner of doing so.

At a time where the fairer sex is finally getting the representation they deserve, movies like Only Yesterday are boons. It creates a character who is relatable and lovable irrespective of the confines of gender and nationality. Having Takahata as the screenplay writer helps, for Taeko encapsulates the male interpretation of female puberty, helping the male audience to be never distant from her.

Instead of the corrals a hard-bound screenplay has in store, Takahata succeeds in creating an experience. There is a plot, but it willingly takes the backseat when the characters assume control. What results is something more or less like life itself – sometimes painful, sometimes joyous and limitless ennui.

And further greater is the painstaking manner of staging scenes. Take a scene where a boy from school admits his love to Taeko. He comes in nervously, blushing, and stands speechless. An awkward silence follows, finally broken by him asking Taeko whether she prefers a sunny, cloudy or rainy day. She replies cloudy and he smiles in mutual agreement. What follows for the next minute is a wonderful silence, crafting one of the most romantic moments I have seen in cinema. Unlike other movies, there isn’t a fatuous conversation that follows to ascertain their love. Takahata seems to know that silence fills the voids as well.

Another great scene involves Taeko asking permission to act while having dinner. She poses the question, and glances at her mother. Her mother glances, at her father, with Taeko’s vision too shifting to him. Without a single word, Takahata shows where the power centers lie in the house.

The ending is something to be seen to be believed. An entire world channelizes a decision which would have been corny in any other scenario. Maybe that’s how the movie can be pretty much summed up as well ‘It is something to be seen to be believed’.

RATING :- 9.5 / 10

THANKS FOR READING. IF YOU HAVE LIKED/HAVE DIFFERENT VIEWS / HAVE ANY  DOUBTS, PLEASE SHARE. I WILL RESPOND TO IT AS SOON AS I CAN. AND PLEASE SUBSCRIBE FOR MORE. YOU CAN FOLLOW ME ON MY FACEBOOK PAGE TOO https://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100011549616628 YOU CAN ALSO E-MAIL ME ON castlebang786@gmail.com OR favebook2011@rediffmail.com

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Copyright : All written content on this site, unless otherwise noted, has been created by the website owner. As such, the content is the property of the website owner. This content is protected by Indian and international copyright laws. If you wish to reproduce, re-post, or display any of our content on your own site please only do so if you also provide a link back to the source page on this website and properly attribute authorship. Our preference is that you seek our permission before doing so. If you see anything on this website that has not been properly attributed to its originator please contact me. In response, I will attempt to correct the attribution of the offending material or remove and/or replace it. All material on this website is posted in accordance with the limitations set forward by the Information Technology Act, 2000. If a documented copyright owner so requests, their material will be removed from published display, although the author reserves the right to provide linkage to that material or to a source for that material. As a website devoted to discussing and reviewing movies and television I will at times, for illustrative purposes, present copyrighted material, the use of which might not always be specifically authorized by the copyright owner. Such material is made available  for purposes such as criticism, comment, and research. The website owner believes that this constitutes a “fair use” of any such copyrighted material because the articles published on this website are distributed for entertainment purposes

Talking Heads Review

The faces are turning older, the clocks are turning back, but Kieslowski’s questions remain the same – ‘Who are you ? What do you want from life?’

Overshadowed by the acclaim of ‘The Colors Trilogy‘ and ‘Dekalog‘, Kieslowski’s most personal work ‘Talking Heads‘ stands out with the same profound nature of Richard Linklater’s Waking Life. It is a breathtaking exploration into the human subconscious, studying in a tentative manner of whether the answers to these profound questions are grounded in their existence solely on the basis of geopolitical factors or current state of living conditions.

Personally, the movie worked as an affirmation for the collective nature of human subconscious in the universal scope for me. Consider however varying the answers of the characters appear, almost all of them seem to be interconnected by an altruistic facet to them, and more over, an upholding of the personal liberty of all others.

Talking Heads is a movie we all aspire to make but not necessarily film, for like Kieslowski, we too are hounded by these very questions and look around instead of within for the answers. It was Carl Jung who I believe once said ‘The sole purpose of human existence is to kindle a light in the darkness of mere being’. Talking Heads is with Shoah, in my opinion, the few mere cases where cinema meets its full potential, where it transcends the mere facade of entertainment, but acts as a personal catharsis for the viewer.

In a run-time of 14 minutes, Kieslowski creates the defining work on the innumerable selves a man dons in a single existence and the evanescent nature of the answers man assumes to be of lifelong permanency. In its very end, the gen hidden within Talking Heads below its multiple interpretations of the nature of human existence seems to be a counsel rather than an answer. Kielslowski seems to be shouting ‘Don’t indulge your precious time in this temporary quests, but rather in the permanent one, which is to live life to the fullest, for it seems towards the end of the road, all that we want from life seems to be more of it.’

RATING :- 9.9 / 10

THANKS FOR READING. IF YOU HAVE LIKED/HAVE DIFFERENT VIEWS / HAVE ANY  DOUBTS, PLEASE SHARE. I WILL RESPOND TO IT AS SOON AS I CAN. AND PLEASE SUBSCRIBE FOR MORE. YOU CAN FOLLOW ME ON MY FACEBOOK PAGE TOO https://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100011549616628 YOU CAN ALSO E-MAIL ME ON castlebang786@gmail.com OR favebook2011@rediffmail.com

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Copyright : All written content on this site, unless otherwise noted, has been created by the website owner. As such, the content is the property of the website owner. This content is protected by Indian and international copyright laws. If you wish to reproduce, re-post, or display any of our content on your own site please only do so if you also provide a link back to the source page on this website and properly attribute authorship. Our preference is that you seek our permission before doing so. If you see anything on this website that has not been properly attributed to its originator please contact me. In response, I will attempt to correct the attribution of the offending material or remove and/or replace it. All material on this website is posted in accordance with the limitations set forward by the Information Technology Act, 2000. If a documented copyright owner so requests, their material will be removed from published display, although the author reserves the right to provide linkage to that material or to a source for that material. As a website devoted to discussing and reviewing movies and television I will at times, for illustrative purposes, present copyrighted material, the use of which might not always be specifically authorized by the copyright owner. Such material is made available  for purposes such as criticism, comment, and research. The website owner believes that this constitutes a “fair use” of any such copyrighted material because the articles published on this website are distributed for entertainment purposes

 

 

 

 

 

 

E.T.The Extra Terrestrial Review

In the climax of The Great Dictator, Charlie Chaplin delivers what can be easily considered as the greatest monologue in cinematic history. There is a sentence from that great speech which reverberated in my mind after I watched E.T. – ‘We think too much and feel too little.’ Maybe all the nasty opinions of this movie can be summarized by these words of Chaplin.

E.T.The Extra Terrestrial is about a troubled child who finds an alien out in the woods, and then decides to help it return home. The alien in question is a hideous creature which would scare the living daylights out of any child, but that is Spielberg’s gamble, for this is a man who understands what it is to be a child and what it is to truly love.

Steven Spielberg has been a maverick magician of his own league. While his colleagues attracted universal acclaim with their hard-edged, serious, mature work, Spielberg won the world over with his childish vision. Maybe, this has proved detrimental in the long run for him to be considered one of the greatest in this world of art. But there is no denying, without Spielberg, I would have never loved cinema. When I watched Indiana Jones, I knew exactly what I wanted to do – to be an archaeologist ! And with every movie he came up, he made me fall in love with cinema a bit more.

As a critic, I can surely point out the flaws. But that’s the thing about movies like E.T.The Extra Terrestrial, you don’t give a slightest damn about them. For me, and countless others, movies like E.T. are no less than The Tree Of Life, for what we feel seems to be what we take away. I have watched E.T. countless times, and none of these times with dry eyes.

Whenever I watch E.T., I cry and I pity those who cannot love this movie. For if they cannot feel E.T., what in the world can they feel ? They have grown too old not for such movies, but seemingly for life itself. E.T. stands out as an achievement in cinema for it seems one can never to be too young to watch it, and never be too old to fall in love with it.

https://chrissturhann.blogspot.in/2017/05/announcing-summer-movie-blogathon.html?showComment=1496810819991#c1000212083715983404

American Graffiti Review

With college so nigh, I am doing what probably all my other colleagues are doing right now, fretting about the uncertain future and remembering the days of stability and security of high school. While on this futile journey of nostalgia, I have come across a truth about myself which on the whole doesn’t seem to fit with the perception I have of myself as a person. What I have realized is I don’t miss high school. One bit.

Today, I visited my school for a reunion of sorts. As I went through this swarm of people who I had spent almost twelve years of life with, I have never felt so alienated in my entire life. Adults reminisce about high school quite fondly, some wishing more than anything else to go back to those days. On the contrary, I realize what an exercise in futility it all was – wasting time learning stuff I would never use, making friends who haven’t had half the decency to call me in almost three months. But, there is something valuable that lingers on – moments.

Moments that I have collected throughout my school years are treasures for when every single one of them was materializing, it felt as if my life wouldn’t be the same after them. That’s what makes American Graffiti so relatable in contrast to Dazed & Confused. Coming from a country where parents are more conservative than religions in question, the focus Lucas has on how the characters consider a fleeting image of a beautiful blonde whispering something a life-changing moment really hits me.

The reason why American Graffiti seems so endearing is without a doubt its characters, all seemingly clueless about their life. When it ended, there was nothing more I wanted to do than go to these and characters and whisper in their ears that they would have all the perspective they want in a month or two.

Maybe this isn’t much of a review, but it should read as one, a highly positive one considering how personal the impact of this movie is. And in the end, Lucas leaves us with a word of wisdom. For me, it was that nostalgia is a dirty liar that insists things were better than they. For lots of others, it was that nostalgia is an ephemeral composition of disjointed memories. Basically saying, if you are on a date, and you grin while your girlfriend looks grim when the credits roll, you guys have some serious thinking to do.

https://chrissturhann.blogspot.in/2017/05/announcing-summer-movie-blogathon.html?showComment=1496810819991#c1000212083715983404

 

What Is The Greatest Cinematic Experience I Have Ever Had ?

What is it to have a great cinematic experience? As much as the art it derives its existence from, a great cinematic experience is subjective to its very core. I have read various testimonials of couples on the internet talking about how Norman Jewison’s Moonstruck made them fall in love with each other. I, on the other hand would readily make a case that watching a submarine fight while sitting on a beach would be a far better way to spend one’s time than watching the same movie in question.

In these few recent years during which I have fallen madly in love with this art form, the question of how a movie is perceived differently by every individual has hounded me persistently. And it’s not just confined to either a negative or positive response. Even to this day, the lovers of Francis Ford Coppola’s haunting masterpiece Apocalypse Now are debating whether to hail it as a pro or anti war movie.

One of the most pivotal and obvious reasons a movie may allure some and parry others is primarily because of its subject matter. A person who hasn’t gone through heartbreak may not think twice of Marc Webb’s (500) Days Of Summer after having seen it. However, it will stand out as a favorite of one who has experienced this heart-wrenching ordeal because the movie illustrates his life situation, which induces a personal experience for him in the cinema hall rather than a mere steady flow of 24 frames per second.

Another factor causing a major divide among the audiences is one’s perception of cinema itself. A friend of mine who lives a floor above hails Micheal Bay’s Transformers as the greatest movie he has ever seen. This opinion of his was obviously met by me with great dissent and inept sarcasm (Micheal Bay is so dumb he got locked in a grocery store and starved). But the more I think about it now, I don’t see his opinion to be flawed at all for when he walks into a cinema theater, all he expects to take from it seems to be unabashed entertainment which Bay seems to offer.

And as I realize now, I could go on and on about the various factors which seem to be responsible for this psychological phenomena, but none of them would be a concrete factor which one can consider the principal reason for a person to either hate or love a movie. In the end I truly believe, a movie is to a person what he is or has been.

But, dear reader, it was your inquisitiveness towards my own personal experience which brought you to this paragraph. And the answer to the titular question is a relatively well-known movie from Paul Thomas Anderson titled Magnolia. Why ?

Because after watching it, I knew the movie had changed me irreversibly, but I had no idea how. Many of the meaningful moments in our lifetime seem to ascertain themselves with deep, life changing philosophical depth, but somehow, the most important among them always seem to evade their greater meaning from us, as if to make us revisit and learn from them from time to time.

One of my greater fears I have as a human being is I have depleted my quota for the emotions a human being feels in his lifetime and what I am feeling now is just lesser version of what I have already felt. But after watching Magnolia, I knew I was feeling something deeper than anything I had felt, but I also knew I would never have the words to describe it.

For me watching Magnolia wasn’t just a cinematic experience, but more or less, a life experience. And a profound one too.

(Share your greatest cinematic experience and your thoughts on the different perception of movies in the comments)

THANKS FOR READING. IF YOU HAVE LIKED/HAVE DIFFERENT VIEWS / HAVE ANY  DOUBTS, PLEASE SHARE. I WILL RESPOND TO IT AS SOON AS I CAN. AND PLEASE SUBSCRIBE FOR MORE. YOU CAN FOLLOW ME ON MY FACEBOOK PAGE TOO https://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100011549616628 YOU CAN ALSO E-MAIL ME ON castlebang786@gmail.com OR favebook2011@rediffmail.comPhoto Rights : Google Images, Wikipedia

Copyright : All written content on this site, unless otherwise noted, has been created by the website owner. As such, the content is the property of the website owner. This content is protected by Indian and international copyright laws. If you wish to reproduce, re-post, or display any of our content on your own site please only do so if you also provide a link back to the source page on this website and properly attribute authorship. Our preference is that you seek our permission before doing so. If you see anything on this website that has not been properly attributed to its originator please contact me. In response, I will attempt to correct the attribution of the offending material or remove and/or replace it. All material on this website is posted in accordance with the limitations set forward by the Information Technology Act, 2000. If a documented copyright owner so requests, their material will be removed from published display, although the author reserves the right to provide linkage to that material or to a source for that material. As a website devoted to discussing and reviewing movies and television I will at times, for illustrative purposes, present copyrighted material, the use of which might not always be specifically authorized by the copyright owner. Such material is made available  for purposes such as criticism, comment, and research. The website owner believes that this constitutes a “fair use” of any such copyrighted material because the articles published on this website are distributed for entertainment purposes.

Shoah Review

Every art form owes its origin to a characteristic so deeply ingrained in the human race, that over the course of history it has proved to be the standpoint among our various attributes which separates us from all other animals – a proclivity to preserve the truth for the future generations, so as to enlighten them on the mistakes of the past generations and how to evade them during the course of their lifetimes. Literature stemmed from Herodotus’ accounts of the brutality of wars and gradually gave form to genres and sub-genres with a voice and style of their own. However, written words failed to emanate certitude, for it had to stand trial against the existence of the boundless imaginative powers of the human race.

But eyes, how can they lie ? The invention of cinema, thus stands out till date as a definitive tool to capture the truth, and freeze it forever. And Shoah, the 9-hour epic by Claude Lanzmann constituting of the interviews of Holocaust survivors, historians and SS officials stands out as the greatest use of cinema in its century and a half long history.

Speaking from a professional and personal front, writing anything about Shoah is an exigent task. How do you review testimonials of the survivors of one of the greatest human tragedies tailored to form a documentary ? In my entire life, there hasn’t been a movie which has impacted me as a human being as Shoah has. As the movie progressed, there were times where I closed my eyes and just listened to the testimonials. There was an appalling truth in the eyes of these survivors which seemed to flash the horrors they were describing. To look eye-to-eye with them was too naked and painful than a human being can bear.

Whenever I review a movie, I often find my responsibility to talk about a movie reminiscent to that of a salesman. I can spend my time praising the product, enticing you to buy it, or talk adversely about, thus discouraging you from buying it. So the question here is how can I sell to you a 9-hour documentary about the Holocaust with only conversations ?

Well, because you as a member of this species are entitled by your moral responsibility to give a damn about the sufferings of others. Shoah maybe a long film, but it definitely isn’t a slow one. The conversations are emotionally harrowing, sometimes even darkly funny and more often than not, intriguing in their nature. I watched this movie over a course of two days. At nights, I was plagued by various visions of death in my dreams. Watching Shoah isn’t a pleasant experience, but it is a rewarding one. Great movies have the power to change the very soul of a human being and no movie better personifies that than Shoah.

The only fallacy, which turns out to be the greatest strength of Shoah the more I think about it, would be the interrogative style Lanzmann adopts with SS officials. Although this method is faulty for it could have lead to clear-cut villains and heroes in this story, it ended up exposing the helplessness of these men as well. The testament which moved me the most was that of a Nazi official towards the end of the movie whose words state explicitly the torment he had in coming in terms with violence unfolding around him. Imagine the guilt of surviving a hell when everyone who you loved didn’t. Now imagine living through the fact that although you couldn’t do single damn thing about it, you too will stand out in history as a perpetrator of the greatest tragedy in human history.

That is what this extraordinary movie seems to say. ‘No one survived the Holocaust’.

RATING :- 10 / 10

THANKS FOR READING. IF YOU HAVE LIKED/HAVE DIFFERENT VIEWS / HAVE ANY  DOUBTS, PLEASE SHARE. I WILL RESPOND TO IT AS SOON AS I CAN. AND PLEASE SUBSCRIBE FOR MORE. YOU CAN FOLLOW ME ON MY FACEBOOK PAGE TOO https://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100011549616628 YOU CAN ALSO E-MAIL ME ON castlebang786@gmail.com OR favebook2011@rediffmail.com

Photo Rights : Google Images, Wikipedia

Copyright : All written content on this site, unless otherwise noted, has been created by the website owner. As such, the content is the property of the website owner. This content is protected by Indian and international copyright laws. If you wish to reproduce, re-post, or display any of our content on your own site please only do so if you also provide a link back to the source page on this website and properly attribute authorship. Our preference is that you seek our permission before doing so. If you see anything on this website that has not been properly attributed to its originator please contact me. In response, I will attempt to correct the attribution of the offending material or remove and/or replace it. All material on this website is posted in accordance with the limitations set forward by the Information Technology Act, 2000. If a documented copyright owner so requests, their material will be removed from published display, although the author reserves the right to provide linkage to that material or to a source for that material. As a website devoted to discussing and reviewing movies and television I will at times, for illustrative purposes, present copyrighted material, the use of which might not always be specifically authorized by the copyright owner. Such material is made available  for purposes such as criticism, comment, and research. The website owner believes that this constitutes a “fair use” of any such copyrighted material because the articles published on this website are distributed for entertainment purposes.