Posts Tagged ‘Movies’

books

Loved the narrative voice in Zadie Smith’s White Teeth and reading Raymond Chandler’s The Big Sleep was like reading a movie. Virginia Woolf’s A Writer’s Diary offered more than a glimpse of the writer’s intense writing process. James Joyce’s Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man didn’t really capture my imagination until the later pages. There were two books about genocide, a nonfiction Elie Wiesel’s Night and fiction, Edna O’Brien’s Little Red Chairs that moved between Ireland, London and Bosnia. Jack London’s The Call of the Wild evokes the inherent wildness in us. Orhan Pahmuk’s A Strangeness in My Mind takes us into the life and mind of a boza seller who married the wrong girl and loved the right one. Vivek Shanbag’s Ghachar Ghochar, a translation from the Kannada, promised Chekhov-like writing, and came with a live ant (!) Han Kang’s The Vegetarian was about how a woman turns vegetarian, taking it to the extreme, and the way she affects her husband, brother-in-law, and sister.

Andre Breton’s Nadja is surrealism personified, and Katie Daisy’s How to be a Wildflower is a vibrant treat. The insights in Virginia Woolf’s A Room of One’s Own are still relevant, and the honesty and courage in Lidia Yuknavitch’s The Chronology of Water has made her one of my favourite writers. Read Neruda’s Selected Poems, and 20 Love Poems and a Song of Despair aloud in Spanish and English to taste the textures in their entirety. Sarita Mandanna’s Tiger Hills brought alive Coorg, and there was a whiff of Gone with the Wind in its pages. Melina Marchetta’s Looking for Alibrandi made me realise that this was the first book of fiction I have read that was set in Australia. I read Vita Sackville-West’s Joan of Arc the first week of May; the same time in the 15th century, Jeanne brought about the fall of Orleans. It was on May 30 that she was burnt at the stake.

Stories on screen –

movies

Telly

© Anuradha Prasad, 2017

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There were many stories…told, listened to, read, watched, imagined, written.

 Print:

  • Margaret Atwood’s Cat’s Eye – on being bullied
  • Erica Jong’s Fear of Flying – on finding your identity as a woman
  • Edith Wharton’s The House of Mirth – on trying to find a place in society as a woman
  • Rebecca Solnit’s A Field Guide to Getting Lost – on the many ways of being lost
  • Jonas Jonasson’s The Girl Who Saved the King of Sweden – on travelling with nukes and being a math genius
  • Jonas Jonasson’s The Hundred-Year-Old Man Who Climbed Out of the Window and Disappeared – on unusual adventures

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  • Lidia Yuknavitch’s The Small Backs of Children – on war, inside us and outside us
  • Patrick Suskind’s Perfume – on murder and scents
  • Hiromi Kawakami’s Strange Weather in Tokyo – on an unconventional love story
  • Henry Miller’s Tropic of Cancer – on being a writer and broke in Paris
  • Banana Yoshimoto’s Asleep – on the many ways we sleep
  • Abeer Hoque’s Olive Witch – on cultural identities

Screen:

  • Arthur Penn’s Bonnie and Clyde
  • Sofia Coppola’s Marie Antoinette
  • Spike Jonze’s Adaptation
  • Bernardo Bertolucci ‘s Stealing Beauty
  • Tom McCarthy’s Spotlight
  • Bernardo Bertolucci’s The Dreamers

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  • Woody Allen’s Café Society
  • Mary Harron’s I Shot Andy Warhol
  • Curtis Hanson’s Wonder Boys
  • Park Chan-wook ‘s The Handmaiden
  • Woody Allen’s Crisis in Six Scenes
  • Sofia Coppola’s Somewhere
  • O.J: Made in America

And live at the Ruhaniyat 2016, Nohon Shumarov –

I spent most of the month reading Toni Morrison’s Beloved. I couldn’t take it all in one read. The book dealt with racism and slavery. This was the most obvious layer in the story. It also explored the relationship between a mother and her children. The same force that creates, destroys. Out of love. Can it be forgiven? Even after one has risen above the trauma, can anyone fully recover? Can one completely make peace with the race that tortured them?

Sethe escapes slavery and runs away from Sweet Home and the Schoolteacher. She can’t find her husband and her three children would’ve left before her to her mother-in-law Baby Sugg’s home. A pregnant Sethe manages to reach Baby Sugg’s, delivering Denver en route with the help of a white girl. For 28 days Sethe lives a free woman. Until Schoolteacher arrives looking for her. She tries to kill her children so that they don’t experience what she has experienced. The baby girl dies. Beloved. She returns in flesh many years later and unleashes her anger on Sethe who is still fraught with guilt and will do anything to make up to Beloved. Denver then takes it upon herself to look out for her mother.

Morrison’s knack of pulling you into the story, drowning you in a story is disturbing. And beautiful. How can one turn pain, loss and humiliation into something so utterly divine?

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I saw Max Fischer’s The Fire Raisers and I would like to say I enjoyed it but I didn’t. The props crowded the stage.

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Two movies I saw were Salt and Inception. Both were brilliant for different reasons.

Angelina Jolie was fantastic in Salt. Spies, action, suspense. It would’ve been old news if it weren’t for a woman playing the lead role. Her beauty is so brutal and raw. No matter what character she plays, she carries another story inside her that powers her. The President of America was a cartoon. I’m not sure if it was intentional.

Inception was mind blowing. The idea is simple enough but executing it on a  scale like that is brilliant. The sub-conscious designed and delivered so perfectly definitely deserves to go home with awards. I believe planting ideas in people’s head is possible even when they are awake. The lower the person’s defences and self-esteem the better.  Books on metaphysics and occult talk about how we can connect sub-consciously with others and communicate with them, so the story was entirely plausible.

And I must add a line or two about Leonardo Di Caprio. I didn’t think much of him in Titanic and Romeo & Juliet. Who can go wrong in Titanic after all? It was a big movie. He was just so pretty. But now I am a fan. Blood Diamond, The Departed and now Inception. He is not just a pretty face, is he?