Saturday, July 30, 2011

Coming Up...

Its Africa and Australia on the way...>>

After crossing and cutting across the globe, it seems Filmbulb have'nt gone into the Africa and Australia. So by next week or in coming days, Filmbulb has specific movies focused from Africa and Australia. So expect some new faces and unknown movies. Filmbulb always gets in to unknown and rare teritories. Its hard to find movies from these region, but with the zeal of discovering the world cinema, Filmbulb will travel the path.

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

The Story Of The Weeping Camel (2003)

It’s a typical documentry-style film, no where there is an emphasis on the cinematography or dialogues.

This is a documentary-style movie taken in the Central Asian country, Mangolia. The Story Of The Weeping Camel.  As the country is known to its nomadic life style (not sure if it’s so), the movie is about the nomads, their legends and the myth.
The film starts with an elder nomad Shepard saying about the legend of why the camel always gazes the horizon. It’s breading season and there are new born colts (camels) all around. The last of the colt is born, which is a cute little white colt, unfortunately the mother camel dislikes it, doesn’t feed the white colt. It grows impatient when the nomads take the white colt near the mom.  Now they want to fix this situation else they will lose the white colt.

They are in the arid land, somewhere in the great Gobi desert. The elder nomads decides to do a ritual, called Hoos, for which they need a violinist and send two of their kids to the nearby Armic Center, a kind of town.  The kids travel on the camel to the Armic center and inform the situation to the elders over in the center. A violinist is sent to the nomads, he then performs a brief score of the ritual, and we can see the weeping mother camel, which unites the white colt.
The movie is produced by a student named Tobias Siebert and directed by Byambasuren Davaa, might be due to the monetary constraints, it doesn’t have background score other than the violin in the ritual. The cast seems to be original to the nomads. It’s a typical documentry-style film, no where there is an emphasis on the cinematography or dialogues. The take away of the film is the innocence of the nomadic people and their simple approach to life. But in the end a TV set enters the nomad tent, with the insistence of the kid (whose sees the TV in the Armic center) and the elder nomad saying, “You won’t do anything; all day you see will see this thing”.

Further Readings:-

Story of a Famous Print Media

They always don’t thrive on the reader’s interest, but always push their ideology on them.

Recently a leading South Indian English newspaper carried the picture of our neighbouring president, who is accused by several associations world-wide for war crimes, furthermore the second picture gets into the sports page with the same president. Going to TV news by the leading house, after their routine party news, there comes news about the fasting of a temple-priest (Sivannadiyars), then the news about the TN Governor emphasizing the public about paying taxes. Which comes first governor or temple priest?
The pics in the Newspaper
Media in this age or the years before are always been biased in some way or other. They always don’t thrive on the reader’s interest, but always push their ideology on them. The newspaper didn’t publish the genocide which happened in our neighbourhood state. They failed to cover the ground realities. The world came to know about these happenings only through an UK publication. So what these people were doing, only reporting on high-level happenings in the concerned government. Why the picture in the sports page, are you concerned about the cricket or the future of the politico-man in the picture.
 The newspaper has been visible biased recently.  I have been reading this daily for a long time, doesn’t want to discontinue it now as there has been a recent reshuffle in the editorial and management team. Nammo Narayannaa..

Friday, July 22, 2011

The Quarrel (1991)

Canadian film which debates on an age-old topic.  God versus Man.

This film came in the Amazon Series of Intellectual films, doesn’t need a super brain to assume why its intellectual, cause it speaks about the age-old issue, god vs man, faith vs reason. This Canadian film directed by Eli Cohen reminds me of a Tamil (Regional language in India) film Anbe Sivam.  The confrontation between the believer and the agnostic, this film also brings me the memories of my college days when similar kind of interaction and quarrel between friends.

The movie starts in 1940’s, were an agnostic writer Chaime meets his long time lost  friend now a Rabbi Hersh. They were sometime wilfully separated by the Holocaust. So what will happen when they meet, it’s a "quarrel". It’s beautifully set in a Montreal park, vivid pictures and sounds. Also credit has to be given to the screenplay for making the viewers to passively get hooked to the seat with just two characters in the screen for most of the time.
This 80 min movies does have its share of fun and the wierd moments of song and dance by the long met friends. The movie is full of quotable moments, touches the nerve of someone who has been in similar situations. The philosophical pointers touched by the film is never ending as the quarrel goes on and on with the two. Most of the issues discussed in the film are left open, doesn’t give any final statement or both the character stands inside their own boundary, which leaves the viewer to choose a path of their wish.

Monday, July 18, 2011

Women in the Dunes (1964)

An Avant-grade film from Japan, directed by Hiroshi Teshigahara

After the last film review from the dawn of cinema, FilmBulb now travels to Far East, Japan. What happens if you are held as a hostage in a pit surrounded by moving sands and your companion is a women, assuming that you (the one reading this) as a guy.
Jumpie Niki, yes it’s a name, is an entomologist, the one who studies about insects. Desperate to have his name in a book of his respective field, he goes far into a land of sand dunes, misses his last bus of the day to the city and helped by native villagers. Who take him to a sandpit, saying that it’s a widows house and she can provide you food and shelter. Her task is to shovel the sand from the bottom of the pit and send it back to top. The villagers refer Jumpie as a helper to her, unaware about this he tries to leave by morning only to find the rope ladder is taken away. He fails to climb the pit.
Slowly Jumpie realizes the situation, that the sand shovel by the widow is taken by the villagers and it’s sold to the city’s construction business.  First Jumpie is adamant not to work with her, the villagers cut their rations, starvation of water makes him to oblige to work. In between he tries to escape, but fails. A surrealistic relation takes place between the both, he accidently find a way to get water from the pit, doesn’t want to depend on the villagers, she gets pregnant and due to the labour she is taken away by the villagers. He then gets a chance to escape, but he doesn’t want to, the movie ends with his voice over that he is eager to tell the villagers about making the water from the pit and then escape another day. The final visuals are the missing list on the notice board of a police station that a man named Jumpie Niki is missing for seven years.
The logic of the film is sometimes odd to understand, why did the villagers take the sand for the construction, is it really happening in Japan? Is the woman is held captive or is she there for the sand business. Why he didn’t escape finally when he got a chance.

Photography & Background:-
The movie camera goes too close-up shots by capturing the natural murals in the sand. It’s a black and white film, but still good work in the cinematography, some of the shots are in extreme close-up and it takes some effort to identify of what it is. Equally the background score, typical Japanese. Especially the kind of folk when the villagers ask Jumpie of perform the manly and perverts act on the widow. The film then won the special jury in Cannes and two Oscar nominations.

Philosophy of the film:-
The film questions the existence of a being, in initial scenes Jumpie is not happy with his city life, but he finds himself in the pit he wants to move out, saying even a monkey can do this work of shovelling. Then he finds a way to get water, he want to share it with the villagers and bring a change in their life and presumably leads the life there.

Monday, July 4, 2011

The Last Laugh (1924)

A silent German film from the dawn of cinema
History claims that this film was the first to use the dolly shots
F. M. Murnau

After watching Tabu: Story of South Seas (1931) I was captivated by the silent film maker F. M. Murnau, Tabu was his last film and the director lost his life in a car accident at the age of 42. Prior to this Murnau has made a silent film named “The Last Laugh” (1924), which doesn’t even have an inter-title which was common in those silent era films.

It’s a story of an ageing doorman in a star hotel who is demoted to a meaner job as a washroom assistant. The doorman and his family members are proud of his uniform, this is the era of war and its natural for lower class bourgeois  section having proud of their uniform. Unable to bare the humiliation caused by the neighbours after the loss of the doorman job, he steals the uniform and get caught by the night watchman while returning it. The watchman takes pity on him and wraps his coat on the doorman in the washroom. Here the story ends with the card as below.

Only inter-title in the film

As the director took pity on the doorman and doesn’t want to end the story as a grey-tale, the doorman hits a fortune, by inheriting the wealth of an American millionaire. The story continues with the doorman and the night watchman enjoying a feast where caviar is thrown away as peanuts in the same hotel and leaves by tipping the entire staff.

Camera and Art work:
The script is very simple, but no the cinematography. The camera travels all the time, up, down, left and right, it also swings sometime in the air. The history claims that this film was the first to use the dolly shot, Point of view shots, playing with shadows and lightings. The scene in the revolving door where the ageing doorman enters and the new doorman exiting is an apt POV.

Also the opening shot which travels through the elevator (which is open as in olden days) follows through the hallway and exiting to the main door. Sometimes the camera is unmovable, like when the doorman is shocked due to an irate customer, the camera stands still with the swinging door coming in and out.
Miniature scene
This has to be a first film to take a miniature set, like a train passing through the camera with the hotel in the background. It seems the entire set of the bourgeois buildings were constructed real time.

Ageing doorman is played by Emil Jannings, ever shot in the film follows Emil, who gives the expression which is easily decipherable. It’s not only Emil all the character in film gives expression which is easily comprehensible by all. Considering the dream sequence in the film the German expressionist played a profound role in the film.
The film will make you to revisit it again just to enjoy the fantastic camerawork and the acting.

Saturday, July 2, 2011

Indian Cinema 2010

Thousands of films made, Indian Cinema is ready to take on the rest
Regional films effortlessly outnumber the films made in Hindi.

Indian Cinema, 2010, this is a review of the count of films that were made in India in the year of 2010. Bollywood, films made in Mumbai does constitute of the highest number of films made in India on par down south their compatriots are not left behind, like Tamil, Telugu and Kannada. In fact according to the CBFC report, the facts in this article are based on this report. Regional films effortlessly outnumber the films made in Hindi.

When Bollywood makes films with its trendy statements in showiness and allure,  rich locales,  rest of the India is not left behind in any means, movies are made to fill the appetite of its own populace, so it doesn’t reach the wider world audience. With the makers running short of strict deadlines they ceased to look a market beyond.

 With 1274 films made across India in the year of 2010 and another 298 foreign films, which mostly includes Hollywood, it’s a staggering number of 1500+ movies released for its more than one billion population. The cities like Mumbai, Delhi, Bangalore and Chennai are already into a multiplex culture where 10 to 15 movies are run in any given point of time. The footfalls are increasing even with the advent of the recent enriched sports and other entertainment.
It is said that the break-up of the films made in India is in 24 languages. Get into beyond Bollywood and monsoon wedding like cinema there is a bounty of films that one can look forward. Even in this age of Web 2.0 and beyond it’s still an untapped market.

Friday, July 1, 2011

Avan Ivan - Tamil (2011)

Wit.. Wit.. Wittiness and Revenge             
The Trademark of the movie is characterization.

Avan Ivan, from one of the most acclaimed director from India, Bala, doesn’t let you down, he creates characters which is never even thought by others.
 With strange backdrops in Pithamagan and Nan Kadavul, he touches the chords which are never even seen by other film makers. Avan Evan is a film of multiple character oriented film. Each and every character has its own story and so the movie runs as the character goes and ends neither in closed climax nor an open climax. The maker didn’t try to tell a story, but just portrayed characters as they were. The protagonists Vishal and Araya are half-brothers. Let’s just review the charters,

Walter- Played by Vishal, with a squint eye and portrays himself as a stage-actor in the film has worked hard for the role. He sometimes plays as a female and once he tries to give the navarasa, nine emotions or abinaya with a quite bit of applause from the audience. Not sure sometimes the body language is stiff, let go Vishal, you can go places.

Kumbudreen Samy – Played by Araya, seems as if he got the knack of working with Bala, He performs his role as a small time thief at an ease. It’s definitely not a second fiddle to Vishal, but the way in which the character is portrayed is to underplay with the situation.
Parents- Played by Ananth, Ambika and Prabha. The mothers and father of the protagonists are depicted with full of foul languages and down to earth words which will make some uneasy, but that’s how people are now and nothing wrong in it.

Zamindar – G. M. Kumar, is an apt choice, a perfect cast who got the wit of emotional comedian kind of look. The film ends by his death, which is followed by the revenge of the protagonists.  G. M. Kumar has to be commended for his dedication to his work in making himself exposed to the kind of inhumane treatment given by the smuggler at the end.

The other characters like the inspector and the boy who is with Arya are worth to be mentioned in carrying the trademark of the movie, i.e. the characterization.