Monday, January 20, 2014

Man Vs Mosquitoes

WARNING: Not for week, oops weak hearts

Man Vs Mosquitoes is a new world war, at least in Chennai. Everywhere (Places wherever I go) I see these sullans. 

The other day there this huge war went against these mosquitoes, even though we killed most of it, they had a last laugh by their count. The ratio got increased with the killings, man:: mosquitoes- 1::20, kill 5 mosquitoes, the ratio became 1::25, then 1::30. 

It was like kill 5, their backup will send 10, and so the mosquito battalion got increased!!

Eventually man has to retreat, but before doing that he has to document the war for historical purposes, he called it as Massacre of Mosquitoes, here is the video evidence of the massacre.

Make sure your speakers are turned on to see this video.

Even though the graphic elements are blurred, The MPAA rating for the video is PG. 

157 countries banned this video.


If you are a film buff, identify the two background music in this video.

Saturday, January 18, 2014

Vetti Korner - 1

நகரத்தில் இருப்பவனுக்கு அதிஷ்டமான நாள்,
எல்லா போக்குவரத்து சந்திப்பு விளக்குகளும் பச்சையாகும் போது.

மார்கழி மாதம் முடிந்த நிலையில்,
தேருவில் நாய்களின் உலா அதிகமாயின.

லிப்டில் கூட்டம் அதிகமானதும்
ஒருவன் சொல்லாமல் கவுண்டமணியின் வசனத்தை நினைவுடினன்
மொச்சை கொட்டைய திங்கதிங்கடா

Friday, January 17, 2014

Wanted - A Cinema Theater

@ Above- A grab from the film Cinema Paradiso

I don't clearly remember how and when I picked up seeing World Cinema, but I think it has to be from Dooradarshan channel. Longtime back they used to play foreign-language films on Sunday nights, this was in National television and in Metro. Then DD Podhigai, Tamil-language channel of Dooradarshan started telecasting foreign-language ( non-English ) on Saturday afternoons, the best part was the sub-titles will be in Tamil.

For some reason, these screenings were stopped, maybe IFFI didn't have much stock!. But the interest in me was still there, I used to read about films- Ananda Vikatan carried a series which talked about World Cinema, it was written by Chezian ( Cinematographer of Paradesi ). Nizhal, a Tamil monthly magazine, which talked about cinema. This magazine is not available in most of the stands, not sure if they have a magazine now, but they have an online presence (

Till then I had watched only handful of films through DD. Now, no way to watch the films, as the private TV screening were mostly of Hollywood films. And, I had to get content with it. Then came the grey-market, some non-English movies started to arrive. The guys in these market were good in their subject-matter, one guy suggested to watch Akiro Kurusawa’ Yajimbo!. The problem, I felt with these DVD’s were these exclusive shops were not next door, had to travel to specific places in the city, so going there and buying one or two was not cost effective, so I had to get it in bulk. By just seeing 20-30 DVD’s I got confused which to watch first!. 

Wikipedia and IMDb became main sources to pick films. So to know about the movies from different countries, sometimes I would go to the nearby browsing center, not to read, but take print-out of the Wiki articles as much as possible ( Save reading time!). Meanwhile, S Ramakrishnan’ Ulaga Cinema was a super resource. While he introduced good films, some were too hard to comprehend. Later, I realized that I shouldn't take “top 10, 100, 500 films” just by the list’ face value. By this time, torrents became available.

At first I didn't think downloading a movie from the internet was possible, I would say “are you kidding”. When I realized the reality, I thought to try it. But, I just had a Wireless Tata connection, which was a dial-up speed. So I would use the download in nights as it was free. It took a week for me to download Alfred Hitchcock’s Rope ( Now, I can do it in 30 mins ). Mininova, isohunt, piratebay the list goes on. Especially piratebay, these guys are like phoenix, they raise whenever it is blocked and the media tells they are dead. I personally feel torrents are great technology and it is not illegal as I’m not paying for it. The seeder doesn't get any monetary gains, it is like borrowing from the neighbor.

In Chennai, without the above mentioned avenues, the only way to catch the films will be film festivals, which is hard to schedule time, even if we do, I guess we can see only handful of movies. I seriously believe films has to been seen in a movie theater. Some cinema hall or an organization has to come-up with a plan of screening World Cinema 365 days or at least one show per week to start will be fine. I don't want to be part of a special elite group, the venue has to be for the general public. 

Amateur Clicks - 1

1. Moru morun some botties to start as starters.. 

2. Feeling Alone 

3. Pinchileye pazuthadu

4. Lighthouse

5. Othai Maram

6. For 3D Effect

Thursday, January 16, 2014

Mass Hysteria in The Act of Killing

Usually, I don’t write sequel to my posts, but I couldn't resist to this one, as said by Oscar Wilde, “Don’t resist to temptation- yield for it”. 

The Act of Killing has been particularly disturbing film, which I had seen in recent times. Not because of the re-enactment of the killings, but by the words which are unspoken and actions which reflect something else than seen on the screen.

Sometime in this film, we are introduced to Anwar Congo‘compatriot Adel, who had equally done a fair share of killings as Anwar. When he and Anwar talks about their past, he doesn't even show a hint of remorse. In fact he says he never had any nightmares, he criticizes Geneva Convention, want a case to be filled again Abel & Cain and want to write a Jakarta convention. 

Following his eccentric talks, in the nest scene, he is seen with his family happily shopping with his wife and daughter in a big mall. These two shots depict extreme conditions- one the Joshua Oppenheimer (director) is posting questions on him about his past, which he Adel trashes like a fly on the wall and the other we see him in this posh mall with his happy family.

Adel with his family

The other scene is the Panchasila gang re-enact the killings in a village. The actors had to act as the gang is torturing them and burning their homes. The scene unfolds with the shouting of the gang with the forest insects creaking sound in the background. Once they say “cut”, we see children really crying and some women almost losing their consciousness.

Individual killings are done at the spur of the moment, even though there are planned murders, this human psychology can be controlled by the fear of law. The actual human psychology, which is hard to control, is the mob psychology which is backed by a mass hysteria. Killings in the name of religions and ideas are based on this mass hysteria. This shouldn't be confined only to 1965 Indonesia. Every country has its own share of bloodshed. History is full of it, just a matter of who writes is important.

Some Vetti Clicks - 2

1. Pillai-yar

2. Rani Raja

3. Where is the baby ?

4.So many!
5. Don't stare at the camera!

Lighthouse - Chennai

I found a coincidence in having Kamarajar statue near to the lighthouse, anyone can write a good caption for the above picture ? 

Most of the films show light house as haunted one, this is not, because as-usual it is full of people. 

For getting up into the top of the lighthouse the entrance fee is 10.00 for adults and 5.00 for children. If you don't want to go to the top, you can also visit a small museum in the basement, there is a separate ticket for it 10/5. For foreigners it is 25.00, I don't understand the principle (principal, headmaster...) behind this ? It will be great, if someone can explain. 

Timings 9:00 to 5:00 PM, no holidays.

Being pongal holidays, it was a rush, we could hardly spend 2 - 3 mins in the top. As we are experienced with so many high rises the city view didn't amaze me, but the sea looked terrific, kind of misty as we cant see the horizon.

They provide lift (OK.. escalator..happy!), there is no extra charge for it. It's FREE!!. So you can take your elder ones too.

I would suggest, if you can climb it using steps, then you will get the wow effect in the top.

Monday, January 13, 2014

எரிச்சலூட்டும் ரசிகர்கள்

எரிச்சலூட்டும் ரசிகர்கள், இல்லை அரக்கர்கள்- ஆம் இப்படி தான் சொல்லவேண்டும் இவர்களை. ஜில்லா – வீரம் release ஆனாலும் ஆச்சி இவங்க ஆலும்பும் ஆட்டகசமும் தாங்க முடியல. Internet-ல் இதுங்க அடிக்கும் comments & pictures பார்த்தால் வாந்தியே வரும். சில நல்ல உள்ளங்கள் இருக்கின்றனர், ஆனால் பல கள்ள ஜன்மங்களும் இருக்குதுங்க.

நீ Vijay ரசிகனா, இந்த பிடி சாபம்- ஆம்மா, அப்பாவில் தொடங்கி பக்கத்து வீட்டு ஆயா வரை revetu அடிக்கிறான். நீ Ajith ரசிகனா, இந்த பிடி சாபம்- ஆம்மா, அப்பாவில் தொடங்கி முப்பாட்டன் வரை revetu அடிக்கிறான்.

இதுல critics-பாடு திண்டாட்டம். ½ mark ஆதிகமா போட்ட ஒரு critics-சொட வம்சத்தையே திட்டி திட்டி நிர்மூலம் ஆக்கிடங்க, அப்புறம் அந்த critic மூலம் வந்த மாதிரி மொகத்த வெச்சிகிட்டு YouTube-ல் ஆழுவுரான்.

கேட்டால் கருத்து சுதந்திரம், timepass என்ற bedsheet போதிக்கிட்டு இருக்குதுங்க ஜமகாள்த்தில் வடிகட்டிய முட்டாள்களின் கூட்டம். நீங்க என்னதான் கூப்பாடு போட்டாலும் இந்த star-இல்ல எந்த star கிட்ட இருந்தும் ஒரு single tea-கூட வாங்க முடியாது.

இது Vijay, Ajith ரசிகர்களுக்கு மட்டும்மல்ல power star முதல் பல்லுப்போன எல்லா star-களுக்கும் பொருந்தும்.

If you like good films, then you might like this too, check this,

Captain Phillips ( US - 2013 )

Few weeks before one of my friend who is working as a marine engineer in a merchant ship asked me to watch this film. At that time he was about to venture into the “Horn of Africa”. Several people recommended this film. I usually don’t write about new releases, because if I write then it will become a review, I’m not a critic to judge a film, just a normal cinema viewer. This is not a review. Just, my take on the film. I’m dedicating this post to my bravo friend Parasuram. All the best machi!.

By this time, most of us would have known the plot; moreover it’s based on a true story, so there is no spoiler alert in this post.

Captain Phillips’ ship Maersk Alabama is attacked by Somali pirates. While escaping, the pirates take Phillips as hostage in a life boat. The rest of the story unfolds how Phillips is rescued by US marine.

Initially the story reflects the helpless situation in the shipping industry. Billions worth of goods, big ship, dozens of life’s are depending on the fire-hozes!! to defend themselves from AK-47 rifles!. A helpline, which doesn't work! 

The film, gives equal screen space for Phillips and Muse (Leader of pirate-group). It tries to tell the story of the Somali side, but not too much (It’s a Hollywood film, not an auteur European or Korean film!!). We get to see the other side, only by dialogues,

Capt. Phillips: There's got to be something other than being a fisherman or kidnapping people.
Muse: Maybe in America
Muse: Last year I took a Greek ship. 6 million dollars.
Capt. Phillips: 6 million dollars? So what are you doing here?

Throughout the film, it is the struggle of leadership, of who is in charge of the situation, be it Phillips, Muse, or the US Marine captain. Everyone has their own goals- Phillips, concerned about his crew and his family. Muse, about his future and his bosses. US Marine Capt. who is to follow the code.

Tom Hanks, has always given memorable performances. He is not a dialogue-man, he is a man who acts the dialogue, who brings us the character visually, in films Cast Away, Forrest Gump, Philadelphia… In this film, we don’t see that Tom Hanks, moreover Barkad Abdi gives an equally good ride for Hanks as Muse. A veteran Vs Novice. 

Towards the end, Hanks gives a knock-out punch in his performance. Paul Greengrass’ (Director) hero doesn't walk from the sunshine saluting the US flag, but it is opposite- Hanks is broke down, who can’t even comprehend of what he is talking, he is in utter shock after witnessing the killings and it takes a paramedic-lady to calm him down!. This is a rare scene in a Hollywood film. This last 5-10 mins performance by Tom Hanks makes the other so-called action hero’s look imbecile.

Sunday, January 12, 2014

Loves of a Blonde ( Czechoslovakia - 1965 )

Amadeus (1984), One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest (1975) போன்ற படங்களை இயக்கிய Milos Forman-னின் இரண்டாவது படம் தான் Loves of a Blonde (1965).
Czechoslovakia-வில் உள்ள Zurc என்ற நகரில் வாழும் Andula (Hana Brejchova) ஒரு garment factory-யில் பணிபுரிந்து வருகிறாள். நகரில் உள்ள பெரும்பான்மையான ஆண்கள் போரில் இருக்க, 10 பெண்களுக்கு 1 ஆண் என்ற விகிதத்தில் இருக்கின்றனர். இந்நிலையில் வேலையை தவுத்து வேறு எதுவும் சுகப்படாத இப்பெண்களின் மனநிலையினை மற்ற அந்த factory-யின் முதலாளி அருகில் உள்ள ராணுவத்தளத்தை Zurc-க்கு கொண்டுவர பரிந்துரை செய்கின்றான்.

இளம் வீரர்கள் வருவார்கள் என்று நினைக்கின்றனர். ஆனால் ராணுவமோ உசாரா இரண்டாம் நிலையில் உள்ள நடு வயது வீரர்களை அனுப்புகிறது. வந்த வரை லாபம் என்று எண்ணி வரவேற்பு party நடக்கிறது. Andula மற்றும் அவளது இரண்டு friends-யும் மூன்று ராணூவத்தினர் correct பண்ணுகிறார்கள். ஆனால் Andula ஆந்த party-யில் Prague-ல் இருந்து வந்த piano வாசிக்கும் இளைஞன் Milda-விடம் (Vladimir Pucholt) வசியப்படுகின்றாள். இரண்டு நாள் பழகிய பிறகு (You know what could have happen!) அவன் Prague-க்கு சென்றுவிடுகின்றான்.

முன்நாளில் தற்கோலைக்கு முயற்சி செய்த Andula, இந்நாளில் கிடைத்த தற்செய்யலான் Adhoc அன்பை தக்கவைத்துக்கொள்ள Milda-வை தேடி Prague-க்கு பயணிக்கிறள்.

வாழைப்பழத்தில் ஊசி ஏற்றூவது போல எரிச்சலோடு பேசும் Milda-வின் தாய், ஆவள் பேசுவதைக்கேட்டு மகனை ஆதரிக்கவும் முடியாமல் ஆவனை அதட்டவும் முடியாமல் தவிக்கின்ற தந்தையை சந்திக்கின்றாள் Andula

Andula-Milda ஒன்று சேர்ந்தார்களா ? என்பது தான் கதை முடிவு.


பலக்காட்சிகள் 10-நிமிடத்திர்க்கு மேல் போவுது. ஆனால் அப்படிப்பட்ட காட்சிகள் நகைச்சுவை பொடி தூவி bore அடிக்காமல் உள்ளது.

ரசிக்க வேண்டிய காட்சிகள்-

*****Party-யில் தன்னுடைய திருமணத்தை மறைக்க போராடும் ஒருவன். 

*****Andula-Milda இடையே நடக்கும் romance scenes.

*****Andula-வின் வருகையால் Milda-வின் தாய்-தந்தை நடந்துகொள்ளும் விதம்.

*****Hall-லில் படுத்திருக்கும் Andula-விடம் பேசவிடாமல் Milda-வை அவனது பேற்றோர் அவர்கள் room-க்கு இழுத்து செல்ல, அங்கு மூன்று பேரும் ஒரே கட்டிலில் படுக்க வேண்டிய நிலை. தோண தோண என்று பேசும் தாயை சமாளிக்க முடியாமல் அவதிப்படும் Milda-வும் அவனுடைய தந்தையும் உருண்டு புரண்டும் காட்சி.



எழுதியதில் பிழை இருந்தால் மன்னித்து comment-டவும். 

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Wednesday, January 8, 2014

Satin Rouge ( Tunisia - 2002 )

Director : Raja Amari | Starring : Haim Abbas, Maher Kamoun | Country : Tunisia\France : | Genre : Drama | Language : Arabic | Year : 2002

With absolutely no back ground score, Satin Rouge is almost like the same making of Blue is the warmest color. Released in 2002, some ten year before Blue, is directed by Raja Amiri, who is from Tunisia. Abdullatif, director of Blue is also a Tunisian, does it answer the similar style of making or is it a French connection. Saton Rouge is made by France & Tunisia productions.


Lilia ( Haim Abbas ), a widower in a conservative family is living with her daughter, Salma (Hend El Fahem). Lilia, always keeps an eye on her teenage daughter, so that she doesn't go beyond her reach. The opening scene gives us the hint of Lilia dancing abilities as she dances before the mirror admiring her movements while doing the house chores. 

Lilia ( Haim Abbas )

One night, when her daughter fails to return from party, In search of Salma, Lilia walks into a club and befriends a cabaret dancer Folla (Monia Hichri). Lilia, again goes back to the club, but this time intentionally. By seeing her natural dancing charm, Folla persuades Lilia to take cabaret dancing; reluctant Lilia starts to perform in the club, but without her daughter and conservative neighbor’ knowledge. Did the secret got open is the story. ?

My Take

The Director
Going by the name I thought the director is a guy, but it turned out to be women. When I say cabaret, it's not what we see in old Indian films or as we know generally. It's belly dancing, which is widely popular in the Arab countries.

The story revolves around a small group. At one stage, it becomes a love-triangle, I won't say it shocked me, but then it surprised me as I thought "ahhh.... this can happen in the Arab culture too ?". Without knowing the Tunisian culture thoroughly it is wrong to compare it with some Arab countries which imposes strict laws for women. May be I was surprised cause I watched this film with that "strict law” mindset.

The dancing's are some 20 - 25 minutes of the screen time, so even though there is no background score, the music in the dancing fills the void.

I think feminism is the central theme of this film, which is universal. Although the later part of the film deviates from this central theme by a love-triangle, it just circles back and ends in emphasizing it.


Further Links

Monday, January 6, 2014

The Cremator ( Czechoslovakia - 1969 )

Directed by : Juraj Herz | Starring : Rudolf Hrusinsky | Language : Czech | Genre : Horror-Drama | Country : Czechoslovakia | Year : 1969

If you can listen to just one person’ voice over for some 65 minutes out of 95 minutes of the playing time, then the film The Cremator is for you, but by saying that, I didn't mean the voice over was bad, it is a kind of hypnotizing, even while seeing the film through subs.

The Cremator is a surrealistic dark horror film from Juraj Herz, released in 1969, but then it was banned till the fall of Soviet Union. In 1989, the film was re-released. This is the fact, I learnt later, as of now lets dig into the plot.

Plot ( **Possible Spoilers** )

The film starts with extreme closeups of a family of four visiting a zoo. The voice over of Karl Kopfrkingl (Rudolf Hrusinsky), the cremator, narrating about his family. The titles then play with chopped up photos. Cut to the story, 1938, Karl lives with his happy family. He is working in the local crematory as it's director. The German troops are in the verge of invading Czechoslovakia. 

Karl Kopfrkingl 
His favorite book is a Tibetan Book of Death, which he always refers to it. He is proud of his job, as the book suggests death is one which humans are revealed from earthly pains and sufferings. He then meets his World War I buddy Walter in a party. Walter suggests to him to prove his German origin. Walter asks him to eliminate Karl' wife and children since they are partially Jewish. By proving this, he will be given a good opportunity in future by the occupying Nazi Army (mass extermination). 

Karl often hallucinates of him being invited to Tibet to become next Dalai Lama. In the end his daughter escapes his assault, and then some Nazi sympathizers take him for the next level (mass killings). He accepts his new role eagerly, since as for him death is an escape from sufferings and by cremation the soul is liberated.

Some scenes from the film-

My Take

The voice over of Karl is a major part in the film which adds to excellent pop kind of  film making.

Fast edits, which normally doesn't give time for the viewers to comprehend the scene. For example, Karl will get a beautiful scenic painting, he hangs it before the bath tub, saying to his wife that this is the ideal place, but as he is seeing the painting which is hanging on the wall, there is a fast cut on which he sees a nude painting. There are so many scenes as above.

The next cinematic suspension of disbelief is transition from one shot to another. Some times there is no fade in or fade out or any form of transition. For example, Inside a penthouse, Karl will be talking to a prostitute, he walks off from the prostitute and turns back, -scene change- we see he is in his house talking to his wife. At first I couldn't catch this trick, since being black & white; it was hard for me to pick it.

The cinematography has to be much talked about, the camera sees unusual places, the closeups of forehead, behind the neck, the Karl' point of view shots are some thing different and some times disturbing. The camera zooms forward and backward rapidly which creates a sort of kick to the viewers.

The music adds more pace to the chilling horror, Zdenek Liska; the composer creates music which is fabulous and surrealistic too.

This film is not for a normal film goer who seek entertainment, this is a must see for film makers especially technicians. A MOVIE SHOULD'NT BE MISSED.

Further links:-
Sound Track

Sunday, January 5, 2014

The Act of Killing ( Denmark, 2012 )

Directed by: Joshua Oppenheimer | Genre: Documentary | Language : Indonesian | Country : Denmark\Norway | Year : 2012

How do you feel, if people or individuals directly involved in 2002 Gujarat violence, 1984 Delhi riots, Sri Lankan Tamil Genocide and many such incidents reenact the killings and violence. The Act of Killing is one such film, it is a documentary directed by Joshua Oppenheimer. 

Let us get some historical facts- Indonesia, 1965. The country’ first president Sukarno is thrown off from the power, since the opposition doesn’t like as he is leaning towards the Communists. With the anti-communists sentiments playing in the minds of the people, they start to exterminate them from Indonesia, PKI (Indonesian Communist Party) members, leaders, their sympathizers, local-Chinese and their descendants are massacred. It is estimated that over 1 million people were killed.

Anwar Cango, is one such gangster, who was involved in the massacre, it is said that he had almost killed 1000 people. The documentary follows present-day Anwar Congo and other gangsters as they are in preparation to make film about 1965 killings. The reason for the film is to show to the present generation of their proud achievement! So this is also a film about a film making.

Joshua Oppenheimer follows these gangsters in their film-making process. The gangsters recreate the killings and the torture which they performed in 1965. Even years after the killing, they don’t reflect any sense of remorse in them. They feel elated whenever they talk about the killings. They feel it as a duty to eradicate communism from Indonesia. Some scenes are chilling, disgusting and horrifying. 

Behind the camera, Joshua sometimes interact with his subjects (gangsters) and most of the time they glorify the killings,

Joshua: Why there was no revenge taken by the victims.
Gangster: victims!, there are no victims, we killed everyone.

The organization is called Panchasila Youth, which has 3 million followers in present-day Indonesia; this organization played an important role in 1965. Joshua’ attempt to make someone to feel guilty is failed, as every gangster or death squad leader unleash their venom towards the communist and remorselessness attitude.

Anwar shows how they killed without much blood.

In the final scene, we see Anwar Congo revisiting the rooftop of the house where he killed many people them. He is now gagging, taking deep breath, almost vomiting. Then after a while he leaves the place.

There I a word going in critics that this film is badly made, in spite of having a heavy subject matter. I haven’t seen much documentary films, but I feel doc-films are the one which tells the facts and more over it takes real courage to go and live\shoot a film with these mass murderers.

war crimes are defined by the winners. I'm a winner. So I can make my own definition.


Further Links,

Friday, January 3, 2014

A Review of 2013

Call this as eccentric or over board or over bored, I just summarized the happenings of FilmBulb in year 2013.

Check this video,

Hope You Will like it.. :-)