Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Read. Write. Watch

I got a sense that Salman Rushdie has a rollicking time writing his novels. While reading 'Shalimar the Clown' and 'Midnight's Children', I could feel him having a sly grin on his face, as he makes the stories jump through various hoops. One review blurb for "Shalimar.." says that it is Tarantino-esque ... and I guess I completely agree with that.

Also, I read news (rumours?) that 'Midnight's Children' is being adapted into a movie. Awesome! A much better movie to look out for than a potential Shantaram adaptation. I guess I'm "getting the hots" for books based on "magical realism". I just finished Yann Martel's "Life of Pi" a few minutes ago (literally, not more than 20 mins) and I am still stunned... in a good way. (I guess I should re-read these books and improve my vocabulary.) You know how there are movies where one scene, or a couple of lines just change the way you see the whole thing (Bruce Willis checking out that stain on his shirt in Sixth Sense)? Or which drive home the point of the movie (Camera panning to the corridor while De Niro talks on the phone in Taxi Driver).

"Life of Pi" has two such sentences. I didn't notice the first... or rather, didn't think too much about it. The second one (which occurs almost at the end) bothered me. And it was one of the reasons I looked to Wikipedia, and then when it hit me, it hit me hard (and now I'm writing this).

Moral of the above 3 paragraphs - read all the three books mentioned. Right now. (Though, you could go after you finish reading up my post. Thanks.)

Pradeep has commented quite a few times about my writing having changed. I felt I knew what he meant, but couldn't pinpoint it. But one of things I did notice was that my posts have become exclusively about me. (Narcissist alert!) Everything I have written about here recently is solely about what I saw, what I thought and so on. I guess I would explain that by saying that I don't feel "right" in saying how things should be, and how people should behave. I only want to lay out my experiences and thought processes.
On the other hand, when I try to write the funnies, I go for the hyperbole. I've realised that sarcasm doesn't work on the internet. Not for me.  (Thank you TSF for teaching me that.) It's seems a smart-assed, I'm-too-good-for-you attitude when read and is quite off-putting. And then the commenters promptly descend into name-calling and fighting with the post author and each other. (Goodwin's law!)

How come no one has realised yet that Indian movies are overly long and that the editors and script writers are highly unused? I get the TV channel "Zing" here, which goes extreme lengths to show only the bad-ness of 80's and 90's cinema. Every movie then was a series of sketches. The details varied. A set of sketches was separated from the others by a song. For example:

Bad guys are introduced doing something bad, abrupt cut, hero / heroine is introduced. Each separately. One gets a song. Sometimes the hero gets fight sequence to show his bad-assness. . Random beats in this segment are punctuated by bad guy doing more bad-assery. Finally, once the girl has finally fallen in love with guy, the bad guy does something to directly affect good guy. Good guy pissed. Revenge time. Big fight sequence. Good guy wins.

Even the new Hindi films, although closer to the 2 hour mark, are filled with such sketches and still feel overly long. Sigh.

1 comment:

  1. I'm now really in the mood to read the three books you have mentioned in your post. Just so short of time these days, but I will try my best.

    A few Hindi movies that I saw this year, which I really liked - Ishqiya, Love Sex Aur Dhoka, Raavan(an) (controversial choice, since so many people didn't like it, but I think it had some amazing cinematography, perhaps the best in a Hindi film. 'Kites' comes a close second in cinematography, even though I thought it was a terrible film.)