Archive for the ‘Movies’ Category

LucasTalk

October 5, 2006

George Lucas is a one-of-a-kind three-in-one genius. I give him this title because he not only imagined and wrote and conceived a brilliant story called Star Wars, but also managed to put his own money at stake and produce the film version, brilliantly directed by himself. So while I was engaged in checking out the extra featurettes disc of ‘Episode I: The Phantom Menace’ DVD, here’s what the master storyteller-producer-director had to say about the art of the movies…

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Feeling the Force

September 30, 2006

Am back in Chennai, India and have about a month of free time to do whatever I please, before I head off and spin the account planning turntable at McCann Erickson Singapore. What better time to catch up on things that you have been planning to do for sometime, but never got to do. And for me one of those things was watching the Star Wars series from Episode I to ‘The Return of the Jedi’. It’s the right time to recapture the technological and storytelling grandeur of the sci-fi epic saga by watching it in chronological order.

I just finished Episode I: The Phantom Menace and in fact sort of liked it way better than I did when I first watched it on the big screen back in 1999. I think the superb DVD quality and getting to watch it plonked in the comforts of your brand new lazy boy chair gives it a new dimension. And you can put subtitles on (when Jar-Jar Bings opens his mouth) and go back and forth between scenes at your own whim and fancy. Catch bits of dialogue you missed, get to watch the podracing sequence three times in a row and catch up on some amazing behind the scenes featurettes.

And before I sign off here’s some Star Wars wisdom from the hero and mentor of Episode I, Jedi master Qui-Gon Jinn.

Feel

Focus

And last but not the least…

Force

Ifs and Buts

July 28, 2006

Apocalypse Now

“‘If’ is the middle word in ‘Life'” said the renegade Colonel Kurtz (played by Marlon Brando) in Francis Ford Coppola’s classic ‘Apocalypse Now’

And once at a presentation at the VCU Adcenter I heard the ad legend Bill Westbrook say: “Anything that comes before a ‘But’ is all bullshit”

My Oscar ‘Best Picture’ Favorites

July 24, 2006

The Oscars has been over long time back, and, yesterday after I finished watching the movie ‘Good Night, And Good Luck’, I figured that I had watched the last of this year’s Oscar ‘Best Picture’ nominees. Even though this year has not had a crop of phenomenal nominees like past years, it’s been one with its own fair share of controversies and triumphs filled with characters ranging from gay cowboys to ordinary LA citizens to Israeli secret servicemen to a successful author and a pioneering newsman.

So here’s my favorites in descending order from best favorite to least favorite.

Crash

‘Moving at the speed of life, we are bound to collide with each other.’

E panther mat C E L L E N 017 T Webster

Capote

‘Between the Lines’

E Red X IMG_1000 E is for everyone... L L E N T - traffic signal wiring box

Munich

‘The world was watching in 1972 as 11 Israeli athletes were murdered at the Munich Olympics. This is the story of what happened next.’

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Good Night, And Good Luck

‘We will not walk in fear of one another’

G O O D

Brokeback Mountain

‘Love is a force of nature’

G O O D

So in my opinion, Paul Haggis should have snatched the ‘Best Director’ award. But hey, who are we to complain anyways. It’s been announced, and it seems we are in the year of Ang Lee.

[Or this whole Oscar favorite movie posters and ratings just an excuse for me to fiddle around with Spell with Flickr. Am I totally jobless or what?? Maybe!]

The ‘Idiot Box’ also inspires…

July 24, 2006

Movies Inspire

“This instrument can teach. It can illuminate, and, yes, it can inspire. But it can do so only to the extent that humans are determined to use it towards those ends. Otherwise it is merely wires and lights in a box.”Edward R. Murrow (played by David Strathairn) in the movie ‘Good Night, And Good Luck’

Good Night, And Good Luck

Poster for the Day

July 21, 2006

Yesterday, I had put out my favorites from the Dave Chappelle’s Block Party movie posters series. Today, stumbled on this other gem of a poster for the movie ‘Walk the Line’. Didn’t really notice or see this one at all when the movie was released last fall in the U.S.

Walk the Line

Dave Chappelle’s Block Party Posters

July 20, 2006

The Michel Gondry directed live show hip-hop comic masterpiece of Dave Chappelle and his buddies on-stage Brooklyn repertoire is out on DVD (and I’ve been scrounging like a maniac through the video stores of Chennai to get my hands on one. No luck yet!!).

Went to the funky site for the movie and they have these cool posters, which are a part of a poster design contest put by the movie promoters. What a brilliant idea to tap into and showcase some of the raw design talent out there. Here’s my top three favorites from the funky poster bunch.

Block Party 2

Block Party 1

Block Party 3

Traffic to Syriana

June 30, 2006

Syriana

Some years back Stephen Gaghan proved his storytelling mettle by giving us the brilliant script for Traffic, helmed by the indomitable Steven Soderbergh. After the success and Oscar win of Traffic, he went into a worldwide travel hiatus researching the dark secrets and dealings of the oil industry. The result of that quest for the storyteller in Gaghan is the movie ‘Syriana’. This time though he got the likes of George Clooney and Jeff Skoll (ex-eBay executive turned venture capitalist interested in captivating movies) to back that script and assemble an ensemble cast to dance to the tunes of his director’s call. Yep he decided to direct it himself and let Soderbergh take the back seat as executive director.

And what a brilliant movie he’s given us. The one thing that is engrossing about the movie is that, like Traffic, he’s managed to tell us simultaneous stories taking part in parts of the world as varied as Texas to Geneva to the Persian Gulf. And the beauty is that, unlike most movies with multiple storylines which connects in the end, here the connection is made in the end without the actors or stories intersecting into each other at the climax of the movie. Here in the end, we do get the deeper more holistic connection of the consequences of the actions of the different characters in play ranging from the Texas oilman to the Washington DC attorney to the derivatives trader to the CIA agent to the oil labourer in the Middle East. It’s subtly and beautifully captured and provides us with a firsthand glimpse of the phenomenon called ‘globalization’ at work and how ultimately it affects us all. Pretty scary, but that’s what the tagline on the poster says – “Everything is Connected”. Watch it and make your own connection.

Quote of the Day

June 29, 2006

“The key to every seesaw is balance.” – Mira Nair (Film-maker)

[Source: Time Asia Edition, June 12, 2006]

Quote of the Day

June 26, 2006

"In cinema, what matters is that what is actually on the screen is a valuable experience and that there is a sense of authenticity about what you have created." – Ken Loach (British Film-maker)

[Source: The Hindu: Sunday Magazine, June 18, 2006]