Provoked.

Hype usually never goes hand in hand with the film , sometimes the time taken kinda wears you out. But with Gaspar Noe one can trust his camera . Such is his profound ability to stick to aesthetics , such is his camera wizardry.

I still remember in clarity the time when the infamous celebrity nude scene of Monica Bellucci in Irreversible being passed on among all the peer hormones. It was deemed as a sick, revolting piece and no one is supposed to feel horny or happy or hornily happy about it. If they do , they ‘re concluded as sick. But  still silently it was passed on. Passed on to be watched by many . Many to come and go.  An addiction. Film can lure you to feel provoked . That is when  Noe was a secret vice  in my film collection. He was the heaviest drug in my film addiction. I went on to see all his earlier works(not only the nude scenes) right from his short (Sodomites), his middle (Carne) then his features I Stand Alone ,Irreversible and what made me go awe on him was his uncompromised aesthetic vision.

With so many influences from Theater , the sudden comfort found in films made it a little too easy for film-makers to set the rules. But film wasn’t supposed to be like it at all. It was/is (and hopefully remains) a visual narrative in its true, pure sense . But directors seemed to take advantage of editing techniques, clever writers and narrators , that the true aesthetic value of filmdom was slowly beginning to fade. When things are narrated visually with only sounds its almost like reading a visual book leaving majority preserved and un-influenced. Kubrick made sure there were such sequences in his works. A specific one being the stargate sequence in 2001 which with no doubt has heavily influenced Noe in The Void.

2009 saw three releases from three rebels in Film.

Haneke’s The White Ribbon, Von Trier’s Antichrist and Noe’s Enter The Void.

All 3 polarized/provoked crowds in three different ways. The White Ribbon positively in some and confused in others (some found it dull) –polarized intelligence . Antichrist in majority disgusted everyone, but that was Von Trier’s point- polarized morality and finally the most flashy of all the provocateurs, Noe‘s Enter the Void – polarized film theory (aesthetics and purpose) in itself.

A drug syringe, Enter the Void is. Reading so many reviews about The Void , I came about a lot of interesting ways they have seen Noe and his film-making vision. Manohla Dargis calls it an astral plane trip. Some say he was a shock poet in Irreversible and now he has taken a point to tediously show off.

But when self flattery exceeds a limit the artist is lost in his art , he is controlled by it rather than being in control of it. Noe is no doubt an artist , just like his father (a painter). Coming to France at the age of 12 from Argentina it is no surprise he was heavily influenced by the former more than anything . Interestingly, he had been writing the Void along with I Stand Alone(early 90s). That means it  was scripted a very long time back. It was The FILM for him(shocking vision) .

Obvious money constraints, he made Irreversible , a runaway project made out of drinks in a bar and a random meet-up with Vincent Cassell . No scripts . No preparation. He (Noe ) just knew that it was a rape revenge film told through the sad futility that is , Time’s linearity. Dialogs were improvised by the actors and Noe created poetry . Now, Noe is the crown jewel among the French New Extremity.

Enter the Void deals with yet another futile theme, Death (guessing artists are attracted to futile subjects) with help from The Tibetan Book of the Dead. Noe’s interest in Freudian instincts became clear in his I Stand Alone and now clearly stands out in Oscar’s ethereal feelings for his sister Linda to be reincarnated with her life again. The teenage drug dealer and his strip dancing sister once part of a horrific accident where they lose both parents are now almost lost in an astral haze , assaulted continuously by strobe lights , reconstructing their child-like vision of things and forgetting whats toy-like and whats real in the trippiest of all of Tokyo’s nights.

Linda and Oscar.

Majority is shot through Oscar’s perspective in broadly 3 different ways. Initially when he is alive when the camera is his eyes, blinking / breathing and tripping along with him and his LSD hallucinations. Noe provides us with some out of the world visuals both visceral and vaginally suggestive in nature (highly implied). It seems man once born can’t wait to go back in.

the trip.

He gets a call , a client , a boy actually , named Victor ( whose mother he has slept with) wants to meet him up at the Void , a seedy bar. Meanwhile,a  friend comes home. After some stoner philosophy about this drug DMT which gives an insane 6-min trip ,his junkie-freelance-artist-friend Alex (Olly Alexander) talks about Death being the ultimate trip  and explains to him about this book, The Tibetan Book of the Dead. It is believed that the soul after death wanders through lights and colours through to come back to life/ to reincarnate back with the person they love the most ,in a phantasmagoric trip (this is where it gets the horror-generics). Oscar listens to his all while he trips on acid initially until he reaches the Void only to know he has been set-up by Victor, gets shot in the toilet.

the Departed.

 

The second POV starts in recollection of memories, when the soul parts the entity and tries to relive its strong moments of life-altering/life-numbing . This time the camera is behind Oscar’s Head and behind in time. Story, if at all it needed one to be told, gains clarity. The siblings make a pact – not to be separated ever. It is not even until death do us part. It is beyond it. A voyage into infinity.

 

The pact.

Until now the story holds promise to the runtime, but the third 3rd POV, when Oscar watches down from above, the life of all his fellow friends, puts you into a test of patience and Noe’s over indulgence in long-shots and a vigorous compulsion to show-off. But this was meant for psychedelics . He in fact called the genre, psychedelic melodrama . Final 45-minutes is purely meant to be experienced illegally which makes this film openly audacious in its intent, graphically-wrenching to watch and yet stands out a transcending cult.

 

LOVE hotel.

People can still repeatedly shun the film calling it a practiced-show-off or gimmick film or intentionally made. But to hate someone’s guts is obvious and especially Noe’s,who has just more than his guts to show-off. He is sharing his highly intricate and still liberal vision by repeatedly provoking us. He paints in the process.  He is both like the child who unnaturally behaves old and the old who naturally behaves like the child.

I surrender to see only awe in him, because he does Stand Alone.

Alex:”Making sense?”

Oscar:”Yeah . I guess so.”

“I was proposed many of the French movies you’ve seen lately, big budgets, and I said no. I had in mind this movie for many years, and I didn’t want to get off the track. Even Irreversible was just, how do you say, a bank robbery that I made in order to do this one, to test some cranes, visual effects, and digital postproduction. For me, Irreversible was more like an experience than a real movie. Between the moment we had the idea for the movie and the moment we started shooting it was like five weeks and then we were finished shooting in six weeks. But yes, everything that I was doing for the last few years was in order to get this one done. As I said, it was hard to do. There were many different companies that said they were going to roduce the movie, but then passed. I would be in the middle of making deals and then they would turn it down at the end because it’s difficult to have a movie with explicit sex scenes, no famous actors, etc.” -Noe

The Social Egosystem.

As much as I wish and don’t wish at the same time that The Social Network be called The Facebook movie later on it is the idea of tagging that has been researched , analysed and speculated during the phenomenal growth of our dear old Facebook.

It’s become some sort of our alter-ego, hasn’t it? There are more people loitering , crawling and stalking on the web on the blue header-ed page than on the streets and even so on the streets , they are FB-mobile. They make sure they are, even when watching a movie . They might not have a life but they have a FaceBook account. A profile to post pictures , make comments , feel better and show everyone how awesome their life is, atleast in FB.

And yeah , they share everything from links to likes . So much of sharing that it has become one huge , dense ego.

Before starting on the demon that has woken up are useless egos due this “exclusivity” regime that Zucker-nerdy-berg pulled off ,   have a look at this.

Nice eh?

Anyways , this exclusivity was neither an invention nor a discovery. It was a speculation by Mark Zuckerberg, the unsociable Harvard programmer played by Jesse Eisenberg (Remember Zombies?). Both Andrew Garfield (who plays Saverin, his room-mate)and Eisenberg have had a knack for the highly intelligent-socially challenged quirk characters.

Zombieland made use of  Eisenberg’s narrative skills and The Squid and The Whale, his uncanny awkwardness . Garfield’s Anton in The Imaginarium of Doctor Parnassus was the ugliest screen persona I’ve come across not to mention , Boy A. But here , we see the true success of perfect ensemble casting.

The Harvard Room-mates.

Fincher has grown. There are no more escapist techniques deviating from the hard narrative present, like in Fight Club. In fact , right from Zodiac you sense a metamorphosis . SN is a rich dialogue driven unfolding of the biggest social network  and the youngest millionaire, sorry, billionaire in the world. His next project , a Hollywood remake of  The Girl with the Dragon Tatoo, too, stands testimony to the fact that he is attracted to elaborate, patient cinema.

The Social Network is about Zuckerberg’s unique genius , which usually is more hard reason-ed, leading to a great invention, whereas in his case, it was the ability to play with infinite variables which helped create his invention. An act of speculative genius. He knew that a network has to be there and it should work more on its own. “Advertisements can wait”, he says (ofcourse later on it changed). It is that unique genius that has made the overnight-instant-hit Facemash into today’s FaceBook (apparently half-stolen , but it seems like a who-cares-?-moment, now)and still making it a success.

It owns us more than us owning it because it reckons being more than a mere profile page. When you see both Saverin’s Asian girlfriend and Sean Parker’s arbit one-night-stand some might relate with utter shame. Boringly,Saverin’s differences with Zuckerberg was the main focal point of the movie. Justin Timberlake plays Sean Parker , the only one who could side-line with Zuckerberg’s ego. Apart from that, nothing extreme is revealed in the film for Zuckerberg made more enemies and drank more Mountain Dew than the amount of people he actually opened to (look for the opening shot in the nerd-pub where he talks to Erica Albright, the apparent reason for his thirst for success and feeling alike).

Mark and Erica.

So, I presume a prophet whispered , with Orkut’s sudden downfall , there came a rising blue trend among all the hush-hush and secrecy to take over the millions of spiders on the web to this intangible sad-show of a Social network and somewhere up the ladder an unsociable Mark Zuckerberg smiles into his dollar billion.

Its growth shall be seen only upward for the human ego knows only to climb.

BTW, Zuckerberg is color-blind (has difficulty to distinguish between green and red ) So the blue.

“Its exclusivity”

Rajinism and The Dravidian Chocolate.

Stars are not born.

They are realised.

It is a conception within the respective thespian to realise and carve out a comfortable niche to reach a wide, wider and the widest audience possible.

There used to be a time , a story for heroes to be cleverly imparted in films. Real life didn’t seem to accomodate stars. But then came 007, a signature into gimmick thespionics not to mention the early rise of super-humanism in Dravidan cinema via a fat MGR man-handling a dozen of men at the same time and a fatter Shivaji playing roles that lie his age. For , the actor rarely witness his moment. He shrouds into the blinding light diffracted from his audience witnessing a spectacle of human expression and emerges out as a star, shining.

Yes. Rajini ,came from humble beginnings and yes, he is an actor who can do different roles as varied as Kamal Hassan blah-blah and blah. But I don’t need to justify an enigma by his hurdles ,please. There is no need to measure his goodness and humility as compared to his social-rebel-rival , the truly unique Kamal Haasan. For now there has been so many reviews for Enthiran and people from both sides trashing and justifying the film in terms and conditions of fanship and some, acute criticism.

The great Jack Lemmon, once told in an interview for Glengerry Glen Ross, “When Foley narrated the script after every shot, Al wasn’t listening to it. It was Ricky Roma.” It is that sunburn voice that has commanded everyone’s attention , the helicopters in Dog Day Afternoon , the drug-lord’s gangmen in the finale of Scarface, a bewildered Keanu Reeves in the finale of Devil’s Advocate, a silently baffled Johnny Depp in Donnie Brasco and it keeps on going. A voice of magnetic stardom.

It is time for the “Black Sheep”. Villainy is the blood of Heroes.

A crude analogy is , was and would be that Rajini is to Al as Kamal is to De Niro. For , such differences are considered healthy in the world of cinema. It is that thigh slap in Annamalai and the rythmic jumping of his unkempt loose hair after he walks off the screen ,the trembling pipe-smoking villains that leaves an audience washed with hopeful energy. We people in south are an emotional encyclopedia and Rajinism has worked and struck that similar emotional chord all around the globe. It is something to be amazed at , at the sheer volume of his followers. We have shared and a Rajini contagion is vibrantly present, now.

Any innocent in trouble? Don’t worry, a star , a super-human, a Rajini is always there.

For people who see his histrionics as some opportunity for comfortable, cheap slander , they are slowly erasing any kind of birth/chance for any kind of childish cartoonscape in filmdom. Histrionics do not come easy , my dear friends-who-see-only-realijdick-cinema.

I couldn’t believe there are actually some people who think that Kamal can pull off any thing. Imagine Kamal pulling off a simple ,cigarette mouth-catch. Actually, guess what , it might be awesome.

But Rajini’s would be better. huh? What am I saying? It would be far better! It would be bad ass \m/ Why ?

Because Rajini set the yardscales for stardom in its primacy and it is not only unfathomably variant but also inevitably fresh everytime that it is not the mouth-catch , but the romanticisation of an actor playing the same old, good. This, only , I repeat,only very ,very few people can achieve. It is mere screen presence . Mere Rajini. Just and only Rajini.

Rajini.

Reminiscence on how you felt everytime captain Planet appeared. It is this crude , but a true sense of emotional chocolate that transcribes from a tight wrapper (the screen) .

So , those who call themselves Kamal veriyans(fanatics) must first be cinema veriyans for them to recognise that Rajini is a performer and not just an actor. It is more of understanding an unimaginably huge fanship that holds on to this spectacular phenomena.

Rajinism must endure , survive and be celebrated.