Carax’s Holy Motors

<Don’t read if you haven’t watched the film>

Yes, Holy Motors is inexplicable.

It can go both ways or any way for that matter (like the extent of its character’s tiresome practises to conjure up something holy for its audience to get entranced) and yes, it’s avant-garde.

But the “beauty of the act”, as reasoned by one of it’s actors for not giving up yet, (who is also a multi-purpose protagonist in the film) helps all the stories to be crafted into an entertaining phantasmagoria, that it is hard to dismiss it’s unconventional method with an uninterested eye. After all, the beauty lies in the eyes of the beholder, heh. One of those films that opens an endless debate.

Carax

A film about film as made obvious to it’s proud French New Wave roots (casting Edith Scob and Michel Piccoli) and several questions about the medium itself (although he sensitively opposes that very idea here), Carax’s Holy Motors is a provocative story about a man who has many lives in a film that manages to create it’s own strange fictional world. Carax uses his actor(s) in a way to encapsulate moments from familiar stories, (stories/”appointments” that are strange, beautiful, unrequited, painful, deceitful and familial) that emanate from the screen to engage audience who wish to lose themselves in that moment (read: who don’t fuss about context/thickening the plot). In this repeated exercise it is suggestive that this actor gets tired of these appointments (a deeply contemplating Oscar stands tentatively outside his house’s door before his last appointment for the day) i.e., these human moments that we as actors stage upon ourselves (only difference being) in the absence of any cameras. Surreal, isn’t it? Or a wee bit confusing probably.

In fact, the snippets of stories in the film, as disconnected as they may seem, becomes (only obvious) one, that by the end we tend to relate them, for example, From dawn to dusk, a few hours in the shadowy life of Monsieur Oscar..” says IMDB.  Ah, how easy we would like things to be? But such readings have shortcomings that leave you far from what the film aspires to be.

But the real high point (for myself of-course) of Holy Motors is how it doesn’t try to get sentimental about the medium through which it is mediating (i.e., no standard plot, character sketches, etc.) and yet manages to engage the viewer. Ruthlessly unapologetic. Several instances the film acts like a suggestive  roman à clef from Carax like how he feels about the changing ways with which films are being made these days. In fact, the first scene is Carax waking up from his restless sleep in a dreary room to see what is going in films these days resonates with him trying hard to make this film from the 13 year break since Pola X as told by himself in every uncomfortable Q&A session he had to attend-

– A lingering sense of worry exists till the end and it seems heavy-hearted. Be it an old woman walking alone with confused discomfort in a busy street. Even the limousine cars have lives that they are worried to be replaced but goes about praying “Amen” in the end. Even a dying character after completing an “appointment” with high emotion, gets up and leaves unruffled but not before kindly asking the “real” name of it’s character’s nephew Lea (only to be joined with Kylie Minogue later for an unrequited love song). Probably films are an episodic appointment where we come for therapy to revive ourselves (?)- The audience seemed lost in the first few scenes.

Carax is strangely naughty when he is asking such doubts. There is a literal scene when Michel Piccoli questions Denis Lavant (who is named Oscar, which is actually Carax’s name in real) “Isn’t this nostalgia (about the size of cameras to believe in the medium) a bit too sentimental?” (This shot specifically, as many other shots in the film, is shot from inside a tight limousine corner by what could possibly be a camera whose size could only be lesser than that of a human head). Piccoli goes on to interject the film with a daunting morbidity about film being a surreal paradigm “Thugs don’t need to see the security cameras to believe in them” and raising a horrific doubt to the medium- what if there is no beholder to get mused by the beauty of the act? In simple words, are we living a film in which we just can’t possibly see the camera? Just possible isn’t it? Absolute.

The final song by Gerard Manset, “Revivre” sums up this feeling to the best.

{http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Oq0OxtM93mk}

Catching Up #6

The fascination behind The Artist, for me, would be it’s unexpected charm with which it was entertaining (unendingly, so) and boy it just didn’t stop.

It’s hard to complain about life once you watch Valentin’s pet dog. 

More than just a lucky charm with Jean Dujardin in the lead I am now unable to think of anyone who would’ve waltzed the role with such heart-breaking affection. Probably Johnny Depp. Clooney’s eyebrows are lazy mostly. Probably someone/anyone from a TimBurton/JeanPierreJuenet film, maybe the Big Fish, yes a taller, thinner Danny De Vito perhaps. But this again could be (the reason for searching peculiar faces) due to the treatment of film in duscussion. A stage to shine one’s charm. The old-world showbiz talent. A picturesque emotional travelogue. That propelling “மிகைத்தன்மை” that punctuates the unique charm of an actor, also recently discussed in a NeeyaNaana show too, here, http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YSaBuRmVEU8&feature=related (commercial “exaggeration” vs. realism in cinema).

99 francs (2007), an unwittingly energetic look at the world of advertisement and art, is how I got introduced to Jean Dujardin. Eyebrows and eyes almost constantly communicating with an innocuously naive outlook at life that may dare question only when they meet someone more than just an acquaintance, more than just a walking, miming human being. Probably that’s how the film and it’s characters look at us, the audience, for a childish peck on the cheek. The Artist was pacing, no, almost dancing with an ease that it constantly brought up the question behind the dialogue narrative that came up later into films. Then you think, Dialogues just seem so tedious, don’t they?

puppeeee.


Just, look at that dog. Why would you want it to talk and mess up what you have? (IDEALISTICSIGH)


“It is absurd to divide people into good and bad. People are either charming or tedious.” Oscar Wilde.

Valentin’s stubborn art pride later smoothened by romance, Peppy Miller’s gamechanging peppiness and the suave reconciliation through dance, alltogether an adorable film it shaped by the end, that it was made for a loud applause and a happier audience. An unbreakable charm was the sole talent, with dialogues came more nuances to transform the art into something else that we see today. The film gives us many chances through these human silences, cartooning the drama and emoting through a constant adoration of both the art and it’s artists. How easily that driver Cliffon-Valentin friendship was sold. Was it because of the minimalistic effort? Many trinkets to wander about film philosophy and how this (still young) medium communicates with us. Some of them still in memory are- the beginning scenes where Valentin realizes that he has fallen for Peppy Miller (Berenice Bejo) dancing through a crowd, she might just not be another extra in his films that are predominantly silent, except for his loud charm to fill up the romantic stage or vice-versa when Peppy amuses herself in his changing room. An ingenious dream sequence where we understand Valentin’s confusion with the addition of atmospheric sounds, the key crux of the film, where the artist is lost in reality “out of the art” but in a dream. Like a blind painter able to see his paintings, stuck in delirious peril and utter inivisibility, something a blind person might consider as hell. 

Common place, The Artist is just adorable.

Valentin’s movies made a lot of money without having to open his mouth.

Dujardin’s ummm… did not do that well (32 million in U.S), but hey, he got an Oscar. (whatever that counts.)

Hugo took 150 million to make and it has made only 70 million, fetched 5 Oscars. (did you see a pattern? :O)

I also saw “A Separation”, after a long time a film that made me hold my breath, as Prakash here, http://clapsandboos.com/w/#article/20034f1e4708353875_37035656_01 writes in an unique dialogue, the film achieves an unbiased morality that hangs around long after it’s over. Lingering.

We also see Scorsese’s film late last year (another Oscar magnet that ended up with 5 Oscars) a cheerful adaptation of Brian Selznick’s book the Invention of Hugo. Another tribute to film and specifically to one of it’s pioneers. “The Father of Visual Effects”. Suddenly it’s not only just Woody Allen anymore with all the affectionate referencing.

The film’s initial scenes, the one where we end up with Hugo’s eye (at the “4” – it’s 7 o’ clock) checking on the station Inspector (Sacha Baron Cohen) after floating through the station,almost like a train and the one where we end up with the toy store “Confiserie Et Jouets” (Confectionery and Toys) (more exactly the shop owner’s eye trying to disillusion/catch the boy about to pilfer, by luring him with a “toy mouse”) after he runs around settings that are wondefully mechanical, a crafty “panache”. The boy slides down a ladder, skates winding down (almost like a play pen), climbs up a winding staircase in a house of complex clockwork. An eye to the Montparnasse station, somewhere in Paris is where Robert Richardson invites us to.

Selznick’s fictional character Hugo is an orphan who “fixes” clocks at a raliway station in Paris (late 1920s-early 1930s). His father (played by Jude Law)dies in a fire accident (shown in the film “by opening a closed door” in the museum) but only after inspiring Hugo on fixing a broken automaton he had discovered. Later, Hugo is taken care by his alcoholic uncle Claude Cabret who also dies after teaching him how to fix clocks. All though, he later ends up “fixing” something else of greater interest.

As the plot moves forward, we find Hugo meeting Isabelle, a girl who lives with this old toy shop owner along with his wife. Later the boy’s (and girl’s) adventures in the station under the strict eye of Inspector (under-used) lead them to know more and more about this strange old shop owner and his magically mysterious past. Yes, George Melies! and Yes, Ben Kingsley!

Isabelle and Hugo. (HEARTshapedKEY)

From libraries to actual Melies film footage, Scorsese actually takes us back in time or rather enlightens us about the earliest pioneers of the medium. Melies saw film as an imaginative illusion, but what’s more interesting is his length of imagination. Well, least said, he went to the moon long before everyone did, the first sci-fi film ever.

Moreover, in the relation to the film, it’s interesting that the automaton’s that appear in the film were real. (shows the length of Scorsese’s perfection). Here Selznick himself is baffled.

Whistle Hustle.

A few months back, I had gone to the theatres to watch John Carter (4th row from behind the back, I think, accompanied unfortunately by family) and as soon as Taylor Kitsch jumped up the air to interfere in that Barsoom mid-air war scene, set in a pretentiously kitschy setting ,whistles started to whiplash from around the back seats. Now, at that time, some part of me wanted to whistle is another matter (you see why I said “unfortunately by family”?). (That these same whistles made entry during Deja Thoris’s (Lynn Collins) entry is another matter -note: iron-clad skimpiness) , but these whistles were the same ones that filled the hall when I watched Surya in Ezham Arivu and Ajith in Billa and Vijay in umm.. (it’s been a long time since I watched an Ilaya Thalapathy’s movie), well never mind, but by now it’s obvious that it’s just not about the whistles.

Although, what was interesting in the John Carter film is that it reminded me of the wide Transformers (also replace Deja Thoris with Megan Fox’s strategically angled bike seat entry, yeah well come on!, it was obvious) fanship that had gathered around in metro cities last year, like forest fire. Megatron could very well match a Vishal or a Jeeva here. But the key being, John Carter is a film that had hit the theatres for the first time, Edgar Rice Burroughs’ (Tarzan’s creator) first of Barsoom series (A Princess from Mars), hence the characters that walked on screen were totally new and still Carter’s long jump got the same treatment as Dhanush’s triple swirl somersault in Sullan or Vijay’s facing-the-villain-sodakkusodakku (insert “seriously guys, there is only one Rajini” dialogue) or Ajith’s demonic laugh, say, here {http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KFEvLfauKYE} . It’s interesting to note how the heroism trope works among us. It’s almost so easy for us to embrace a hero jumping 30 storeys high to land on a space shuttle for the first time (allthough, here it has a scientifically constructive explanation, not that it matters, because the adoration is equanimous) and this, {http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FdAJtmiFvVk&feature=related} (say), like a hundred times.

As much as cinema in Tamil filmdom has changed and extensive hero worship has annealed (I would rather call Vijay, Ajith, Surya and Vikram a compulsive hangover) to a comfortably warm region, we still have films like Vettai with a pudgy Madhavan trying to relinquish the fact that during his thinner days where he used to Run more often, he was the one who closed the shutter i.e “Ennake Shutter moodriya?” or roughly something like that. Yes, self-laudatory punch is the new “coming back to formula film” milieu while two cheery heroines {ofcourse one of them should be a Sameera Reddy or a Tamanna (cuz she’s the real Theni-maavatta ponnu) to do/dance/hip-swing the village belle template} sing a “naughty” song about their prospective husbands while the group dancers alone are not that priveleged enough to be bright or that fair and lovely. These are trinkets in our film universe that have formed a natural trope (that has grown tolerable) of that Migaithanmai (yet again am forced to invoke that link, because it’s a very well talked debate in Neeya Naana), here {http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fo5rQTBRejM}. What I found interesting is when Radha Mohan cheekily pleads our heroes to avoid the bullet-biting and later spitting it out like an aftermath of a paan-debacle. But what’s more confusing is to see when people take a constant dig at Vijaykanth for his antics while Vijay, Ajith and other Tamil heroes are forced to take part in the very same circus, almost like they are all part of a wicked Tim Burton plan.

Also, simultaneously there are films like Kadhalil Sodhappuvadhu Epdi that has Sidhharth narrating the film relentlessly to us ( a little tiresome, but defniitely enjoyable) and I heard the same audiences giggle at those well-etched simple witty moments. I am sure they were smiling too.

With respect to Udhav’s piece {http://clapsandboos.com/w/c/article/20034f65166a0663c2_66886175_01/gazing-at-our-hero}, when Nanban was about to realease, it was talked about almost (too quickly) as if Vijay has graciously come out of it his “usual template film” and that his fans might look out for something “different” (yes, different is the word we easily borrow many times) and soon after the film delivered, critics took notice of this new Vijay in a clearer, or rather “different” light. But here, there is a need for a rational gaze and it can go both ways. The fact that Vijay had chosen to do this film creates an argument that tickles his fanship. In ordinary journalistic terms, “Did he select the film because he liked Pari’s character and thought he could do justice to it?” or was it just a curt finger squiggling under the thundu since it was a Shankar-banner and he has been jumping and fighting (mundane) too long that his audience (note: his audience) started whistling for somebody else? Or maybe his legs were just paining. Also, after the film, do all his fans think about how much the Pari character is in consistency with his earlier “loose-unbuttoned-shirt-sporting-rough-tough-uneducated-mechanic doing street justice with hooligans” or maybe all these string of questions don’t have a purpose, because each film is mutually exclusive? Well that’s for the (whistles) to know and these heroes to be worried about constantly. The actors who fortunately/unfortunately fall under this trope (hero, in this case) becomes a puppet of audience obssession.

I also read Sabari’s interesting piece on the “Psychology of Hero worship” (http://clapsandboos.com/w/#article/20034f68b8b41e8419_78008647_01) and stumbled upon this blog by the same Eric Klein (http://dharmaconsulting.com/2008/hero/) and he explains with a specific example of Mighty Mouse (http://3.bp.blogspot.com/_dTGGFctDfJw/S9Z0HH3KTuI/AAAAAAAAAAM/F0yubCC0H40/s1600/mighty-mouse-movie.jpg) and after reading it we come dangerously close to whether our films need to come with a parental advice viz. “Please do not try this at home” (cc: WWE). The question is whether we treat our films with the same failed seriousness as that of Tom and Jerry. If so, I would like to make a cutout for Speedy Gonzalez and do melted cheese abhishegam (Oh, nothing big, just something like this—> I mean; http://www.sify.com/movies/Paal-abhishekam-for-Rajini-on-opening-day-imagegallery-kollywood-kkbqykgcfag.html?html=5), because Speedy taught me how to help/stand for a friend even when he is slow (Slowpoke)- he brought the good qualities inside me and made me a better person, hence. Is Surya’s Singam treated with the same predetermined playfulness? How much do we take from our films? Do we really need to take anything from a film? If so what is that we take. Well whatever *that* maybe, there seems to be a need for more rational sense for our godmen heroes (http://reviews.in.88db.com/images/Velayudham-Audio-Launch/Velayudham-Audio-Launch-photos.jpg; http://mrinkenti.files.wordpress.com/2011/04/pawankalyan_cutout.jpg) to come out of our nostalgic classroomgiri (remember the days when we used to fight about Rajini and Kamal?), out of our Sura vs Billa, out of ourselves.

Times are a changing. There is only so much one can believe from what’s on the screen. Ofcourse, this is something different (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eI1KhOP3St4) 😀

Melancholia.

This time it was that glorious epiphany-type connect. From reading Stephen Davis’ Morrison biography Life, Legend, Death to highlighting the books Morrison used to carry with himself wherever he went, to reading one of them i.e. Nietzsche’s Beyond Good and Evil and finally being led into the very mind-numbing evil itself, yes, Lars Von Trier.

Incidentally, when I was reading Neitzsche’s B and E, Chap. III p.47 where he talks about religious moods and saints,

"in the background of the most recent philosophy, that of Schopenhauer, we find almost as the problem in itself, this
terrible note of interrogation of the religious crisis and awakening. How is the negation of will POSSIBLE?
how is the saint possible?—that seems to have been the very question with which Schopenhauer made a start
and became a philosopher. And thus it was a genuine Schopenhauerian consequence, that his most convinced
adherent (perhaps also his last, as far as Germany is concerned), namely, Richard Wagner, should bring his
own life− work to an end just here.."

Perhaps what’s more interesting is this thematic cloud that Trier has chosen to end the world with.

Earlier this year, Ebert recorded in his journals, that of Trier’s Cannes visit, as neutrally as he tries, there seems to be a confident dismissal of a crazy nut of a man , just like how Trier has chosen to dismiss almost everything in this world crazy nut of a world, his films being exceptions. The journal ends with how the crowd wished for Malick to be present and Trier to go away. If only Malick shows up people would know his art upheaval and versions of the world. Who knows what that can bring up? Melancholia certainly more than matches up the positivism and humanity yearned for in Tree of Life.

Trier is one of those very few sincere ones hoping for an apocalyptic 2012, if not praying solemnly for it, in blue melancholy. In terms of recurring philosophy, one must be content that Mr. Trier is one of those stubborn upon his existential explanation, clear if not confident about his clinical depression and for what it’s worth, he had all his fun on that crazy drunken night that Antichrist was. For post-Antichrist, I honestly thought he had lost all coherence. A sense of reassurance atleast with respect to that, in Melancholia. Ofcourse, given to the highly unsociable Trier and his stubborn individualistic viewpoints, this sci-fi film is remotely conventionally-sci-fi. One cannot expect a city from War of the Worlds to be ransacked and thousands of people thrown around crying.

Trier’s two-part drama is, visually, his most stunning work. In fact, this time, he made what he wanted to see, for real, the bigger picture of it all. The extinction of it all, the futility behind it and the execution grandiose finale- a sense of receiving, a coming to the audience. The film begins with what seems to be paintings/aural visuals in motion (an arbitrary kitschy tool in Antichrist and a failed one now it seems), the beautiful bride forced/pulled to the Earth by roots of nature, mankind accepting impending doom, which comes through the dance of a deadly but friendly blue planet (much bigger than the Earth) crashing onto the Earth, destroying it or rather dissipating it into the oblivion. So, to sum-up, an astronomical apocalypse with a dash of Kubrick-an audacity and excerpts from Wagner’s Tristan and Isolde in the background. Then, he would start rendering his story around this.

The film comes with a newly-wed couple Justine (Kirsten Dunst) and Michael (Alexander Skarsgård) struggling to turn around a long white limo, uphill a winding road and each has to take their turn (the driver, the husband and the wife) before they arrive late to their wedding party in what appears to be a big estate of sorts where her sister Claire (Charlotte Gainsbourg) lives with her husband John (Kiefer Sutherland) and son Leo. Just when you think whatinthefucksname, Trier gets uncomfortably close to the Hollywood Wedding Movies stupor involving speeches and toasts. If you closely notice there are hardly 10 tables around (Trier can’t manage more than that I guess).

But in all this he quietly dispositions all that is about to crumble. All it needs is a drunk dad, Dexter played by John Hurt to talk about his marriage-on-the-verge to the public. His wife gets up calling it a load of crap firstly into his accusations and gets into more about the lack of ambition in Justine, which as a domineering mother she publicly appreciates in Claire. Charlotte Rampling as Gaby, the critical mother fueling sibling-complex, trying to pull down Justine on her own marriage, calling it something that should be enjoyed while it lasts. While Claire simultaneously proud of her mother’s public comment about she arranging a fabulous “partay” comes around to take control, she shouts back at her mother’s speech when she goes over board“Why did you even bother coming”  perhaps John’s friends are there because he’s seen munching in controlled anger. Note: John calls both his wife’s female family members, bitches, to his own wife. Soon you’ll know the interludes that connect this wonderfully fucked-up family.

As Trier breaks his knuckles one by one of the familial bourgeois-dysfunctional, one becomes aware of all that’s selfish and exists as a farce in a family(Festen?). Before you know it, a deep-set ground-reality along with melancholy sets within the bride (clinically depressed) and nothing would change this, not even a husband in love and is willing to express his care, not even a lucrative , prospective career offer in advertising (Stellan Skarsgard in a cameo-corporate, Jack), not even a drunken-happy-bear-of-a-dad who knows only to desert his daughter on her wedding night for buxom women who go by the name Betty before the dessert’s been set.

There is a high point of humour underneath all this, perhaps that’s where all the melancholic grief could be yielded, for the depressed could laugh at the pointlessness of it all. Marriage, Money, Family , Sex disregarded distributed, Art carelessly rearranged even Science suicidal in shame.

The second act pulls the duality seen between Claire and Justine to the center-stage. Earlier with respect to the chaos reigns, the bean lottery, considered as a man made chaos game, Udo Kier (as an insignificant butler) when explaining that there were 678 beans and no one guessed it right (all the guests came pretty close), this incredibly trivial matter seems to be thrown away and somehow comes up in the second act- an intentional calibration. The other would be John, a fellow-manager of the apocalypse, giving hope to Claire-like people, the intelligent scientific man who studies things, almost proud and humble at the same time watching Melancholia pass away, but can’t live minutes watching it approach. (Nietzsche’s satyr?). Also among many things came an astrological reference, when Justine finds Taurus missing in the constellation, sitting on Abraham (the horse), reminds us that Kirsten Dunst ,who also appears to be in depression while shooting and Lars von Trier share the same sun sign (Taurus), oh wait same birthday.

As the knowing of the impending dawns, it’s interesting how Claire tries to exist. It was all about wailing and crying with her son’s future held in her arms and a whole run around the estate in futility and exhaustion. In fact, till the very end, Claire seems to suffer with Melancholia’s arrival, as all three (Justine, Claire and Leo) are washed with it’s blue atmosphere. Even Justine claims she tried earlier in human normalcy- she kindly asks, “Well, what did you expect?” to Michael about her marriage and meekly asserts “Well, I tried” to her sister about her trying to be happy. Everyone tries, some give up sooner than most.

As a melancholic pristine Justine watches over suffering humanity, Claire, nascent innocence (Leo) has it’s eyes closed. Melancholia crashes, silence. Trier really has made his statement this time. Well, he tried.

We could choose to be Michael and gracefully shoulder our coats over and walk away.

Depression could be understood, not shared, or atleast one can hope.

Sigh, Meanwhile, Watch this, TRIERchuckle.

Twitconvos #1

@equanimus First of all,Thanks for the refining insight. I must assert here now itself, that my fanboyism for Bala is not a hangover of his creations. It has grown without myself knowing it. Also, Bala is daring and thus a provocateur and not vice versa , you know NOT like a Gaspar Noe where his trangression started from his love-hate relationship with French street movement (also social resent), Bala hasn’t travelled extensively in those regions.

OK, As always it is fascinating to discuss Bala films, I respond in humility wrt to his work. You must have noticed that I had included the word Parpaniyam as only a subtle rebellion. In fact even though Bala affirms his friendship with Jeyamohan in that second interview, for the sharp question as to why the beggars in Naan Kadavul were shown to be sporting the Indian flag, he casually replies, “It was to show that, you know that these people are also from India( a need to be shown as a part of a country)”. It is here clear in fact that he is far away from any Tamil diaspora seditionist views or segmentation for autonomy. Also about what you said about Dravidian ideology, a little personal thought, here(What follows are my personal views, may not be enitirely acceptable). Earlier I did a similar tease with respect to a small segment in Enthiran, but later about that. Let me take a bite. With the acceleration of globalisation, film has again become one of the most active mediums to get influenced and to influence (am talking about the commerce that “sells” nowadays).In that perspestive, what Bala has to offer, probably has more girth if not technical grandeur and more importantly with respect to the discussion, a definite purpose. With this in mind, Bala’s films uncannily trace the stories if people who are in the “upliftment” process.Though Bala considers them as equals demolishing politely (“soft dismissal” if you may)anything and everything that brings a difference in societal recognition and placement. One of those, especially prevelant in his tsubversive habits is RELIGION.

He decides to call it off one day, by stating Naan Kadavul. He sees God in everyone.

“And nAn kadavuL topped it all and was clearly identified as a film with Hindutva leanings. Some people then attributed this to Jeyamohan, who’s well known for his Hindu/India sympathies, wrongly so in my reading. The overarching mystique angle, the visceral good vs. evil narrative and the mythical godlike hero are all patently Bala’s signature. Jeyamohan is far too rigourous for this sort of stuff.”

As I understood what you were trying to convey in this, it’s hard not to go more into the fascinating dialogue that Naan Kadavul puts.
It’s “not only” a brash take on theology. Debased with a pot smoking guy who apparently knows it all, by falling into the habits of a rare occult. Atheism, as you know has been closely knitted with the Dravidian movement. It was(is?!) it’s core socio-emotional arm.It forms the basic structural platform against MertharathuMakkal. But Bala is simple and single layered in his allegory.

He, most progressively put is in an emotional voyage atleast WRT to his film works. Naan Kadavul’s dialogue is a constant and a simple one. There were confused responses as to what Arya with held in the film, especially among Tamil reviewers (am taking simple examples here). From what I see, Rudran on the surface level is a ruthless pot smoking ruggard in the symbols of a rare occult that Bala got fascinated with during his visit.—I came across an interesting tidbit about Bala from a friend a couple of days back(probably you’d know this already but still am typing). Bala during his “lost” days (after Pithamagan shooting)was seen to be kicking around and playing with Manda Odus (human skulls) in cemetries. A vettiyan was watching this. After some time, when Bala’s father had passed away and after the burnt body bones had to be treated with a certain orthodox procedure (he was asked to take the bones in the left hand) and Bala refused, “This is my Dad why should I use my left hand?”, That’s when the vettiyan had questioned his skull kicking. And that apprently hit Bala a lot.

Coming back, Rudran was an extrapolation of Chiththan in Pithamagan; an angry dialogue. As far it goes, Bala weighs the importance of what Rudran says in the holy script and what Chiththan mumbles at the graveyard in the same way. If some saw what Rudran had to say with his Aham Brahmasmi (I also saw someone getting all spiritual and shit during a certain padathodakka vizha talking about the “vibrations” of that word). Bala was in a phantasmagoric search for a higher meaning, more than patronizing, I repeat “DOES NOT patronize”. It would remain the same old gibberish to him. He was interested more about the “Irakkamilla Kangal” of Arya and how to exploit it in the grand stage that can be ruthlessly and almost liberatingly set by an Aghori, bad mouthing away into glory. The story was hardly about this character. It was Bala there, again testimony to the fact that all his characters are him , in some/a major way.

His God is about the unfairness of life and the struggle to find fairness/self-respect among people(Beggars are people, was the statement). In fact there were some immediate thoughts in me after I wacthed the film, sort of philosophical-epiphany if you may that “the poorest man in the most senstive man and thus the most emotionally receptive” feeling the rythm and pulse of daily life that he is almost able to see God within himself. Now Arya is just the pissed Off Bala is just directing us to see these people. There is an odd scene where Rudran sits on a rock and near a temple, almost like some unwarrant entry of an unwanted person near a place where there is much need.

We also see a blind Pooja dragging herslef to Aarya for help and a dumbstruck Laila in the rain running to Chiththan after she sees Shakthi getting help. Both need help. In some form/way. Bala I think, chooses to meditate at this point. His vision of God is someone who makes his entry here. Here , at this point. Pooja is crying, like a Sita (some Hindus would say) and here, where is Krishna? But in real nothing happens. This is not good Vs Evil. It is Humans Vs God. Humans are God. And if at this critical juncture if the observant critic chooses to place Rudran as God, (am stifling a laugh here), you know where I am going with this.
A new Human Design, if you may, that Bala has tried in all his happiness with his characters prior to this “incident”. In fact, given to the repeatedness of this in his films, Bala is “Yearning” in all forms. It’s(has been)part of his life. He wants to say, It’s part of everyone’s.

Regarding his earlier films, I must say, it was too early to look too much into his subversive habits and stereotypes, but any insight is a welcome as such. But recognising his stereotypes is important, I think. I mean whether or not his films fuel Dravidian support is one thing, but there is a “soft dismissal” regarding his reactions towards paarpaniyam. Also, whatisthere if I choose to look into more? If one does it with Carnatic music , sipping filter kaapi, why not into this? Even so , I am more ready to believe that Bala is in a cloak of pan-Indian manouvre to make people indulge in such speculatory teases (choose what to believe right? Freedom of belief right?). I atleast think so. Please don’t take this as a defense. I guess , if you think my response has been a little opinionated, then I wish to contribute this to a result of a very moronic/opinionated critic given by J_A_F_B(with all due respect) in BR’s comments section (Avan Ivan).

Twitconvos #2

@equanimus Firstly I wanted let this off– on some cultural hijacking(please forgive).Ok what do you think of these blogs sir? This twitter spammers of a particular cultural dominance. I was reading this coconut chutney (a very much visited blog, nothing specific there a million blogs like this) or something, by this Lavanya. And oh fuck the abacharams that might follow from here. In fact One might be severely unfollowed if he/she continues after this. Also if this was a blogpost out in twitter,’thebigones'(adhigamaa saththam podravanga) will disregard it -‘when will people grow up’ and do subtle futile trolling. I was reading a post called Angst in this blog and what I was able get from it this girl has problems ; u know like how we all have a localteaparty (another one of those #worldfamous bloggers)inside; well I guess this is mine.

Her problems is that we need to protect our culture it seems because it gets immediately westernised. Now let’s take this one by one. First what culture? Sabudaana vada? Poonool kalyanam? Filter kaapi drinking and the hindu reading old man? Mmm Is it just me? because I don’t get it. My old man used to wear a blue kaili and drink sunrise sometimes. Given to the fact that Krishashok does makes all this in good humour he comes across someone light. A ‘knowledgeable’ person himself playing it down cutely with you know what “small referencing type” humour. The educated etiquette humour sake. Like how Vijay doeas an LOL in DeiVaThirumagal. Adadadadada appappapapaaa. Roflmao (unnum athukku outrage illaya?) and his well-adapted TR fanboyism. As much I enjoy( and then one will say here, you enjoy no? Then why think?) but I think one must know what makes them happy. If you’re practising cutural hedonism I want to know what am pleasuring my heart with. Right? Ok atleast I play like this. Kris Ajoke has always been someone who tries hard to make the Tambrahm look cool. But why? tambrahmrage nu solraanga. I already knw so many brahmins who are cool enough to think beyond these signatures. This not only relates to clinging on things stubbornly but a constant advertisement atleast in twitter. I call it advertisement because of the chain manner in which it inspiringly triggered gultrage mallurage and kannadarage; a sudden identity crisis and when this happens its clearly visible to what they immediately cling on to. Now and only now, it becomes relevant whether it should’ve been just Tamrage of Tambrahmrage and it’s funny to see this branding a representative ambassador to whole of tamilnadu (in the big picture) this is plain tongue-in-cheek Geek rebellion in the end, it churns out like a big bowl of spoilt curd rice. Refrigerated Maavudu during MS studies and Tamilnadu? Nope. Now this has definitely become a castiest ad. Harmless, but I too dig it from time to time. But Abeyaar knowledgeable ondi podhuma? In the end? Its a subtle intellectual bullying only. Ivaru ithaye solraar,writing in Hindu.(this makes him a satirist? I don’t know)

Coming to this chutney case ,When a cycle of generations have had the chance to do their MSUS routine and look into the western culture they are able to go into this self-actualisation and identity grabbing all of a sudden. Now this tamil culture and all we ll keep aside. I believe there is only one culture. With the accln of an intellectual percolation from the top of the pyramid (Maslow) seeps into the bottom, people are forced to look at things they would not necessarily look into. and this PJ cracking too. I use to witness a lot of this when I was school. It was called mokkai. And I used to hate it. Now here the same is qualified as wordplay and in some serious referencing tone. And I must say I have learnt much from this game too. It’s good and I have indulged in it myswlf but now with it being branded is getting a little off the charts. Probably I didn’t want this to end up as a rant. I don’t know probably I am either too early or too late in twitter (I still consider myself a n00b) talking about all this. But hopefully someone else has done it already.

Now coming to ARR and Ilayaraja. I think once complicateur invoked something about him being Salieri, I dono why but it got me thinking Raaja that time. Doesn’t he create the simplest of music, you know even getting rid of Tamil Folk signature off it? There was a very insightful bit that I found in tehelka, forgot the author. It is seen that ARR’s base was constructed from a subversive attitude. It invokes other instances where the author interestingly cites the places where ARR uses sounds in his layers of music. What progresses from then on was his journey purely upwards with what was essentially more relevant; pure intent and pure music using ‘inspirations’ and on the way compromising you-know-what. But in the end, I feel music was meant to bring people together and more the people the merrier which incidently brings this –>into pop culture and how pop music is related to it. As you know on how Rahman was into MJ it’s important to know on how he sees music. To expand his stage and inevitably lose all his roots and to the art itself. Ilayaraaja’s genius was what Kamal tried so compassionately to lock in words calling his creativity an “unorganised statement of discussion”. It is in here his Isaignanam comes from. It’s a wonder that’s unexplainable; that tries to evoke in one grand single tune that has been composed and not an instrument based genre-kissing effort. So I understand on what you said about what irritates Ilayaraaja. It’s understandable. A global musica franca Rahman tried to construct and he chose to remind a crowd during the Oscars about the language he once started making music in. Hmm. This is the same to what Meena Kandasamy replied on why she chose english to refine her emotions through poetry  on castiest domination which obviously looks more procreatingly at Tamil’s beauty , so on and so forth. This is in where she says she uses the global lingua franca to her advantage. This is what one might call reverse cultural hijacking. Pulling one into another from the down to the up to achieve more mass,more people and sometimes/most times more hearts.

and Raja’s music is a place to stay, more on how it connects– later.

Flying Away.

Had written this a while back.

“I am typing this out in my mobile as am flying across Chennai to Mumbai. Work based. Am actually quite sad even with all the clouds up here. Yes window seat; almost like am given a full view of what all am going to miss. Well; a new life ; new place. Facing life and all that. I get it. You know you must think am very home based person you know Chennai love and all that- ” Mr.Manoj? any beverages? Chai coffee juices?” -sorry am interrupted by this guy giving breakfast. Spicejet ufwck. Whatever. So yeah; it may not be like home based love. Heck I studied four yrs away from home undergrad and didn’t have any touble with missing anything. But this time am squirming my soul into words like this, because, you know ummm. My dad. Yeah. I love that guy. I mean like who doesn’t right? Its like almost like the past two months I’ve begun to realise I infact do love him ; you know literally will be missing him and with his stroke last year, its made me very conscious about it. Where I live, what I do, how far I am from that person. I mean that’s love right? That throat has already dried up. And this pova or whatever the hell this is making it worse. So I am putting these into words.

So today morning he came to the airport and oh my bro also came. Well I asked him to come. No one talked while we drove to the airport. Ofcourse my dad asked me to check in as soon as I get in and you know he is not that nerve wreck parent (not that there’s anything wrong in that) constantly prodding with each and every detail and displaying worry each and every minute. He is a man of few words. Very few words. That makes it even harder. A heavy load on my heart. Couple of days back, uncannily this taciturn of a man; the man of few words; the man who rarely talks other than those sunday afternoons where after a session of Biriyani, family anectodes are welcomed; tells me how he cried when he left his dad to another place, you know when he was young. Hehm. And as I said goodbye. He shook my hands tight and held my arm for like a second. I don’t know. And this thing he has put me through as I fly across cities where a lot of parents are with their kids right now; lucky enough to enjoy their family presence, is worse than crying.    I so wish my dad was a narrow- minded curmudgeon who I had somehow after my childhood ,chose to distance myself from.  But he isn’t. I wish he was that selfish dad going away for business ; away from an irritating, ultra-sensitive wife and demanding kids. But he isn’t .I wish he was that dad who gave life lessons everyday compulsorily. But he isn’t. I wish he had compromised family, giving business foremost importance and later repeatedly justifying ‘This Is All for You People’. But he isn’t. I wish he was the dad I choose to think about only when I am at home, like I was in college.

But he isn’t,now.”