Friday, July 6, 2012

Invention of Dreams

Finally watched HUGO.. First of all, this not a review. It is an Oscar winning movie made by one of the finest dreamers and movie makers - Martin Scorsese.

This is just an account of how this movie affected me and MY experience watching it. I did not have much idea about the plot when I watched it - I let that be a mystery. And it has played to my advantage. 
The first hour I thought there was something surreal about the movie, that the AUTOMATON brings bad luck which consumed the boy's father in a fire accident. My curiosity built up  as the story progressed. The second half starts giving you hints about the mystery and the magic. There was nothing surreal about it! It was a movie about movies and a great movie-maker. How movies were thought of as a way to portray one's dreams - a medium taken for granted today. They were once thought to be a wonder and compared to illusions. It is funny to think that someone thought movies could be a passing fad, just like they thought the telephone would never be used by a common man!. As i type this, I see trailers of some of our Bollywood products. I am not sure if the inventors of cinema would be proud today. Well neither was Alfred Nobel when he saw what his invention could be used for when he made Dynamite!!

Back to HUGO, this seems to be a semi-biography of one of the greatest filmmakers - Georges Melius, who I haven't done any research on yet. The movie has been inspired from a book - "The Invention of Hugo Cabret", which goes into my reading list. 
The Invention of Hugo Cabret by Brian Selznick
Other than being witness to what possibly could have been a creator's dreams, who used whatever he could lay his hands on, to give life to his imagination, there were a few takeaways from a philosophical angle:

A scene where Hugo shows Isabelle, the Eiffel from a clock tower. He says he imagines the world to be a machine when he looks at it from there and that no machine comes with an extra part. It comes with exactly what it needs to function. So if we thought of the world to be a machine, no one can be an extra part, we are all here for a purpose. That was quite an analogy.

Monsieur Melius sadly says that Happy Endings happen only in movies (quite in contrast to our "picture abhi baaki hai") But Hugo disproves him by bringing to him his invention, which Melius thought was gone for good. So life does have Happy Endings , one just has to wait,  a quality many of us lack in this "8MB internet generation" and this movie serves as one good reminder.

There are several levels of interpretation and it could touch each person in different ways.
For me, it became part of a weekend I can never forget. :)

Sunday, June 10, 2012

On being a bibilophile and book "reviews"

Being literate means one can read and write at least one language (other than knowing a little arithmetic). But some of us go a lot beyond that - We read books. Some go a little further - they LOVE reading, a diminishing interest. Ironically, books are more available now compared to any time in the past. Libraries in the neighborhood and schools were the mostly used sources.
Though I love it that we can find any book online, I do miss the way a book smells. Ardent readers (bibliophiles rather , who are in love with BOOKS besides READING) don't find electronic devices as a replacement to the good old book. Being a bibliophile myself, taking me to a book shop lifts my spirits (the other place being a coffee shop) 
This is my Happiness Equation ;)

I started reading when I was 6-7 years old, which were mainly Amar Chitra Katha, Tinkle and other children's books.  I started appreciating good literature when I was 13 and loved classics like many other girls. Adulthood was a period when there wasn't as much reading as collecting books. But that's what growing up does to you - when one needs to take on "responsibilities" and what we actually love doing goes to the background.
In spite of the pressures, even if I did read them, I could not remember how much I liked them and how exactly it felt when I devoured them. I still remember that I cried when I read Oliver Twist and David Copperfield when I was a kid and that I was deeply affected by the ending of Crime and Punishment, which was a little too heavy for a 15 year old. I also remember that I preferred to finish a book late in the night so I could let it sink in.
Now that I don't remember much of what I read lately and there isn't enough time to read a book more than once, I have decided to capture my emotions in the form of a "review", if you will.  Even I was skeptical to call it a review , but after a little thought I realized that I bought the book and took time out to read it. I guess I can take the freedom to write a review, as long as I don't defame the writer.
Hope to read more, at least to keep updating this blog and act upon two of my resolutions ;)

Friday, June 8, 2012

Intervention to an Egomaniacal friend


I have to hold an intervention to address an issue you have been having.Let me make a list so you don't forget.

  1. The thing that the world goes around is called the SUN, not you.
  2. No one is bigger than the system, not even you.
  3. The system is not a small shanty in the kingdom you rule and we are not your subjects, so stop treating me as one
  4. Now that you know you are no king/queen, stop telling me how I am supposed to communicate to you.
  5. Also, modesty is inversely proportional to success. To put it in  a language you will understand. successful people are modest, and the lack of it only creates an impression that you are a failure. So what's with all the air you seem to carry..
  6. If you seem to get upset with anything anyone says, even if they were only discussing the weather, it shows you need psychiatric help. 
  7. If you don't know how to use your imagination, write a book. Don't be overly imaginative about any casual conversation I have with you. Like when I say, "Can you do this for me?", I don't mean that you are incapable of carrying out a task. See for yourself. Doesn't it look absurd when I write it down?
  8. If you are as sensitive as a touch-me-not, lock yourself up in your kingdom. Don't wander in the streets, because what you say, especially when I have done no wrong,  sometimes gets to me too.
To summarize, stop being such a pain and  do yourself a favor. Go get some help!

And by the way, I have a nickname for you: I DON'T CARE WHO YOU ARE.