Formulaic yet Surprising: MOANA (2016)

moanaWell, I must say I approached the film with the old misgivings and contempt I’ve specially reserved for Disney (and of that kind) products. The change of setting, though, is welcome. The bodies of the characters broke stereotypes yet crafted new ones. For a start, the protagonist looked healthy. And the delineation of the hair, achieving milestones ever since Brave, was dazzling here. The deranged rooster as sidekick is hilarious, and especially so since I knew one of its kind, unbelievably daft and unfathomable. The story of the young adult girl having a ‘dream’ and pursuing it no matter what her father says or any stick-in-the-mud detractors might say, and finally achieving success and glory — same-old theme — is predictably boring.

That is, until Maui aka Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson started to sing “You’re Welcome”. The quirky animation, the genius of the “animated” tattoos (the only hand drawn animation in the film, ref. Wikipedia), and the cheeky suavity of the lyrics, found me actually, unconsciously enjoying it. I soon retained my composure, however, and was back at nit-picking, when alas! Continue reading

Thus Spake Luftmensch, Ep 4: On Vampires

On the Unfairness and Neglect among Academia of the M-theory of Vampire Origins.


animated-vampire-image-0069The origin of vampires has been the stuff of much hair-pulling, toe-nail-biting academic research and uncouth layman speculation since decades, or perhaps centuries. Putting the lid on the debate for the meanwhile, Barbara Creed in her weird book, The Monstrous-Feminine asserts that the vampire as well as most mythical monsters is in fact a reworking of the ‘abject feminine’ with all its gruesome connexions with blood, afterbirth, bloating, birth, ergo death and mothering. The blood-stained, fang-toothed mouth of the vampire is the vagina dentata, literally, toothed vagina, something unschooled, bawdy medieval devil-worshippers, I mean, pagans believed was possessed by all women to castrate unwary male victims. Moreover the vampire dwelt in coffins and thrived in spots moist, dark and disgusting, which is to say, without further euphemistic trappings, the womb.

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Monsoon Sights 001

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From Shreyas Folk Museum premises, Ahmedabad. Edited for effects.

The peacock (look closer if you haven’t spotted him in the photo) seemed to love posing for the cameras. I wished I had a better camera to capture the serene majesty of the bird atop the brightly flowered tree. But I had to make do with an 8mp mobile camera and a photo editor.