MELANCHOLIA (2011) – A Hymn to Depression

melancholia.jpegWe are all going to die soon. So throw away your dumb rituals, your make-beliefs, your unfulfilling career race, your pretenses of aesthetic refinement and classiness. Embrace the despondent wait. Be like Justine. Lose control of your life. So that when the time comes you won’t be caught unawares. You will have known it was going to happen anyway. You can say then, “Because I know things. I know what the answer of the lottery is, I know that there is no god out there, I know that humans are all alone on a despicable planet, the only one in the universe that contains life, and that if it is destroyed nobody cares because nobody is there to care or know about it.” It’s like having the upper hand over surprises, like you know your friends are secretly plotting a surprise birthday party, and when they yell surprise, you think “yayyyy, whatever”.

Lars von Trier’s second film Continue reading

On Rousseau’s ÉMILE, or the Making of a Real Man

emile rousseau.jpgYou cannot help but pity poor Émile, condemned for no reason to a life of solitude and friendlessness, except for a grown-up pervert (read tutor) who is both know-it-all, comprehensive guide book and highly-evolved CCTV camera, and who is bent on making a junior double of himself out of Émile. From a little after infancy, Émile is literally surrounded, saturated, and manipulated by the sole presence of the sly tutor-master who claims to be Émile’s friend and equal. The child is like clay that can be worked into anything; and as far as clay is concerned, it is not hard to read. For fear of misleading him, Émile is not taught religion, morals, fables, stories of any kind, nor allowed to engage in solitary excursions, chit-chat, gossip, play with peers, chill time with the ladies, and in short, Continue reading

Idealism and its Aftermaths – ZOOTOPIA (2016)

Zootopia.jpgIt appears that I’m simply against animated film produced by mainstream, popular animation studios. So I found it hard to ignore the hardened prejudice that gloated maliciously at the premise of American-Dream-turned-sour-but-yet-somehow-managed-to-save-face-due-to-the-individualism-of-the-hardworking-underdog, or precisely, the hardworking bunny rabbit. While the story was one of empowerment and social mobility, and therefore, the same-old, I was delighted at the meta-generic Godfather spoof and the Sloth bureaucracy. The Fox is charming and suave, basically the same-old Flynn Rider, with an adorable suave shrewdness, bad only due to circumstances, and not incorrigible; the Bunny whats-her-name naïve and optimistic like those rote female protagonists representing a better future and converting the beast into prince–in this case, good cop. Continue reading

The 10 Songs Playlist – WORLD

As a matter of principle, I dislike songs that are painfully slow or lyrically meaningful.

A song, in my opinion, should be ambiguous, tuneful, bizarre in an endearing way, and preferably in a foreign language so that the narrowly meaningful lyrics does not hamper the enjoyment of the song.

Here’s a compilation of my current favourites in no particular order:

1. Stromae, Tous Les Mêmes 

The best thing about the song is it rapidity — of visuals, movements, beats.

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Munnariyippu (2014) – “Fair is foul,” or A Warning against Nagging

Munnariyippu“So from that spring whence comfort seem’d to come
Discomfort swells”

(Spoilers ahead)

The film is both spoiled and saved by the near-farcical ending which is near-farcical simply because the surprise end was out of the jack-jumping-box for me–and if it has been able to flabbergast me, me who is considered rather talented when it comes to predicting ‘surprises,’ then there is no saying about the average audience out there.  Somehow, I had taken it for granted that Raghavan the protagonist was not a criminal. After all, Mammooty would’t be acting in such a heinous role as that of a criminal unsmart enough to get caught, imprisoned, and more appallingly still, to live out out his years in obscurity. Had the role been played by someone less known and therefore less typified, you would have given him the benefit of doubt and so, the ending would not have been as grotesque, so to say.

Raaghavan turns out to be neither victim nor armchair philosopher, but a “man of his word,” a man ruthless (or brave, according to how you choose to look at it) enough to practice his idiosyncratic philosophy of freedom. In a fundamental sense, this freedom is the freedom away from nagging people, Continue reading