Classics Adored

All classics mentioned below were read in my school days.

Good Bye Mr. Chips is a story about a high school teacher and his placid life. It was meant as a short story but extended to become a novel. It has no plot, suspense, intrigue or elements of an ordinary novel. He teaches three generations of students. There is his chippy self and how he handles students. Do read, if you haven’t already.

Lord of flies also has no concrete plot. A group of boys get marooned on an uninhabited island. What do they do, there is a power struggle, some try to claim power by setting new rules and others rebel to wilder side. The novel is a metaphor for the egotistical struggle of human beings. It is tad dark.

Call of the wild and White Fang are both novels by Jack London. The first is the journey of a domesticated loyal dog into wilderness and the next a tale of a wolf or wild dog into domestication and at most loyalty. The stories are told through the eyes of the dogs. Intriguing narrative and story that is at times sheer poetry. It isn’t writing prose poetically as modern writers do. The prose is sublime and symbolically rich to be poetry.

Pride and Prejudice of course. If only women can abandon their prejudices and instead of being lured by fakes find men with pride. Women love this, somehow I do too.

Jane Eyre. Great empathy for the heroine. Very interesting.

Gone with the wind. A foolishly romantic yet strong woman’s transformation into a fierce being to protect the ones she loves in the toughest of times. Even if you’ve seen Clark Gable’s stunning movie, read the book, you’ll love it.

Little Women, a feel good tale of sisters suffering hardships, enduring and overcoming them. Call me a child, yet I love it. If I had a choice between having a dozen wives and a dozen sisters, I’ll choose the sisters, won’t we all. Wives can be real pain.

Three men in a boat, not hilarious to the modern senses, yet a comical, philosophical, true take on life.

Charles Dickens, Robert Lewis Stevenson and their works we all know.

If you guys can tell a few you adored, I’ll be really grateful and have a lovely read.

K.Balachandar on Continuity and my blog mistakes

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The movie ‘Ben Hur’ that got the most oscars and is now tied with ‘Titanic’ for the feat, is a fact well known. In that period movie, a red blur of a Ferrari in the background, seen in the chariot race sequence is also mostly known. It isn’t a big deal, just a minor editing oversight or more aptly a slight miss in continuity verification. There is a popular rumor that actor Kamal Hassan’s ‘Thevar Magan’ didn’t get an Oscar only because it was evident that a doll was used in place of a dead child. First of all, I don’t recall ‘Thevar Magan’ ever being nominated in the ‘Best Foreign Feature Film’ category, which is the only category it can be eligible for. I am not here to belittle anyone or any awards or even the quest for perfection. I’ll only explain why the Oscars are a different beast, of course the title of the post and concede there are a lot many glaring errors in these initial blog posts of mine that shall not be corrected.

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‘Slum Dog Millionaire’ is a British film shot with an Indian cast and with mostly British technicians and was shot in the English language. But that isn’t the reason for it being eligible under all categories, the mere fact of a movie of any language, being released widely  in a particular region in the U.S, is the eligibility criterion. Julia Roberts had conveyed several roles worthy of an Oscar even before ‘Erin Brokovich’, not that it was one of her lesser role; but this fact known even by me might have been what prompted her peers to give her the award. They even had an African American themed Oscar year. Like Julia, of course Denzel Washington is worthy of even more Oscars. I heard that the one who    got the lifetime award that year was even more fiery on the screen than Denzel. The timing of an accolade doesn’t limit its merits. A great Scottish piper might be unknown to us as ‘Isai Gnani’ Ilayaraja’ might be not that much known to the larger world. The piper might be no less than our Raja.

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I once knew a person who was working as an assistant to K.Balachandar and he said that if someone came to the Doyen and suggested that the continuity was missing, he would guffaw them away. This would mean the props might have been shuffled around during the same scene, which is an error. But the creative genius of K.B is such that you will never notice the props or notice it only when he wants you to. If this is hearsay, the next is total rumour. K.B’s student Kamal is known for his attention to details. I heard that during one take of ‘Marudhanayagam’, he threw prop spears at a wall and when they broke, he ordered them to be replaced with battle worthy spears. Perfection impedes improvement they say but only striving for it shall make any creation worthy.

In my blogs there are several grammatical errors, some I know, some oversight. For instance, in one post I wrote ‘In short, determining the truly guilty isn’t as easy as the society seems to do’; obviously ‘seems to think’ is correct grammar and this isn’t. But society didn’t think but condemned. A few more lines could have rectified this. A worthier person might have found the right word at the right time. Time for that sentence was up and I moved on. Quill pad forced errors are self evident in my tamil typing. There is a switch in point of view from third person to first person in both the About or Home page and the tamil short story. In fact the abundant quill pad errors helped disguise my tamil spelling errors especially in ‘na’s and some ‘ra’s I constantly make, ‘la’s I can manage. I don’t want to labour over this. Even more voracious tamil reading will one day make it a subconscious act of perfection.

This is no excuse. “Constraints make art beautiful” is the topic of a future blogpost. Constraint of time is the only saving grace for my work so far. My rhymes lack meter and don’t even rhyme most times, they aren’t free verse either. I don’t want a free verse but let meter and rhyme perfection guide my thoughts. But I won’t slave over any single rhyme, let them be spontaneous. By no means, can I fall at the feet of a doyen like Kanna Dasan and his spontaneity, using my english. He is the perfection I strive for and with time I can at least be a mole beneath that mountain hill. But that should evolve with time and practice and not slaving over these spontaneous posts. One day some level of such perfection should be spontaneous for me.

 

Debutant Directors- recent tamil movies

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Debutant filmmakers bring with them a well spring of freshness in their movies. This post tracks down some such recent tamil movies by just outlining the subject and letting you decide if you need to watch it, if you already haven’t.

Vasantha Balan’s ‘Veyil’, Vetrimaran’s ‘Aadukalam’ and recently ‘Kaaka Muttai’ by Manikandan, all grabbed the audience’s attention.

‘Kutram Kadithal’ is a national award winning film by debutant Brahmma. The film revolves around the single incident of a teacher slapping a student. It attempts to capture varied characters and aspects of society. In short, determining the truly guilty isn’t as easy as the society seems to do.

‘Oru Naal Iravil’ is the directorial debut of film editor Antony starring Sathyaraj. The film is touted as a thriller by some, which it isn’t as understood by thriller genre fans. The movie is about a hypocritical father who doesn’t like his daughter socialising with boys and stops her education. This film also revolves around a single incident of the father getting trapped in a tricky situation that happens on a single night. This film though lacks content like ‘Kutram Kadithal’ but compensates by having the audience gripped by artificial suspense and other means that the director being an editor is well aware of.

‘Masala Padam’ by Laxman Kumar can be enjoyed by all audiences as it is a masala padam and yet a well thought movie. It revolves around 3 characters a thug, a simpleton and a lover boy and their interactions with the female protagonist. Siva as the simpleton middle class guy, portrayed funnily, is yet real. The same with lover boy who seems shallow at first glance, but in a single sequence is easily made identifiable with a rich spoilt archetype, with immense talent. The thug played by Bobby Simha is highlighted by letting actions speak, you live by the gun then you die by it as often said.

Director Arun’s ‘Sethupathy’ starring Vijay Sethupathy is funny like most of his movies. It is about a hero cop and a violent villain. It is a movie for the masses. But what caught my eye was the husband and wife relationship portrayed in the movie, it was too cool.

………to be completed later…..more movie buzz…….Hollywood,Bollywood,Kollywood,Mollywood and of course Tollywood on the way……..