Monday, October 11, 2010

Water and cinema..

Recently I came across an article in Newsweek which featured an ongoing race to own up the water reserves in Atlanta. (Thanks to Prof George Easow, for sharing the article).

Although the water reserves like basins are protected under national reserves, the rights to divert water including the ownership of the pipelines and treatment plants are very much privatizable in the western world (not sure of the situation in India - but a movement to open a private bottling plant in the protected forests of Silent Valley points to a similar state of affairs).

View the newsweek report here.
The writer worries about a division of world order according to water haves and water have nots in the future, which may even lead to wars!

The issue of the ownership of natural resources had always captured the attention of imaginative film makers and the most memorable one was Roman Polanskis 1974 noir classic Chinatown. Chinatown explored many themes including the corruption in ownership of land and water rights in the backdrop of a murder mystery.

Recently the Observer magazine voted it as the greatest film ever made.

A fitting tribute to Chinatown was made by Indian film maker Navadeep Singh in his directorial debut Manorama six feet under. Here the mystery unfolds in the background of barren Rajasthani landscapes.

The issue was again taken up in the James Bond flick Quantum of Solace where the sinister villain played by Mathieu Amalric schemes to control the water reserves of Bolivia by financing a coup.

But the most depressing facet of the issue was shown in a disastrous film called Tank Girl. The movie takes place in a dystopian 2033, when water is extremely scarce, and what little is available is controlled by a monopolistic Water & Power Corporation.

Veteran film maker Shekhar Kapur also had plans to make an epic movie on the water wars of the future. Not sure if it was materialised.

Thursday, October 7, 2010

3 songs!!

Nowadays we would consider fortunate to hear at least 1 good song in a film..but consider this - 3 of the alltime immortal songs in one cinema..too much to ask for isnt it??

Well the film I'm talking about is Shri 420, a 1955 film directed by Raj Kapoor. Have seen this movie longtime back, when Doordarshan still ruled our TV sets but I dont remember anything about the movie apart from the great songs..

1. 'Mera Joota hai japani' - by Mukesh
Easily my favorite in the lot. This one has a special magnetic effect of the audience and the lyrics will automatically make you feel patriotic. Combined with the soulful rendering by Mukesh with the great music and the beautiful pictorisation, this song is simply awesome..

see the video here:

2. "Pyaar Huwa Ikraar Huwa"

Sung by Lataji and Mannadey, this is one of the best romatic numbers of alltime. Hindi cinemas association with rain songs perhaps started with this one, but till date none of the others have had the same charm.

Credit should also be given to the cinematographer who have captured the lead pairs passion with iconic black and white frames.

See the video here:

3. ''Ramaiya Vastavaiya'' by 3 of the alltime greats - Mohammed Rafi, Mukesh and Lataji

No should experience this one..

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Memorable female movie charactors (malayalam)..

I was always fascinated by the depth of the female characters in our I thought my first post will be something about them.
here are the most brilliant female characters, according to me, in Malayalam

5. Ganga/Nagavalli by Shobhana in Manichthratazhu

The only national award winning character in my list and a well deserved one. The brilliance of Shobhana can be underlined by the simple fact that none of the actresses who had done the same role in the remakes (late Soundharya in Aptarakshaka, Vidya Balan in Bhool Bhulaiya and an annoying Jyothika in Chandramukhi) managed to capture the eseence of the character.

The 'vidamatte..' scene will always remain as one of the most thrilling moments..

4. Nandini Thampuratti by Revathi in Kilukkam

Grabbing screen presence when Mohanlal, Jagathy and Thilakan were at their all-time best is not an easy task. But Revathy managed to do exactly that as the eccentric Nandini Thampuratti.
When you think of Kilukkam the antics of Revathy will easily come to your mind along with its outrageously funny moments.

Who can forget the 'angamaliyile pradhanamanthiri' scenes in the hotel..

3. Seema in Avalude Ravukal
"avalude raavukal njan 17 pravashayam kandu"..says a spellbound Dasan in Nadodikattukal.
Same is the case with me :)

Seema might have done 100's of charactors but this will be the role she is best remembered for. A controversial role even by today's standards, Seema chechi charmed the audiances with the brilliant mix of boldness and vulnerability.

2. Clara by Sumalataha in Thoovanathumpikal
"I'm not picky. As long as she's smart, pretty, and sweet, and gentle, and tender, and refined, and lovely, and carefree... " so said Sundance Kid (Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid (1969), when asked about the woman he wants.

If at all there is any person who satisfies Sundance's requirements, it is Clara. One of the great subtle performance from Sumalatha.

Clara is like rain..always unpredictable..

1. Anappara Achamma by Philomena in Godfather.

Probably the most powerful female role ever in malayalam cinema. I am sure everyone must have noticed the screen presence this lady commanded even while rubbing shoulders with the theater great NN Pillai.

Achamma is shrewd, conniving, manupulative and gracefull while doing all these. It is sad that we wont be able to see another great performance from this great actress.

Honorable Mentions
1. Indira - Geetha in Panchagni
2. Bharghavi - KPAC Lalitha in Amaram
3. Bhadhra - Manju Warrier in Kannezhuthi Pottumthottu