Friday 30 September 2011

"It was like a perfect pattern, laid out in front of me. And I realised we're all part of it, and all trapped by it."

This whole scene, which unfortunately cannot be directly embedded, is I think one of the coolest, most beautifully montages that I have ever seen in a film. I know this is random, but I feel so, as V would say, vivified, after watching this scene in the film that I have to share it. I think the whole film is brilliant, one of the best of the dystopian genre, but this scene especially. And when the main part comes, you know what I'm talking about, and it's just like BAAM! and you feel like clapping but you just sit there, marveling.

Also, I crossed my 200th post with the previous post. Yaay!

Thursday 29 September 2011


Okay so...

1) I saw Antichrist yesterday. I've actually watched a number of films in the last few days and hopefully I will be reviewing them all in my holidays which start next week, but Antichrist is not getting a review because I don't wanna think about it (I can hear Lars Von Trier in my head going "Fat Chance"). But seriously, what a disturbing film! I mean I knew it'll be weird, but THIS weird- nooooo, never even crossed my mind. And how could it? I thought it started out great...I quite liked the opening sequence, and it was going sort of fine till the last half hour or so. Then I sat watching, cringing in horror, silently screaming ('cuz I didn't wanna wake up my grandparents) "What the Fuck!" and holding on to my pillow for dear life. And can I just say that even though Charlotte Gainsbourg was really scary in the film, I love her voice so much!  Also I think I'm taking a break from Von Trier for sometime.

2) Have you heard this? Apparently for Elizabeth Bennet's role in Pride and Prejudice and Zombies, they are now considering Blake Lively. Yuck! She's terrible! She's a block of stone...a super hot block of stone with very long legs, but a block of stone nonetheless. She was the worst thing about The Town, even though I despise Ben Affleck. I've read a bit of the book, and it's nothing amazing, but I do like the concept. Lizzie Bennet is an icon, and I can just imagine Lively butchering the British accent, and that's only the start. Ofcourse, being a girl who has read the original countless times, what I am personally really really looking forward to is the casting of Mr. Darcy. None of the onscreen Mr. Darcys, that I have seen, were what I would imagine him to be like exactly, though Colin Firth did come very close (however he was even better as Mark Darcy). I'm just going to say Matthew Goode, because I need him to do something like this. He already missed out on playing Jay Gatsby for which he, I thought and still do, would have been perfect. So he should be the Beast in Guillermo Del Toro's Beauty and the Beast or Mr. Darcy in this.

3) Trailers- New Year's Eve. Ugh, why Garry Marshall, why? Valentine's Day is easily one of the worst romantic comedies ever, and then he has to follow it with a similar, stupid theme, or day. Oh random fact: did you know in India there are different New Years celebrated for different parts of the country? Pretty cool yeah... I don't know why I wanted to write that. Guess it means that this film won't be remade into a worse Bollywood film. Hurrah for that! Anyways, I liked Abigail Breslin in the trailer, who definitely isn't little miss sunshine anymore (despite the colour of her bra- please see the trailer for that before judging me on that statement), and Sofia Vergara because I love her! Oscar-nominated Stephen Daldry's Extremely Loud and Incredible Close has the next trailer. It is based on a novel by Jonathan Safran Foer. I've been meaning to start reading his works for a while now but I have a faint idea about this story being about 9/11 and a boy and a key. The trailer shows that, and also that the boy isn't really a great actor and yeah. I will still watch it, not on Christmas though because that is probably going to be my The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo day. This is because I love The Hours and Billy Elliot and it might be a very nice film. Man on the Ledge's trailer came out last week, but I was thoughtless so I didn't post it. It has Sam Worthington as the lead and well, the man on the ledge. He plays a wrongly accused convict who is out to prove his innocence. I like the idea and the cast, but I hope it doesn't turn out to be something really stupid and generic.

4) Finally, what do you call this- Cloosling? Gooney?
I call it LOVE...

Over. Oh oh, I am hoping to dedicate October, that is just round the corner, to horror films for the whole Halloween thing, or maybe the second-half of it. I even have the perfect banner planned. Speaking of which, have you seen my superbly awesome banner? :P Now seriously over.

Monday 26 September 2011

INTERVIEWS FOR LIFE! ~ Sixth Installment


Since I am officially obsessed with this film and cannot wait to watch it again, expect a lot more of Drive Fandom coming your way. Starting with my superbly awesome banner and this interview. I like Nicolas Winding Refn. I think he loves Ryan Gosling almost as much as I do.

Ryan: Is it true that you almost killed your stepmother?
Nicolas: That's true. I pointed a gun at her, tried to fire it. Didn't work.
*Ryan laughs*

Thursday 22 September 2011


The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo has a proper trailer now. And Oh My Dumbledore it is amazing!! Other things about it-

1) I LOVE LOVE LOVE Rooney Mara as Lisbeth. Her hair keeps changing though...
2) Daniel Craig looks faaiiinnee with that stubble.
3) There is a somewhat thick Swedish accent among the people. It was difficult to understand at first, but then it was fine.
4) The music. The bloody awesome music!! Reznor-Ross, I salute you.
5) I know this will be better than the Swedish version.
6) Christopher Plummer still has those Captain Von Trapp blueee eyes.
7) I'm excited to see what Stellan Skarsgård will do with the character of Martin.
8) I liked Erica in the books, and Robin Wright Penn is lovely.
9) I don't know why only one of those Biblical lines were said though, but who cares?!
10) David Fincher is a wonderful, wonderful man.

I think I am going to cry with excitement. Guess what just became the number one candidate of "The Social Network" film of this year?


        So I know it's my thoughts-posting time, but I seriously don't remember anything because my brain is full of useless crap for my college exams. There was something about Leo and J. Edgar and HOW FRIGGIN' MUCH I NEED TO SEE DRIVE GAHHHHHHH!!!!! (Is that even correct English? Meh, who cares?) Anyways I had this random idea a few weeks back and I'm just going to make a post out of it 'cuz I'm cool like that.

         I'm sure everyone has heard of Natalie Portman's Shaved Heads. It is a band who named themselves after Natalie Portman's shaved head in the film V For Vendetta (just heard them...they're terrible imo). Film inspire us in many ways and one of the ways can be to name fictional bands, which may become a reality in the future, you never know... I have thought of some random band names inspired by films:

1) Inanimate Fuckin' Objects
2) The Big Kahunas (I'll be surprised if this isn't a band already)
3) Rosemary's Babies
4) Vito and His Offers
5) The Marla Singer Support Group (because as awesome as the Narrator and Tyler Durden are, Marla is a kick-ass woman)
6) The Deadly Viper Assassination Squad or The Crazy 88s (not really any creativity put in my part)
7) Humperdinck
8) The Ilsa Lunds
9) My personal favourite and one band I would definitely listen to if they existed- You Go Glen Coco!

Now your turn. 

Tuesday 20 September 2011

Suggestions please

I am suddenly in the mood to watch a romantic film. But I don't know what to watch, especially with my hard disk gone. Any suggestions? Preferably something not very sappy. 

Monday 19 September 2011

"We are going to BANG!"

             About 5 months back the trailer of Crazy, Stupid, Love released and I went nuts over it. But being a film of the majorly terrible (nowadays) romcom genre, I had some reservations about it. When I finally watched it yesterday, I was glad to see that the film did meet my expectations on most parts, and was just the kind of completely entertaining film I needed to break my movie-watching dry spell (I could not go through Eclipse okay).

           The film basically centers around three plots about the craziness and stupidity of falling in and out of love. The first story is of Cal and Emily, a married couple of nearly 25 years who see their marriage coming to a standstill after middle-age has hit them, especially with Emily having had slept with a co-worker, David Lindhagen. The second is about how a rich ladies man named Jacob sees Cal in his pathetic, depressed state and decides to help him "rediscover" his manhood, and by that I mean wear a lot of expensive clothes and hit on women with utmost ease and then bang 'em. It is at this time when Jacob finds the awkward and gorgeous Hannah who starts to change his life and lifestyle too. The third story is about Cal's son, thirteen-year-old Robbie's love for his seventeen-year-old babysitter Jessica and her love for "like parent-old" Cal. 

            I liked how the different stories interlinked in the film. It could have been deadly generic, but it was fresh and funny. There is a part where it starts raining and I was like "What a cliché!" and then Steve Carell, who plays Cal, says exactly that. I think the film stayed very true with its title and showed love and all its facets in all age groups and many realistic scenarios. It was funny not in a slapstick or gross way, but in a relateable way, like how I mentioned above. I love pop-culture references and this one had quite a few of them...I mean I will never look at Dirty Dancing the same way again.

             Obviously what really drives the film is the super attractive and well, effortlessly talented cast. Steve Carell is adorable here. From being all depressed to being goofy and then charming, and all throughout being a man who has never stopped or never will stop loving his wife, his character was very likeable and I sort of liked how they didn't show him reaching total rock-bottom, because they do that a lot. His wife is played by the beautiful Julliane Moore who is as naturally funny and sweet as she is dramatic and awesome. Both of them had such a real chemistry between them and their random jokes and conversations were very believable because that is how married couples are, or should be. Emma Stone, whom plays Hannah, is going to be a comic genius one day, I know it. She is so expressive and hilarious and awkward, but in an honest way, that she always makes one feel that they know her. Ryan Gosling plays the suave playboy extraordinaire Jacob. He was..ahem..good, ofcourse. I think I should leave it at that otherwise I will be slobbering all over my key board. I mean seriously it's like he's photoshopped unreal, and I am not going to lie- a HUGE reason why I enjoyed the film as much as I enjoyed it is because Ryan Gosling is a total sex-god in it who should be worshiped everyday, all the time. Marissa Tomei plays one of Cal's "conquests" and she is probably the funniest person in the film. I just love her. Kevin Bacon was Lindhagen, a universally hated character in the film. Robbie was played by Jonah Bob and he was a cute kid. I liked how he idealised my head he grows up to be Tom Hansen. I was surprised to see Analeigh Tipton from ANTM there, but she was sweet and confused like all teenage girls should be. Also Josh Groban made his film debut in this, playing a bore. Lastly, I loved Liza Lapira as Liz, Hannah's best friend, because she reacted to everything, especially to Mr. Sex-on-Legs Jacob, as I would.

           I personally thought that after the great revelation towards the end of the film, the film gets a bit boring. Especially with the Jacob-Hannah story. If they had ended it on a higher note, or atleast have an amusing ending, I would've liked it better. Also I want a spin-off with Marissa Tomei's character being the protagonist- "I am 5 years SOBER!" Still, the film was cute and enjoyable and keeps the romcom candle burning brightly. Watch...if not for anything else then for Ryan Gosling eating a slice of pizza like it was some sort of ambrosia and he is was a Greek god from heaven, in a suit.

Friday 16 September 2011


1) I just read this at The Film Experience and honestly I have been thinking about this for a couple of weeks now- remember how I said this year was the Year of the Goz. Well, it might just not be that and be Year of the Fass instead. How does one choose between Ryan Gosling and Michael Fassbender? Both of these men are obviously brilliant actors (even though I haven't seen the "Oscar-buzz" films of this year yet, but you know what I mean). And they are mind-numbingly sexy. And they are effortless in everything they do. I think only after seeing Drive and Shame can I truly decide whose Year it is for me (The Ides of March is still getting lukewarm response and A Dangerous Method is more of a Keira Knightley thing it seems), but it will break my heart.

2) So I haven't seen any films since I don't know when. I have been watching all the True Blood episodes. How amazing is that show? I think, in my adequate vampire-entertainment-related knowledge, it might just be the best vampire thing ever. Followed by Let The Right One In. And then today The Vampire Diaries starts again. And and, tomorrow on the telly, they will show the Movie of the Month- *cue drum roll* Eclipse! And New Moon before that! YESSS!! Surely you must realise that sitting in front of the telly and laughing my ass off at sparkly vampires, poverty-stricken werewolves who cannot afford shirts, and mopey annoying girls right before my exams, is what I do best. Don't you love how I am breaking my movie-watching hiatus with these two films?! Coming back to True Blood, I am so in love with Alexander Skarsgård. I need to see a film in which Skarsgård, Gosling and Fassy play brothers. Or kinsmen. Or soldiers in an army. Or bar-hopping friends. I don't care- I NEED IT!! (Deluded hormone-driven teenage girl fantasies). 

3) I think the big trailer of this week is Cameron Crowe's We Bought A Zoo. It's so lame. I was actually looking forward to it, and then when the trailer came out I realised an important thing in it which I don't like- animals. I am not the biggest animal-movie fan, in the live-action sense. And the film looks terribly sappy. I love Say Anything and Almost Famous, and respect Jerry Maguire, and so I kind of had hope for it, but I dunno. I highly doubt I will watch it. But I am a huge Elle Fanning fan now, and maybe a sudden surge of love for Crowe might make me.

4) Okay one more thing which I was reminded of from the The Film Experience post- I need Alexandre Desplat to get nominated for Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, Part 2. That score is amazing!! I can live and die listening to 'Lily's Theme', I do not kid you. I did download the Tree of Life score by him too, but I dunno. I'll give it another go sometime later. Desplat is also doing the scores of The Ides of March and Carnage. That being said, I am super duper excited for the Trent Reznor-Atticus Ross score in The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo. It seems the 8-minute footage that have been shown in selected cinemas in the US has been well-received. YAAAYY FOR THAT!! I recently finished reading the book, and I can tell you that the Swedish film did no justice to it.

5) I did a really random post on Indiana Jones this week, spurred by Raiders of the Lost Ark coming on the telly, which I could not watch because it was my grandmother's Hindi soap opera-time. These two pictures are just a continuation of that...hipster style!

Thoughts over.

Wednesday 14 September 2011

Is it weird...

that I am a girl and I still want to be him-

Ah well, I'm just happy being her then- 

Friday 9 September 2011


Okay so lots of thoughts:

1) I literally just read this- Amitabh Bachchan will be in Baz Luhrmann's adaptation of The Great Gatsby. WHAAAT?!! What is Baz Luhrmann doing? I keep getting less and less impressed with this film. First of all, and worst of all (oh I'm such a poet!), it is in 3D, which makes no friggin' sense whatsoever. Then there is Leonardo Di Caprio in the titular role. See I have nothing against Leo, but it is a fact that Luhrmann does wonders with a truly romantic looking actors. Leo was like that during Romeo+Juliet times, but not so much anymore. Also, this was the one of the big flaws of Australia *shudders*. After that there is Carey Mulligan. Now I love Carey Mulligan; how can I not? But, I just cannot see her as Daisy. I still think Kirsten Dunst would have been the best choice. Dunst has a dream-like thing about her, which is how Daisy was. Mulligan is amazing, but she, in my opinion, has a sadder face. I mean she's adorable, but in a non-Daisy way. Gah I cannot explain it! I think the best casting choice so far has been Tobey Maguire as Nick Carrow. I, for one, was hot for Nick throughout the book, and I can see Maguire being really effortless with it. I suppose it is all cute that bffs Leo and Tobey are working together, but I don't know. Bachchan actually, now that I am thinking about it, might be good, but we shall see.

2) Eddie Murphy is gonna host the Oscars. Honestly, I am fine with it. Just as long as he doesn't bore us and stand there like a stoned idiot with an I-Phone. *cough*Franco*cough* Or if he must, he shouldn't post a huge number of deceiving promo videos. Also, Hugh Jackman and Neil Patrick Harris should host the Oscars together already. Dunno what they're waiting for. NPH was in Beastly, and is totally legit.

3) So I have a new film that I am dying to see now. Shame by Steve McQueen, starring Michael Fass(y)bender. I just saw Hunger, which was McQueen's directorial debut with Fassy himself. What a disturbing, brutal, no-holds-barred film! Fassy has rocked me to my core now, and I have to seriously start rethinking my favourite performances by an actor list.  Shame promises to be great and everyone in Venice seems to love it, and it might just win the Golden Lion. YESS! Especially with all this non-lovey-dovey-ness towards The Ides of March (O.o) and from what I can understand, little doubts about Carnage, A Dangerous Method and Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy, I do need a proper "The Social Network" film of the year.

4) Okay good week of Hollywood in Calcutta this week! Well sort of. Contagion and Friends with Benefits has released, neither of which I am remotely stoked to see. But I will, because such an opportunity will not present itself to me very often. I actually think I have become immune to Steven Soderbergh, which is like sacrilegious. I mean I have had it with films about viral infections or whatever, and Haywire doesn't appeal to me except for a very hot Ewan McGregor. Even Fassy dies, so what's the point? Soderbergh, I need an Ocean's Fourteen, I think.

5) Posters!- The Rum Diary has a delightful poster. I come from a family of teetotalers and alcohol just has a strange attraction for me (I hope my mother isn't reading this). I especially like the "Mix Well" part on the poster...rather cheeky. And Johnny Depp + Rum should logically mean brilliance, so... Young Adult has another hilarious poster, which is definitely more unique. I have a feeling that Charlize Theron's character is this is going to become my future role model, along with the dahlin' old Bridget Jones. Jason Reitman is one of my favourite filmmakers, so I definitely excited for this one.

6) Finally..has anyone seen this?
Pretty awesome right? Who would you cast in Inception-of-the-50s? William Holden as Cobb, and then?

Hope I have any thoughts for next week left :P

Holocaust Horrors- Schindler's List VS The Pianist

       More than a year back I had thought about starting a series of posts comparing two or more films which have some similarities between them. I only did post the first one, about the beauty of Marie Antoinette vs A Single Man (if I had the option now, I would include Atonement and Tree of Life in this also). I am thinking about reviving it...but it will be very erratic, most probably. Anyways, this comparison was in my original list of comparisons; I do so love my Holocaust films and these two are the best that I have seen so far.

        It is a fact that the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences, or more commonly known as the Oscars, are partial to World War II films. These films range from stories of the soldiers sent to war, epic and doomed romances, the dilemmas of the authorities at that time, and the Holocaust. The Holocaust was easily one of the worst events to have ever occurred in human history; the worst if you ask me. I can never understand how people can be so full of hatred for other people, who are not of the same race and religion as them. It's not so much the killing and the torture that terrifies me, but this unfathomable and extreme hatred. The two films- Schindler's List and The Pianist showcase two different viewpoints, or maybe even three, of the horror of this dark and damned period.

Okay basic facts about the two:

             Schindler's List is about a German businessman, Oskar Schindler, who saves the lives of many Polish Jews in the Kraków Ghetto by giving them jobs in his enamelware factory. He first starts out doing so as he thinks it is cheap labour, but his Jewish accountant Itzhak Stern uses this as an excuse to employ needy Jews on Schindler's behalf. As Schindler begins to see how it is saving their lives, he begins to change and become a more compassionate man. This change in him is triggered even more with the arrival of the SS Lieutenant Amon Göth, who is as ruthless and cold a Nazi as probably Hitler was. As he sees the atrocities being committed to poor innocent Jews around him, he becomes determined to save as many as he can, even forgoing all of his monetary and worldly objects. It was directed by the masterful Steven Spielberg and is a clear indicator that while he is a big alien geek, the man can make incredible dramatic movies with the same expertise as the ground-breaking sci-fi ones.

             The Pianist tells the story of Władysław Szpilman, a Polish Jewish pianist who has his world turn upside-down when the World War II stroke Warsaw. His story is the flipside of Schindler's story- he suffers first-hand from all the barbarism that Jews were subjected to during the Holocaust. From losing his livelihood, to his family, to having to survive on the most basest of ways; the man literally goes through hell during this period, but comes out the other side victorious. And when I say victorious, I don't mean that he particularly fought for any cause, but that he won in his fight for being allowed to live- a right that is everyone's by nature but not in this most unnatural of times. The Pianist was directed by a Holocaust-survivor himself, Roman Polanski. Now I did not know this before, but Polanski actually survived the Kraków Ghetto, and it makes sense why he refused Spielberg's offer to make Schindler's List when the idea had first come to Spielberg. Polanski lost his mother during the Holocaust when she was taken to Auschwitz, and it is so obvious that he felt more in tune with Szpilman. Surviving the war, loosing loved ones, and living with the guilt of being the one who didn't die- these themes are as apparent in the film as it probably might be in the director's life. I cannot imagine how difficult it must have been to make this film, but no one else could have done it better.

                Now my thoughts on these films. Some random, interesting things that I made notes about while watching them. Schindler's List starts in colour and then it fades into black and white. The Pianist starts in black and white and then becomes coloured. The first time we see Schindler, or a part of him, is when he is opening a bottle of alcohol. The first time we see a part of Szpilman is his hands playing the piano. The first look of their faces- Schindler looks smug and wise in a slightly vampire-y way (the way the light reflects in his eyes in the beginning); Szpilman is focused and ever-so-slightly sad. Both the protagonists however are shown to be very determined in their first scenes- Schindler to get the notice of German officials, and Szpilman to finish his piece in the piano.

           As you can see from the very beginning itself, the films could not have been more opposite from each other. There is a quote towards the end of Schindler's List, "Whoever saves one life, saves the world entire." This, to pinpoint exactly, is the basis of all the difference between the two films. While the first shows a man trying to save lives of many, the second shows a man trying to save his life from many.

            Schindler's List is a magnificent film. The whole black and white looks of it pronounces the despair at those times more. One of the most upsetting scenes in the film was during one of the health checks that the Jews had in which, in order to look healthier and save themselves, the women prick blood from their fingers and use it as rouge and lipstick. There was no colour left in the lives of the was literally being drawn out by the savagery of the Germans. In all this Schindler becomes their hope. I love the slight changes in his character. The plight of the Jews really affects him, and though he keeps the facade of a profit-loving businessman, the end shows how involved he had become in their whole ordeal. Neeson is a born-leading man. He was effortless in being the smooth Schindler, and the subtlety in his acting for the times when he feels for the Jews is really great. His final outburst is heart-breaking. He feels guilty to be called good by people, and that is what eventually leads him to do his acts of generosity and greatness. This is ofcourse brought about by Sir Ben Kingley's character, Itzhak Stern. I have never heard praise about his character, which I think is very wrong. While Schindler is secretly good, Stern is all-out empathetic and helpful. He is the one who starts recruiting needy Jews, and he is the one who witnesses the changes in Schindler just like us. Obviously no one can talk about Schindler's List and its actors without mentioning the career-defining and simply superb performance of Ralph Fiennes as the deplorable Nazi officer Amon Göth. His role is what sets this film apart for me. I think Göth is the embodiment of why this whole movement or set of actions by the Nazis enthrall and repulse us at the same time. His scorn towards the Jews was almost compulsive, as we see in his interactions with his Jewish help Helen Hirsch. He was blood-thirsty and lustful, but at the same time an efficient officer and someone who lived and died with the conviction that his actions and believing in Hitler's crazy agenda was the right thing to do. Fiennes fills out this role. He is charming and cruel and totally mad. I sometimes like to think that there indeed was some soul in him, but that scares me even more. Like that scene when he points at the mirror and says, "I pardon you"; he is almost like a God there who thinks taking away people's lives is a right.

             The Pianist is nothing without Adrien Brody as Władysław Szpilman. This is a singularly magnificent piece of acting that Brody has done here, and it is, quite possibly, my most favourite performance by an actor ever. One cannot talk about the film without talking about him. In the beginning, Szpilman is a respectable, well brought-up gentleman from a good home. All this reflects in the way he carries himself and talks to everyone. He is even charming with the women, and a good brother and son. When the Warsaw Ghetto is made, his life starts changing in the most brutal ways. Living in a tiny home, slaving for adequate amounts of food, witnessing people die slowly around him- all looks horrible. A child dies in his hands, and from his window, he and his family watch on as Germans storm into the house of the Jewish family living opposite them and throw an old man on wheelchairs out of the balcony because he was unable to stand up to greet them. Soon he has to get work permits for his family, and he manages to do so with great difficulty. But still they are all soon deported to Treblinka- all except Szpilman who is "saved" by a family friend. There is a scene after this when he walks crying into the disheveled streets of the Ghetto because being the one who is saved from death while his family is suffering is a most bitter punishment. Then he joins a reconstructing unit in the Ghetto where he joins in an uprising by the Jews and helps them for a while. He then escapes and goes into hiding with the help of Non-Jewish friends from the entertainment field. He witnesses the Warsaw Ghetto uprising, and feels wretched once again for being the one who is "safe". When an accident threatens to reveal his hiding place, he goes to his emergency connection, who was a former flame of his, Dorota, and her husband. There is a scene here, when he sees her play the cello and we feel how sad he must feel for losing two most important things in his life- love and music, in all of this. When he goes into hiding a second time in a very German neighbourhood, his apartment has a piano in it. Here we see how that instantly relaxes him and it probably makes him feel more safe than anything else. He gets jaundice at one point, and it is distressing to see his condition there. He looks gaunt and bony, and his movements are less upright as a gentleman is supposed to have, but it is understandable because of all the time he spends completely alone. Brody is on his own throughout most of the film, and his little facial movements of sadness or concern or deafening loneliness speaks louder than any actor doing any kind of dramatic acting. When the Warsaw Uprising happens, he has to escape from his house again, and he lives off from going from house to house in an absolutely pulverised and ruined Warsaw. His movements become animal-like and we think the man he once was has completely gone in all this hardship. But finally one day, a German officer finds him and upon finding out his profession from him, asks him to play the piano is a house where Szpilman was hiding in. This is the moment of truth, and a scene that makes me weep like none other. Despite being malnourished and what I would think, brink of insanity for being isolated for so long, once the man touches the keys of that piano, he plays like the maestro he always was. This scene is so necessary because while it was important for the man in him to survive through all this, it was more important for the pianist to be there. He plays out his sorrow and frustration and everything at that time, and like us the German is awe-struck and mesmerised. I truly think that Szpilman would not have minded dying after that- it was like his salvation.

              I thought the direction of both was top-notch, but what Polanski did with The Pianist was transcendent. One must not let the past histories of the maker affect their judgement of what he has made, but I can safely say that this is a genuine exception. As I said before, I cannot imagine what he must have gone through making the film. Ebert had written about how Polanski wanted to show the effect of luck throughout this ordeal, like the kind he had had. That was there, but the guilt that came along with the luck was agonising. Despite having seen The Pianist atleast 10 times, I still get scared for Szpilman's life. This is because we know how important it is for his to survive. Stanley Kubrick had dismissed Schindler's List by saying that it is not a true picture about the Holocaust and how Spielberg showed the story of the few saved over the millions who died, but I think it is so paramount, as depicted by both the films, that inspite of all these diabolical acts, hope remained. The people surviving- whether it was the Schindler Jews or a pianist, is hope and good surviving. And the fact that both these films are based on true stories, just tugs at my heart strings you know...

I think I can write about these two films forever, but I am going to wrap it up now and decide which film I thought was better.

  • Direction- Spielberg made an honest effort and a great film, but Polanski did something extraordinary and plain inspiring by revisiting the true horrors of his past and creating an heartfelt epic about it.
  • Story- I believe The Pianist is a greater tale. It is story of survival like none other, and it is all the more amazing because it was true. And it is also the story of hundreds and thousands of others, who like Polanski, were saved but lost so many loved ones in the process.
  • Music- Well, The Pianist was about music, but I will give this one to Schindler's List as it was a touching original score, and the Jewish songs in between were beautiful.
  • Cinematography- I am partial to black and white and some of the scenes in Schindler's List are just breath-taking.
  • Art Direction- The Pianist, especially for the crumbling Warsaw.
  • Acting- Haven't I said enough? I love Fiennes as Göth and he's probably in my top 5 antagonists, but Brody as Szpilman is absolutely mind-blowing.
  • (This generally doesn't matter, but this is my post so...) Ending- Many of you won't get it, but I thought the Schindler's List ending was way too Bollywood. However The Pianist's ending was superb. It brings about a perfect circle, and Szpilman is shown as such an adept pianist, and Brody's hands are so graceful. 
So all in all, I think The Pianist wins for me simply because the story, acting and direction is more heartfelt and touching.

    Thursday 1 September 2011


    Let's start with a video today:

    Brilliance, ouie?

    1) This reminded me of  the Pixar-related thought that I had to write about in last week's weekly thoughts but forgot to. Anyways apparently Pixar is working on a project regarding the human mind. Oh Fuck Yes!!!! It "explores a world that everyone knows, but no one has seen: inside the human mind" How insanely incredible will this be?! People at The Film Experience Blog have already compared it to Inception, but better. Now in case I have not made clear the extent of my love and admiration for Pixar, I must tell you about a certain dream of mine. I want to be a waitress in the cafes at Pixar Studios. So very bad. I have a theory that everyone should be a waiter once in their lives to get people skills and humility and hopefully, cute uniforms. Might sound silly, but I am convinced that waiters in Pixar Studios dress up as the various characters from the Pixar films. Can you imagine? I can be Mike Wazowski or Mrs. Incredible or Bo Peep! A friend of mine thinks that it sounds too much like a sexual fantasy though. Ah well, now you know everything about me. And that I LOVE Pixar!!

    2) Trailers- I have really not cared all week. There is The Skin I Live In trailer. It just looks really random, but that's probably because I have never seen a Pedro Almodóvar film, who by the way looks like a really swell fellow in his IMDb picture. Anyways, I will be watching Women on the Verge of a Breakdown and All About My Mother soon, which will help me to form some sort of opinion on the director and this film. The next is the teaser for The Hunger Games. Now I know nothing about this film or tv show (?) or book. Everyone else seems really excited about it, and while it is being directed by Gary Ross who made Pleasantville and stars the awesome Jennifer Lawrence, I couldn't give a damn. A huge reason for this is the whole "it will be bigger than Harry Potter" bull. They said the same for The Chronicles of Narnia and for Twilight. Yeah, sure...

    3) Today I saw this Bollywood film called Bodyguard. Be sure it was nothing like the English one, or so my father says (I've never seen it). This frustrates me so much! This is exactly the kind of crap that Bollywood is getting known for more and more. It was mindless and annoying and had such terrible albeit abundant effects. I sort of compare it to Transformers: Dark of the Moon because of the lack of story and the expansive amount of effects  put in it, though half of the effects was just the leading actor Salman Khan's face. And I am angry with myself for watching this and not the really good crop of smaller films that had recently released and only my dad saw. There was a film called I Am Kalam in which a poor kid who wants to be educated writes a letter to the former Indian President A.P.J. Abdul Kalam, and there was another one called Sahi Dhande Galat Bande (Right Job Wrong Guys)  which is about land-acquisition in Indian villages. Tomorrow there is this film called That Girl in Yellow Boots coming out which has my currently favourite Indian actress Kalki Koechlin, and an eternal favourite Naseeruddin Shah in it. Hopefully it will be good.

    4) And, finally September has come, and I am really going to try and up my movie-watching. This will have problems- what without my trusty (or so I thought) hard disk, a wedding in the family and approaching exams. However I am particularly gifted at getting into "wasteful" things during important times. And so we hope.