Tuesday, December 06, 2005

Films, Lara and bad health

How often have I had to sit down and write this: "Yeah, it's been quite some time since I blogged last..."? Well, here I am again. Back from the dead, as it is.

And, as always, without much to say.

First, why haven't I been blogging?

Primarily because my life revolves around office-sleep-office and the cycle. Holidays are spent sleeping. Secondly, the only relatively momentous thing to have happened in my life (or our lives) has been a series of health-related issues, for which the blog is a really inappropriate place to talk.

As a result, no writing.

Time really has been at a premium. I have already crossed the deadline for an article I was supposed to have sent the Routledge University Press by over a month. Was supposed to have sent it in by October 31st. It's now December 6th, and still no go. Have been getting reminders from there practically every second day.

Anyway, since I am writing this, might as well give an update of sorts...

Some decent films seen:
The Seventh Seal (revisited; had last seen it during a Bergman retro in Calcutta some 12 years ago; loved it all over again) - Whichever way you turn, your backside is always behind you! That's just a line I remembered, but more importantly, was fascinated all over again by the Dance of Death sequence. Brilliant!
Andrei Rublev (revisited again; had last seen it many years ago) - Couldn't watch all of it. Really, couldn't. Thought I was loving it, but found my attention drifting more often than not. Far too wordy, especially for a three-hour film.
A Clockwork Orange - Strangely, had never seen it before. Fantastic! All the famous scenes are as ridiculously awesome as they are made out to be. And more...
Breathless - Quite interesting. Hadn't seen it before. Thought it was really interesting. In bits though. Because for the most part, there wasn't anything as fascinating as you tend to expect from such movies.
Now, what else did I see since blogging last? A whole lot of Kurosawas: Rashomon, Ikiru, Yojimbo, etc. Have since bought Throne of Blood (my favourite Kurosawa), which we haven't gotten around to seeing yet.
Also saw Tie Me Up, Tie Me Down, Amores Perros, Women On The Verge Of A Nervous Breakdown, etc... And a wonderful, absolutely fascinating film called Turtles Can Fly. It's an Iraqi film, actually the first made in the country after the end of the Saddam Hussein regime.
Well, also saw Harry Potter And The Goblet Of Fire. Fantastic. Easily the best of the four so far. The third - Prisoner Of Azkaban - is my favourite story, but the fourth has been made into an absolutely brilliant film. Obviously, the story is hugely chopped off because of its length. But it still makes for awesome viewing.

Also saw - by chance, because the DVDs we bought turned out to be different from the cover - The Man Who Shot Liberty Valance and Once Upon A Time In The West. Both brilliant.

Last month, incidentally, was mighty rough in terms of finances. Primarily because my parents were over, and a big chunk of the money went on that. Plus, we got Ajitha's parents car serviced and that cost a whopping six-and-a-half grand!

And yes, we still owe you that four grand, Yusuf!

Which meant that once we got our salaries in time this month, the first off day was obviously spent in Palika Bazar. They couldn't replace out Passion Of Joan Of Arc or The 400 Blows (pity!). But we ended up buying Throne Of Blood, Strangers On A Train, In The Mood For Love (Wong-kar Wai), The Hidden Fortress, Amarcord, The Birth Of A Nation (YES!), and a couple of others.

All right, that's as far as the movies are concerned.

Loads of good food as well while my parents were around (and before all the health-related issues cropped up). Since then, it's been wake up early morning - go for walk - eat sprouts and fruits and stuff - and so on and so forth.

And finally, Brian Lara happened! The gorgeous man went and beat the world record for highest Test aggregate. Now that in itself is a great thing. But that's not the best part. The best part is that the mark - and the names following the number one - had thus far been in the name of a host of complete morons: Allan Border, Sunil Gavaskar (well, occasionally not very moronic), Steve Waugh (awful looker, great batsman) and suchlike people. But Brian...ohh, he's a totally different story. And while, on the one hand, it's a bit of a disappointment to see him perched atop the charts, it is encouraging in a sense too. Geniuses are supposed to do only so much and no further. But such is this particular genius that he has all these major marks against his name. Fantastic, considering the fact that he has missed so much cricket for so many reasons and been so out of things so often.

Am not sure about this theory in its entirety. But I feel really serious geniuses should fall short. Their names shouldn't be in the record books. Like Boris Becker can remain the greatest tennis player in my book despite winning just six Grand Slam titles and losing in straight sets to Michael Stich in the Wimbledon final. Diego Maradona, George Best... It would probably have been best if Lara had left all the 'establishment' stuff to lesser mortals like Tendulkar (it's another matter that he is such a loser...) and others.

Anyway...that's that.

Quite a bit updated and said. More later. After a few months maybe.