“Remember that time the car totaled and you couldn’t stop laughing? You made smiley faces with the blood off your arm!”

“Yeah, I was probably just too high…and mighty. And you were all stoic and ranted on about meaning and reason and weirdly enough, Leibiniz.”

“Heh. Still love your conjunctions I see. Remember what happened after that?”

“Yeah.”

“We should do that again sometime.”


Hic.

01Jan09

Seeing that 2008 wasn’t an especially good year (what with the economic crisis adding to my perpetual existential crisis), new year celebrations were a relatively sober affair. Relatively.

If the experts are to be believed, 2009 promises to be a shittier year and that’s saying a lot. Ah well, here’s to us. May we have the tenacity to see through these trying times.

What was it that Neitzche said about things that don’t kill you?


slumdog22

The concept of destiny irks me; that way, I buy into Dostoevsky’s morbid world view. But Danny Boyle (28 Days Later, Millions) has intricately woven magic realism into a modern day fable about survival and love; a film set at the center of India’s commercial hub.

Reaction to this film has been intriguing. Critics seem to be spellbound by the rather straightforward screenplay. The film would have never worked weren’t it for Danny Boyle (and his Indian counterpart, Loveleen Tandan). For one, Boyle infuses the proceedings with an overdose of realism; so much that you can almost smell what goes on. On the other hand, he romanticizes the aspirations of the protagonist. Jamal Malik, cares more for his long-lost sweetheart than the 2 Crore (20 Million in the film) Rupees at stake.

Remarkably, the use of HD (SI-2K Mini Digital Cinema Camera) gives a vibrancy and immediacy to the otherwise appalling backdrop. Boyle employs the frantic pace that he used so well in Trainspotting and achieves a structure that few Indian filmmakers have been capable of. Danny Boyle, much like Richard Linklater belongs to a rare breed of filmmakers – those capable of telling a story both empathetically as well as intellectually.

There is so much to say about the film- the characters, the score, some brilliant sequences; but I shall refrain at the risk of coming across as vapid and dense. To the discerning viewer, there are plenty of flaws but the audience at a limited screening I watched this film with burst into applause towards the end. The film is life-affirming without being overly sentimental, escapist without being ridiculous and most importantly, bloody entertaining. Reminded me why I love cinema so much.

9/10

http://www.imdb.com/title/tt1010048/


After months of staring wistfully from outside camera stores, I finally went ahead and bought the Canon Vixia HF10 (uhuh, High Def).  Shooting has been a somewhat humbling experience but I’ll get there. Sooner or later.

Moving files around has been a tad tricky so I thought I’d document (sort of) what I did.

Linux:

If the device doesn’t mount, try ‘dmesg

# mkdir /camera
#mount /dev/sdb1 /camera
#cd /camera

MPlayer supports AVCHD (.mts) files, but you’ll need to compile MPlayer (http://www.mplayerhq.hu/design7/dload.html) from source.

Windows:

Couldn’t  install the proprietary software that comes with the camera because my netbook doesn’t support the minimumm resolution. So I had to convert the .mts files to .avi.

First, install the AVISynth base and then this (mts_2_xvid.rar) . Unpack the .rar file and copy the .mts files from the camera into the folder and run the batch file _multi_demux_mts_Xvid.bat. That nifty little piece of code compresses the video to .avi and saves it in the same folder.

Trust me, it’s way simpler than it sounds.


high-hopes

I have a newfound respect for this very underrated Pink Floyd album thanks to a moment of epiphany whilst listening to High Hopes.

Leaving the myriad small creatures trying to tie us to the ground
To a life consumed by slow decay

Steps taken forwards but sleepwalking back again
Dragged by the force of some inner tide

Then again, it could have been the whisky. Or that vegetative substance. Or both.


Untitled

05Nov08

Maybe it’s up to me
Perhaps I’m the one to decide
Should I mold you from my squalid imagination
Or will entropy finally deliver
Am I to leave you to invisible machinations
While cheerful nihilists are betrothed
To despondent brides-to-be
And when the deluded throng the arena
To applaud the stoning of the heathen
Am I to comb the crowd for you
Or will you find me down here


There’s a series of brilliant articles on CNN IBN about being gay in India.

Just so you know, the Indian equivalent of Proposition 8 in America is Section 377.