Wednesday, 28 May 2008

Film Appreciation

It would be very easy, and need i say tempting, to say something as hackneyed and inane as "I've been in love with movie for as long as i can remember", but i have decided to refrain from doing so. That's because, the statement is not true. Not that I'm upright or puritanical; rather i remember quite well since when this love affair kick-started its journey. In fact i wouldn't be prevaricating if i state that the year was 2001.

There are two kinds of movie lovers. I like to call them movie buffs and film aficionados, respectively. The former prefer to watch run-of-the-mill mushy oh-so-cute rom-coms or histrionics-laden melodramatic tear-jerkers or hyper-macho dialogue-deficient blockbuster action flicks or intellectually-handicapped pokingly unfunny two-dimensional comedy trash or something as devoid of art as these, over a handful of popcorn and a glass of cola. I'm not saying its right or wrong, its only that these so-called movie buffs are missing out on the real thing. And that brings me to the second group. Now, its but appropriate that i qualify myself to this latter camp having uttered all the above acerbic statements, which i will. In fact i like to call myself a cineaste as well, though that's open to debate.

Coming back to what I had begun in the first paragraph, but was cut short due to some phony intellectual gibe - let me elaborate on what transpired in the year after the 21st century came into being. That was the year i went to high-school; that was the year some personal upheavals occurred; that was also the year i devoured a book called "Our Films Their Films". Comprising of a number of essays written by Satyajit Ray, who i like to call the greatest genius of post-independent India, the book is a lucid and fascinating treatise on cinema and its various players. Having being written by someone who had dedicated his life and love to the captivating world of movies and with a terrific hold over the queen's language, the book covers a host of luminaries, from Chaplin to Ford to Godard to Kurosawa to the great man Ray himself. I've read the book twice since. But it was the first read that sufficed in changing my complete outlook towards cinema, or to be more precise, film appreciation.

I wouldn't be fabricating if I utter the bold statement that I've watched more movies (the good, the bad, as well as, the ugly) than most. You might say the statement was a tad on the boasting side, but what the hell, I'm not saying I belong to the echelons of Roger Ebert or A.O. Scott. Its just that I'm a cinephile; I love Quentin Tarantino's hyper-kinetic and devilishly wacky motion, Coen brothers' quirky off-the-cuff humour, Billy Wilder's acerbic portrayal of life, Wong Kar-Wai's style, surrealism and visual implosion, Chaplin's farcical take on the bitter side of humanism, Ray's lyrical narrative and cerebral explorations, Scorsese's devastating depiction of brutality and alienation, Godard's iconoclasm and redefinition of idiom, David Fincher's convoluted depiction of loneliness, Gus Van Sant's quiet minimalism, Park Chan-Wook's deliciously dark storytelling, Rituparno Ghosh's sensitivity and underrated genius, Mrinal Sen's strong political attachments, and so much more.

So let me stop blabbering and come right to the point. I present to the world (provided any damn soul cares to be presented with something... anything) short critical analyses of films that have ingrained themselves into my mind and my conscience. The main criteria for selection for analysis would be the film's unchallenged artistic credibility. Consequently the chosen films would comprise of universally recognized classics, brilliant independent efforts, underrated masterpieces, fascinating out-of-the-box pieces, even some acclaimed mainstream films, as well as some not-so-acclaimed pieces which have nevertheless managed to endear themselves to me.

Enough of story-boarding. Its time the curtains are raised and the reels started rolling.

p.s. the summaries provided would be in no particular order.
Ratings would indicated the following:
5 - Masterpiece
4.5 - Brilliant
4 - Very Good
3.5 - Good
3 - Decent
For now I've decided to include movies which have the propensity to at least get a rating of 3.5 or 4 out of 5.

9 comments:

1minutefilmreview said...

Nice post! Really.

the Passive Anarchist said...

Thanx a lot... Do keep posting your valuable comments...

1minutefilmreview said...

Sure, you too.

under-ur-skin said...

Even this maiden post on your most philanthropic sojourns for the cronies of the movie-kind, demand a critical appreciation itself.

5.5/5...to say the least...

Keep up the great work...will visit it sporadically every time the rare cinephilic aura descends upon me...

the Passive Anarchist said...

Thanx buddy for the good words...keep vsiting...

Adrenaline and all that Jazzz said...

pardon my inquisitiveness ... but are you a J.U Graduate??

Shubhajit said...

Nope, I'm not. Why do you ask?

Adrenaline and all that Jazzz said...

forgive me for asking you that, i know it's completely incongruent to the topic, probably was curious, nothing more...as much as would like to think, there's no conspiracy.. hehehe.

Shubhajit said...

That's alright, i understand. It certainly does not call for any apology, but i forgive you nonetheless ;)