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Another Vitamin and something about films! July 3, 2009

Posted by deewane in Uncategorized.

I swear I am not being paid to promote them (not that I am averse to the idea but if I were then it would be a really REALLY bad PR decision on their part since this blog is read by all of 7 people :P!). But do listen to this,

Now is it good or is it good?

Such a happy tune, just brings an instant smile on my face and fills my head with images of sun-shine, green grass and pretty flowers, and makes me want to hop, skip and jump everywhere. And if it hadn’t been raining for the past 1,748 hours straight, I would have done exactly that (No seriously, though I am not a big summer fan, thanks to the trauma caused by the heat-waves of Delhi but still wouldn’t mind if the mercury were to rise above the 70 degree mark and the sky cleared up once in a while).

So while I wait for the sun to bestow us poor east-coasters (coasters? eh makes us sound like… what else? coasters! The type that you use under coffee cups to keep surfaces ring-free “thank you for the solid description deewane” You are welcome dear reader :P), so anyway back to the point, while I wait for the sun, I will wallow in the general joi de vivre effected by the Music.

Have any of you seen What’s eating Gilbert Grape? Watched it last night (yes, after I had promised that will go to bed for my 8-hours and return all fresh-minded to write about something important, what can I say? I am fickle! *hangs head in shame*, so if you have seen the film did you happen to find Depp’s character achingly and frighteningly honest? Not in the movie I mean, but whoever created that character, to say that he did a great job, would almost be an insult. I think it’s just so difficult to chalk up anyone, any person at all, to strip away the fantasy and to put on paper and especially portray in 2 short hours the, for want of a better word, human-ness of being.

Not many people around me share my love of obscure movies. For most those are not high impact and lack a definite (and hence satisfying) ending. They are never particularly happy and filled with few but witty words and alarmingly “average” characters, who seem to possess no great talent or intelligence but just a yearning for something and may infact be just a little crazy. My brother usually comes away grumbling if I do make him watch any such movie (but boy if you were to read anything he writes (http://eastmancolour.blogspot.com/) you’d think all those would be right up his alley). But, for me, I think it’s not about the story, it’s the people in it, the whole aura of that time and that situation, of being a little mad, of being aware of your madness, of being surprised by yourself, and life. I know I made a transgression from talking about film to talking about self. But may be that’s why I like these films after all. It’s just comforting to know that not everyone has it figured out, not everything “ends” (doesn’t matter whether it ends well or badly), not everything has a message or a meaning or supposed to make you do a 180 degree turn. Sometimes stuff just happens and it fascinates you and frightens you, disgusts you and that’s all and that’s life. Even if, ironically enough, you get to see that only on screen.

I think you can live life through these films, it may sound silly but the sense of freedom that envelopes you as you become one of the character watching the others in real time instead of on screen is indescribable. And “boring” films like these offer the most realistic and achievable existence, with the added advantage of being fictionalized and as a result a more idealized version of life. Ofcourse, it depends on what your definition of ideal is! And since most of us do spend our lives within the confines of society and follow certain pre-set rules, the depiction in these films, surprisingly, seems most unrealistic of all. We have managed to make something as natural as life itself a tedious journey where chunks of it are already chalked out for us and more or less everybody follows the same pattern. This absolutely baffles me since humans have done all in their power to dissociate themselves from all other creatures of the earth but have ended up living as instinctually as them! The truth is that if we were to interpret our lives on a graph with respect to the Universe then it wouldn’t even amount to a minuscule dot! But in that nothingness we have to try and find something. Why? I don’t know. And either we, as a race, have never completely understood or have somewhere lost what we are supposed to be looking for.

O.k. I think since I have been able to put my point across as well as a half eaten earth worm and have most inconveniently veered off from the topic at hand to talk all zen, I’d rather let the films speak for themselves. If you haven’t already been put completely off my kind of cinema then do check out Harold and Maude, Benny and joon, What’s eating Gilbert Grape, Muriel’s wedding, Freaks, Hazaaron khwaishein aisi, The Darjeeling limited, Salaam Bombay, The Little Terrorist, Grey gardens (the documentary), The Reader and In which Annie gives it those ones. These should manage to keep you marveled and frustrated about being a human long enough. Any other recommendation/s are gratefully welcome.

P.S. In the spirit of all things bizarre I will quote something from Henry David Thoreau (from Walden), it’s quite a famous quote, or atleast the commercialized version of it is, what it being in the ‘Dead Poet’s society’ and all, but in it’s entirety the words have an urgency and rawness that Thoreau could not have been clearer about. And I call it bizarre because at first glance and casual reading the whole thing seems intimidating but it simply is not!

“I went to the woods because I wished to live deliberately, to front only the essential facts of life, and see if I could not learn what it had to teach, and not, when I came to die, discover that I had not lived. I did not wish to live what was not life, living is so dear; nor did I wish to practise resignation, unless it was quite necessary. I wanted to live deep and suck out all the marrow of life, to live so sturdily and Spartan- like as to put to rout all that was not life, to cut a broad swath and shave close, to drive life into a corner, and reduce it to its lowest terms, and, if it proved to be mean, why then to get the whole and genuine meanness of it, and publish its meanness to the world; or if it were sublime, to know it by experience, and be able to give a true account of it in my next excursion. For most men, it appears to me, are in a strange uncertainty about it, whether it is of the devil or of God, and have somewhat hastily concluded that it is the chief end of man here to “glorify God and enjoy him forever.”



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