Monday, 26 January 2009

Samurai Rebellion (1967)

A film that starts off with a simple premise, but builds gradually into a deafening crescendo of rebellion. While the name suggests an action flick with samurais chopping each other's limbs off, the film focuses on the sidelines on a samurai family, the Sasahara family with Toshiro Mifune at its head. Mifune is a samurai who can't boast of too many skills, apart from swordfighting, and is in charge of the armoury and inventory of his Lord, the daimyo of the Aisu clan.

The introduction briefs us about Mifune's skill with the sword, and also brings Nakadai's character into the forefront as an equally skilled swordsman. The director cleverly introduces Nakadai into the mix early as he is absent from most of the film, but his equal billing with Mifune is justified as he is closely involved with Mifune, and is pivotal to the emotional effect the film has on us.

The central focus however is the love story (in the traditional restricted Japanese sense) between a mistress of the Lord, Ichi and Mifune's son Yogoro. Ichi is forcefully thrust upon Yogoro once she falls out of favour with the Lord, but soon redeems herself to the family as a loving and caring wife/ daughter in law. The rebellion in the film comes into fore when the Lord makes a 'U' turn and demands her back, and the film uses this opportunity to explore or atleast expose the complexities that are tied up with loyalty - to your lord, to your wife and to your friend.

Monday, 12 January 2009

Afternoon siesta

This is me trying (in vain) to ape Pascal Campion

Thursday, 8 January 2009

Tuesday, 6 January 2009

Sunday, 4 January 2009

The Ron Clark Story

I'm glad its based on a true story because I would have felt like complete doofus for wasting 90 minutes of my time (not counting the ten minutes I spent writing this) watching such an improbably positive film.

It's not often that you find a cliche interesting, and The Ron Clark Story is one of those exceptions. Matthew Perry shines in this nth re-imagining of 'To Sir, with Love', only this time the film is based on a true story of a Ron Clark who, surprise, managed to turn a dysfunctional grade class into some of the most promising students, EVER!

Since I've already told you that I found the movie interesting, let me tell you why. Two words – Matthew Perry. Oh wait, two more – the kids. Director Randa Haines has to be appreciated for the performance she manages to get out of most of the kids in the film. I found myself constantly marvelling at how naturally they reacted to Perry – I wonder how they achieve that?

Matthew Perry is great as Ron Clark, he deserved the nominations for the Golden Globe and the SAC Guild award. Ten minutes into the film, Matthew Perry WAS Ron Clark (the character, I don't know anything about the person). You wont believe how refreshing I found him here after the mental assault that was Chandler Bing (Yuck!). I got a whole new level of respect for him after this.

Oh wait, there was a love interest in the film too... and seeing as I have to strain to remember anything about it, I'll just say it wasn't annoying. It didn't get in the way. So forget I mentioned it. Good Film, I enjoyed it.

Rating - 5 stars for Perry and 2 more for each kid in the class.


Saturday, 3 January 2009

Now be a good doggy...

... and give my eye back?

Friday, 2 January 2009

Vacation drawings..

I had wanted to start this blog during my vacation until laziness got in the way.

The first two were sketches I had made for the eventual blog, while the picture of Hanuman below was for my Mom - my first commission so to speak (Yay!).

Thursday, 1 January 2009

Onward we March!

Heroes you can cuddle!

Forget Hendrix/ Clapton/ Page...

Jeff Beck - She's a Woman

Jeff Beck - 'Cause we've ended as Lovers

THIS my people, is a guitar god. Now I love the fact that everybody knows Clapton, Hendrix and Jimmy Page (Led Zeppelin you dolts), but the where's the love for Jeff Beck here? You could find millions of guitarists who can ape the big three note for note, but its going to be mighty hard to find anybody who could play like Beck with his cool ass phrasings and unique note selection. While Clapton was all about juiced up blues (at least during his peak - in Cream), Jimmy Page was busy with his guitar god theatrics, and Jimi was experimenting like mad, Beck was busy shutting up and playing his guitar (to paraphrase Frank Zappa). And unlike the rest, Beck didn't really have a peak per se, he was always consistently good. Although I'm not a big fan of his sloppy playing now days (and whats with the wig?!), I still think he can bring more soul into a solo than pretty much anybody on the planet. If you enjoy the vids, I'd recommend you try out two of his albums - Blow by blow, and Wired, they've got some of the best Jazz Rock you'll ever hear, a must for any guitarist out there.

PS. If you're a guitarist who is even vaguely interested in Rock music and are not familiar with Jeff Beck, SHAME. ON. YOU.

Yay for Empty Hostels - and DC++!

Ten years from now and the only thing I'll remember about IIT is the movies I saw thanks to the huge LAN setup here in the hostels.