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Archive for February 2013

Towards The End

By : Prahaas Oldman





Though it's generally not the kind of space, I love strolling into because my consciousness regains its most dominating form in order to make me believe into the plethora of the materialistic value we tend to abide by, ending up only to realize that we have had lived all our life measuring it from corner to corner, equalizing all the co-ordinates that selfishly exists on every axis of the dimension of our lives, always trying to perfect the diagram but being subjected to constant failure till the very end. Yet sometimes, my sub conscious mind awakens from what seems like a never ending slumber and pushes me through the barricades of naiveness into the orgy of thoughts and emotions that greet me as a stranger, and telling me with a smirk on their faces that I am nothing but a species that is trying to exist beyond its capacities, losing all my good qualities, feelings and emotions for they are all like dominoes inter related to one another, leading to their universal destruction if even one of them is lost; thereby turning me into a hungry, atrocious weapon that when gets empty of the flares repents over its most valuable but now lost jewel - innocence. And then it all ends.
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The Barrier

By : Prahaas Oldman


Seldom do I open the window beside my bed. From my different perspective it's like a barrier or let's say more like a shield that I prefer to have between myself and the world outside. Late at night, my perspective changes. The shield becomes the source to glance in the darkness. Beneath the red sky stand tall buildings sheltering..who knows what. All that can be seen is the empty road, damp and glistening in the street lights. All that can be heard are the songs that the insects sing, chirping of a troubled love bird who couldn't sleep. It's name itself is a curse. Far away, transportation trucks blow their horns, all different sorts of them. Far far away the sound of a train, either arriving, either departuring, either in the midst of its journey..who knows. Probably the only thing that runs on its tracks. We, on the other hand..derail from our destined tracks and get lost. No humans around at this time, not even a single one. But the cold hearted species could be felt in the form of the cold breeze that silkly collides with my face. Its too cold. May be that's what they leave behind when they go to sleep, dreaming, or seeing the forthcoming or observing a parallel universe. Who knows?
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The Balance

By : Prahaas Oldman

Today I spent a lot of time outside performing what seemed like 'infinite number of chores'. Yet, during all this, a certain amount of memory of mine was allotted to perform the function of thinking. So the following thought was processed by it on the basis of seeing and believing : Today I noticed something about bargaining. The middle class common man bargains- on a healthy basis but it's like 
a hereditary trait of the common man now a days. The rich as in really rich man too bargains, and he bargains & bargains! Conclusion- He bargains like hell on a very unhealthy basis.The funny part- the 'put the gun on my head & shoot me dead' thing is that they all bargain with the poor man- the really poor man succumbs to it-he remains poor- the rich remains rich-in a way-right or wrong-the equation remains balanced.

Old Cut

By : Prahaas Oldman


Sometimes I feel, that I have gone in too deep in this ocean of lust- a lust for something that I truly desire. My deep dive results in the pressure of life closing upon me and along with it, closes upon me- the truth. It is at that moment I realize, that what I am searching for-the object of my desire, is not something that I have lost..it's something that I have neglected to look at, its something that I have ignored. And at this moment, as I am trapped in the depth of this ocean, the object rests on the sands of time, in the open breeze, ignored. The pressure of life closes upon me, the count down begins, and all that I have to do now is - resurface.
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Poems : Take One

By : Prahaas Oldman

1)

I think it will feel good,
if somebody wipes your tears,
and promises you,
that from now onwards,
all that will rain,
will be rain.

2)

If you ever bleed,
as I have bled,
and you look around yourself,
not even a droplet of tear shed,
you come to realize,
floods of foes have drowned your friends,
or as you are being crucified,
those dogs have fled.
So just hold on tight,
just pick up a fight,
all that will be defeated is death,
when you shall arise,
to revenge, you must abide,
a revenge that makes,
even traitors bleed in their breath.

3)


As those who called themselves holy,
left that forbidden land,
left it in complete darkness,
as in the hour glass,
down falls the sand.
As those who called themselves holy.
left that land,
leaving the living in melancholy,
down falls the sand.

4)


Unworthy enough to compare it to sand,
haunted by guilt and terrified by her past,
she tries to save it, holding it, in her hand;
her fist clench tightly, shielding the precious within,
as her own conscience is crucified by lies and lust,
a soul so pure is breaking down, dissolving in her sins,
she struggles at the moment, to do what she must,
yet life's has cheated on her, it's in love with gravity,
thou hurt life, life will hurt thee,
that's life's insanity;
yet she tries to save it, holding it, in her hand,
but life escapes, as it always does, from within her grasp.



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Passages From The Night

By : Prahaas Oldman

It's always the same, a silent cold night, torn apart at regular intervals by the wailing sirens of the cop cars. For a moment there, you feel really unsafe, then again and as usual, the silence and the calmness of the night blends with you. You stare ahead, darkness stares back and you lower your gaze, to better look within you, cos you feel that the gaze of the darkness is quite cruel. Then the clock ticks backward, rewinding time, providing you with your own footage making you realize what a jerk you had been. If it had been daytime, you would had definitely kicked your conscience aside, but in the dark, we have the tendency to see more clearly within us. The stone heart turns to jelly, your wrongs pile up high against your rights and surprisingly, you willingly accept them, you feel guilty, you get.... interrupted by the screeching sirens of the cop cars. You realize that you too are being chased, you too are guilty, though not as guilty as them. You close your eyes, you are the convict and you are the jury. You plead guilty. Your eyes open in the morning. The sun light that pours through the window, has a lot more to offer.. a lot more,than you think.


The night rules again. My ears hope to hear the wailing sirens of the cop cars. Again. They face disappointment. No cop cars today, no sirens today, no sense of security today. The absence of the sirens tonight could only mean two things in this country, that either the convicts have escape or either the cops have lost them. There's no third take on it. But the night's silence never remains at peace. Either the dogs howl, either the sirens wail or either some bastard comes drunk in the area. He creates a scene on the road in midst of the night. The guards pull him and throw him out of the locality. They did their job well. But what were they doing when the guy entered the locality? well....
Like Taxi Driver's Robert De Niro pointed out that all the scum comes out on the road at night. I believe him. He also added that he wished that someday a rain will come and wipe this scum of the earth's face. I second him. Then I chuckle.
With the rate at which Global Warming is going up, you cant be too sure of the arrival of natural rain, how the hell will the scum wiping rain arrive?
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Two Chapters Of Harsh Truth : Unusual Morons

By : Prahaas Oldman

chapter 1

They say that the earth is round.
The truth is, that the planet mentioned is oval in shape.
The former line, describes an assumption - A very 'closer to the truth' assumption, but not really the truth. Predicted, with a limited means, and a very little experiments, this assumption rests on the shoulders of one's visualization. Some handicapped fool still makes such assumption, wannabe scientists love reading his works. Probably, reading all that stuff, provides hope to their hopeless minds. I really did threw an insult over there. I don't have any personal enmity with such people, it's just that, my views are more leaned towards facts- proven facts - 'the real truth'. It's at this point, we bring the latter into the view. The oval shape, the unbiased, technically proven truth. All abide by it because it's what our eyes see, it's not just another mere visualization of our mind.
A person will really be an Unusual Moron not to believe the facts streaming in his/her views.

chapter 2

The sharp as a butcher's knife truth is that you don't resemble a human being. You look like a cross - a hybrid of a human and a any ugly animal. Pick any, the choice is yours, Santa got a bit late in granting your wish. Coming back to the point, let me just summarize my statement- You are quite ugly. It's not your fault. It's the fault of some biological component. To make my point, a bit more clear, let us give you a sex. Congratulations! You are a female. Now, acting according to the truth, you are the most worst looking female in town. Guys like Freddy Kruger and Lord Voldemort vanish into thin air at even a short glimpse of yours. It's quite funny. Just imagine them doing so. You, on the other hand, have taken the saying, 'All God's creature are beautiful', a bit too heavily. You are a creature, no doubt in that, but I don't see any beauty lurking miles around you. If it were possible, I did stick your photograph beside the word ugly in the dictionary. If it was possible, I would also super impose this action on others to follow. Rest is their choice, because I won't force them to obey me, I am not a dictator. But your ugliness definitely is! After all of this splendid praise, you do have an arrogant air of your own. You try to be someone you are not. You don't realize what you are doing, you always think that it's perfectly normal. But of course, it isn't. Standing in front of the mirror, you think that what don't I have, that others have? Well, in a way, yes, you do have two eyes, a nose and lips. But are they positioned correctly? If I were you, I did definitely double check that. 'With great power comes great responsibility' ..and I must conclude that, with great ugliness, comes a great tendency to lie. Why lie? Just to hide the sharp truth. You start lying in the neighborhood, about how a bunch of handsome guys proposed you and you bluntly rejected their proposals. I mean seriously? Even if a human type normal guy comes to ask you out, you turn him down, just to point out that you can really do better than that. Sadly, you can't do better than a male pig. You know that. People around you know that. They laugh at you behind your back, calling you names. But we can't blame them, can we? They are not laughing at you about how you look.. Doctors and nurses fulfilled that formality. They are laughing at you because you are a liar, a freak, you are trying hard to be someone you are not! You are really trying hard to be an Unusual Moron. Don't try, you are one already.

chapter 3

Don't drink the coffee when it's too hot to drink. You will get your tongue burnt. It's like a stinging pain and your entire coffee won't be as fun as it was supposed to be. Now it's time to allot you a sex. Congratulations! You are a male.
You are a good looking guy, every girl's eye candy. You impress them in a jiffy, and they get impressed in a jiffy, because may be you are a good looking male. Life's a party. Your brain's a hell. Satan is a party crasher. Though, you are living in the present, your mindset is that of an oldman residing in the year 1876. Don't question my accuracy, question that fucking mindset!  Behind your charming personality, resides a dominating creature. Calling you a human being will be like an abuse to the race. What are you? You are a circus master, you want your partner to obey you like a well trained animal. That's a contradiction. Because who would obey a wild animal like you? You have those typical orthodoxy believes, believes of which, if girls come to know, you did be beaten blue and black. And one day, you will be. Until then, you hide behind a very decently painted mask. You have a habit of chasing skirts, but on the inside you don't like her wearing that. Who are you to decide that? Ofcourse, I forgot, you are the bastard we are discussing here. When it comes to making a girlfriend, you choose the hottest chick around. She loves you, you love her back. A little time flows smoothly by. Then, you start showing your real colors. You start criticizing her for everything she does. She tries to endure the criticism, because girls are strong, but why would she endure your crap any further. She calls off the relationship. You go around, kicked on your ass, telling everyone that she was characterless and that she had a series of boyfriends. My dear, bastard, i tend to ask you this that who in this damn world gave you the fucking right to determine anyone's character. If you have a series of girlfriends, then you are declared a casanova and in case of a girl, she is characterless. Let me tell you something, the girl's fine, her character's fine and she is an amazing human being, but you are no casanova! Hell no! You are hereby declared to be an Unusual Moron.
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Quoi

By : Prahaas Oldman

"The most excellent cinema is the one that becomes a memory"

We live our life watching the world turn from our perspective. We wake up everyday, get ready, leave for work, encounter various situations and numerous people, some of them turning out to be co-operative while the others can be termed as problems. But running away from them is not a solution for our life, in a way is a story that needs to be directed in such a way that we overcome all our problems with healthy solutions making our life look as worthy as a film. We are the directors of our own life, aren’t we?

On the other hand, if we do get a little bit restless and want to sneak in the life of others like a very fussy person, someone ,somewhere has had invented a beauty coined ‘cinema’. It provides us with the opportunity to take a peek in the story of life of various characters that are invented and directed by a person in a manner that it becomes often hard to discriminate between the flesh of reality and the thirty five mm reel of fiction. The person who accomplishes this task successfully is also termed as a ‘Director’ in the field of cinema, now whether the cinema is Italian, French, Indian or Catonese, this very person with the very same name tends to direct in order to deliver world class cinema to the audience.

Talking about world class cinema, there is a scene in the Rob Marshall directed musical ‘Nine’, where the leading man, Daniel Day Lewis who portrays the character of Guido Contini , an Italian film director is admonished by his favorite aging costume designer Lilly portrayed by Judi Dench, when she tells Guido that everybody knows that directing is a very over rated job and all that directors have to do is to say – Yes or No. And voila! The job of being a film director is accomplished.

Though this sentence by Judi Dench’s character is used in the film to provide a funny feel in her character, but it is partially true and partially false. The job of a film director is in a manner, to say Yes and No, but is obviously much more than that and on the other hand this obvious facts sleekly contradicts the fact that ‘Directing is an over rated job’. A director’s job is to direct i.e the puppeteer of the puppet show, who does says a lots of ‘Yes’ and a lots of ‘No’ but at the right place and at the right time. This combination leads to successful direction otherwise one’s fate is as same as that of Ed Wood.

Before learning about success, we must learn about failures. We must definitely become acquainted with the information about bad direction of cinema. Ofcourse, if there are good directors then there also exists a class of quite bad directors. The very simple definition of bad directors is that, they are the very individuals who said ‘Yes’ and ‘No’ at quite a few wrong times at quite a few wrong places. Thus there bad decisions led to their bad directorial ventures and they were classified as failures when it came to direction. Ed Wood was one such director, who never took care of his direction seriously and some of his shots did include the glimpses of a boom microphone lurking in the frame! Nothing more to be said in this context!

It all begins with an idea. An idea that forms in the head of a particular individual. Now this particular individual could and could not be a director. This idea, if sticks for long, proceeds forward to develop itself in a story and is penned down. The story is penned down by a story writer. It is to be noted that a director can be a story writer. Now the story writer takes the story to a long string of producers and ultimately some producer likes and shows his/her interests in the story. In this manner, after a few procedures, the story is brought. Now, the producer hires a screenplay writer in order to turn the story in a screenplay of a feature film. Another point to be noted is that, the director can also be the screenplay writer for there are many directors who pen down their own story and screenplays and direct a film based on them. The most notable examples are that of Quentin Tarantino, Lars Von Trier, Ingmar Bergman etc – the directors who write and direct. On the other hand, there are directors like Martin Scorsese, David Fincher, Steven Spielberg etc who direct films that are based on stories and screenplays penned down by independent story and screenplay writers.

Now, when the screenplay is completed after a lot many rewrites that either take it towards perfection or degrade it towards failure, the producer hires the director of the screenplay friendly genre so that he/she could do justice to the screenplay.

The director dissolves himself in the screenplay, studying it to it’s very depths in such a manner that all the minor details too fail to escape his/her insight. After reading the screenplay, the director begins to visualize it according to the perspective provided by the screenplay along with his own, ultimately merging the both and moving ahead with the next process of pre-production.

Next, the director and the producer have a talk. During this talk, they talk about the cost friendly and efficient sets, a star cast that can do justice to the screenplay, a cinematographer who can play with light in the most efficient manner, an editor who is good with splits, a costume designer who can add all the satin and glimmers to the screen. After the discussion, a set designer is hired and he/she along with the director start working on the sets, making drawings and the architects construct their visualization. The set is made, while the director narrates his screenplay to the actors.

With everything finalized, the big day arrives, and the director is busy with the rehersal sessions with his/her cast. The director explains them the psychology of the characters at the moment and what action they will be performing in what manner. He/She also acts in order to demonstrate to the cast that what he actually visualizes. This leads us to believe that in order to be a director, one should definitely have a decent knowledge about acting. While the actors are preparing themselves, the director shortlists the costume and determines the depth of the make up required in the scenes. When all is explained to the costume and make up artists, the director takes a quick observation of the sets and finally starts collaborating with the cinematographer explaining him/her the shot, trying to explain the meaning of it to him/her and describing the camera angles, lights and shadows he/she desires. When all done with the cinematographer, the director faces the technical crew, i.e the light men, sound men etc and gives them precise instructions that they have to follow during the shooting. Finally the actors arrive on the set.

As the actors arrive on the set and get ready to give the shot, the director takes a quick check that whether all the technicians are in their places and the camera is set perfectly according to the shot. Any problem that is noticed in the costume or make up of the actors is corrected right away. The director asks the actors to take their assigned places and calls ‘Action’. At that very moment, the camera starts rolling and the actors start to portray their characters. If the shot goes well and fine then that’s excellent but even if it lacks a little something from the director’s perspective then the director immediately cuts in the shot and the shot portion is discarded and the camera is rolled all over again. This process is continued until and unless the director obtains the desired shot.

In the very same manner the rest of the film is filmed. During all this time, apart from the job that a director is performing, he/she has to also keep on checking the costs that the producer is paying for and has to take special care that the expenses don’t cross the forbidden line. Therefore, retakes are cut down for filming on film is costly and it is kept in mind that scenes are well rehearsed before filming.

When the filming is completed, the shots are sent for editing. There is a saying that directors should be kept away from the editing table for the shot filmed is the director’s baby and each and every shot of the filmed footage is too precious for him to edit out. Thus, many a times, the editor works alone, from a viewer’s perspective editing out the five hour long footage to a viewer friendly two and a half hour footage. This edited footage is refined, filtered, altered on the basis of sound etc by technicians and released. If the director can’t resist then a director-edited cut which is longer than the regular cut is also released after some time.

After the release of the film, the fate of the director is directly proportional to the fate of the film. The director can also win an Academy Award or even a Golden Raspberry award for his work. What ever the case might be, good or bad, a director is a director.

Anyone enthusiast enough could become a director. One can be a film school student, or one can just be a human being. All that one should have is the flair to tell the stories in a visual manner and if one has that flair, voila! You can be a director!

Guido Contini (Nine) : You kill your film several times, mostly by talking about it. A film is a dream.  You kill it writing it down, you kill it with a camera; the film might come to life for a moment or two when your actors breathe life back into it - but then it dies again, buried in film cans. Mysteriously, sometimes, in the editing room, a miracle happens when you place one image next to another so that when, finally, an audience sits in the dark, if you’re lucky -- very lucky - and sometimes I’ve been lucky - the dream flickers back to life again.  That’s why I’m secretive.

End.
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Movie Review : Hitchcock

By : Prahaas Oldman
Sacha Gervasi's directorial venture 'Hitchcock' is not one of those movies that blow you off your feet, mesmerizing you to the hilt. No. The film is based on the book 'Alfred Hitchcock and the making of Psycho' and it successfully demonstrates the hardship blessed journey of the Master Of Suspense that begins with the release of 'North By Northwest', flows through the pre-production, shooting and post-production stages of Psycho and ends with its release to critical and commercial acclaim. There is a merge of plot and sub-plot here, and you can't really discriminate between the two as Hitchcock's personal life and issues smoothly collide and blend with his professional work, in a manner that gives equal importance to both and praises Gervasi's direction skills. Hitchcock is a predictable yet watchable film. When watched fully, it may, for some audience turn into a lovable film. There are no Hitchcockian suspense in this Hitchcock film, rather it's a silent love story surrounded by the fictional world of murder and gore. Anthony Hopkins and Helen Mirren give splendid performances breathing life in their characters. Hopkins indeed successfully manages to convince as Hitchcock. Respect. All the technical aspects shall seem up to date to a normal-regular film goer. The conclusion is that, Hitchcock is definitely and strongly recommended for a one time watch. If it convinces you, like me, you can surely watch it again and again, unraveling the most important phase of life of the brilliant director. 
Thank You.

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