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Archive for December 2013

That Day After Everyday - A Review

By : Prahaas Oldman
Has the fact ever transpired and materialized before a man’s vision that the frabrication of the identity of any woman in particular, via the imparting of a very commonly prevalent futile phrase ‘Ye meri waali hai’, is nothing else other than a most recurring form of sexual harassment in our daily life.
None of the men would have thought so, a minimal proportion of the women may have realized this, but believe it or not, it’s an abysmal truth for ‘nobody is anybody’s property’, and the faster this fact is digested, the better this country shall be.
In order to faithfully demonstrate the facts cited and to induce that very effect desired, film maker Anurag Kashyap, whose films impart morals in the best aphonic ways possible, comes up with a short film that deluges with morals that impart the much required invigoration in order to commove the masses.
Anurag Kashyap’s That Day After Everyday, written by Nitin Bhardwaj and starring Sandhya Mridul, Radhika Apte, Arannya Kaur and Geetanjli Thapa, chronicles the story of three women (Radhika, Arannya and Geetanjli) residing in an urban society who despite of having men to their aide, become the subject of unceasing eve-teasing, while the society around them watches helplessly.
This helplessness is the core of the entire film. Upon experiencing the sequence, one shall be angry, revolted and helpless, just like the protagonists of the film. This is the ace part about Anurag Kashyap’s latest work, it manages to accomplish what only a few cinematic achievements  manage to do, it provokes.
And just at the moment when the provoking essence substantially manages to get out the worst in the viewers, and angered by the happenings on screen, aptly catalyzed by the plight of our three protagonists,  when one is going to click the stop button, believing the film is no less than a convalescence, Kashyap swiftly steers the film around,  enabling the three feminine protagonist to realize that the characters of the men around are thwarted by cowardice, that they themselves should hone up their strength and stand up against all odds that this jungle of a society has to offer.
Enter Sandhya Mridul, a feminist, a mixed martial art instructor. No, if you are thinking that the film ahead goes all ape shit, then you are wrong. No Kill Bill follows. What follows is as original as one could have had portrayed it, and the director accomplished this task with utmost brilliance.
The viewers aren’t disappointed.
They are blissfully satisfied.
Anurag Kashyap’s direction is as always crude and spot on. The acting imparted by the cast is well nurtured, although Radhika Apte’s performance is influentially contagious, hence it’s applausible. The story line is good and if any flaw existed, the former artistic executions shall clean them up.
That Day After Everyday is a must watch for everyone. It is one of those cinematic pieces that should not go unnoticed, for they should be absorbed and their morals should be implemented.

The film is hosted by Large Short Film channel on You Tube.

An Excerpt From 'My Story' By Marilyn Monroe

By : Prahaas Oldman

I and my sister are like huge Marilyn Monroe fan and our obsession with the late starlet doesn't end only with her movies, rather we are quite persistent to lay our hands on any artifact that bears a resemblance to her, whether it's a photograph, poster or most importantly - a book.
Up till now, I was not acquainted with the fact that a Marilyn Monroe autobiography exists, there by I devoured over any biography of her that I could lay my hands on. Such biographies of her reeked with the essence of portraying a sweet woman as a sex symbol along with picturising her life as scandalous and controversial in nature.
Lies, all lies or say, highly tampered truth.
The autobiography of Marilyn Monroe titled 'My Story' is beautiful, elegant and innocent like the actress herself. I am still in the process of reading it, but I couldn't help sharing this beautiful excerpt from the mentioned book that sings the song of existence of diverse natures among people, that makes them love, that makes them ignore, that makes them lose their loved ones..that makes them feel what we call - guilt.

Instagram Délices

By : Prahaas Oldman


Instagram is pretty cool if you have ample time to waste in order to apply stupid filters on bad photographs, trying to extract a meaning out of them. Its just like make up that many wear in order to hide marks, acne and what not. It should better be called 'concealment therapy'.

Ofcourse I am being sarcastic in order to 'kid' (verb). It's a pretty cool alternate for people who don't want to sit in front of Photoshop conjuring layer after layer, only to merge them all in the end. Instagram is instant and delivers cool photographs owing to its method. I am not a fan, but I like it.
On the other hand, people who use Photoshop for enhancement procedures are mere phonies and should shove anything available at the very moment in their rears.

Kidding again, Photoshop's pretty cool, although it has an air of professionalism about it. Instagram, on the other hand, is a common man's application.

An Year Of Books

By : Prahaas Oldman
I did better rush this post. This is not me pouring my philosophy at your disposal, rather, it's me just sharing my most superficial thoughts in the most crude manner possible. This year I wrote less, read more. The smell of books constantly filled up my nostrils this year, and I did try to absorb every word, with all of my heart, believing that the process I was indulging myself in, was a part, a major part of my education.
I was an avid reader in my adolescence, but since I have hit adulthood, I feel like, as if I am more confused than a regular teenager. This confusion strikes me at the moment, in the form of depression and suicidal thoughts, but films, books, photographs and various other forms of art, act as an antidote to the undefined form of poison that exists within my mind.
"Mind i believe is the intersection of the perceptions of the brain and heart of an individual".
The winters early this year, portrayed me as a naive man, fueled by desires to accomplish tasks that I often dreamed of, yet their executions seemed futile at the moment. It was not because my lazy persona was in vogue, but it was because, though sometimes we just feel like putting our dreams on the track of accomplishment, but rather we are waiting for a perfect time, a perfect place, accompanied by perfect people, in order to execute the visions of our dreams.
That is when we temporarily give up on the practical phenomenons.
That is when I put my pen on hold.
That is when I decided to read. A lot.
When I was young, very, very young indeed, I had literally drowned myself in the works of Enid Blyton. The funny part was that, although I was a fan, plus an avid reader, I believed that 'Enid' was a man. When I realized, how wrong I was, I had already read a lot many of her works. They were splendid. Especially 'Six Cousins At Mistletoe Farm'. It was my favorite Blyton novel. My father was literally as well as practically a jerk. I believe his sole purpose was to torture us by creating a havoc in our life, finding ways trying to get the worst out of us and then blaming us. He was not an easy man to win from. There was once a phase and that very phase accounted for the whole of the last two years that we spent with him. In that phase, he devised a plan to torture us by strangling our stomach. The objectives of the plan were that either don't provide the family with food to eat, or give them the same food, three times a day, for throughout the year, until everyone gets literally fed up of the meals and give up on eating. Trust me, sometimes hunger is way better than eating something over and over again, like forever. But the harsh truth is that, in order to survive, you have too feed yourself, and so we did. So, when I was devouring on my lunch and dinner, like an unlucky animal, eating to survive, I used to keep open 'Six Cousins....' in front of me. In the novel, the characters used to have ham, cheese, fresh milk, sandwiches and what not, and that used to provide a flavor to the boring food that I was eating. Trust me, it was as magical as it can get.
I never got over Enid Blyton, but during the course of my literally journey, I encountered authors such as Sidney Sheldon, Robin Cook, Dan Brown etc. I, personally, am a big fan of Mr. Sheldon. He, no doubt, is one of the best writers whom I encountered. Robin Cook sucked, no offence, I really didn't like him, nor his medical thrillers, or say, suckers.
Dan Brown's first novel upon which I laid my hands was 'The Da Vinci Code'. I bought the copy of the novel in order to piss my sister, because according to my sister, the book was offensive and controversial. If she hated it that much, I just had to buy it. But it turned out something more than a 'pissing' attempt. The very moment I started reading the book, I was hooked. I began reading it at ten in the morning and finished it by midnight. I had never ever read a more intriguing book than it. Never. It was a masterpiece.
Then suddenly, I started noticing girls and gave up on reading. Chasing skirts seemed to be a very productive task then. The worst part is that I had this urge to marry and have a lot of babies with the girl on whom I had a crush. A lot many times I was turned down, yet I always managed to have my moments. I remember this one time when the girl on the other side agreed to my proposal. What a night it was. I slept peacefully and dreamt of a rainfall of babies. The next morning I was busy with my tasks (writing, watching films etc), I got free by the evening and that was the time when I laid my hands on my cell phone, for the very first time, during that day. I am not a very tech-savvy person. I really don't give a damn about technology, whether it arrives on my doorstep in the form of a costly cell phone or a turbo- charged car, I really don't give a fuck. I believe that stuff is for boys, we are men now, we should behave in a mature manner. Although, ofcourse we don't. So, when I checked my cell, I witnessed like twenty unread messages from that girls, all asking about my whereabouts. Within twenty four hours, I called off that relationship. Being single is the best feeling ever, I shall never ever give any person, any chance to hurt me in any manner what so ever.
After Sheldon and Dan Brown, I came across J.K Rowling. Up till then, I had never ever liked her creation, 'Harry Potter'. During that time phase, I was so depressed, that I borrowed a copy of the novel from my cousin and began to read. I was in my mid-teens, yet I loved it. I just loved it. It grasped me in ways I had never ever thought of and soon I had read all the book of the series and watched all the films too. I secretly read and watch 'Potter' to this day too.
Then arrived the reading hiatus that continued to the beginning of this year. I indulged myself in the act of writing, but had, had not read anything for quite some time. Winters were at their peak, and life was not so good. To cheer me up, my friend advised me to buy a particular book. He hoped that, that very book, shall erode my negativity to quite an extent, sparking up quite some positvity. In a way, he was right.
The Secret by Rhonda Byrne is not a novel. It not a book either. I did prefer to term it as encouragement. It boasts of a lot of issues that can be dealt in the right manner with a positive approach. I read it, in a way savored it, even brought the advice of the author in practice. Trust me, it helps. I loved the book, and I prefer to read it from time to time, trying to get myself in a stable form, recommending it to everyone around, who give me looks, as if, I had advised them to consult a psychiatrist.
The next book that I got myself was 'Tales From Shakespeare' by Charles & Mary Lamb. I had read that book in my early childhood, enveloped by darkness. The sole reason that I was able to read it was that it is in simple language, not in drama form, but rather in the form of short stories. I bought it because I wanted to adapt some play of Shakespeare in the form of a screenplay for a short and for that I just required the plot. I never finished the task I entitled myself with, but this cheap book is surely a catch.
Sidney Sheldon's autobiography 'The Other Side Of Me' is definitely a must read. It's action packed as his novels, full of thrills and chills, and the best part is that it's a real life story. It's the story of his life. The part that struck me with great positive attitude was that how hard working was a man named Sidney Sheldon. Hard working enough that he ended up winning the Academy Award For The Best Original Screenplay. It's one of the favorite books of mine, inspiring and alluring at the same time.
During my summer break, I read, 'Guru Dutt' by Nasreen Munnni Kabir. It was a biography. The life of Guru Dutt, no doubt, was mesmerizing, but his life, witnessed from other person's words, gives one the impression of coming across information on Wikipedia. Although I favor the book, yet I despise biographies. They are superficial and soulless.
Charles & Mary Lamb's version of Shakespeare's place was just not enough for me. I wanted to make the real deal with the works of the great playwright. Thus, I ended up laying my hands upon the 'Complete Dramatic Works Of Shakespeare'. Tough baby, this fat book, the language is alien, yet if you have the zeal, you can get through it. When I am in the mood, I read a play, feel happy, when I am not, I feed the book the darkness of my store room.
Dan Brown's Inferno is a piece of shit. Yes, you read correct. I was a huge fan of 'The Da Vinci Code', but 'Inferno', though interesting, though an intriguing chase, is written on the blueprint of 'The Da Vinci Code'. It's just like reading the latter, with characters of different name becoming the part of action in a different setting. I am not saying that it's not readable, it very much is, but the acute resemblance of it to the very first book in the 'Robert Langdon' series, just pisses you off. Especially if you considered yourself to be a fan.
'The Holy Innocents' by Gilbert Adair is a masterpiece in its own terms. Its provocative and erotic, yet powerful and sensual. The chemistry of the character is taboo and carefully woven, plus the description of Paris is elaborate enough to fall in love with the city and the culture. Once again. The novel is not meant for anyone, but with a open creative artistic mind, one might tend to savor it and the story of the lives of the people it holds.
These were the books that I have already read. I am halfway through reading 'A Streetcar Named Desire' and Marlon Brando's autobiography 'Songs My Mother Taught Me'. I love the former for I have watched the film - A Masterpiece. As of the latter, I shall say that we know very less of Brando as a person and his autobiography just touches the heart. Or say, as of yet, it touches the heart.
That is it for now. Read, write, love. In any order what so ever.
Amen.

Smoron

By : Prahaas Oldman
One day my friend came to my place and abruptly announced that we should make a movie, and we should make a movie in the fastest manner possible, in order to test our speeds and creativity while working in an environment that is burdened with the pressure of achieving the maximum out of minimum.
He told me of a concept, a very simple concept, that I ended by naming up 'Smoron'.


Screen captures from the trial footage of 'Smoron'

The concept of Smoron, revolved around a cigarette addict, who doesn't think beyond lighting a cigarette. So, one day this guy wakes up, mistakes his pen for a cigarette, realizes, grabs his cigarette and lighter from the table, again to realize that his lighter is not lighting up. So this moron goes into the kitchen, and instead of lighting his cigarette from the matchstick available, he first lights the lighter from the matchstick, then with the lighter, he proceeds ahead to light the cigarette. He then comes back, lies down, finishes his cigarette and then pulls up his white bed sheet, ending up drowning in slumber once again.

Now there are two aspects to Smoron, a minor aspect and then a major aspect. The minor aspect is that this moron proves his stupidity in the lighter-matchstick-cigarette sequence. On the other hand, the major aspect is that, his habit of chain smoking is actually leading him to a phase where he would end up with a white cloth wrapped around him. Hence 'Smoron'.


Editing 'Smoron'

We finished shooting the clips of Smoron in approximately twenty minutes. The left over time was dedicated to the process of editing the footage, which went just fine. Smoron is a silent footage, no voice overs, no dialogues, just a instrumental score playing in the background. In the very end, I converted Smoron in my favorite black and white tones, successfully obtaining a dreamy tone out of it.

And I was quite happy, for I again learnt a lesson.

Lesson learnt: One always improves a bit with every step taken.

:)

The Message : The First Trial Footage Shot

By : Prahaas Oldman
Everything went wrong with the first trial footage that I shot in the month of November last year. The notion of shooting the trial footage was not to make a short film but rather to provide oneself with the basic skills required in film production. This was the sole reason why I didn't waste my scripts on it, and decided to imagine and shoot the dilemma induced end of a person who is too depressed of his life and is therefore bent upon committing the act of suicide.


Screen captures from the trial footage of 'The Message'

I and my friend, who was acting in the footage, met up one morning and started shooting with a Sony Semi-DSLR, creating the story line up as we shot scene after scene, trying to take minimum number of re-takes so that we don't consume much time, thereby finishing the shoot the very same day. And we ended up doing the same too, yet we made a mistake when we stood by the decision of recording my friend's voice for the narrative, some other day.

But as fate serves us - bloody, my friend had to leave the city to go attend his college and I was left with the footage that had yet not been post-processed.

After waiting for quite some time, I couldn't wait for any longer, and decided to provide the voice over myself. After recording the voice over, I put the footage through the process of editing, that, somehow, went quite well. I inserted by voice in the footage and 'ignored a fact'. Proceeding ahead, I converted the final footage in black and white, softening it down, but not up to the desired result.

Yet I finished it.

I published it on You Tube. Got 'booed'.

Most probably because, earlier I 'ignored a fact'.

And that ignored fact was that my voice is so feminine, that in a footage featuring a male protagonist, I had inserted a self-narrative, that seemed of like a woman.

Got a laugh out of the people who saw it.

Lesson learnt: Don't Hurry.

:)

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