Sunday, June 19, 2005

anant raje, first rain, batman begins

mr anant raje, one of the heroes of post independence architecture, who was in town for the kamla raheja gold medal spoke to the students yesterday of the joy of material, structure and light, the stinginess of brick and the generosity of concrete, the inherent desire of materials and his work including the fabulous indian institute of forest management in bhopal. i remember going to that building with eli, shibani, durriya, amisha, alpa when i was in college. its one of the few buildings that makes me set aside my discomfort with the claustrophobia that i feel with an overly determinate regionalism- but more on that later. another post, perhaps. he spoke reminiscing of times gone by, of idealism lost and of the union between body and soul through architecture and his guru- louis kahn.

and then were the first rains and the fourth year students after i , perhaps too harshly, had accused them of being the target audience of ekta kapoor serials for bunking the jury yesterday, played children’s games on the lawns.

‘batman begins’ was quite an event in the evening. minal, pratibha, anup, ranjit, meghana, ateya, ninad, aditya, sachin, saurabh, mukul and me at fun republic. extremely grave batman film- very unlike the dark humour of the tim burton films or the campy kitsch of the schumacher films. christian bale makes a very serious bruce wayne and his batman is far more committed. somehow burtons version with his nasty sense of humour and his mixed up value system is set aside in favour of a far more sincere hero. i’d rather not talk about either kilmer of clooney as batman- they sucked.

i was expecting ranjit to protest against the new version of the same storyline.. imagine- ra’s al ghul as the batmans guru! but he did not seem to mind – and that is saying something considering ranjits’ insistence that there is a purity in certain popular myths that should not be tampered with- or it is blasphemy! but isn’t that the great thing about popular art/ culture... that irreverent inventiveness that is able to source material and forms from anywhere for its own benefit. if pop decides to have a rule book of right and wrong, don’t you think it will completely destroy itself?

ps - the love interest was for me the worst part of the film. advice to christopher nolan- get someone else for the sequel.

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