Thursday, June 05, 2008

illness movie and book festival

an inventory of the last few days of illness in movies and books. the movies first; ‘do bigha zameen’, bimal roy’s lovely, though relentlessly sad, story of a farmer losing his land and being forced to become a rickshaw driver in calcutta; mission impossible 3, which i finally finished watching is darker than the other two, but not much better; ‘american dreamz’ which can be enjoyed if you are in touch with the blatant audience seducing tricks of an american idol styled tv show including the ‘character’ ethnic stereotype to be laughed at, the all american cheerleader, the ‘rocker’ and the boy next door. the political commentary on the iraq war and the president is an added bonus. obsession with stardom is also the theme of the even nastier black comedy ‘superstar’ with a bespectacled fat girl attempts to become rich and famous in the school by imitating the characters in films she rewinds for a living. it leaves you with a bad taste in your mouth. ‘no country for old men’- the book- was unputdownable and thrilling as hell. could have done without the digressions into the sherrif’s psychoanalysis though- but i guess that was what took it above being another potboiler- have to see the film now. ‘the producers’ was the movie version of a broadway play about putting up a flop broadway show called ‘hitler in the springtime’. nonsense it was with gay jokes, fat jokes, jew jokes and a lot of german jokes- and was quite funny. ‘a league of extraordinary gentlemen’ was, even for me- a compulsive superhero freak, awful. naseeruddin shah makes a fool of himself in a beard and a ship with a shivling as the watchtower. there is something about dorian gray and vampires too and sean connry training tom sawyer. whatever.. cross cultural post colonial mish mash is witty and fabulous in zadie smith’s ‘white teeth’ in which boring englishman marries jamaican toothless hottie and is best friends with ex-war buddy bangladeshi waiter somewhere in london. mixed up immigration and miscegenation stories about the mixed up blood and genes- for better or worse that the past three decades have thrown up in western cities. funny and philosophical. also reading some short stories by pushkin- only because i thought i should. and i forgot the short ‘rewind’ that played before ‘be kind rewind’ which was terribly amateurish and wannabe tarantino. whats with all the americanisms in the voiceover? who talks like that for gods sake?

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