Tuesday, June 27, 2006

Movie time!

Going back home is always the time for me to lie back and enjoy some movies. Unfortunately, Indian movie channels can be incredibly unreliable, which is why I saw Spy Kids 2 (kiddish, but fun!) and French Kiss (even Kevin Kline couldn't save it, but hey: I watched it for "Les Yeux Ouvrets", and I wasn't disappointed there, although I had to wait until the end of the movie for it).

I finally managed to find Red Sorghum, one of the most stylish and mind-grabbing books I've ever read. Sadly, it highlights one of the limitations cinema isn't going to be breaking any time soon: you can see and hear a man's trachea being crushed – crunch! – by a boot, but you aren't going to feel it — heck, I'd probably close my eyes. But with Red Sorghum, you can feel it. Because it's up to you to imagine it, you imagine it a whole lot more vividly than you do up on the silver screen: blood, brain, sweat, fields, rain, wine, sorghum. That the writer is (imho) friggin' brilliant helps, too. That's the kind of emotional depth I think movies are never quite going to reach. On the other hand, it's something else to see something beautiful and powerful, but really uncomplicated - an avalanche, for instance - with Beethoven's great Nineth Symphony playing along; the sheer emotional force of something like that can be incredible, too. Can't think of a single Great movie with that kind of force, but maybe that's just because I'm incredibly sleepy.

I frequently claim that simply being born in Bombay is enough to grant you the right to considering yourself a movie buff. This is what I mean.

Enough time wasting. Here's hoping I get to watch some really good movies before I get back to Singapore.

Bonus link: videos made by kids in America as part of Boost, a programme to encourage children to finish high school and not drop out.

Thursday, May 11, 2006

Why I'm here

Well, I like stories, which is I suppose as good a qualification for this team as any other. I think movies are a great way of telling stories, or even just stepping aside from the whole telling-stories thing and jumping straight into “telling emotions” - you know, that feeling you get when you see a brachiosaur looming high over you (and Richard Attenborough, Sam Neill, Laura Dern, Jeff Goldblum, and fifty-odd anonymous people sharing the cinema hall with you), or the feeling of absolute failure when you see Annette Bening crumble into tears in American Beauty.

Apart from this, like a lot of other people, I'm curious as to how the web is going to change movie making, and the possibilities it opens up to people like my friends (who are the real ones behind this project), who would like to make movies. Imagine: between a video camera, iMovie, Google Videos (or YouTube), and Blogger, anybody can create movies.

There will always be separation between Big Studio and the little guys, but the competition between the little guys is rapidly going to heat up, and I definitely intend to be a part of it.

So That's the Kinda Fight it's Gonna Be

Want to make an entry into the movie world? Well, this is how you do it:

Make movies.

Except, and this might come as a surprise... you won't get an Oscar for your first short. The trick of the trade, they say, is that if you want to make a 300-million dollar movie, make a 30-million dollar movie first. If you can't afford it, make a 3-million dollar movie. If you can't afford that, yeah. Basically, you start from wherever you have to, and get wherever you want to go.

I don't need 300 million dollars. All I wanted was a few minor epics. 30 million dollars on a South-East Asian backlot will get you real far. Especially if you choose to film in Indonesia. But that's a long story. Minor epics, though. That's not too much to ask, is it? The world has stories to tell. But nobody to tell them.

So here begins our journey. With Tiny, Grainy Movies. It's as good as a 2-megapixel camera on a Nokia phone, edited on iMovies.

Let's see what kind of crap we can think of.

PS: The title of this blogpost? It's from Snatch.