5 Tips for a Movie Buff

On October 5, 2010, in Movies, by pkmahanand

Like numerous hobbies out there, movie fandom is no less. If you can’t let a movie go after you watch it and wonder what awards were given to the film, its budget, what people were starring in it, at what age the actors played in the movie, when they were born, in what other films they participated, then you are a movie enthusiast and you have the potential to be a serious movie-goer. By working up a little bit on your habits, you can also be a “Walking Encyclopedia” of movies. I am not saying I am a movie expert and I already have enough tips for newbies who want to be called as movie fans. But I love movies like anything and I just want to share some tips that I have acquired in last few days. I hope this can help you.

Tip #1:
How To Choose A Movie: As you are already in the path of a delightful hobby, you have to keep track of time. There are several movies which are not worth your memory and they are supposed to be avoided. Remember, you are not any critic who is being paid to watch movie. So save your time for the good memorable ones.

For every form of art there are two categories. MASS and CLASS.

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Movies With Different Tastes

On August 11, 2010, in Movies, by pkmahanand

Movies are the kind of entertainment which we can enjoy alone or in a group. When I say “in a group” I should say “like minded group” instead. Like a brief discussion after a cricket match, a discussion after watching a movie also reduces the queries. When you are a moviegoer, you always want a place to discuss. It can be anyone but sadly movie goers always are isolated. A majority of the population thinks that movies are for entertainment and it has nothing to do with art. The art of story telling, or choreography or any other factor is overlooked by general audience.

Any movie with a different theme is regarded as an outclassed one. Only a few people who can think say it’s a creative one. I have heard many people saying this movie is bad that movie is good. How can that be justifiable? As Wilde said “there is no book as bad or good, they are either well written or badly written”. I say it exactly goes with movies too.
“There is no good movie or bad movie. Either it’s well made or poorly made.”

Months before I saw Stanley Kubrik’s Lolita. Most of my friends including me don’t have enough time and interest in books so we prefer movies adapted from books or classic literature. Lolita is also an adaptation one from Vladimir Nabokov’s book of same name. Most of my friends said they disliked the concept. Why???? Coz they couldn’t accept an older man seducing a far younger teenager girl. They thought it’s like pedophile. I am sure these kinds of people cause controversies when something with a different taste comes to the market. I don’t understand why they convict Prof Humbert of pedophile while they applause for Leon and Matilda’s relation.

It depends on the person’s sense of acceptance during the period of watching. Otherwise the same person liking Leon: The Professional can’t dislike movie like Lolita.

Film makers tell us a story. What matters is the way they tell us. Story and plot can be anything. If we consider Quentin Tarantino’s movies he never emphasizes his stories but characters and situations. The amount of tension went high when I showed some of my friends (not the same) Chan-wook Park’s Old Boy. Everyone asked me how a movie like this can have such a cult status and a place in the IMDb top list? I say what is wrong in that movie? Old Boy is one of the best movies made in history in my opinion. The plot contains materials of incest between Brother-sister and father-daughter. I know that’s is bad thing but the way Park told the story is brilliant. The actor’s portrayals of characters are unbeatable.

Just because we didn’t like a plot, it doesn’t give enough causes to hate that entire movie. We know that drug dealing and ruthless killing is also bad. Then why do we remember Tony Montana every time we talk about mafia movies????

People say movies are the face and voice of society. I strongly condemn it. LITERATURE is voice of society, not movie. The concept of changing society through cinema is a big failure. I have talked with numerous people whether they get any message from movies and the very common answer I got is “movies are supposed to entertain people. Who cares about the message” or “It happens in movies only”. Believing in miracles is a dream in real life. Since more than 50 years cinemas are giving message on Love. But what is the status of a loved couple in our society? Hated and outclassed? It surely indicates that message through movies don’t work.

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Bollywood and Its Way of Storytelling

On April 14, 2010, in Movies, by pkmahanand

When it comes to Hindi/Bollywood/Desi movies, what is the first thing that comes to mind? The answer is music, dance and entertainment. But is that what movie is all about or is that the true meaning of a movie?

NO.

A film is a way of storytelling. Many people still don’t know and can’t accept this. But it’s the whole truth and nothing but the truth. I am not defining this for them who visit theatre to relax in the weekend or hang out with near/dear/impressed ones on the special occasions. This definition is for the moviegoers who watch a movie to get involved with a story.

I don’t say that Hindi movies don’t represent storytelling, they do actually. But the real movies are very few. The major cliché we can find here is the genre. After watching a regular desi movie it’s hard to say what the genre of it is. If we take the movies of 70’s and 80’s commercial ones, they contained everything starting from drama, romance to fight and comedy. May be during that time it was hard to sell a movie without all the masala elements. The movies of 90’s were also like that but in quality very poor compared to that of 80’s. But if we go back to pre-70’s we can find very artistic yet genre oriented movies. Watch any of V. Santaram, Satyajit Ray and Shakti Samant’s movies and you can feel it. Looks like the quality of storytelling went down because in 90’s especially the later 90’s most bollywood flicks were rip-offs, lifted or openly inspired from other regional or international movies. It gives a funny idea about the graph: in 50’s and 60’s the filmmakers tried to make/show a film. During 70’s they noticeably earned from it so the masala films started in late 70’s and it continued. In late 80’s the Indian population exceeded 90 crores and some filmmakers with business instinct thought of making films for money only. Storytelling died. And that’s why all the bollywood classics are from 60’s and 70’s. Its noticeable that in 50’s and 60’s films the directors produced the movies themselves. After that studios hiring directors started.

The only one I saw held its genre consistently was YashRaj Banner, the ROMANCE genre. And till date they are showing the same thing and selling well also. But the problem with them is after 1995 (the DDLJ era) viewers are unable to distinguish between their products. The way of showing love and affection remained same in all their following projects and seemed like their only target viewers are college kids and teens. Now every romantic film comes from them (including other banners too) are either rip-offs or inspired ones. May be the technology and internet made the world smaller than before so that people are getting a seen-this-somewhere-before feel .

Quentin Tarantino once told, “I don’t make film for the America, I make it for the earth.” Walt Disney said, “I don’t make movies to make money, I make money to make more movies”. Both meant it. Does this feel come from bollywood? How many desi filmmakers can claim they make films for the earth/world? Are they not supposed to make? Yes or no you say it. There are a large number of people who prefer world movies just because there isn’t enough quality movies in bollywood. And the more sad thing is as all movies are not available they depend on piracy.

After 2000 the filmmaking in bollywood looks different. I can’t say what changed but looks like something changed. They added technology, visual effects, CGI, cinematography, bolder and versatile actors etc. they even kept a genre instead of showing all-in-one flicks. But these are not the essential elements. They can accelerate impression but can’t guarantee to give the true presentation. Directors like Vishal Bhardwaj, Anurag Kashyap came out and started their own innovative ways of commercial filmmaking and it worked also. It looks like there is going to be a time in bollywood very soon that people will get quality movies.

There are other factors which need developed in bollywood. The major things are: Story, screenplay, character and dialogue development and use of appropriate soundtrack. May be we need another discussion for them. After all I want to say, repeated quality checking of the unfinished project and being true to the art of storytelling is the only way to produce a FLAWLESS movie.

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