Category Archives: Random

‘The Radiance of a Thousand Suns’ (new painting) + Thoughts on LP’s Latest Album

What you are about to read isn’t much of an essay or an album review. It’s simply a painting of mine and a few thoughts…

Change is rarely ever easily accepted. I’m sure you agree. Moving into a new house is hard, and it takes a while to call this new house your home. Switching schools is difficult for any kid. My grandfather still firmly believes that a broom is a more functional cleaning tool than a vacuum cleaner, only because he refuses to adapt to change. Heck, I still have trouble accepting 3-D.

The same can be said for artistic direction. You know, you acquaint a particular art style with a particular artist… and you might love this artist for that style. And then, when the artist decides to experiment a bit, to try out something different… you lose it. You condemn the artist for moving into new waters. You command the artist to return to his original style. You restrict him. Dear reader, when I say ‘you’, I do not necessarily mean you. You know who you are.

Changes in Superhero costumes between films or comics are always scorned upon. When movie directors dare to craft films of genres beyond those expected of them, you hear things like, ‘So-and-so should stick to so-and-so-genre’. If a horror author tries his hand at romance, well, you get the idea.

Katy Perry

Katy Perry. "I refuse to acknowledge some pop stars as artists. They refuse to grow. All their songs are the same, except for their lyrics. Now-a-days, even their lyrics are the same."

I believe an artist must be given room to change. To venture beyond his or her usual domains. Diversity is necessary for any artist. That’s why I refuse to acknowledge some pop stars as artists. They refuse to grow. All their songs are the same, except for their lyrics. Now-a-days, even their lyrics are the same.

Whoever you are, I’m sure you know of Linkin Park. You must know of their new album, ‘A Thousand Suns’. You might even know about how some fans hate their new style, criticizing their new sound, their new subject matter, their departure from their rock, nu-metal sound…

A quick mosey through some online blogs and forums showed me comments like ‘LP’s 1000 suns is diarrhea to my ears!!!’ and ‘R.I.P., LP!’ and ‘I don’t knoe if itz worth w8ing 4 3 more yrs for LPs next album!!!’. And a lot more. Boy.

I wasn’t a fan of LP before ‘A Thousand Suns’, so maybe I have no right to ask fans to accept LP’s new direction. I tried giving ‘Hybrid Theory’ a quick listen… I found it very I’m-a-pissed-off-teen-and-the-world-is-against-me-ish.

a thousand suns

'A Thousand Suns' Cover Art

A Thousand Suns’ inspires me. It creates bold, brilliant images in my head. It brought me to pages on the internet I wouldn’t normally read. It moved me. ‘A Thousand Suns’ isn’t just a collection of songs. It’s wholesome experience.

The album deals with themes of nuclear warfare, war in general, and uses quotes by various political personalities like Mario Savio, Martin Luther King Jr. and even Robert Oppenheimer.

Each song spins a different tale and tells a different story. The album doesn’t aim at dishing out catchy tunes and choruses for repeated radio play… it’s aim is evoking a mood, a sensation, in the listener. Linkin Park explains well in the booklet of the album, “We were not making an album… We asked ourselves: Were we all earnestly willing, more than ever before, to abandon the percepts of commercial ambition in pursuit of what we believe to be honest art?

I know the word of a seventeen year old movie buff isn’t much, but I’ll say they were willing. Or at least that’s what the end product shows.

This, here, is a painting I did, heavily inspired by ‘A Thousand Suns’.

A Thousand Suns Waiting for the end catalyst linkin park

'The Radiance of a Thousand Suns'; Heavily influenced and inspired by Linkin Park's 'A Thousand Suns'

Apart from ‘A Thousand Suns’, I was also inspired by the graphic novel and great film ‘Watchmen’. The towering blue Vishnu/Krishna in my painting reminds one of Watchmen’s Dr. Manhattan. Also, notice the doomsday clock on the hourglass. It might appear to be a ‘Minutes to Midnight reference, but it’s actually a prominent symbol from ‘Watchmen’.

Feel free to comment below, be it on the writing or the art.

Cinematic Jackass, signing off…

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Up in the Sky! It’s a Bird! It’s a Plane! It’s–!

Back then, I could watch Max Fleischer’s Superman cartoons forever and never get bored. Today, the case is almost the same.

Oh, those films have some of the finest animation I’ve ever seen—even by today’s standards, the animation is phenomenal, right from the fluidity of the movements of the characters to the uncanny weight of the objects. The characters and objects had shadows too. Of course, back then, I was too young too care about the quality of the animation. Back then, all I cared for was Superman’s heroics. How astonished I’d get when mild-mannered reporter Clark Kent said, “This looks like a job for Superman.” At that moment, I would smile widely and try to ignore my hair standing on end. Clark Kent gets into a telephone booth—and gee-whiz, Superman comes out!

The same thing would happen in every single episode, but some how, it never got old. It always had that ability to get me excited—every time felt just as exhilarating as the first, just like when Popeye would gulp down his can of Spinach.

Superman never failed to dazzle me as he flew ‘faster than a speeding bullet’ and displayed his amazing strength– ‘more powerful than a locomotive!’. Those cartoons were really something.

Oh, and that music, oh what music! That hair-raising theme music as Superman flies into the air to save Lois Lane from the Mechanical Monsters or the city from the Mad Scientist! The delight I felt! The delight I still feel.

Those animated films made my young childhood years. They were produced in the 1940’s; I savored them in the 1990’s.

Later on, still in my very young years, I discovered the much newer animated Superman films, the ones actually made in the 90’s. This Superman was more stylistically rendered—he was all squares. The show was way more modern, and the story lines more mature and intriguing. But there’s something about old animated shorts that new ones just don’t get. Maybe it’s the magic. The new Superman cartoons didn’t quite capture all of it. And, oddly, the animation of the new cartoons doesn’t even hold a candle to that of the older ones.

All day long, I used to watch these Superman cartoons, never tiring of them. One day, my mother asked me, “Do you want to see a real Superman movie?” She went on to explain that what she was about to introduce to me was a ‘real Superman’, not an animated one.

She pushed the VHS into the player. I held my breath. A few  hours later, I was awestruck. I was spellbound. I believed a man could fly.

‘Superman: The Movie’ was released in 1978. Made on a considerably high budget for its time, it was the first of its kind—no other superhero film had been created on such a large scale. While the traditional superhero TV show would have a few bank robbers and a car chase, ‘Superman: The Movie’ went all the way; helicopter accidents, earthquakes, bridge collapses, dam explosions, nuclear bombs—and not in the noisy style we now acquaint action films with, but in a wonderful style aided by such brilliant skill, I’m not sure what words to use to describe it. Maybe the word I’m looking for is ‘charm’. It’s an old-fashioned film, sure, but that’s what makes it so appealing. It’s such a huge blockbuster, but it’s somehow– innocent.

The origin story of Superman was told with such respect to the comics and the lore. Here was an opportunity for the film to become a victim of self-parody. Instead, it took itself seriously, and yet not too much so. It managed to tell an epic story and add a great deal of wit to the proceedings.

I don’t think most people reading this might realize the significance of ‘Superman: The Movie’… it is to the superhero genre what ‘Snow White’ is to animation. It is literally the film that started the superhero film genre. Without it, there would be no ‘The Dark Knight’, no ‘Batman’, no ‘X-Men’, no ‘Iron Man’.

The special effects were outstanding, no doubt about it. Some green screen effects, wires, and optical printers all worked together almost seamlessly to make our hero fly. The theme music is, like most of John Williams’ themes, extremely memorable. The dialogue and plot is the ideal example of the superhero origin story. The look and feel of the entire film is spot on. All these things strung together like clockwork to bring out a great film.

And yes, Christopher Reeve. Christopher Reeve is Superman. And he is Clark Kent. Just Christopher Reeve. Nobody else. Christopher Reeve is Superman.

May he rest in peace.

So there I was, a little kid, gaping at the TV screen. Wow. I remember holding one of those old photo cameras and taking pictures of the TV with Superman in the frame—I loved Christopher Reeve’s ‘Superman’ that much. And a small part of me believed what I was seeing was true—a man could really fly, and he wore that costume while he was at it. My mother said it was a ‘real Superman’; I took that as, “He really exists.” Or at least I subconsciously wanted to.

But then there was my dad; he made sure he burst my bubble every time. “It’s not real, okay? It’s all a stunt.” Those words hurt me back then. Even today, I wish it was all real. I’d like to think Christopher Reeve could fly around the world in seconds. Reality, of course, is different. He died an early death after being completely paralyzed from head down.

Over time, my parents got me copies of Superman 2, 3 and 4. They tided me over, but not like the first film. Today, maturity has brought with it the realization that the sequels were no where near the original. ‘Superman II’ was decent. ‘Superman III’ was absolute crap.

‘Superman IV: The Quest for Peace’ is quite surely the worst superhero film I’ve ever seen; even worse than ‘Batman & Robin’. It’s saddening to read Reeve’s thoughts on the film. He said that he knew the film wouldn’t live up to expectations with the approach  that was taken. He was contractually obliged to do the sequels, so he simply went with it and tried to give it his best. You know there’s something wrong with the film when the original film made almost a decade ago had better special effects.

One day, when I was still very young, as I switched through channels on the television, I came across another live-action Superman. This one had a different hairdo. He had a darker costume. The logo was much bigger. And yep, Lois Lane was hot.

I’m talking about ‘Lois & Clark’, the TV show. Dean Cain did a pretty good job playing Clark Kent, and Teri Hatcher was Lois Lane. It was then that  I experienced my first celebrity crush. ‘Teri Hatcher’ is quite surely the first female celeb’s name I typed into the Google Image search-bar ever. I was, what, nine, ten-years-old?

Apart from the thrill of watching Lois and Clark get intimate every now and then (keep in mind, that’s about all the intimacy I could get at that young age), Superman saving-the-day-at-the-end was a great deal of fun to watch.

I’m now the proud owner of all four seasons of ‘Lois & Clark’; nice to throw it into the DVD player every once in a while and get nostalgic. I think the show had, while not the best Superman action, the best Lois and Clark chemistry among all the Superman screen adaptations. I’m not just talking about the sex appeal, I’m talking about their interplay– the light flirting between the characters, the fun they had with Lois’s contrasting rudeness to Clark and infatuation over Superman, things like that. Now that I’m older, I realize people didn’t watch the show for Superman: they watched it for Lois and Clark.

In 2006, almost four decades after ‘Superman: The Movie’ was released, Bryan Singer’s ‘Superman Returns’ was playing in theaters the world over. Though its look, music, costumes, special effects, plot, et all were great, the film was let down by soulless, hollow acting. No amount of special effects can make up for the fact that Brandon Routh is no Christopher Reeve. He is no Superman.

And Kate Bosworth isn’t Margot Kidder’s Lois Lane at all. And she isn’t even anywhere as hot as Teri Hatcher. Just sayin’.

After ‘Superman Returns’ didn’t meet the expectations of the big heads at Warner Bros., there have been numerous rumors and stories being thrown around. Mark Millar wanted to do something with Superman. David S. Goyer was attached to a reboot of sorts. Before ‘Superman Returns’, Nicolas Cage was trying hard to get the role (he’s a huge Supe fan– he named his son Kal-El, Superman’s Krypton name!).

At present, Christopher Nolan (need I say this? The director of ‘The Dark Knight’ and ‘Inception’) and his brother Johnathan Nolan are doing early work on a Superman film. While I am happy that one of my favorite directors is giving Superman his chance to fly on the big screen again, I wonder: Christopher Nolan’s films are all plot and no humor or wit. Can I accept a Superman film without the excellent wit of the first film?

Sometime in the past three years, I got over Superman. ‘Batman Begins’ and ‘The Dark Knight’ kept me occupied. ‘Spider-Man’ and ‘Iron Man’ took me over.

And eventually, my whole craze for superhero films in general died down. I kept myself busy with other films. I was no longer in love with the genre.

Recently, I decided to skim through the first Superman film again. For old times’ sake.

I’m in love with it again.

Say what you want to say about Superman being too powerful, too boring, to0 gay. Say he’s no Batman, say he’s not Iron Man. The thing is– he isn’t. He’s Superman, and that’s all he needs to be. And he’s my superhero, right down to the red underwear.

And you know what I’ve realized? Twenty years from now, I might have outgrown ‘The Dark Knight’ and the ‘X-Men’ and ‘Spider-Man’ and what not. But, mark my words, I don’t think it is possible for me to ever outgrow ‘Superman: The Movie’.

How can you outgrow the thing that made your childhood?

(Christopher Reeve was born on September 25th 1952. Six days ago. He died on October 10th, 2004. Nine days from now.)

– Cinematic Jackass, signing off.

http://www.youtube.com/v/arG12Bld6Ag?fs=1&hl=en_US&rel=0

Episode 1 of Max Fleischer’s ‘Superman’

*****

UPDATE : Deadline and Heat Vision are now reporting that Zack Snyder (of Dawn of the Dead, 300, Watchmen, Sucker Punch) has been officially chosen to direct The Man of Steel, with final negotiations currently taking place this week with Legendary Pictures and Warner Bros. David S. Goyer is working on the screenplay.

Is this good news? Some of you may think so. Some of might not. I, for one, am going to wait it out and see what happens. I have mixed feelings about this. I mean, I really really loved ‘Watchmen’. I think it was very underrated. In fact, I think it’s the model for superhero graphic novel adaptations. It got the look right, it was intriguing… I’d go far enough to call it a masterpiece. Yes, I know, you disagree.

Having said that, I don’t know if Snyder is the right choice for an all-good superhero like Superman. I mean, can a man in blue spandex and a red shorts work with Snyder’s trademark style?

*****

Read an alternative version of this article that at Roger Ebert’s Far Flung Correspondents site here!


Memories of My Travels Around the Globe

Our Fridge... clothed with our world-wide-magnet collection

“Oh yes, we’ve been all over the world,” my father booms proudly as my mother places a pile of photo albums on the drawing room table before the guests. My father and mother continue: “We’ve been to Paris, we’ve been to London. China. New York. Australia. Canada. Singapore. Switzerland.” My family and I have been to such a variety of places around the world as my dad, being a business man, gratefully, had the means and need to travel. And so now and then he’d take us along.

The guests smile and nod curtly, occasionally saying things like, “Really? Is it?” or, “Wow, I’d love to go there!” Then, quite rarely, the guest booms back, “Oh, yes! Beautiful place! I’ve been there too!” That’s the cue for my parents to take a rest and listen to the story of the guests’ wonderful holiday at wherever-they’ve-been.

The guests now and then ask my sister and me about our vacations to all these places round the globe. We shyly recount stories of how we saw this show, or touched that animal, or tasted this dish, or walked on that street, or bought this souvenir (mother brings souvenir to guests).

The truth of the matter is… I don’t remember doing any of that. I was a very young boy. And I can’t blame my lack of true memories regarding these travels solely on my youth. I was also a very strange kid… I wouldn’t take in my surroundings as keenly as most kids would. I wouldn’t take in just the essentials either. I would take in the most irrelevant, unimportant things that, at that time, seemed like the most important things in the world.

It is the dream of every young individual to visit Disneyland. What a magical place!; with all its wonderful rides, all its costumed characters prancing around, the glorious castle with its sky high turrets, the truly spectacular parades… just like walking through a dream! One of our holidays was spent in Paris, specifically Disneyland. We stayed there for a fortnight or so. You’d think I remember all of it, but no, I don’t. I’ll tell you what I do remember.

There was balloonist in the lobby of our hotel. He was making the most exquisite balloon animals and passing them around to the children who had surrounded him almost as though they were worshiping him, me included. I was given a yellow-and-black bumblebee! (I paid no heed to what my sister was given, but something tells me it was pink or purple, whatever it was.)

That bumblebee balloon is all I remember from my visit to Disneyland, Paris. I went to the place every child fantasizes about, and I came back with memories of a balloon that tried hard to look like an insect. And at that time, that balloon surpassed everything around it in my eyes when glory and magnificence was concerned. I had eyes only for that stupid balloon; it was the object of my temporary obsession.

It burst on the very first day. I forgot how, but it did. I, being the resourceful kid I was, picked up the deflated bumblebee, with black and yellow stripes on it, and put it on my little finger, like a cute one-finger glove.

Today, if you ask me about Disneyland, Paris, I can tell you how wonderful the whole experience was, how terrific the rides and the parks, but most of what I tell you is sourced from what I’ve seen online, what I’ve been told and, most of all, what I’ve seen in the photographs my parents clicked.

In fact, if you really think about it, most childhood memories are sourced from what you’ve been told and what you’ve seen in the photo albums. Do you honestly remember all that stuff you did? Surely, your memory was aided by photographic aids and the like. At least I hope it was, or else I had some unique psychological defect as a kid.

I remember just three things from my holiday in Switzerland:

1. That bat-mobile toy I bought from I-don’t-know-where (the toy is in a cousin’s house now, but it has no wheels to speak off). Come to think of it, I’m not sure if I bought that great toy from there. Maybe I bought it from Paris. I dunno.

2. I remember reading the green ‘EXIT’ signs and pleading to my parents to take me out of wherever-we-were.

3. I remember walking on glorious, snowy mountains, and touching the clouds (It was then that I discovered you couldn’t stand on clouds. ‘Mary Poppins’ was misleading, damn her!)

All I remember from New York is a Batman VHS my parents didn’t buy me for some reason. And a Superman VHS they did buy me (it’s right here in my room). Oh, also the King Kong poster (or statue?) in the Empire State Building. And the yellow signboard of that Indian restaurant that served Idlis (a great relief for us, Indians, in New York).

All I remember from Australia was the hotel room, which had a kitchen. And the statues in the hotel lobby. And the fat white couple we met… I think, again, I’m not too sure.

All I remember from Canada was the people we stayed with, and even them I remember because we met them again years later. Oh, I also remember a blue water slide. It was huge, dark, and closed. I went on it eight or nine times, pretending to be Bruce Wayne from ‘Batman Forever’, sliding down that big blue slide to his Batcave. Only, my Batcave was a pool of water that was deeper than it should’ve been, and my awesome Batsuit was a swimming trunk.

Sure, I have some other memories of these places, buried somewhere in my head maybe… very faint memories, but nothing substantial at all.

Now, when I’m old enough to remember things, our family doesn’t do much foreign traveling. See the irony of it all?

Oh, wait, I remember something more from Paris! We spent a lot of time with a cute, blond, foreign girl my age, maybe French or Romanian or something! No, actually, I don’t remember that at all; I just saw the girl in one of our many photo albums, standing right next to me in several pictures. Perhaps, at the time, I was so caught up with my balloon and my toy car that I didn’t care to notice her existence or commit it to memory. I wish I could go back in time and tell myself to notice that girl, and maybe gather up the guts to talk to her. Paris might have been more of a memorable experience.

*****

– Cinematic Jackass, signing off 🙂


OMG!! ROTFLMFAO kool dude! Lollllzzz!

Dere wz a point of tym wen i neva stukk to propr grmmar rulz n i chattd lyk dis. Many of my friends were, and still are, used to chatting that way. Of course, now it hurts me to miss a comma. Call me condescending.

Two to three years ago, when I first forayed into the online worlds of MSN, Facebook, and the like, I, like most young teenagers, wanted more than anything to fit in. I remember doing ridiculous things like posing for pictures, with the camera on self-timer, trying to look as ‘cool’ and ‘hip’ as I possibly could, which wasn’t remarkably too much so. I’d then hurriedly upload those pics on Facebook and wait for comments (which I rarely got).

I remember how I used to chat with my friends too.

‘Krishna says: Waazzaaaaa dude!’

The shame. “Waaazzzzaaaaa”. Number of ‘a’s and ‘z’s proportional to the enthusiasm or boredom, whichever was concerned.

I remember this one time I tried to look cool: I typed, “It rocked!” I realized it didn’t sound cool enough. So I changed the “It rocked!” to “It rockeddd!!!” Then, I went and made it “it rockeddd!!!” (Notice the capital ‘I’ is gone.) After backspacing and editing, I ended up with a reasonably cool, “it rokkkddd!!!”.

Like I said, the shame. I wish I had a time machine to go back in time and stop myself from being so incredulously wannabe (Today, I still am, but at least not regarding internet lingo.)

Apart from the misspellings, there was the ‘LOL – OMG’ thing. And ROTFL later. LMAO. ROTFLMAO. Sigh. I would be lying if I said I didn’t use ‘LOL’. I still do. But I feel this odd sort of guilt after using it… I mean, think about it: How many of you are actually laughing out loud when you say ‘LOL’? I feel ‘LOL’ is being abused. Everyone says it for everything. It used to be a substitute for laughter, but now it’s just a meaningless triad of letters. ‘LOL’ could mean, “Haha! That joke was funny!”. It could also mean, “I’m not really listening to you, but you don’t know that do you? Haha.” I’ve always felt using these chat-speak short forms reduces the clarity of your communication. But they’re big time-savers. Maybe I should start using them to save as much time as possible so I have more to waste.

While I’ve been able to erase all traces of those things I used to do (Yes, I’ve even gone and deleted all those Facebook pictures), there’s still one skeleton in the closet, or rather hanging around my neck. My e-mail id, made in the good old wannabe days, goes, ‘krishna_niceguy@…’. See that? ‘Niceguy’. No, that wasn’t a reference to ‘No more Mr. Nice Guy’ or anything like that. I made my id that way just so people would think I was a plain, nice guy. Maybe my brain was still in its early stages. Maybe it still is.

I haven’t changed my e-mail id since, always felt it too much of trouble to do so. My friends and I have hearty laughs every time we see those glaring words ‘niceguy’ placed in my e-mail id. Their e-mail ids were laugh-out-loud hilarious too, but they’ve all taken the pains to change theirs. I remember one ‘gangsta’ and one ‘cooldude’ and one ‘rockzz’ and one God-knows-what-else.

I’ve seen the effect of the internet language of short forms and misspellings influence people’s daily lives. For example: students writing ‘tym’ instead of ‘time’ in English exams and such other things. I’m glad I quit it. I don’t know why I stopped writing that way. I guess it was my all-too-early exposure to the great writing of Roger Ebert, or maybe my all-too-late stumbling upon classics of children’s literature. (I was eight when I discovered it was ‘Enid Bylton’ and not ‘Gnid Blwton’ like I thought it was from her signature on her books)

Whenever I look at what I’ve recently written, I am consumed by a pompous sense of pride; like I’ve climbed some kind of personal ladder by trying my best to adhere to rules of grammar and punctuation. Sure, at times, I appear condescending or patronizing, saying, “Oh well, nothing much, really,” when my friends ask me, “Waaaaazzzzzzaaaa duddeeee!??” But so what? Hu carez kool dude? Lollz.

(Note to reader: I am truly sorry if I’ve offended anyone out there who chats in da kool internet way. Srryy dudes. No offense, k? Tc. Hf. Ttyl. 🙂 )

Cynimatik jkass syning off! 😀 Cinematic Jackass, signing off! 😀

***

omg = oh my god
lol = laugh out loud
wtf = what the funk, fish, fudge… nah, kidding, you know. 🙂
wth = what the hell
rofl = rolling on floor laughing
lmao = laughing my ass off
ttyl = talk to you later
imho = in my humble opinion
idk = i don’t know
idc = i don’t care
idr = i don’t remember
jk = just kidding
r = are
u = you
…and so on


On ‘STEAMBOAT WILLIE’ (1928)

I wish I were alive back in the 40’s. I could have seen Disney’s wonderful ‘Pinocchio’ on the big screen. But unfortunately, having been born only a decade-and-a-half ago, I have to make do with a VHS I bought in Singapore.

‘Pinocchio’ is a masterpiece. It’s excellently animated, it has such beautiful, memorable imagery and characters, its songs are absolute classics… and the story, that marvelous story of a puppet’s journey to become a real boy, is just so very engaging. And, it was something we could relate to. Let’s face it; at some point in our lives, we all wanted to attain the impossible. Only, in ‘Pinocchio’, it wasn’t impossible, thanks to the Blue Fairy.

Like ‘Pinocchio’, Disney’s older animated classics like ‘Snow White and the Seven Dwarves’, ‘Dumbo’ and ‘Cinderella’ were triumphs of both technical skill and storytelling magic. The animation in those films is, even by today’s standards, just amazing. And the story telling magic… even better than today’s. Who’s hair didn’t stand on end when Snow White bit that red apple? Who didn’t lean forward anxiously as the clock struck twelve as Cinderella lost her glass slipper?

Disney and his magician were pioneers in this glorious field of animation. They boldly did what hadn’t been done yet.

All this lead to infinitely so much more. Decades later, we had the wonderful ‘The Little Mermaid’, ‘Beauty and the Beast’, ‘The Lion King’… the list of classics goes on. While most of you might have seen the films I’ve mentioned above, how many of you have seen the one that started it all? I’m not talking about ‘Snow White,’ I’m talking about what introduced the world to Disney’s creation, one of the world’s most popular icons… Mickey Mouse.

Mickey Mouse was what got Disney into the big leagues. No wonder that little mouse was chosen to be Disney’s mascot. And as a result, he’s one of the most recognizable figures in the world. The gloved hands. The round ears. The black button eyes. The red pants.

This icon’s birthday is November 28, 1928, the release date of ‘Steamboat Willie,’ an animated Mickey short. It’s Mickey Mouse’s third animated short, and is cited as the first animated film with a synchronized soundtrack. Wondering why his birthday is celebrated on the release date of his third animated short and not his first? Apparently, ‘Willie’ was the first short to find a distributor, and so it’s considered Mickey’s debut.

‘Steamboat Willie’ is my personal favorite animated short of all time. If you see it now, you might not admire it like I do. I love it for so many reasons: it’s funny, it’s cute, it’s also very wild (Mickey grabs a cat by the tail and spins it around!), there’s just something wonderful about it. But the main reason I love it: It’s the one that started it all. The one that started the magic.

This post was just to share with you this little gem of a film 🙂

– Cinematic Jack*** (c’mon, this is an article about Disney), signing off 🙂


INCEPTION! – The 50’s Version Trailer

Anyone who knows me would know of my open affair with films and movies. And as much as I love watching them, I love making them! I, every now and then, try my hand at editing, coming up with fan trailers and stuff, the same stuff you see on YouTube everyday. All though I’ve sharply reduced my YouTube uploading, I just uploaded my own fan-made trailer for Christopher Nolan’s latest film, ‘INCEPTION’, modeled after the trailers of Alfred Hitchcock’s films from the 1940’s and 50’s.

The audio is picked from the trailers of ‘Rear Window’, ‘Spellbound’ and ‘Vertigo’. The words are my own, but those are just like what they normally cover the entire screen with. Music from those three trailers too.

It’s so fascinating to see how movie trailers have evolved over the years. See this video and see the real trailer; you can see how things have changed over half a decade!

__

If you enjoyed that, you can also see my other trailer mash-up, ‘The Bloody Clown’ (a trailer of a film pitting the spy James Bond against the criminal mastermind the Joker)…

– Cinematic Jackass, signing off 😀


The Past Two Months in FB Status Updates…

I’m not a Twit. Or a Tweeter. Or whatever a Twitter person’s called. I’m not sure. I’m not much of a blogger either. I’m new to the whole online community thing. Of course, like most people, I’m no stranger to the addictive world of Facebook, and a two hobbies of mine are writing status updates and uploading trippy, fresh profile pictures.

Having no idea as to what to blog about today, I thought it’d be fun to go through the past two months (July, August, 2009) of my life in FB status updates. Of course, this isn’t all of them. Also, they’re slightly edited to make them less personal and to weed out all the friend tags. Have fun reading!

(These flow backward chronologically, from August 31st to July 1st)

Today, I discovered that owls are beautiful creatures. And I watched, with endless fascination, as children carried on with their innocent lives. These are the events that today brought in, among many other rather pathetic ones. But despite all those sickening events, remembering that owls are beautiful and that children and charmingly innocent makes me smile and forget my worries. 🙂

And now I will descend into sleep. And dream of something, anything. In dreams, I find solace- for even if the dream is a terrible nightmare, it eventually has no consequence; I wish life was so.

I’m back in Sharjah. And you know what? Never have I felt worse about leaving Bangalore. I felt a sick kicking in my stomach as I drove from the airport back to my building… as we drove by the sandy emptiness with perfect building block structures filling up the view. I’ve never felt this way before. I want to go back to Bangalore. Dammit, I feel like I’m being digested here.

Krishna Shenoi wants 12th Grade, complete with tuitions, tests, and board exams, to just go by quietly and make way for the beginning of real life.

Krishna Shenoi is getting sick of living, breathing, eating, sleeping… and yet essentially doing absolutely nothing.

A very wise man once said, “Education is not the filling of a pail, but the lighting of a fire.” The pioneers of the Indian education system, very wise men for sure, took the saying so literally that they found the need to burn all their students’ thinking skills by stripping down valuable knowledge to blocks of text to be subject to rote learning and cramming. Sigh.

Asianet’s ‘Idea Star Singer’ is the very antithesis of quality TV shows. The judges are most self indulgent, self obsessed and verbose in their judgment (or rather dismissal) of the poor contestants. The show drags on for a miserable hour and a half every day, filled by mind numbing stretches of time in which I can literally feel the pedantic judges pompously excreting on my unguarded brain.

Today was yet another eventful day! 1. Went bowling, 2. Got three strikes and even more gutter balls, 3. Enjoyed Air Hockey, 4. Got wet, amidst the raining skies of Bangalore!, 5. Went on an Auto ride for the first time since the surgery… and no. 6, potentially the most spectacular event… I’m going to eat a whole medium pizza today, and you sure as hell can’t stop me!

Having had deeply enjoyed ‘WAKING LIFE’, I wanted to check out Richard Linklater’s other films. I went ahead and saw ‘BEFORE SUNRISE’ and its better sequel, ‘BEFORE SUNSET’. Engaging, different and fascinating, these two films simply follow an American man and a French woman as they talk about astonishingly varied topics. I cannot even describe how engrossing their talks were, and how true the romance. GREAT MOVIES.

My Dad :: “Where is this Miss Universe 2010 thing being held?” / My clever sister :: “Las Vegas, Malaysia.”

Today was eventful. 1. Went to an Indian wedding, 2. Decided not to go through with such an ordeal myself, 3. Saw an auto-rickshaw with the words ‘Love is Danger’ on its back, 4. Wondered what that was all about, 5. Met the most well-read man I will ever meet, 6. Played badminton, despite my ass problem, 7. Wrote the most random status update ever.

Two recent developments in my life: (1) I’m gonna take up architecture. (2) My poor bum in undergoing a surgery tomorrow…

I’m so bored. I’m so bored I’m bored of being bored. In fact, I’m bored of being bored of being bored.

Krishna Shenoi watched ‘INCEPTION’ for the third time today, this time in Bangalore. And you know what? I realize it’s an even greater film than I thought it to be in the first place. The film’s an extraordinary one, and that’s an adjective I use very selectively. I urge those who liked the movie the first time to go and enjoy it again… you’ll gain so many insights and find out so many possibilities for new interpretation.

“I reached my hand out into the dark to grab what I wanted from life. But in the time my hand was stretched out, just as I got close to holding onto my dream, I retracted my hand, scared and bloody, contributions of the resistance who tried to draw me toward another dream, but one not mine.” – Kris Naschnoy (that reads Krishna Shenoi)

After properly analyzing both South Indian and North Indian award shows on TV, I’ve come to this conclusion:: North Indians make way too much fun of South Indians on these shows. What’s worse… South Indians make way too much fun of themselves.

Two things I’ve realized about the common Mallu:

A. If he doesn’t know you by name, he/she will address you as, “Hullo!”

B. If he wants to know you by name, he/she will say, “What is your ‘good’ name?”

Krishna Shenoi is pretty close to heaven… yes, I’m in God’s Own Country. I’m looking for God, but I’m finding mosquitoes.

Krishna Shenoi had a great great day after oh so long a time, a day with big scary ants, termite carrying, shop-floor sitting, sweaty walking, pizza eating, places with sunlight and air-conditioning and just pure awesomeness. ♥ . Come to think of it, the day might have been greater with a little less ‘Salt’. (a reference to the movie)

If the writer of the ‘The Da Vinci Code’ film wrote ‘Transformers’ :: “It’s gonna transform into a figure of convoluted explosive fragments of metallic shrapnel that pees and speaks through a radio! It all started some time in 1864, when a…”

For the past seven months or so, ‘AVATAR’ has been pretending to be the most stunning sci-fi fantasy of our generation. Now, the real one has come along. ‘INCEPTION’.

For those of you who thought ‘INCEPTION’ was ingenious: Watch ‘ETERNAL SUNSHINE OF THE SPOTLESS MIND’. It’s a devilishly clever romantic sci-fi fantasy with a brilliant concept involving the erasing of memories. It too demands an attentive audience, with its layers over layers of memories and subplots. It’s probably as fascinating as ‘INCEPTION’, if not a truer insight into the workings of the human mind.

Is it possible for a man to direct a film as groundbreaking as ‘The Dark Knight’ and then come up with something just as brilliant after that? Christopher Nolan accomplishes that feat. “INCEPTION” is one of the best sci-fi films I have ever seen. It’s a technical masterpiece, with its brilliant special effects and visuals, and a masterwork of editing and concept.

“STEAMBOAT WILLIE” (1928) is currently my favorite animated film!

Okay guys, kick me in the nuts. Hammer me on Facebook. Ask me why over and over… okay, here goes. I think “IRON MAN 2” is on the same low tier as “Spider-Man 3” in my books. It has all the symptoms of Sequelitis. So kill me.

The “Twilight” books and movies are the best sources of entertainment and enlightenment ever to have graced this planet. There, Twi-hards, happy now? Wow, I’ll probably go to hell for lying to such an extent.

“The Twilight Saga : Eclipse” is, or so the trailers claim, the motion picture phenomenon we’ve been waiting for! Sure, and I’m the winner of this year’s Miss Universe pageant.

Why, oh why is the world so intent on shoving Waka Waka into my ears and down my throat!? Playing on the radio, blaring on the TV, repetitively being yelled out everywhere, really ruining the whole thing… and further ruined by my sister’s bathroom singing. Sigh.

Krishna Shenoi should be sad, and for a quite a few reasons, but he’s happy instead, and that has to do with the fact that he’s started painting for pleasure again, that he has decided to try and take a stand, and that he knows a few friends will always be there for him. Having just re-read his weird status, he smiles. He knows it’s true.

I accept that’s how the world works, but I don’t agree with it.

That’s all for now, folks!

And once again, Cinematic Jackass signs off!