Booming Wheels Of Creative Indian Cinema

In a precise conception of reality constructs, Cinema as an art has always been perceived as the most poignant medium to instill peculiar thoughts in the human mind and shape the ideologies in its desired form. Ever since Indian cinema commenced with the surreal outputs of real life incidents that appeared for public release with the emergence of ‘ Dadasaheb Phalke’s ‘silent feature films like ‘Raja Harishchandra’, ‘Lanka Dahan’ and ‘Krishna Janma’, it has been a subject of gradual headway of diverse varieties of themes incorporated.

Observing the current scenario of the Bollywood industry, there is a sudden upsurge in thematic films that are based primarily on non fictional concepts either through portrayal of a real life case, life story of a personality or through depiction of social realities prevalent in the country. Prominently persisting in the parallel Indian cinema started by filmmakers like Satyajit Ray, Mrinal Sen and Bimal Roy, mainstream film industry now has a large market share of the message-driven, realistic films with minimal songs or romanticism involved. Instances can be traced with the current release of films like ‘Neerja’, ‘Mary Com’, ‘Talvar’, ‘No One Killed Jessica’, ‘Masaan’, ‘Aligarh’, ‘Airlift’, ‘Wazir’, etc. The interesting fact is that these types of movies have formed a new style of filmmaking and has added the spice of creativity and aesthetics to the recipe of cinema art. Not only do the themes of terrorism, corruption, struggle stories of unsung heroes, social evils, realistic societal trends, fascinate the filmmakers but are also now a major demand of the young and prudent cinema audience as opposed to romantic comedies engaged with illusionary love stories and happy endings. This phase can be tagged as resurgence of reality in Bollywood films.

There is always an ongoing debate with regard to significance of the mentioned themes of social realism displayed in the movies. What often becomes the cause of question is that whether realistically based Bollywood films can evince the malign pictures of the country or rather contributes in expanding awareness of the social realities in order to help eradicating them.

The latest controversy with respect to the crime thriller film ‘Udta Punjab’ has dealt with the same problem of relevance inducing debates for and against the decision of Central Board Of Film Certification(CBFC) about 89 cuts prior to its release. Though Bombay High Court verdict has finalized its release with a single cut, it has still kept such genre of movies under a big question mark for public display in the discourse of numerous discordant opinions. The perplexing problem is that the entertainment industry is imputed as a detriment to the existing positions of the power structures and greatly influences the social and economic conditions. Nobody apprehend a film as merely a film but as a strong representative imagery of the society within which it is made. There is still a myriad of questions raised after every such movie is made, that are left unanswered or consistently occur as a topic debated across plenty news channels and news media outlets.

Why do every message driven or realistic movie, generate a tumult engaging every individual and community? Why are such movies that are extremely significant at the forefront, becoming an agenda of political debates? Why can’t these movies be considered as creative art forms that can shape the societal norms positively? Everyone just ponder upon and observe on and on, with no solution to prevent such situations in future. It is necessary to understand that the film industry needs to be a holistic sphere of various relevant social issues and foster as per the developmental requirements of the country.

Prominently persisting in Parallel cinema started by Satyajit Ray, Mrinal Sen and Bimal Roy in India, mainstream film industry now has a large market share of message-driven, realistic films with minimal songs and romanticism involved.

What’s Next For Superman On Screen?

The DC Extended Universe (DCEU) is alive and thriving with the third installment of their universe coming this August, in the form of Suicide Squad. Currently, the Justice League cast are on the set cutting scenes and preparing for the long shoot they have ahead of them. With Justice League already filming it got me wondering, what is the next step in the Superman arc that is currently playing out in the DCEU?

There are some of you that believe Director Zack Snyder does not know how to portray Superman and is failing badly on that score.

Think about this.

The current Superman in the DCEU is already two movies deep into his own story and will complete the arc in the Justice League movies. You may be asking, what is that story arc?

The path that Superman is on right now is broken into three parts; the birth of Superman, the death of Superman, and the resurrection of Superman. Each one of these parts are placed within each of the movies in the DCEU so far and are being used to develop Superman into the true hero that has the world looking to him.

In Man of Steel, we as an audience, got to experience the “Birth of Superman”. In this movie we got to watch as Clark Kent found himself and became the most iconic superhero in pop-culture. However, we got to see a character that didn’t know exactly what was expected of him in every situation, who allowed emotion to take hold and believed focusing on the enemy was the best solution to try and save everyone else. Clark Kent learned he must be something bigger and decided to begin his career as Superman.

In Batman v. Superman: Dawn of Justice, fans got to experience the “Death of Superman”. In this edition to the Superman story arc we get to see Superman begin to struggle with a world that is struggling to accept an alien as a their hero. Throughout the movie you see the world, and Superman himself, struggle with the thought of what he should be.

The second part of this story is for Superman to deal with things going wrong for him. The world is 50/50 on him. There’s a villain dedicated to destroying his image and a hero convinced that he cannot be trusted and must be eliminated to keep the world safe. We even see an amazing moment when he himself gives up and sees himself as a failure. This is the most vulnerable moment for Superman as he begins to believe that the ideal he has been fighting for is a lie. Finally we begin to see Superman understand that he can not be perfect and that by saving someone you can be letting someone down and that he has to try his best but can not expect everything to go perfectly. His ascension into the hero we have all been waiting for occurred in the Doomsday fight. He did everything correctly; bringing Doomsday into space in an attempt to keep him from hurting anyone else. We also see Superman fight to the bitter end even sharing an amazing moment where he admits that “This is my world” and he is willing to do anything to save it. In this moment he becomes the Superman from the comics and animated shows because he sacrifices himself to keep everyone he loves and the world he loves safe. In a way his death is the catalyst that turns the world from being 50/50 on whether Superman is their hero to fully believing in him as their hero. The one quote that seems to be overlooked is a very powerful one in my eyes. “If you seek his monument, look around you” this quote is a powerful one because it shows the world have come together to mourn this hero.

Movies – The Art of Visual Storytelling

When The Jungle Book movie released a few months ago, The Guardian in its review wrote that ‘hyper real digital animation meets old-fashioned storytelling’.

Many wondered what the point was in remaking an old Walt Disney classic from the mid 1960s which was undoubtedly a brilliant musical masterpiece. Rudyard Kipling’s tale about a jungle boy growing up in the jungles of India was simply fascinating enough in the book version and the original animated version lived up to expectations. So the question was raised simply because the modern version of 2016 left the old fashioned animation and the songs behind and embraced live-action computer graphical interfaces to tell the story better. And the results have been mind-blowing seeing how well the movie has been received world over. In the context of the battle that mankind is facing over environmental issues and the constant debate over human-animal coexistence, the movie although based on times gone by, has equal relevance to present contexts.

Many of us have watched movies based on best-selling books and novels or on real-life incidents and have never failed to be touched on an emotional level about the effects of visual story telling.

Visual Storytelling is the art of telling a story or plot or conveying a message through images. People are wired different to receive stories which they hear and hence, the visual impact of a story is manifold. The human brain instinctively puts the images together to make better sense of what is seen. One of the supreme formats of storytelling is the visual medium or ‘video’ as we call it. To ensure that a story or message is retained in the audience’s mind, the visual medium is the perfect one. However, on the flip side, the wrong visuals can end up contradicting the story when words or dialogues, lighting, music or props send wrong messages that create the wrong images in the mind.

Philosophising – The Value of Humanity

I watched a movie over the weekend that was a really great philosophical, soul-searcher. It’s a new release called Eye in the Sky starring Alan Rickman and Helen Mirren that explores the ethics of drone missile strikes and raises some really interesting questions about the value of human life. You know those movies that really make you think!

Throughout the film I kept thinking about the “value” of human life. The value of one person versus the value of one hundred. Or the value of someone I know and love, versus the value of a stranger on the other side of the world. So often we become conditioned to care about only the people right in front of us – we see it all the time with the inequity in news media coverage of any disasters – natural or inflicted by man – there is outrage and an outpouring of love and support and donations when our fellow citizens are harmed and the longevity of these stories far outlasts the daily atrocities and ongoing human rights abuses and attacks inflicted on cultures and people far from our doorstep. Human connection… it’s a funny thing right? And when you start to question what tugs at your heart strings and why? Well I’m sure like me, you will be challenged, conflicted and changed! And that’s a good thing.

One of the reasons I am passionate about fairtrade is because I believe in the value of humanity. As global citizens, I believe it’s important to be connected to not just the friends and family who live in our postcode (even though it’s a pretty bloody marvelous postcode) but to the individuals whose lives have intersected with ours in our travels. I am passionate about the opportunities that fairtrade provides for people to pursue sustainable livelihoods for their families. And most of all I love having the opportunity to connect other people with that vision and ethos.

I don’t profess it to be the best way and it’s certainly not the only way, but I do believe it definitely is a GREAT way to ensure that all of humanity is valued and connected across oceans and continents. When individuals are connected to the people, places, and cultures that craft the products we buy, it ensures we place more value on what could ordinarily be quite a mundane business transaction, with no thought process involved in how a product come into your possession. I truly believe that human connection can only make the world a better place.


Golf In Olympics More Competitive Portrayed On Popular Sitcoms

For the first time in over 100 years, golf is now a sport in the summer Olympics. Legendary golfer Gary Player has long been a proponent of bringing the game to the international competition, and he must be pleased as he watches both men and women from across the world driving and putting to bring honor to their nations.

Golf has always been a popular pastime in the United States, each major tournament bringing high television ratings. Probably the viewership for the event in this year’s Olympics will be even higher.

The sport, however, has often been a source of humor, as summed up by the most famous book about golf. Author John Feinstein, who also penned the Indiana University basketball book A Season on the Brink, titled his memoir about the PGA tour A Good Walk Spoiled.

Numerous popular sitcoms have used golf in their plots in order to induce some laughs from their viewers. Here are seven of those shows which have a regular character spending some time, and getting some laughs, by playing either nine holes or eighteen.

Cosmo Kramer from Seinfeld

Jerry’s whimsical neighbor goes golfing in several episodes, the most memorable of which is “The Marine Biologist.” Kramer (played by Michael Richards) acquires 600 golf balls and drives them into the water, only to cause a whale to be beached by one of them getting stuck in its blow hole.

Larry David from Curb Your Enthusiasm

The creator of Seinfeld indulges in golf in his follow up series, most notably the episode called “The Black Swan.” Larry accidentally kills the course owner’s beloved bird while shooting a round of golf.

Jim Halpert from The Office

In order to try to land his biggest sales account, the Houghtin-Mifflin employee (played by John Krasinski) uses a golf outing to suck up to the company’s chief executive officer.

Thurston Howell III from Gilligan’s Island

Even on a desert island, the millionaire (played by Jim Backus) manages to simulate his favorite pastime.

Ricky Ricardo from I Love Lucy

In “The Golf Game” episode, Lucy’s husband (played by Desi Arnaz) becomes obsessed with the game along with his neighbor Fred.

Bart Simpson from The Simpsons

Homer forces his son to participate against Todd Flanders in a miniature golf tournament in order to show up his annoying neighbor Ned, a contest that justifies the title “Dead Putting Society.”

Ralph Kramden in The Honeymooners

The bus driver (played by Jackie Gleason) and his best friend Norton (played by Art Carney) become obsessed with the game in “The Golfer” episode