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Shiny Happy Happy Shiny

As it turns out, I have been mispelling a writer’s name. Inspite of having read Jonathan Strange and Mr. Norrell, it took me a google search to figure out that Susanna Clarke’s first name is *not* spelt “Susannah”. Damn. Which means that the teeny little disclaimer about perfect spelling on my user-info does not hold good any longer. I swear – if I had a knife nearby, and if I wasn’t so chicken-hearted, I would be slicing off my little finger in disgrace.

Couple of happy things:

  • I bought myself a complete set of the six Akira graphic novels on eBay. And a set of Daredevil, issues 26-69, the delectable Brian Bendis/Alex Maleev run from the same seller.
  • Discovered the joys of Berke Breathed’s lovely comic series Bloom County. Got some of the collected volumes off a sale for 50 rupees each. It was the sight of the dog pushing the wheelchair of a Vietnam vet, both quoting Star Trek, that brought me to this conclusion. Highly recommended.
  • My Andrew Vachss collection is now technically complete. I have all the books until Pain Management (2001), which is fifteen books in all. I haven’t seen the newer novels in stores anywhere in India.
  • Picked up a first-edition copy of Gods, Demons and Others by RK Narayan (with the dust jacket intact) for 100 Rs. This was one of the first books I bought with my own money, sometime in December 1988, and I don’t really remember where the copy is, right now. But getting this version made me real happy. I loved the delightful tone of voice in which RK Narayan narrated these stories, when I read this book the first time – inspite of knowing most of them by heart ( courtesy Amar Chitra Katha.

The more Takeshi Kitano movies I watch, the more convinced I am that the guy is the Japanese equivalent of Shah Rukh Khan, playing different facets of himself in all his movies. But then, the joy of watching a Kitano movie lies in observing the cliches that he has mastered – the silent, brooding protagonist, the in-your-face violence that launches itself in extremely creative ways, Joe Hisaishi’s scores, the wisecracking foil played by Susumu Terajima, and the self-destructive ending. It’s not a problem being repetitive ( after all, most classic rockers made a fortune out of repetitiveness), it’s a problem when the repetitiveness becomes in-your-face, loud, and crass. None of these are attributes I would associate with a Kitano movie. Fireworks was a picture-perfect film. Every other minute of the movie, I would want to pause the player and just observe the frame, each moment a cinematographic masterpiece. After a very, very long time, I have this urge to paint (which is not necessarily a good thing, I know), because of this movie.

Whoa whoa whoa, what do we have here? Francois Ozon’s Swimming Pool is all set to be released in Delhi sometime in March, and Bangalore/Chennai in April. Not bad at all, though this will be the good-bits version, or maybe the good-bits-are-hidden-but-you-can-try-make-sense-out-of-what-we-show-you-version as decreed by our hallowed Censor Board.

I live in a country where you get live albums by Isaac Hayes at book sales for 60 Rupees a CD. I don’t know whether to be glad or pissed. ( Pissed because had I been a little late, someone else would have bought that CD. Damn)

Did anyone notice the market for old comics in India? A fine example – Blossom Book House is selling copies of Indrajal comics from the seventies and eighties for 20-25 Rs each. Issues that have a cover price of 1-2 rs, and which are missing covers are being put up with these kind of prices, and surprisingly, people are buying them at those prices. Everytime I go there, the issues I saw the last time are gone, and more copies have come in, with similar prices. Makes me glad I filched all those old Indrajal comics off assorted cousins and uncles a decade ago.

The more I look at Paris Hilton, the more I am reminded of Kareena Kapoor. Not a good thing.

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16 thoughts on “Shiny Happy Happy Shiny

  1. eh?

    Swimming Pool was running here in Mumbai for a week or two this month. Apparently, the moron that writes reviews for the ToI gave it a bad one and other people generally thought it was just a soft-porn movie.

    So this tells you something about what the movie-going public in India is like.

    • Re: eh?

      this tells you something about what the movie-going public in India is like.

      Oh? These nice folks who like nice films like Veer Zaara and Kal ‘ho ‘ho ‘ho?

  2. Swimming Pool did run in Mumbai for a while, yes, and I went and saw the film. It’s edited ruthlessly, and a lot of the coherent stuff is illogically cut out, and, to be fair, it’s hard to figure when the censors are the ones snipping and when it’s the idiosyncratic editors.

    Don’t expect greatness, but go watch the film for sure.


    Her bod is surely worth ticket price.

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