#7 Excerpts – Amélie’s Introduction

Narrator: On September 3rd 1973, at 6:28pm and 32 seconds, a bluebottle fly capable of 14,670 wing beats a minute landed on Rue St Vincent, Montmartre. At the same moment, on a restaurant terrace nearby, the wind magically made two glasses dance unseen on a tablecloth. Meanwhile, in a 5th-floor flat, 28 Avenue Trudaine, Paris 9, returning from his best friend’s funeral, Eugène Colère erased his name from his address book. At the same moment, a sperm with one X chromosome, belonging to Raphaël Poulain, made a dash for an egg in his wife Amandine. Nine months later, Amélie Poulain was born.

From the film Amélie (2001)

 

#3 Robert Zemeckis/ Spielberg – Back to the future (Part III)

Control your anger. It is just one letter away from ‘D’anger.

~ Unknown

Our memory is selective. For us, time is highly relative. Days, months, years tend to pass before we know it and some moments tend to linger for longer than usual. When we are one day old, the next day means 1/2 of our conscious life. When we are ten years old, the same one day means only 1/3650 of our life. That is why we tend to make more memories when we are young. We are open to experiences, which will occupy a greater space in our life and hence our memory!

If we think about it, all the three parts happen within the span of two days for the rest of the world. But for Marty it takes longer. Because whatever happens to him, is relatively more important to him than the rest of the world. For him, time moves slowly!

Marty fixes the time machine with the help of Doc Brown in 1955 and he is all set to go back to his present. Instead he goes to the old west after reading about Doc’s murder. I think both the characters switched places over here. Marty became the guide and Doc became the hero. The film unveils how Marty sculpts himself into a mature adult while Doc discovers the adolescent inside him as he falls in love!

There are moments in the film which make you recall a few incidences from the prequels, which are thoroughly enjoyable. I am sure, for the people who watched the trilogy at the time of its release, it must have been  a journey through time for them, witnessing such amazing references. The first and the third part have a lot in common, structure wise. Yet, the third part seems fresh. That is very commendable.

I loved Doc more than Marty in the film. But the most interesting character for me, is Seamus McFly. Marty’s great great grandfather. I don’t think he appears for more than 10 minutes on screen. Yet, he manages to be Marty’s guide. Telling him to control his anger. The character is played by Michael J Fox himself. And this adds a lot to the story. You see, every one of us right now want to go back in time and guide our younger selves. Michael J Fox does that! How cool…

The film ends on a very positive note. Jennifer hands over the blank paper from the future to Doc and asks him, “What does it mean?” And this is where I have my moment!

“Your future hasn’t been written yet. No one’s has. Your future is whatever you make it. So make it a good one, both of you.”

I think I have no problem in believing that Marty and Jennifer lived happily ever after without any hinderances. The lines convinced me. And I enjoyed the closure!

I feel overwhelmed at the end of the third film every time I watch the trilogy. The last film was released in 1990 and in 1991 Michael J Fox was diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease. I find it poetic. I cannot imagine how hard it must have been for him. A small incident changing someone’s life, that’s what Back to the future trilogy spoke about, and that is what happened to Fox. Cinema loves poetry. The “cinemagician”, the inventor of  multiple exposures, time-lapse photography, dissolves, and hand-painted color – Georges Méliès died penniless. Superman, Christopher Reeve ended up quadriplegic. And then we have Fox! But maybe these obstacles made them transcend boundaries and become a legend.

Even after this incident Fox has given us many more moments to cherish. Homeward Bound, Spin City, Atlantis and Stuart Little!

Back to the future (Part I)

Back to the future (Part II)

#2 Robert Zemeckis/ Spielberg – Back to the future (Part II)

Doc: The encounter could create a time paradox, the result of which could cause a chain reaction that would unravel the very fabric of the space-time continuum and destroy the entire universe! Granted, that’s worst-case scenario. The destruction might in fact be very localized, limited to merely our own galaxy.

Marty: Well, that’s a relief.

The quote is complicated enough to convey why this film took a giant dump on the first part. It is way too complicated! Or in other words, “Heavy!”

I feel it takes time for the audience to blend into the character’s boots. Unless the audience is totally convinced, that the lead character or at least one of the main character is a reflection of themselves, it is unlikely that they will care for what they do.

Jumping from intro to pitch is good in some cases. It should’ve worked in this one too, assuming that people know the first part fairly well. Over here, it was a bit too much. Had I watched this film in theaters, I feel I would’ve missed a major part of the plot as I managed to get comfortable on my seat, figuring out which hand-rest is mine. And frankly speaking I don’t have a flying DeLorean to go back in time and catch up on what I missed.

Was it necessary?

The first part is a legend. It inspired so many films in the future. The makers have also confirmed that MIB III was inspired by Back To The Future (1985). The story had it’s proper climax. The hero has sorted out his life, he kisses his girl and they celebrate a new beginning. A perfect ending! Did we need a sequel over here? Content wise? I don’t think so. But we’re into making commercial cinema, aren’t we?

Doc himself says that Time Travel is not to be used for personal benefit. Then why is he concerned about his Son going to jail in the future? Why doesn’t Doc just use the sleep inducing machine on Marty’s son in the future himself, so that he never shows up at the restaurant? Furthermore. if he really wants to help Marty, why doesn’t he just tell him to be careful while driving his truck and not to hit the Rolls Royce. Frankly speaking that caused a chain reaction. So my problem being, ‘was it necessary?’

The film lacks a good obstacle. I understand that getting back the Almanac is the major obstacle, but come on; they have the time machine, fully functioning! Plus, there are two of them right now. If one person messes it up the the other can go to the same point in time and guide him like Morpheus guides Neo in The Matrix.

And there are several other points in the story which I am not to convinced with. But I do not want the analysis to be entirely a rant. So…

The film has several good references to the pop culture. My favourite being, the mockery of Spielberg’s own film Jaws. Remember, “Sharks never looked real”? It serves as a good base for the much better third part, giving a much more logical explanation for Marty being Clint Eastwood in the Old West. The film ends by showing what happens in the third part. Which suggests that the makers planned and shot both the parts simultaneously. So when we talk of the second part, we need to consider the trilogy as a whole. In that manner, the film does not have an end only the introduction to the last part!

Note: The best foreshadowing ever –

Doc:  Better that I devote myself to study the other great mystery of the universe: women!

To be concluded!

#7 Write up – Swimming with the sharks

You meet some people in every walk of your life who by default consider themselves as the high authority in the subject matter of nitpicking. I am talking about your school art teacher who knew alphabets from ‘C’ to ‘F’ when it came down to giving you your grades. That squeaky-pale-white tall “friend” of yours who chose not to congratulate you on your results. Instead preferred praising your luck, every time.

These are the people that haunt you even in your dreams in their shark-avatar with their razor sharp remarks. They belong to the school of thought that believes in turning you into a scrambled egg because you are late. Their university also offers crash courses in shrugging their shoulders for you coming early. Mistake is the permanent tag attached to your name.

Adding extra itch in the crotch to my discomfort, every creative field is fully filled with sharky water. Having no well-defined rights and wrongs gives them the divine right to scrutinise all that I’ve been upto. The power of their eye surprises me as it catches only the slightest of (what they may consider as an) error and not the hundreds of positives that exceed their expectations. These certain gestures are sure enough to wake a volcano in deep slumber up. But I have a slightly different shade.

Well, some may get drifted away with the spontaneous thought of indulging into a ping-pong game with their you-know-what, but not me. As a kid, on my imaginary trip to the Tibet based Buddhist monastery, I had taken the solemn oath of emancipating myself from all evil thoughts. By force, I am liable to keep a fake yet soothing smile on my face even when cakes of cow-dung are being smashed on it. Living in a country that stands as the epitome of peace and ever-triumphing truth, I am bound to term every comment made on me as constructive criticism, contributing towards making me a better human being.

Now, chucking all the word arsenal aside let me come to the point. There are two kinds of people in the world – the ones who believe in DOING something and the ones who believe in SCREWING something. Doers have a tendency of doing everything without the slightest thought of what the other half will think about it. They just do it, and keep doing it regardless of the result being good, bad or shameful. The screwers on the contrary keep screwing up in the things they do. So they have this disgruntled sensation in their minds that nobody else can do it as well. They keep screwing up the peace of mind of others.

You get angry when you don’t know if what you did was right or wrong. But when youknow for sure that you knew what you were doing, you have no reason to be angry. Just a small reason to smile. That now you know who has been DOing whom and who has been SCREWing whom. (If you get the joke)

P.S The above content is entirely fictional. Any relevance to living or dead is supposed to be treated as mere coincidence. And if you don’t believe me, I am not a good liar anyway 😛

#6 Excerpts – The Dark Knight

Batman: You’ll hunt me. You’ll condemn me, set the dogs on me. Because that’s what needs to happen. Because sometimes… The truth isn’t good enough. Sometimes people deserve more. Sometimes people deserve to have their faith rewarded.

Gordon’s Son: Batman? Batman! Why is he running, Dad?

Commissioner James Gordon: Because we have to chase him.

Gordon’s Son: He didn’t do anything wrong.

Commissioner James GordonBecause he’s the hero Gotham deserves, but not the one it needs right now. So, we’ll hunt him, because he can take it. Because he’s not our hero. He’s a silent guardian. A watchful protector. A Dark Knight.

Chris Nolan is known for his epic climaxes. At least after the Prestige he is! The excerpt works totally fine with Hans Zimmer’s phenomenal music.

 

#6 Write up – Deep impact (2013)

As kids when we took our first steps, we had our dear ones clapping their hands, cheering for us. Even though we were the ones taking all the efforts, a little appreciation played an important role. On the flip side, if the efforts are not aided by encouragement but criticized consistently there is a high chance of the kid having a limp for a long time.

A seed contains all the essentials to grow up and become a lush green tree. Yet it needs to be sown at the right place. It craves for a fair deal of water and plant food, the heavenly warmth of rising Sun and a little nurture! Now the problem is, the seed cannot compromise for a shrub or a vine if it doesn’t receive adequate nourishment. It is destined to become a grand tree, or nothing.

No matter how different we seem from the rest of the world. After all, we are material things! We can be easily torn but not easily mended. A nonchalant remark by someone close, a pitiful laughter in a small audience, minor embarrassment in public cast a shadow so dark that eclipses one’s entire life.

At a certain age, a person resembles wet clay. Never again will there be so much change and development happening so fast in such a short time. This is the time when rights and wrongs are yet to be defined. This is the time when rigid opinions are not yet sealed. And that is what makes one so vulnerable. So vulnerable to absolutely everything happening around him… And right then every small twitch appears to be the end of the world.

For some, these scars simply act as the painful reminders of all bad that has been and all good that has disappeared. But there exists a minority. A minority, that has declined to bow down due to momentary disappointments. Instead they’ve learnt to convert their memories into an immense power. The power when projected adroitly makes them immune to all stumbling blocks heading their way! The minority that wears these scars as medallions of war are the ones who have no regrets, no remorse; only the final laugh.

If at all there is anything that separates us from the rest of the world then it is undoubtedly our attitude. There are always two parts of the situation – the situation and our reaction to the situation. And our reaction weighs more than anything else. It is perfectly normal to get depressed. But after all is said and done, past is supposed to be treated as past and not as an anchor holding us back. Rather it should be the catapult giving us all the necessary boost to soar high in the sky.

If we perceive the world we choose to perceive

If we make the truth from what we believe

We take the paths our hearts point at

We travel the world with morals intact,

Leave judgment of others to themselves

And take our opinion as a fact

Then that’s what causes a deep impact

#4 Excerpts – It is not just a watch, a legacy! (Pulp fiction)

“So he hid it in the one place he knew he could hide something: his ass. Five long years, he wore this watch up his ass. Then, he died of dysentery. He gave me the watch. I hid this uncomfortable piece of metal up my ass, two years. Then, after seven years, I was sent home to my family. And now, little man, I give the watch to you.”

~ Captain Koons (Christopher Walken)

The greatest way to pass on family heirlooms!

Watch the video here.

 

 

#1 Robert Zemeckis/ Spielberg* – Back to the future (Part I)

“Yeah, but what if you went back and killed your own grandfather?”

He stared at me, baffled. “Why the fuck would you do that?”

~ Stephen King

The film is ranked 49th in the IMDb top 250 list.

Time is such a vague yet interesting concept. Every great mind of modern times has spent time thinking about “time”. And for me, the Back to the future trilogy remains the best work in this subject.

If we take the time travel part out of the picture, we have a simple premise – a troubled teenager trying to correct a few wrongs in his life. This is what intrigues me! A simple premise embellished with a compelling treatment. Every good film has this feature in common.

I have watched this film so many times by now that I know the film frame by frame. Yet every time I watch it, I get excited when, in Marty’s language he discovers something, “heavy”. I love explaining the intricate details to my younger brother, just the way my dad did to me. It feels like passing on a legacy.

Why is the film so special?

Foreshadowing – a sign or warning about an incident in future

If I am correct, every major event casts foreshadow. The plutonium used in the DeLorean is shown missing on the news in the very first scene. We get an idea that Marty (Michael J. Fox) will not have any plutonium in the car, as Doc (Christopher Lloyd) mentions carrying extra shards during time travel. It is like letting the audience think that they knew it was coming, so that when it actually happens they link it to the former events and as a result recall it. If your foreshadowing succeeds you have an active audience. Nothing works better than an active audience!

The film does not really highlight this theory, but still I feel the makers must have studied it while making.

The Butterfly Effect – Can the flutter of a butterfly in Brazil cause tornado in Texas? Our smallest actions, do they have strong repercussions on the Universe? Wikipedia makes it real boring. I gave a more poetic, simple version.

Lastly, talking about the theme now. Ah, again! Who would not like to go back in past and see the moments when their parents actually fell for each other. I would like to see my father sweeping my mother off her feet. I would love to check how much of it is true and how much is, you know, amplified! I love the film because I can clearly see myself as the protagonist. I always have and I always will. And I am sure I am not the only one to feel so!

* I could not help but enter Spielberg’s name in the title. You have all the ingredients to a good Spielberg film in this one although he did not actually direct it.

#3 Excerpts – Just keep breathing (Cast Away)

 

We both had done the math. Kelly added it all up and…
Knew she had to let me go. I added it up, and knew that I had…
Lost her.
‘cos I was never gonna get off that island.
I was gonna die there, totally alone. I was gonna get sick, or get injured or something. The only choice I had, the only thing I could control was when, and how, and where it was going to happen.
So… I made a rope and I went up to the summit, to hang myself. I had to test it, you know? Of course. You know me. And the weight of the log, snapped the limb of the tree, so, I couldn’t even kill myself the way I wanted to. I had power over *nothing*.
And that’s when this feeling came over me like a warm blanket. I knew, somehow, that I had to stay alive. Somehow. I had to keep breathing. Even though there was no reason to hope. And all my logic said that I would never see this place again.
So that’s what I did. I stayed alive. I kept breathing. And one day my logic was proven all wrong because the tide came in, and gave me a sail. And now, here I am. I’m back. In Memphis, talking to you. I have ice in my glass…
And I’ve lost her all over again. I’m so sad that I don’t have Kelly. But I’m so grateful that she was with me on that island. And I know what I have to do now. I gotta keep breathing. Because tomorrow the sun will rise. Who knows what the tide could bring?

~ Chuck Noland (Tom Hanks)

From Cast Away

Portrayed beautifully by a simple semi trolly circle, depicting the change of perspective of the character.

#2 Excerpts – 10 Things I Hate About You (a sonnet)

I hate the way you talk to me,

and the way you cut your hair.

I hate the way you drive my car,

I hate it when you stare.

I hate your big dumb combat boots

and the way you read my mind.

I hate you so much it makes me sick,

it even makes me rhyme.

I hate the way you’re always right,

I hate it when you lie.

I hate it when you make me laugh,

even worse when you make me cry.

I hate it when you’re not around,

and the fact that you didn’t call.

But mostly I hate the way I don’t hate you,

not even close…

not even a little bit…

not even at all.

The only part of the film which shows some relevance to the title. Perfected by a great performance by Julia Stiles

(From the film 10 Things I Hate About You)

watching, making and learning cinema. enjoying the process