Richard Brody (The New Yorker) on Chan-wook’s ‘Stoker’

 

I have not seen the film yet but this is an exceptionally well-written piece. A certain Chan-wook fan on the blog had promised to me that she would she would write something on it (though she can educate us on the first paragraph, or more specifically the first sentence, of this article.)- regrettably she has not even seen it till now (probably because she is deeply saddened by the news that Josh Brolin is going to do a number on his Korean counterpart in the Spike Lee directed remake of Chan-wook’s Oldboy!).

 

“Stoker”: The Fears and Fantasies of Everyteen

 

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Posted by Richard Brody

March 5, 2013

LINK

“The proper translation for Freud’s 1909 coinage “Familienroman,” or “family romance”—regarding the child’s liberation fantasy of “the replacement of both parents or of the father alone by grander people”—is actually the “family novel,” and there’s something agreeably, engagingly novelistic about “Stoker,” the South Korean director Park Chan-wook’s incursion into a cushy corner of Connecticut and the tangled-up desires, dreams, memories, and impulses of one long-deluded teen-age girl, India Stoker (played by Mia Wasikowska). What the movie most resembles is a young-adult novel, of the sort that was the subject of controversy a couple of years ago for being “too dark.” For all the movie’s melodramatic twists, hyperbolic doings, and posh surroundings, its substance is very much the fears and fantasies and family loam of Everyteen (in particular, of familiar media versions of teen-age girls).

It starts out as a variation on a theme by Alfred Hitchcock—that of “Shadow of a Doubt” and the arrival of the mysterious, glamorous, seductive, long-absent Uncle Charlie (Matthew Goode). But where Hitchcock brings the uncle into a stable home that he then sets on its ear, Park and the screenwriter Wentworth Miller (with contributions by Erin Cressida Wilson) catch the family at a moment of utter vulnerability: India has just lost her father (Dermot Mulroney), with whom she was very close. Charlie, whom she had never met, finally shows up at the sumptuous and isolated family estate and ingratiates himself, rapidly and pressingly, with his brother’s widow (Nicole Kidman).

Things are quickly revealed to be even worse than they seem, as Charlie takes decisive steps to edge out of the picture anyone—the longtime housekeeper, an elderly great-aunt (Jacki Weaver)—who comes to doubt his motives. At first, it appears as if he covets both his brother’s wife and her fortune, and India becomes suspicious as well—but she also seems flickeringly jealous, and, where the young woman in Hitchcock kept her incestuous fantasies tightly contained, India avows them with a full-throated ecstasy (achieved, as it were, with yet another Hitchcockian touch). Yet the violence to which Uncle Charlie sinks is doubled by India’s own rough, physical response to a bullying classmate’s crude aggression. It’s hard to avoid spoilers at this point, but let’s leave it at this: India discovers that her parents have been concealing something very important regarding her uncle—and, given her emotionally close relationship with him, something very important about herself, about character traits that are a part of her own blood. When the truth comes out, her world is overturned, her monsters are unleashed, and she finds herself without the solid footing of character, self-knowledge, and moral clarity to fight them”…..

 

Read more HERE

 

 

Stills- Nayanthara

I was thinking that while Anu takes care of the serious and intellectual side of the blog (since she is the one with classy and cultivated tastes), I will handle the ‘silly’ bit. So here are some stills of one of the most beautiful actresses in India along with Alia, the gorgeous Nayanthara. More HERE

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More Stills HERE

The End of Simplicity- On Doordarshan’s “Farmaan” and the state of Indian TV

This one is for my co-blog owner (DD is the only thing we both seem to agree on. I admit that i had no idea about the serial before she told me about it). I found this article on a blog while randomly surfing online

The End of Simplicty

– By Reema Moudgil

http://unboxedwriters.com/2012/08/the-end-of-simplicity/

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“After years of search on YouTube, I finally stumbled upon Farmaan, a Doordarshan serial directed by Lekh Tandon. Based on the Urdu book Alampanah by Rafia Amin, the serial starring Kanwaljit Singh and Deepika Deshpande was a restless memory that even two decades could not erase. And for good reason. The story telling was honest to the spine of the book as it brought to life Hyderabad’s Nawabi culture in the throes of change, financial challenges, the disintegration of tehzeeb and more, in real havelis and high-pillared corridors, and not fake, overdone sets, And amid all this was the love story of a bitterly dark Aazar Nawab (a dapper Kanwaljit Singh) and the delightfully spunky Aiman Shahab played by Deepika Deshpande who even without fake eyelashes, loud make up and gaudy sarees looked like the kind of a girl who could challenge and reform a rake.

***
The story had the intensity, tugs and hooks of a Mills & Boon romance. Only it was much better, layered as it was with the poetry, interesting dialects, the various colours of Urdu spoken by the aristocrats and those who worked for them and then there were the authentic locations, from forests to bungalows to havelis being converted into hotels to keep up with the times. Everything rang true and it flowed without investing any worry in whether the audience would take to the story, its pace, its zubaan or its characters, some of whom were unapologetically unglamorous. And yet, here we are, still remembering it all these years later because it did not dumb down or sell out its vision. Because it aspired to be a classic and became one.”….

For MORE follow the LINK

“Heroes, Gundas, Vamps & Good Girls”- Hindi Pulp Cover-Art by Shelle

Lindsay Pereira’s (Mid-Day) piece on the above mentioned post-card book

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He decides what women with paanch pati will look like-

“Why send a drab email when you can send a deliciously outlandish postcard dripping with suspense, blood, sex and tragedy, ripped from a collection titled Heroes, Gundas, Vamps and Good Girls inspired by Hindi pulp fiction covers. Here’s why North India can’t get enough of Shelle’s cleavage-sporting chudails and Haryanvi ghouls

“He goes by the pseudonym Shelle a derivative of the Hindi word for style. It was suggested by friends because his name, Mustajab Ahmed Siddiqui, takes up too much room. For people of North India, his work is more familiar than they think; they have had around 40 years to get acquainted with it.

Shelle’s name accosts them when they walk into railway stations across the country. Every bookstore they pass showcases his work in bold, because his are the covers adorning most action-packed Hindi pulp novels.

Without his brush, bestselling Hindi writers like Anil Mohan, Ved Prakash Sharma and Surender Mohan Pathak would have far poorer sales.

Now, thanks to Chennai-based Blaft Publications, Shelle can find a new audience. For Rs 295, we all have a chance to take a closer look at some of his cover art through Heroes, Gundas, Vamps & Good Girls, a collection of 25 postcards”…

For MORE follow the LINK