Tuesday, March 24, 2009

[Books] To read....

A friend of mine mentioned this book was recommended at her book club....

Speaking of India: Bridging the Communication Gap When Working With Indians by Craig Storti....

Interesting title.... anyone read it???




Monday, March 23, 2009

[Movie] Women and life...

Last week was hectic.... or was it the week before? Nah, i think every week is almost the same story...
Work...Home.. chores... cooking,etc... and well, tonnes of fun weaved between all this!!
Saw 2 beautiful interesting movies... actually saw 3, but this post is about 2.. both related to WOMEN...!! :)

1st one was an Israeli movie called Aviva, My love!  [me and a friend of mine caught this at the South India Film chamber]

Aviva --
Works in a hotel, yearns to write, jots down ideas on a small writing pad
Takes care of her family
Puts up with her jobless husband,
who, she loves, but has been cheating on her [with her own sister]
Cares about her sister and 
wants her away from her abusive husband
[knows she still is secretly in love with her ex boyfriend]

Takes her writing to a famous writer [or rather once upon a time famous, Oded]
Tells her, - he will sell her stories as his
in exchange for a decent sum of money....!!! [ the f@$%  B!@%#] 
A son, confused and lost
A daughter, stubborn but sweet
Another son, glued to the TV....

Aviva ---
Dealing with a psychotic mom
a dad who loves her, but is not respected 
[cos he once cheated on her mom]
A doctor who says -" let me look at you"
in exchange for not being able to pay for her son's treatment...

Finally... Aviva -
The woman, who takes charge of her life
The woman, who finds joy in writing
The woman, who is loved and respected by her family......!!!


2nd Movie - The Guitar

The movie by Amy Redford [Robert Redford's daughter] slides through the journey of this one woman - Melody "Mel" Wilder!!! She is diagnosed with a terminal illness, given 2months to live, fired from the job, dumped by the boyfriend. ... 

What does she do ?
Leaves her home... Moves into an expensive Loft apartment for 2mths [on rent], shops like crazy[ all from the comfort of her new home], buys the most expensive materials, fabric, clothes,and everything else you can dream off!!!
Makes friends with Rosco, the delivery man and Cookie, Pizza girl... What follows are the scenes filled with plenty of lovemaking..[all candlelight and exotic linens galore] ....... Melody doesn't connect to people as much as she does to her most extreme purchase -- a red electric guitar she's longed for since her unhappy childhood (shown thru streaks of  flashbacks) .... With sudden realization of how much time has gone by, Melody visits the doc where she discovers-- Thanks to her complete transformation[of life], the tumor knows not where it lives and has gone away..............!! Oh shit, What happens to melody? What does she do with all the stuff? the payments??? watch the movie to know!!! :D

Monday, March 16, 2009

[Music] Jazz all the way!!

Louis Armstrong.... Ella Fitzgerald.. John Coltrane.... Duke Ellington are some of the famous Jazz musicians i had heard of...  here are a few more i shall be adding to this list.... 
On Friday, we went for a Jazz concert at Museum Theater, Egmore...  Though the show started few minutes late, it was well worth the wait... 
1. Chennai based Yodhaka 
They were into fusion jazz, using Sanskrit slokas as the base.. very nice, melodious and rhythmic.... Loved the voice of the lead singers- Subiksha and Pradeed[who also played the slide guitar..]
Towards the end of their performance, Pradeep belted out the famous Mudakaratha modakam[ ganesha slokha]- it was truly soulful...!!! 
2. All the way from Baltimore - Duende Quartet
The four wizards of LATIN JAZZ had us enthralled for over an hour, leaving the audience wanting for more.. the only hitch [ nothing to do with the performance] was the sudden chill within the auditorium.. The Air conditioner was either working full swing or something was up.. we were all nearly freezing in there... :)

Apparently they were the winners from a whole bunch of people who vyed for the post of being a jazz group... Not only did they get to play here in chennai, they are on a world tour ... Fronted by Latin Grammy winning pianist Harry Appelman, the quartet includes bassist Josh Schwartzman and percussionists Mark Merella and Sam Turner ........
Sam is the one who remains in our minds even after the show is over - not just because he was black/Jamaican but he had the audience clapping, tapping their feet, singing along[ words that sounded like chants] till the end of the show... I guess that is the difference between an artist and a showman.... how involved the audience gets with them!!! :)

On Saturday, after a mini meeting with the Caferati clan, i headed over to Citi center for a bit of Jazz and some retail fun ;)
3. The Ellington Suites [Netherlands] 
Eight member team, named after the famous Duke Willington's album performed for free at Citi center lobby.. [Thanks to Landmark ]. Saxaphone, Clarinet, Drums, Bass guitar and another instrument that i dont know the name for was what they used to create music....

What a weekend it was....

Thursday, March 05, 2009

50th post -- Movie spree continues....

Yayyy, just discovered this is my 50th post in this blog!!! :)
The past 2 months i've been watching movies like crazy... Every night before sleeping, i grab a movie and then zzzz.... Some are big award winning ones and others are unheard of , but nevertheless Good movies... here are some more i feasted on...

The one for which Penelope Cruz won a Best Supporting Actress award... wonder why though!!! 
A movie set in Spain, is about two gals who go on a vacation... end up spending time with a casanova, and finally get to meet his estranged wife and its one big Sex based trip.... As the movie's title suggests, it's about Barcelona[ the town] as well as Vicky and Cristina[ the two friends].

The places, tour given of Barcelona... amazing acting by all the women are what leaves an impression.. For those, who are against sex, explicit scenes in movies, this might not be their cuppa tea...!!!

A movie i picked up in Pondy... its about a kid who is a musical prodigy, in search of his biological parents!!! the only familiar faces in this movie was Johnathan Rys Meyers[ the hot looking hunk from Bend it Like Beckham] and the infamous Robin Williams...

Evan Tyler flits about from one home to the other and ends up with Robin Williams where he starts playing the Guitar in new ways and ends up in the park earning a living...He is also on a quest to find his parents... The blending of classical, rock and street-sounds music was phenomenal. The movie was funny, poignant and a tear jerker.... Must watch!!!

This movie is sheer time pass, ahem, there were some scenes where i was bored and almost switched off the dvd... Borrowed the dvd from a friend , and thought why not!!! Glad i dint shell out $$ to buy this movie... And i have no clues why and how Robert Downing Jr was even nominated for the movie.. Arrrgh!!! silly ass movie produced by Ben Stiller simply isnt worth it...

The film stars Ben Stiller, Jack Black and Robert Downey, Jr. as a group of prima donna actors making a Vietnam War film when their fed-up writer and director decides to drop them in the middle of a jungle, forcing them to portray their roles without the comforts of a film set.
It is a satirical comedy about movies in Hollywood and takes a lot of patience to sit through.... but if you like wierd wacko stuff,go ahead.... :)

Small Change [Argent de poche, L'] 
The movies opens to kids running down the narrow lanes in France , and with every turn, more kids join them and finally they all rush like water down the river towards the school..  The movie is all about the kids finding their ground, a Single mother looking for her Mr Right and so much more..

It is also the best film from the group of “new wave” directors of the ’60s, including Truffaut and fellow movie critic turned filmmaker, Jean Luc Goddard.  
Small Change is not a single story, but a series of stories from a small town in France. It is shot in a naturalistic style, with naturalistic acting. Truffaut was famous for taking non-actors and making them actors. I guess you could call him the original actor’s director. The man had a way of coaxing a good performance out of his child actors that is truly astounding.It’s multiple stories, about multiple people, and their interaction inside this small town. The child actors are superb, as are the adults.

The movie i saw last night is about 4 best friends and how their lives change when they discover an ugly secret about one of their spouses..Upon seeing the name Meg Ryan i told my friend, i wanna watch this, am taking it with me... :)

 This is what is called a Chick flick... all women..[kinda like a diff version of Sex and the city]. A high flying corporate executive, a mother of 4, expecting her 5th child[Debra Messing says - she will try try till she gets a baby boy], a lesbian who flaunts her model girlfriend and a wife who is more than happy to sit back and let the world go by..  A fun movie with various splashes of emotions thrown in.. a mother who tells her daughter to not do anything when she finds out about her husband's affair, a manicurist who loves to gossip [ using whom the women turn tables around and reunite the couple] and the final scene where Debra is ready to deliver the baby and all the women are in the labour room is just wacko...awesome.. hilarious... and voila, she has a baby boy!!!!
I wouldnt say this is a must watch, but watch it if you have the time and someone lends you the Dvd!!  :)

Phew.... gonna sign off now... i think there are a few more i dint mention.. will come back for another one!!!anybody got a drink??? ;)

Wednesday, March 04, 2009

The Curious Case of Benjamin Button....

I had been getting mixed reviews about this movie, only my friend Anita had said its a good movie, watch it, i know you will like it... :) our tastes do match!!! Anyways, reached Satyam around 6.40 and made our way inside and eagerly waited for the movie.. I had no clues about the movie, hadnt heard the story or anything...
A movie that  is a narration, kind of a flash back through Benjamin's diaries helps us relive his days in this world.. For an english movie, it is quite long..nearly 2 .40 hours, but the time goes by, not a moment of it is boring [ except for the silly Interval with the annoying ads...]...  
The Cast includes.......... 
 Benjamin Button - Brad Pitt
Daisy - Cate Blanchett
Queenie - Taraji P. Henson
Caroline - Julia Ormond
Thomas Button - Jason Flemyng
Tizzy - Mahershalalhashbaz Ali
Captain Mike - Jared Harris
Monsieur Devereux - Elias Koteas
Grandma Fuller - Phyllis Somerville
Elizabeth Abbott - Tilda Swinton
Preacher - Lance Nichols
Ngunda Oti - Rampai Mohadi
Daisy age 7 - Elle Fanning
Daisy age 10 - Madisen Beaty

Benjamin's diary recounts his entire extraordinary life, the primary unusual aspect of which was his aging backwards, being born an old man who was diagnosed with several aged diseases at birth and thus given little chance of survival, but who does survive and gets younger with time.... 

Set in 1920s, around the time when World War I ends, its a tale about a baby[Benjamin] born with diseases and looks like it is 100yrs old,..His Mother dies at childbirth and the dad runs away with the baby leaving it at the footsteps of a senior citizens home... Queenie, ablack woman who works there stumbles upon the baby and brings him up!!! What starts there is the journey of Benjamin who grows younger physically as he grows older... 
The costume... The make up will have you wondering how this movie dint run away with all the Oscars.... It won 3 Awards only.... 
Brad Pitt and Cate Blanchett  were simply outstanding.....

An amazing tale that left us all speechless... His every action..discovery of who is father is... the way he embraces the changes his body goes through... the love, the wait, the family., the maturity and the ending... Gosh, i dont know where to start!!!  
The Curious Case of Benjamin Button is one of the most moving stories , collectibles infact.... A movie that one needs to experience and cannot enjoy simply by reading a review!!!!

A movie that tells us it does not matter what you look like,your outer appearance is just a shell to your inner soul ..... :)