Jul 2005 BLOG

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1 Jul 2005: Watched "Shi mian mai fu" (House of Flying Daggers). It was fantastic. Or fantasmic. Or plain fantasy. Even a far fetched one. In some places even "Crouching Tiger .." may pale. A 3-in-1 combo of love, martial arts and infiltration. moughal-e-azam, Enter the Dragon and one of 007 in one without Madhubala, Sean Connery and Bruce Lee. You get the picture. Shi mian mai fu (2004)
3 Jul 2005: watched Sideways. There is something cute about the movie. On one level its all about drinking - and philosophizing. I guess because we are so close to where it happens, and because the subject matter (on the drinking level) is, well, palatable, that I took a fancy to those parts. But what seems to come out is that that could be done to anything. But its also about being able to find ones way, or rather not losing ones way. Failure is but a stepping stone to something else. Sideways (2004)
5 Jul 2005: Read in science news that a proof has been published about the number of ways a number can be partitioned. primes numbers keep rearing their beautiful head everywhere. Ramanujan scribbles and Dyson's crank were interesting offshoots. Also discovered that science news has an interesting series on math called math trek. Partitions and primes
Science news
Math trek
Dyson's crank
Srinivasa Ramanujan
7 Jul 2005: Another Hawaii trip - observing.
7 Jul 2005: Good movie to see while on a 'plane. Sahara (2005)
16 Jul 2005: Finished Frank Herbert's epic "Dune". I had not read his work until a few days back when I accidentally bought his "heaven makers" at the flee market. It turned out to be fair, though not terrefic. But a quick search revealed the reverence for Dune and I had to get it. It is very good. I especially liked the way he describes the situations (as against happenings which seem to happen by-the-wayish).

Though the story is set elsewhen when humans have stopped relying on machines, and elsewhere in another stellar system, the politics involved clearly tells you where the author got his ideas from. The decadency of the cultures, and the steadfastness of still others can be seen not too far back in history. The same continues to happen currently, its just that the tools are different, and the aims seem different.

The resolve of the savior to avoid jihad at the cost of his future is remarkable. If only more people believed in the non-fixedness of the future.

Frank Herbert
17 Jul 2005: Today we had the sahityalay session (14 people in all were present) combined with the screening of "Vastupurush" by Sumitra Bhave. It was a tad slow, but good. Anu and I agreed that through her movies Sumitra Bhave subtly touches upon a multitude of social issues without necessarily making them the main theme thereby not alienating people with the thought that "she makes documentaries". here, for instance, she denounces the self-fuelling of one's ego ahead of the good of the family, shows how the freedom of India is for namesake in many walks of life for the commomers, refuses to glorify babas, downcasts search for gupta-dhan, idle Gandhianism, typical political leaders. Her hero hardly speaks throughtout the movie. The way his character is shown to have developed is however against everything shown during the movie. But I think that can be pardoned. Vaastupurush (2003)
18 Jul 2005: Older "Manchurian candidate" is good, but seems to have some loopholes. The political stuff seems a mockery of the system here and seems much more like what exists in India. Also, the conditioning seems too strong. But still a good one to watch. Manchurian candidate (1962)
20 Jul 2005: Billy Wilder's "Witness for prosecution" team had been warned not to reveal the end to anyone. Does have good twists right at the end and is good overall. However, most of the courtroom movies seem to revolve around a small number of points which the lawyers are able to properly exploit. Of course that is what is the main thing in legal issues, but it sort of leaves you a bit drenched. Other movies that come to mind (and pardon me for speaking of them in the same burst of keys) legally blonde and 12 angry men. Witness for prosecution (1957)
22 Jul 2005: Obliquely watched Steven Spielberg's "Always". It is a good example to indicate that one should not always go by the name. It is a cross between Richard Bach and the little prince. Its grass and Steven has really belittled himself trying to fly this. Always (1989)
25 Jul 2005: Was in Iron City, Pittsburgh, PA.
31 Jul 2005: David Lynch has managed to convert the scie-fi piece of literature called Dune into a rubbish movie. The movie leaves out so so much that it seems like a series of randon jumps so much so that if you have not read the book, it hardly makes any sense. On the other hand, if you have read the book, the movie leaves out so so much that you can't hope to like it. It is a loser either way. Not recommended at all. I hear there is a more recent mini-series that does better justice. Well, read the book any way. Dune (1984)

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