◎Director Alexandre Aja
◎Writer Michael Rasmussen / Shawn Rasmussen
◎Main performer Kaya Scodelario
◎Director: Jon Favreau
◎Screenwriter: Jeff Nathanson / Brenda Chapman / Irene Mecchi / Jonathan Roberts / Linda Woolverton
◎Starring: Donald Glover
James Earl Jones
Shahadi Wright Joseph
Our friendly neighborhood Super Hero decides to join his best friends Ned, MJ, and the rest of the gang on a European vacation. However, Peter’s plan to leave super heroics behind for a few weeks are quickly scrapped when he begrudgingly agrees to help Nick Fury uncover the mystery of several elemental creature attacks, creating havoc across the continent.
Following the events of Avengers: Endgame (2019), Spider-Man must step up to take on new threats in a world that has changed forever.
Chronicles the experiences of a formerly successful banker as a prisoner in the gloomy jailhouse of Shawshank after being found guilty of a crime he did not commit. The film portrays the man’s unique way of dealing with his new, torturous life; along the way he befriends a number of fellow prisoners, most notably a wise long-term inmate named Red.
Two imprisoned men bond over a number of years, finding solace and eventual redemption through acts of common decency.
Stephen King (short story “Rita Hayworth and Shawshank Redemption”), Frank Darabont (screenplay)
Tim Robbins, Morgan Freeman, Bob Gunton
Classic Lines From “The Shawshank Redemption”
1、It takes a strong man to save himself, and a great man to save another.
2、Hope is a good thing, maybe the best of things, and no good thing ever dies.
3、some birds aren’t meant to be caged, that’s all. Their feathers are just too bright…
4、I find I’m so excited. I can barely sit still or hold a thought in my head. I think it the excitement only a free man can feel, a free man at the start of a long journey whose conclusion is uncertain. I hope I can make it across the border. I hope to see my friend, and shake his hand. I hope the Pacific is as blue as it has been in my dreams. I hope.
5、Fear can hold you prisoner. Hope can set you free. A strong man can save himself. A great man can save another.
6、Prison life consists of routine, and then mort routine.
7、These walls are kind of funny like that. First you hate them, then you get u sed to them. Enough time passed, get so you depend on them. That`s institution alized.
8、There`s not a day goes by I don`t feel regret. Not because I`m in here, or because you think I should. I look back on the way I was then. Then a young, stupid kid who committed that terrible crime. I want to talk to him. I want to try and talk some sense to him, tell him the way things are. But I can`t. That kid`s long gone and this old man is all that`s left. I got to live with that. Rehabilitated? It`s just a bullshit word. So you go on and stamp your form, sorry, and stop wasting my time. Because to tell you the truth, I don`t give a shit.
9、I guess it comes down to a simple choice:get busy living or get busy dying.
Starring: Angourie Rice, Anthony Quinonez, Cobie Smulders, Davina Sitaram, Hemky Madera, Jacob Batalon, Jake Gyllenhaal, JB Smoove, Jon Favreau, Laura Harrier, Marisa Tomei, Martin Starr, Michael Keaton, Numan A, Remy Hii, Samuel L. Jackson, Tom Holland, Zendaya
Spider-Man: Far From Home (2019)
Summary: Our friendly neighborhood Super Hero decides to join his best friends Ned, MJ, and the rest of the gang on a European vacation. However, Peter’s plan to leave super heroics behind for a few weeks are quickly scrapped when he begrudgingly agrees to help Nick Fury uncover the mystery of several elemental creature attacks, creating havoc across the continent!
Director: Jon Watts Genre(s): Action, Adventure, Sci-Fi, Comedy
Starring: Aisha Hinds, Anthony Ramos, Bradley Whitford, CCH Pounder, Charles Dance, David Strathairn, Elizabeth Ludlow, Jason Liles, Ken Watanabe, Kyle Chandler, Lexi Rabe, Millie Bobby Brown, O’Shea Jackson Jr., Randall P. Havens, Sally Hawkins, Thomas Middleditch, Vera Farmiga, Ziyi Zhang Summary: The heroic efforts of the crypto-zoological agency Monarch face off against a battery of god-sized monsters, including the mighty Godzilla, who collides with Mothra, Rodan, and his ultimate nemesis, the three-headed King Ghidorah. When these ancient super-species—thought to be mere myths—rise again, they all vie for supremacy, leaving humanity’s very existence hanging in the balance. Collapse Director: Michael Dougherty Genre(s): Action, Adventure, Sci-Fi, Fantasy, Horror Rating: PG-13 Runtime: 131 min
Godzilla: King of the Monsters (2019)
9/10, four and a half stars, special effects burst, the picture is excellent, the monsters are full of drama, fighting passion, grand world view, positive and negative logic smooth (the following dry goods face logic and the female hostess), profound natural dialectical thinking, The disadvantage is that the human drama has a rhythm and some of the shots are fragmented. But I don’t know how to read a lot of reviews, plus a half star balance. Welcome to reprint.
Long comment (spoiler warning)
Personally think that the best genre of the Godzilla series are “New Godzilla 2016” and “Godzilla 1954”. Both have profound political metaphors and social reflections, but there are not many fighting scenes. The best thing to do is this “King of Monsters”. However, it is still difficult to combine the monster scenes of the giant beasts with the human dramas. After all, because of the gap in body size, it is difficult to carry out the monsters and human dramas at the same time, and isolation will inevitably occur. Moreover, Douban is very picky, and it is a bad story to play, that is, the plot has no logic to score low points, and the play is less good, that is, “do not want to see humans” to score low points. At present, all the behemoth movies, I think the best combination of plot and fight is “Godzilla’s 1995 squad” and “Gamela 3 evil spirits awakening.” In addition, the watercress itself has a certain prejudice against the monster/monster film. Even the classic “05 King Kong”, “Shaped 1&2” and “Jurassic World” are only 8 points up and down.
table of Contents:
1. Human drama; 1.1 villain logic; 1.2 female logic; 1.3 male and female main position changes; 1.4 logic trap; 1.5 literary rhythm;
2. Monsters and human drama;
3. The scenes of monsters and monsters;
4. The correct way to watch the film.
1. The first is the most controversial human scene. Human dramas are also divided into literary plays and martial arts. The film’s human drama includes the emotional entanglement of the male and female family, as well as the theoretical group of the expert group. The film does not tell much about the emotions of the male and female owners, but it can be linked from fragments distributed in several parts of the film. The female host family was destroyed in the battle of Godzilla and Muto in Godzilla 2014 and lost her son. Since then, the male hatred monster, and the female master has developed an artifact with the monster in the plan of the emperor, the two went on different paths.
1.1 villain logic. I object to the villain logic bugs that most film reviews say. I am an ecological major. There are three ecological concepts involved in this film. One is anthropocentrism represented by the military and wants to kill all monsters. One is the ecological holism represented by Serizawa, who wants to coexist with monsters. One is anti-anthropocentrism, represented by villains, attempting to release all monsters and destroy human civilization and reconstruct the ecological circle. The “anti-anthropocentrism” in reality stems from the deterioration of the environment, and advocates stopping the development of industry and returning to nature. After its extreme, it is ecological terrorism. Although it may be that the audience will feel that the villains are very rash, it is a pity that this is a reality and there have been a series of terrorist attacks. This is well documented. What, you said, why not pave the way for the villain? No need, just like any movie will not pave the way why the protagonist is a lively and cheerful person, this is the setting.
1.2 The female subject’s ecological concept is between “ecological holism” and “anti-anthropocentrism”, but it has nothing to do with the Virgin. In the early stage, she wanted to destroy the city through monsters and leave radiation in the city, and then turn the city into a restricted area for human beings to achieve natural ecological restoration. In theory, there is no problem with this logic. For the actual basis, please refer to the documentary “The Snow Group of Chernobyl”. Of course, the film also adds the setting of “Monster-specific radiation can accelerate plant growth”, which intuitively improves the correctness of this logic. Her original plan was to release the monsters one by one, but did not expect that the release of Quito is the king of the monsters, and Quito directly summoned all the monsters. But then Zhang Ziyi discovered that Quidola came from an alien (there was a line in the film, and the “Oxygen Destroyer” side-by-side verification of the invalidity of Kidola), like the clown in Batman, like pure destruction, and Not maintaining ecological balance. Therefore the female host is against the water.
[Supplement: Some netizens believe that nuclear power plants can be used to obtain the same effect, but eco-terrorism is more inclined to use the natural means of nature, not artificial things. Moreover, the ecology of ancient behemoths is evolutionarily stable, and nuclear power plant accidents can trigger uncontrollable cascade expansion. If Quito is an ordinary Earth monster, it does get the expected result of the villain. However, Quito is an invasive species, and what he dominates is not evolutionarily stable. 】
After the above analysis, it can be found that the behavior of the villains and the female host are not logically injured. The logic of this film involves the principles of ecology, and it is the more rigorous logic, more rigorous than the combination of a certain liquid and a certain species and other species to treat diseases. However, it is necessary to have a certain disciplinary basis to clarify this logic. Moreover, the film has a fast pace, so it is difficult for ordinary viewers to correctly understand.
1.3 Changes in the position of men and women. The male and female masters lost their sons in the battle between Godzilla and Muto. The male lord hated and wanted to destroy the monsters. This is a typical “anthropocentrism.” However, the monster is actually awakened by the nuclear explosions of Hiroshima and Nagasaki. The female host believes that the root of the loss of the son lies in the human being itself. She is an ecological holism. After the divorce, the woman found that the radiation of the monster had the effect of environmental restoration, coupled with the trauma of the lost child, she gradually turned into anti-anthropocentrism. This is very embarrassing, but one factor is easy to ignore, that is, when she was employed by the emperor organization, she invented the “sound wave transmitter”, which can control the monster. When a person gains an extremely powerful force, it magnifies her good and evil, while at the same time reducing the cost of doing bad things. Since then, the female host has cooperated with ecological terrorism. However, Quito, beyond the expectation of the woman, caused her to lose this control. At this time, the position of the woman returned to a very fragile state and even fell into self-doubt. When the daughter steals the sound wave launcher and goes alone against Quito, it becomes the fuse of the female host’s sudden change. The male leader formed a united front with Godzilla because of his opposition to Quidola, so his position changed to “ecological holism.”
1.4 logical traps. Some people have a logical problem with the film, but they have made a logical mistake. E.g:
a. Why did a group of people not escape when Quidola appeared? Before the predator finds you but does not launch an attack, the escape will directly trigger the predator’s predation, so the escape is a bis behavior. The right way is to face the predator and slowly retreat, or copy the guy directly. Unfortunately, the weapon is not valid for Quito.
b. The woman does not leave her daughter next to a safer man? The female host and the villain launched the attack on the organization of the male lord. Obviously the female lord was safer.
c. The male and female owners killed so many soldiers in order to save their daughters? First of all, the man and the woman are going to find the “Oka sound wave launcher” that the daughter stole. This is the way to stop the monster, and save the daughter is the way. To take a step back, this American value of sacrificing multiple people to save one person also appears in films like “Saving Ryan.”
d. Why not create a few “Oka sound wave transmitters”? As a prototype, of course, there is no mass production. As an important item that can control monsters, it is definitely not energy-produced, just like “nuclear weapons.” However, such an important thing is not heavily guarded, but also let the daughter steal it. It is indeed a problem.
If you have more questions, please feel free to ask.
1.5 literary rhythm. The loopholes in the drama itself are not too many, nor are they the focus of the film. But no logic problem does not mean that the story is well spoken. Compared with the monster’s play, the humanistic drama is not very good at controlling the rhythm. Sometimes it feels quite dull, lacking the expression of the atmosphere and the dramatic turning point.
2. Monsters and human drama. It mainly includes the battle between Raton and the army, the battle between Mosla and humans, the battle between Quito and humans, and the emotional drama of Godzilla and human beings. The drama of Dr. Serizawa and Godzilla is simply another interpretation of the 1954 edition. It can be said that it is very good. In addition, the battle between this monster and humans is also very exciting.
3. Monsters and monsters. Including the Antarctic war between Godzilla and Quito, the air battle between Raton and Quidola, the naval battle between Godzilla and Quidola, the air battle between Raton and Mosla, and the final battle, and of course, the magic And the emotional drama of Godzilla.
The battle between the monsters is a more controversial place, because when the monsters are smashing each other, some human dramas are interspersed, and most of these human dramas do not interact with the monsters. For example, when Raton and Quidola were in the air battle, the male lord went to the hangar to do things that were irrelevant. The men and women in the air battle between Mosla and Raton were searching for the daughter. When the beasts are intertwined, it is appropriate to intersperse human dramas. It is a very classic way of shooting the giant beasts through the human perspective. But the human lens should focus on the collapse of the building caused by the monster battle, the impact of the explosion on people, rather than focusing on things that are irrelevant. Of course, the Great Southern War and the final battle are still very exciting. In addition, the emotional drama of Godzilla and Mosla should be the best emotional drama in the film.
4. The correct way to watch the film
1. Empty your brain, don’t think too much. Ignore the human plot, just appreciate the monster fight, just cool. Partial lens switching does not affect the overall look and feel.
2. If you are hard to study the plot and study the motivation of the characters, then hope that this film review can provide you with some science and help.
WALT DISNEY STUDIOS MOTION PICTURES | RELEASE DATE: JUNE 7, 2019
Starring: Alexandra Shipp, Ato Essandoh, Daniel Cudmore, Evan Jonigkeit, Evan Peters, James McAvoy, Jennifer Lawrence, Jessica Chastain, Kodi Smit-McPhee,Michael Fassbender, Nicholas Hoult, Olivia Munn, Sophie Turner, Tye Sheridan
Summary: In Dark Phoenix, the X-Men face their most formidable and powerful foe: one of their own, Jean Grey. During a rescue mission in space, Jean is nearly killed when she is hit by a mysterious cosmic force. Once she returns home, this force not only makes her infinitely more powerful, but far more unstable. Wrestling with this entity inside her, Jean unleashes her powers in ways she can neither comprehend nor contain. With Jean spiraling out of control, and hurting the ones she loves most, she begins to unravel the very fabric that holds the X-Men together. Now, with this family falling apart, they must find a way to unite — not only to save Jean’s soul, but to save our very planet from aliens who wish to weaponize this force and rule the galaxy.
Director: Simon Kinberg Genre(s): Action, Adventure, Sci-Fi Rating: PG-13 Runtime: 113 min
As we all know, the X-Men is another series of Marvel. Unlike the huge layout of the Avengers series of grass snakes and gray lines, the X-Men’s 20-year shooting has spawned countless branches, and any one of them has a circle. Can be point.
I was because I saw the “X-Men: First Battle” by Yimei and Shark, and was circled. I was shocked at the time, my God, what is this fairy love!
This year’s “X-Men: Black Phoenix” has been the earliest filming of “X-Men” for nearly 20 years. A bang, look back, look at the first part of “X-Men”, the uncle of the year is still in the prime of life:
The storm girl is still wearing the black pearl Harry Berry, with the last sense of glory in the 1990s.
This time, “X-Men: Black Phoenix” was released in June, which is very much looking forward to. After all, the wolf is dead, the ability of the professor has been greatly weakened, and this time a new chapter can be opened.
1. A superhero who almost didn’t want to pick up
“X-Men” is a Marvel superhero group movie that is planned to be put on the big screen earlier than the Avengers. In 1989, Stan Lee found James Cameron to talk about the project, but Cameron didn’t look at the mutants and wanted to shoot “Spider-Man” until the card company went bankrupt and the project had to abort.
In desperation, Marvel can only continue to sell movie copyrights to major film production companies, and was rejected.
Until the 20th century, Foss found that the “X-Men: The Animated Series” cartoon played in his children’s station was good, so he bought the copyright of the movie in 1994.
In 1999, the film officially started shooting. The first generation of Wolverine, Professor, and Wan Wang were on the screen, laying the foundation for the next 20 years of the X-Men series.
2, the intersection with the complex
In fact, the characters in “X-Men” have appeared in the “Avengers” series. The fast silver and blush witches in “Fulian 2: Ao Chuang Era” are the sons and daughters of Wan Wang.
Fast Silver died unfortunately in “Reunion 2”, and the blushing witch went to the just-concluded “Reunification 4: The Final Battle” and became the output of strength.
However, it needs to be clearly stated that the universe in “Reunification” is not the same as the universe in “X-Men”, so although the fast silver has been sacrificed in the double-link, it is still alive and kicking in “X-Men”. A lot of famous scenes.
In the comics, Wolverine and the dead waiter have also joined the Fulian, and Spider-Man has crossed the field on both sides. Even after I was initially mutated by spiders, I went to Professor X for help.
However, given that Hugh Jackman has retired from his boots, he will be looking forward to the death of the squad, and Spider-Man will appear in the “X-Men” series, and maybe look forward to it.
3, the correct viewing order
There are many characters in the “X-Men” series. The universe doesn’t know how many times it has been paralleled. If you focus on the key points, if you follow the correct order, then I suggest you look like this:
1. “X-Men Prequel: Wolverine”: Telling the Uncle Wolf in 1845, because of some kind of stimulation, it stimulated the ability of the body to change, and galloped on the battlefield, before and after World War II, was rebuilt by Strike The story of Wolverine into a reinforced iron skeleton.
2, “X-Men: First Battle”: Before and after World War II, how did the young X Professor encounter the 10,000-magnet king, how to take in the magic-shaped woman, and focus on building a world of new order for the mutants to shelter.
3, “X-Men”: Professor X in the late 90s to retain the memory of Wolverine, and the magnetic king began to fight.
4, “X-Men 2”: Wan Wang and Professor X joined forces to stop Stryker’s plan to eliminate the mutants.
5, “X-Men: Backwaters First World War”: The survival of the mutants is once again in crisis, Wan Wang and Professor X join hands, but after the victory, the two sides began a civil war and lost their soldiers.
6, “Wolverine 2”: Wolverine in the “X-Men: Backwaters” was wounded fiercely, one person went to Japan, all the way to sleep the female lord, hammered the female host fiance, killed the female master dad and grandfather. The film has a general story, but it is not bad.
7. “X-Men: Apocalypse”: The most ancient and powerful mutant on Earth, the resurrection of the Apocalypse, with the intention of destroying the Earth, and the X-Men counterattacks the hammer.
8. “X-Men: Reversing the Future”: In 2023, the mutants were vanished, so they sent the Wolverine to 1973, convincing the professor, and joining forces with Wang Wang to stop the action of the magical female assassination of government officials.
9, “Wolverine 3” 2017: The story took place in 2029, the mutants died. Both Wolverine and Professor X are old, and in order to help a new generation of mutants survive, Wolverine is dead in the battlefield.
4. About the power of Qin Gelei and Phoenix
Qin Gelei is the daughter of John Grey, a professor of history. When she was 10 years old, she witnessed the death of a friend, fell into a great sorrow, and was stimulated to awaken her superpower.
So her parents took her to find Professor X, Professor X taught her to control her strength, and with the help of the piano, enhanced the ability of the brain.
In an outer space operation, Qin and her friends traversed a solar ray storm, almost killed, a strong desire to survive for her to summon the phoenix, although saved by the power of the Phoenix, but was used by the power of the Phoenix. The phoenix copied the memory and personality of the piano, and let the piano go black. After the blackening, the piano can even absorb the sun in the alien galaxies, causing the destruction of the entire population.
In the cartoon, Professor X used the psionic power to drop the piano and return her to normal. I don’t know what the story in this movie will be, so I am very much looking forward to the interpretation in the movie.
5. About the power of Phoenix
The power of the phoenix is a powerful force that has no form but has its own willpower. It was born with the birth of the universe and is the child of the universe.
It wandered in the universe, was first inspired by the magician Feron, and lost a piece of its own in the battle with another magician, Necrom.
Then the phoenix returned to the universe and looked around for a new host. Phoenix has a very high demand for the host and requires a strong mental power from the host. It used to be parasitic in the Emma Frost, but the latter could not bear the hunger of the human spirit and had to give up.
With the power of the phoenix, you can not only fly out of thin air, release the phoenix-like shock wave, reviving people, even manipulating the timeline, freely going back and forth to any time and latitude, linking the life of the entire universe with spirit, creating a black hole to make a leap Change the substance.
If the power of the Phoenix is injured or killed, it will use the power of the universe to form an “egg”, which is bred in the White Hot Room and gradually hatches until it heals completely.
Well, that is what we call nirvana.
6, The love and hate with Wolverine
In the original “X-Men” movie, Qin Gelei almost destroyed the earth because he could not control his own strength. For this reason, Wolverine had to kill Qin Gelei personally.
In the early films, Qin Gelei’s setting was not the host of the phoenix’s power. It was just a mutant with powerful mental control. It was affected by the power of the phoenix and could not be controlled.
After Wolverine joined the X-Men, he had a good impression on the piano, but at that time the piano and the laser eye were already male and female friends, so he had to leave the uncle uncle.
Finally, because the power of the piano is not controlled, others can’t approach her. Only Uncle Wolf, as King Kong is not bad, can survive near the piano. For the peace of the earth, Uncle Wolf had to slap his lover.
However, this is the setting of the original “X-Men”. The current “X-Men” has been restarted in the reversal of the future, which is considered a parallel universe.
The first generation of the Phoenix woman was played by the 007 girl’s Famik Jensen, and the new Qin Gelei was played by Miss Hasha, the Northern Kingdom of the Game of Thrones, Sufi Turner.
7. Which familiar faces can be seen in this section?
In this section, the familiar faces of the X-Men prequel trilogy will appear. This may be the last time in the prequel trilogy. The classic lineup was assembled on the big screen. Everyone can see and cherish it!
In order to deal with the power of Phoenix, Professor X and the magnetic king – “One Beauty” James McAvoy and “Fark Shark” Michael Fassbinder will join forces to join forces again, and the big cousin Jennifer Lorenz will also Once again, as a magical woman.
In addition, the “beast” Nicholas Hoult in the prequel, in the “X-Men: Reversing the Future” and “X-Men: Apocalypse” contributed to the high-light moment “fast silver” Evan Peders, and The young “Laser Eye” Taiy Sheridan, who debuted in “X-Men: Apocalypse”, will appear.
The director of the department, Simon Ginberg, is actually the old man of the “X-Men” series. As early as in 2006, “X-Men: Backwaters,” he served as a screenwriter; in the prequel trilogy, he was “X”. The Producer of the War: The First Battle, the screenwriter of “X-Men: Reversing the Future” and “X-Men: Apocalypse”.
Shaji Karun’s first film was about a commoner. His forthcoming feature is about Raja Ravi Varma. The filmmaker talks about aspects of this interesting journey.
APR 23, 2006 – TYPE IN WWW.SHAJI.INFO AND you’ll be greeted by the photograph you see in this story. If this isn’t a worthy entry point to the web site of a renowned cinematographer, I don’t know what is. That’s Shaji Karun, corkscrewing himself towards us. But this pose is hardly as unusual as that handrail to his left, an electrocardiogram in metal winding past an eerie blue light from a window before disappearing into a gaping mouth of nothingness. “It means a lot to me, the way you look at a picture,” says Karun, when I ask if this picture means something. All he’ll say is that he was filled with a strange kind of emotion at this location, a church in Switzerland. “I felt this moment should be captured.”
Ever since he graduated from the FTII with a degree in cinematography, Shaji Karun has been capturing moments, not merely images. “I am influenced by Aravindan, with whom I’ve worked with on several projects. His films say a lot through silence instead of dialogue, so what you see on screen aren’t just pretty pictures. They are the primary means of communication.” That remained the philosophy when Karun decided to turn director in 1988 with Piravi (Malayalam). (He’d made a few shorts earlier.) “It’s about a father waiting for his son. The son is, in a sense, the main character, but he’s not shown at all. Instead, I tried to tell the story with the help of visuals _ the rain, the river, the storms, the skies…”
The universality of these visuals is possibly rivalled only by the universality of the acclaim for the movie. Piravi was widely hailed as the most stunning feature film debut in the country since Satyajit Ray burst on the scene with Pather Panchali. Cannes awarded it the Camera d’Or, for best feature film by a first-time director. It won the Silver Leopard at the Locarno International Film Festival. (Trivia note: The bronze that year, for Where is the Friend’s House?, went to an Iranian filmmaker named… Abbas Kiarostami, who wasn’t quite the art house darling he is today.)
It’s perhaps inevitable that Piravi turned out the masterpiece it is. After all, 15 years of training and preparation went into it. “It took me that long to get ready, to convince myself that I could direct,” says Karun, who, even at the FTII, realised that cinema is essentially a director’s medium. It didn’t matter that by the age of 24, he had on his mantelpiece the National Award for cinematography _ for Aravindan’s Thampu. What he really wanted was to make movies from his own point of view.
But Karun doesn’t dismiss the years he toiled as cinematographer (for the illustrious likes of Aravindan, George and Vasudevan Nair). “A filmmaker is like a doctor,” he says, and the analogy isn’t as strange as it first appears when you learn that he got an admission to a medical college in Trivandrum, to do his MBBS. “But who is a doctor? He is one who knows about the whole of the human body, and who then goes on to a specialisation.” Now you know where the analogy is headed. “Similarly, a filmmaker has to have knowledge about all of cinema, whether he wants to end up as cinematographer or director. Even as cinematographer, I would look at something the director did and ask myself how I would do it if I were in his position. All this training helped me.”
But once Karun decided to take the plunge, things came together quickly. He got a loan from the NFDC. He made the film. And he got the luckiest break when it was picked up by Cannes. Piravi was released across Europe and proved a big success. Since then, though, he’s made only three features _ Swaham (1994), Vanaprastham (1998) and Nishad (2002). “In the earlier days,” Karun says, “I needed about Rs. 6 lakh to make a movie. That’s how much Piravi cost. Now it would cost almost Rs. 60 lakh. Almost ten times more.” It makes you think a minute, that this amount would merely cover the costs of Kareena Kapoor’s wardrobe in a Karan Johan production _ but Karun doesn’t have any issues with mainstream cinema. “That’s an entertainment, and human beings need entertainment.”
Besides, it’s a mainstream producer _ Bobby Mangal Pandey Bedi _ who will finance Karun’s next film, “a human passion drama that looks at Raja Ravi Varma from the point of view of a model from Maharashtra who inspired him.” Varma was apparently 35 when he met this muse, and after this meeting his painting is said to have acquired a different dimension. “What does it mean for a human being to be inspired?” asks Karun. “There’s a lot of information available today about Raja Ravi Varma, but not about the model. There was a scandal involving the nudity. She ran away and he went in search of her. That’s the story.”
At the moment, Karun wants Ajay Devgan as his leading man. But he’s still writing the screenplay and he says he doesn’t approach actors till he completes the writing process. “That’s because I don’t want the person in front of me to influence the characters I am writing.” But it’s Vishal Bhardwaj who’s writing Karun’s other project, based on a T Padmanabhan short story called Kadal. “Sometimes, I ask others to write,” says Karun. “I give the ideas, but my writing skills aren’t very good. My strengths are the visuals, not words.”
Sometimes, those words are not in Malayalam. Sometimes, as in Nishad, those words are in Hindi and Pali. The film was set in the Himalayan regions, in a Buddhist settlement, and Karun says, “My idea of language is that it should reflect where the actions take place. Language is a part of the landscape.” And now, in the Raja Ravi Varma project, though the artist is from Kerala, the film is set in Mumbai. So Marathi and Hindi will be part of the landscape. In any case, Karun feels the language shouldn’t be a deterrent in today’s multiplex scenario. “The multiplexes are great, even if they are only in the metros. The audience has begun patronising different kinds of cinema, and there’s hope that we may again see a period like the 70s, when all kinds of films were being made and everyone was enthusiastic about watching them.”
Karun hopes to start shooting by the end of the monsoon and finish in time for an October 2 release. That date marks the centenary of Raja Ravi Varma’s death. If it appears that there’s very little time between June and October, Karun says, “Once my screenplay is ready, I need only 45-50 days of shooting, and my post-production takes very little time.” And it must help that he’s been working on the movie for the past two years. “My first draft was only about Raja Ravi Varma. The second draft, I wrote from the viewpoint of the model. The third had location details. Now I’m onto my fourth draft of the screenplay, which even has details of the sound design.”
Karun says he can afford to take this kind of time with his films because he’s never considered cinema as something to earn his livelihood from. “For that, I just go and photograph someone else’s movies. Or I make short films, like the one about a blind man who did embroidery. For me, cinema is a craft. So I wait until I can make the movies I want to.” So does that make him a cinematographer first, a director later? Karun doesn’t hesitate. “Just call me a filmmaker.”
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On the eve of the release of his 101st feature _ the young-love story, ‘Poi’ _ director K Balachander talks about the journey from then to now.
SEP 10, 2006 – Let’s start at the very beginning! When you first came into the movies _ from the theatre _ what was the scenario like? Obviously, MGR, Sivaji Ganesan and Gemini Ganesan were the big stars then…
By the time I came into films, I had become very popular as an amateur playwright. I was known in the film fraternity, and MGR asked me to write the screenplay-dialogue for his Deivathaai. Very frankly, considering the nature of MGR movies, I was a fish out of water, but the producer, RM Veerappan, helped me. He was adept at writing scripts for MGR. After that, I wrote Poojaikku Vandha Malar for Muktha Srinivasan. Then I got a producer for my first movie. At that time, most films were based on heroism. They were all male-oriented, male-chauvinistic films. I knew I had to be different, so I chose the area I knew best _ middle-class issues. I decided to remake Neerkumizhi, one of my favourite plays. Compared to the other films of the time, it was something new for the audience. It was shot mostly on one set. The concept, the structure appealed to everybody. It became a big hit, and I became a film director.
You just said that the films then were hero oriented. But even your stories, initially, centred on a male protagonist (if not a “hero”). I’m talking about Neerkumizhi, Major Chandrakanth, Edhirneechal… And slowly you became known for your women-centric subjects. How did that transition happen?
I never wanted to make films with big, established stars, with the exception of a few like Nagesh. I was very comfortable with Nagesh. I wrote scripts like Server Sundaram that were tailored for him. But he was a very busy comedian, and I couldn’t go on making movies with him. And I knew that the middle-class subjects that interested me wouldn’t interest any other hero. So it was a matter of convenience. With heroine-oriented subjects, I could do what I was comfortable with, without compromises. There’s another reason. In the theatre, I couldn’t always do the subjects I wanted to because those days it was difficult to get women to perform on stage. So most of my plays had male protagonists. In cinema, that restriction was no longer there.
These women-oriented films usually have tragic endings. You put these women in interesting circumstances, but they somehow fail to find happiness. Sujatha in Aval Oru Thodarkathai, Suhasini in Sindhu Bhairavi, Pramila in Arangetram _ their characters seem abandoned at the end.
In Sindhu Bhairavi, Suhasini decided that she could live without a man. She found happiness with those slum children. In my opinion, that is a positive ending. Marriage is not the be all and end all. Arangetram was a different case. That was a very acidic subject. I was showing a lower middle-class Tamil Brahmin family where the parents had several children, and the heroine becomes a prostitute to support this family. After showing her as a prostitute for most of the movie, I couldn’t give her a happy ending. In those days _ the early seventies _ the society was very traditional. I didn’t want to alienate my audience, so I tried to strike a balance between what I wanted to convey and what I thought my audience would accept. If I made the same movie today, she would have lived happily ever after, with or without marriage. As I said, a happy ending doesn’t necessarily mean marriage.
These heroines _ most of them were hardly the glamour girls of their day. Sridevi was probably the only one. Otherwise, you kept featuring heroines who were more powerhouse performers than pinup girls. It’s almost as if you wanted to prove a point to the box office.
Let me talk about Saritha. I auditioned many girls for Maro Charitra, but I didn’t get what I was looking for. They all looked the same, and I wanted someone fresh. Then Saritha came in. She answered all my questions. I told her it’s a very difficult role. She said she could do it. I liked the way she talked to me. I asked her if she would sing, and she got up immediately and started singing and dancing. It was some Telugu film song, and she performed it in the same style as the hero and heroine. She did all this spontaneously. I was taken aback. And I said I’d take her. Everyone around me, including my hero, had reservations about this girl. But I was right about her. Earlier, there was Sowcar Janaki, another performer not exactly known for glamour. I wanted to cast her in a play _ Mezhuguvarthi _ and I didn’t know if she’d agree, being a popular film star. Finally, ¡®Major’ Sunderrajan talked to her and she said yes. That was the first play she did, and she became part of the family. Then I cast her in Edhirneechal, in a total contrast to the parts she was doing then, where she was always in tears.
You tend to find a few actors and stick with them. Among the heroes, it was Gemini Ganesan, Sivakumar, Kamal Hassan, Rajinikanth. And you repeatedly used heroines like Sowcar Janaki, Sujatha, Saritha. Is it just the comfort factor? Considering your stage background, did this cast become your “troupe”?
It’s the comfort factor. My actors were like family. It was like a gurukula, and I wanted to exploit their talent by casting them in various roles. But it was primarily the comfort factor. We used to do rehearsals for the stage, and the same set of actors would go for shootings too, as I’d begun directing a few films. But after a point, I had to leave theatre for good. My films had succeeded in a big way and I wasn’t able to concentrate on theatre any more. But these actors provided a comfortable working environment. The feel-good factor comes only if your artists are well-disposed towards you, if they treat the director as the captain of the ship. Nowadays, I don’t think that is the case.
Two of these actors are still at the top in Tamil cinema. Did you sense they would get this far? What did you see in them when they first approached you? And after these two, you haven’t done much work with big stars, except a Madhavan, maybe. Do you consciously avoid big names?
The way in which I spotted Saritha, the way in which I spotted Nasser, the way in which I spotted X, Y, Z that’s how I spotted them too. Something intuitive happens which tells me, This person will become a star or an actor.’ I cannot define it. The main thing is that they had a lot of potential and could be used in many roles. About using stars after that, it’s again just a question of the comfort factor. They can’t dictate terms to me. They can’t say, I will come at 10 o’clock.’ They have to be there at 8 o’clock. That’s the only way it will work for me. Some of these actors become stars after being in my films, and then they become unavailable to me. If I cast someone, they should be available to me always.
You make all these serious films. Suddenly there’s a Manmadha Leelai, a Thillu Mullu, a Poova Thalayaa. Considering that these are popular even today, why didn’t you do comedy more often?
When I made Poikaal Kudhirai, I wanted to relax myself. I’d made Agni Saatchi before that, and that was a very difficult subject. But after Poikaal Kudhirai was released, everyone asked why KB had made such a movie. I had become slotted as a maker of serious movies. After that, I didn’t want to take that risk of making a comedy. I can do comedy very well, but they are not letting me do it. Even today, people ask me why I don’t make something like Bama Vijayam or Thillu Mullu, but these people are very few.
You not only got branded a serious filmmaker, you also became known for a certain kind of relationship movie, with permutations of one-versus-many _ one husband with two wives, or three sisters in love with one man, or a socially taboo older-woman-younger-man angle. Do you like to shock people?
Yes. It’s rather inborn in me that I want to shock people. Of course, it’s risky when you do this, because I’ll have to consider my survival also. If I take on a shocking subject and it fails, then I immediately make a safe film _ for the audience.
Your serious films deal mostly with relationships. Even in Arangetram, which dealt with prostitution (and perhaps family planning), the overall structure revolves around a woman and her obligations to her family, her relationships. But there was a period where you made Varumayin Niram Sivappu, Thanneer Thanneer, Achchamillai Achchamillai _ and in these, the relationships seemed secondary to the social issues. How did that phase come about?
That came out of my urge to be different. I wanted to make something different from “my” type of movies. But even then, I never wanted to make fully political movies. I just wanted to touch a political backdrop. I decided to do Thanneer Thanneer the moment Komal Swaminathan said he was writing the play and told me it was the story of a village. It was simultaneously developed as a play and a film. The play was staged earlier and was a big success, but if I’d staged the film like the play _ with the village as the protagonist _ I don’t think it would have succeeded. The film succeeded because I made the woman the protagonist. I laid emphasis on one particular character and the whole story went along with that character. Achchamillai Achchamillai is also a political subject, but I kept it within the four walls of a house, as a story between husband and wife.
Now that we’re talking about Achchamillai Achchamillai, let me ask you about this character named Sudhanthiram _ a little person (I think is the politically correct term) whose stunted growth is a metaphor for the state of our freedom. Things like metaphor and symbolism _ that “Balachander touch” people keep talking about _ do these go back to your theatre background?
Not really. I didn’t touch on this issue when I was answering your first question. When I came into films, I was in a dilemma about how best to attract audiences. So I thought of new ways to present things. I wouldn’t call it gimmickry, but it was something like that. This became very popular and the audience gave this a name _ the “Balachander touch”. And then it became a must in my movies. They began to expect these touches in my films. Even now, people say they can tell it is my movie after just a couple of scenes _ even if they haven’t seen it before.
You mentioned Thanneer Thanneer earlier, and one of the things we remember about the film is the lovely number Kannaana Poomagane, composed by MS Viswanathan. Whether with V Kumar or MSV or Ilayaraja or AR Rahman, your films have had some very good music. What is your interest in music? Do you leave it to the composer, or do you know what you want and ask for that?
I don’t leave it to chance. I don’t leave it to the music director. I do sit with the music director when he is composing and there are times I’ve even rejected tunes. But all the song situations are dictated by me. Take the romantic song in Varumayin Niram Sivappu _ Sippi Irukkudhu. It’s my job to conceive such situations that throw a challenge to the lyricist and the music director, otherwise they will not come up with their best. The song you mentioned, Kannaana Poomagane, was a big challenge, because it couldn’t have many instruments in the background. It had to be simply sung, that is all. In Aboorva Raagangal, I told MSV that the entire climax is contained in a song. In Agni Saatchi, I wanted a song _ Kanaa kaanum kangal _ that would reflect the state of the heroine’s mind. I knew my shot would start from a close up of her head. So the music reflected that. But it’s different today. Vidyasagar, though, was nice to work with (in Poi), because he’s like someone from the old days. He was very happy that I had come to him, and he was happy to compose for song situations that were very specific.
You’ve remade a lot of your own movies in other languages. Varumayin Niram Sivappu, for instance, became Zara Si Zindagi. Iru Kodugal became Eradu Rekhagalu. What interests you in this process, having already gone through the whole story and dealt with the characters once? Is it possibly because you’re in love with your characters and can’t bear to let them go?
Nothing like that. It’s just a matter of convenience when getting into another language. With a proven subject, it becomes easier for me. A new subject could be a big risk. Yes, redoing something in another language is a big bore. But when I made, for example, Ek Duuje Ke Liye (from Maro Charitra), most of the cast was different. So some amount of freshness was there. Of course, when there’s an earlier movie, there’s always the element of comparison _ not only for the viewer, but even I start comparing my shots here with the shots I took in the original version. Sometimes they are superior, sometimes inferior.
In less than forty years, you’ve made about a hundred films. That works out to more than two per year. There’s hardly anyone around these days who makes movies at that rate. Why do you think this is so?
There are directors like Dasari Narayana Rao, who have done many more films. But in my case, I don’t like to rest. I am 76. How many other directors are still working at this age? That’s because I don’t have any interests other than writing for films or for serials. For the past ten years, I’ve been busy with my projects for TV. I guess it’s the constant urge to be in the limelight, or maybe to satisfy my own ego. Balachander has not become old.’ That’s what I want people to think.
I know this is a clichéd question, but I have to ask you this. What’s your view on Tamil cinema today? And what are the films you’ve enjoyed watching recently?
Of course, technically speaking things have improved a great deal. Last week I saw a film that was technically brilliant, technically excellent, technically… you can insert another superlative word. But after coming home, I couldn’t remember what it was about. I couldn’t recall scenes or dialogues that stood out. But some of the smaller films are good, like Chitiram Pesuthadi. I liked the format of the love angle. And there was no bloodshed or violence, despite the Mafia backdrop. I liked the fact that the love affair was treated with significance. (Then, when I prod him about Vettaiyaadu Vilaiyaadu’…) It’s a good movie, very well done, very well enacted and all that. The moment I saw it, I sent for Kamal. He came here and we discussed the film.
When the audience for your films stopped going to theatres and switched to television, you followed them and made serials. But now you’re back with Poi. What made you want to get back to the big screen? And what’s special about this movie?
I was getting bored with what I was doing for the past ten years. If you look at just the writing aspect of it, writing for films and writing for TV are not very different. But with TV, your thinking becomes restricted, mainly due to the budget. For instance, you cannot have a song situation. So I decided to make a film. I consider Poi an antidote to the kind of films coming out today. It’s a simple love story. It’s about the lies we tell in our everyday lives, and how they play havoc with the life of a boy and girl. I think the KB audience will like it because I’ve done things like using a surreal character _ like the “conscience” in Moondru Mudichu.
You started with theatre, and now there are rumours that you are getting back to the stage. Is that true?
The rumour is right. I will be getting back to theatre soon. Actually, I want to come back with two plays. I have already written the script for one. It’s a middle-class subject. About the other one, I have some ideas. I have made a commitment for one more film, and after that I should be back on stage.