Friday, December 09, 2005

A bunch of links and a rant!

Here is a nice summary of a talk that Simon Singh gave in the Faculty Hall yesterday. The title is a bit misleading. It is no longer 'supporting' Big Bang--apparently, most of the working cosmologists agree that Big Bang happened (and there is a fair amount of experimental evidence as well). In any case, here is my bit that was missing (for obvious reasons) in the Hindu summary. Singh told about this epithet "Spherical Ba****d"--apparently, like a sphere looks a sphere from whichever angle you look at it, a spherical ba****d looks ba****d from whatever angle you look at him:-) That reminded me of another nice quote that Clifford Truesdell attributed to Francis Bacon in his Idiot's fugitive essays: He is like a monkey; the higher up he goes, more of his ass he shows:-)

Here is report on the Nobel lecture of Harold Pinter in the op-ed pages; the text and video of the lecture are available (in the Nobel Prize page).

Ashuthosh Gowariker (whose Swades, for all its shortcomings, is a classic in Bollywood cinema, in my opinion) is profiled in the Friday Entertainment supplement. Apparently, he said this:
"We need to break the conception foreigners have of Indian cinema as all song and dance," he says, while also defending film songs as an integral part of our film culture and not something we need to be apologetic about. The shrinkage of length, he adds, will allow filmmakers to access a lot more creative material that couldn't previously be converted into films because of the sheer enormity of three hours.
And, I do not like the sound of it. We make movies not to change the conception of foreigners about Indian cinema; as was so memorably (and succinctly) put in Bollywood calling, Indians want all sentiments in one single movie, and Indian movies are made keeping those Indian sensibilities in mind. However, the second reason he gives makes sense; according to me, if anything, that should be the primary motivation for change. In the process if some foreigners are also able to appreciate the movies, that is a bonus and just that--nothing more, nothing less. Probably all this does not make business sense; may be the Indian producers want to vie with Hollywood in market share. However, that does not justify a person like Ashuthosh Gowariker cite foreign audience acceptance as a reason for motivation for change. Let us hope that Gowariker did not say what the profile says he said; let us also hope that he makes his next movie keeping 'us' (we, the people) in mind and not 'them' - I shudder to think what Swades would have been without "Yuhi chala chal", "Yeh Tara, Woh Tara", "Yeh jo desh hai tera", "Saavariya", "Pal Pal hai bhaari", and, "Dekho na".

Finally, Young World carries a report on the digitisation of the original manuscript of Alice called Alice's Adventures Under Ground. Since the article does not give the URL of the British Library page, here it is, and Thank you, Google--I love you so...o much!.

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