Archive for June, 2007

Much has happened since the last time I spoke about the Roof Top Film Festival. For starters, we have a well maintained wiki and a roof. We also have about 45 participants on our list of participants and 25 more on a waiting list.

So, the participants who have volunteered to be Planners meet on 24th June 2007 at Eva Mall to plan the event.

We still need a volunteer for the screen and mattresses and a sponsor for snacks/food. Let’s see how things shape up. But, it’s definitely been a good start.

More details at:

The Bangalore Roof Top Film Festival wiki

t’s been about a day since I got an email about a Rooftop Film Festival for Bangalore. So, what’s a Rooftop Film Festival. As the sender of the email (someone called Hrish) said, “”Roof Top Film Festivals” are typically where people get together on somebody’s rooftop with a projector and a screen and watch movies which are not very popular in India or not released in multiplexes. These screenings are interspersed by independent film maker’s movies and discussions on the movies screened.” Aparently, Chennai has already had two of them.

The interesting thing about this is that everyone is a participant – even if you offer to help organise the event. So, if you’d like to be a part of this, please visit:
http://rtff.pbwiki.com/Bangalore-Roof-Top

Meanwhile, I hope this does really take off and there will be more updates from me as this develops.

They are here again. It’s time for the return of the Pirates and Ocean’s 11 (only now 13). And while I’ve cribbed about sequels in the past, I have to admit that these were films where I was not disappointed.

Needless to say, these are two different kind of films. Pirates of the Caribbean is an action packed adventure, steeped in ‘Pirate’ myth. So, it must be judged only these grounds. And it is to the director’s credit that he has your attention till the very end in an unusually long film (i.e, by the standards of American cinema).

Johnny Depp and Geoffrey Rush are always at their inimitable best. Johnny Depp never ceases to amaze me with his depth and versatility as an actor. While the others actors are not bad at all, he is the image that you will carry out of the cinema hall.

Moving on to Ocean’s 13, it’s all about plot. It is an action film and yet you need to follow every bit of dialogue to really get a sense of what the director is trying to do. It’s also the kind of film that you’ll appreciate a lot more when you watch it the second time around. The film does a good job of living up to the brilliance of Ocean’s 11.

And if you are either a George Clooney, Al Pacino or Andy Garcia fan, you won’t be disappointed. They all have their moments of brilliance. But, if you are a Brad Pitt or Matt Damon fan, you probably have seen better.

If there was a similarity between these two films, it would be their moments of wicked humour. In both these films, some of these moments build on the past sequels and draw instantaneous laughs from their growing legions of fans.

In a nutshell – If you are a fan of Pirates of the Caribbean or Ocean’s 11, you’ve got to watch the third path. Also, these are films that must be seen on the big screen.

Proving a point

Posted: June 9, 2007 in Life and Living

Sometimes, when in an argument, the attempt is more to prove a point. At these times, the emphasis is so much on proving a point that one ignores the impact that one’s words are having on the other person. Worse still, in the attempt to get the other person to accept a particular point of view one reduces the other person’s sense of self. The objective is not to build, but to hurt.

But, you could be more effective in your negotiation if you always carry a genuine respect and concern for the other party in your mind. Your objective should not be to win the argument, but to find the best solution that works for everyone. The final attempt – to bring healing.

Hugh Prather once rightly said that one must get one touch with one’s desire to hurt before one gets in touch with one’s desire not to hurt.

I find that this is true in my professional and personal life.

Plans…and more plans

Posted: June 4, 2007 in Life and Living

In my previous blog, I spoke about the magic of thinking big, and on my list of ‘to do’s’ was a 10 year plan. So, here I go… Some of the things that you see may surprise you 🙂

10 years from now…

Career…

  • I’d like to have established excellence as a Corporate Communication specialist.
  • I would like to have published five books.
  • I’d like to have had 5 exhibitions of my photographs.
  • I would like to have my own company that builds websites, publishes books and does Media research.
  • I’d like to have made two films.
  • I would also like to own and run a drive-in theatre in Bangalore (yeah, that is a weird one…)

Home department…

  • I’d like to own a heritage house. I would like a large courtyard with many trees and place to park my car.
  • I’d like to have traveled the world and India…and still be traveling.

Social department…

  • I’d like friends who are committed to a life of discovery.
  • Champion for causes that protect Bangalore’s architectural heritage.
  • Champion for causes that protect the environment and support education.

I’m into reading management books right now. Not because any of them are the gospel truth on how you should manage yourself or others. But, I do believe that when you are leading people, it’s important to always expose yourself to different ideas on leadership.

Here are some of the ideas that interested me from The Magic of Thinking Big by David Schwartz…

  1. If you want to live big, you’ve got to think big.
  2. So, if you think you are second class, that’s how you are going to be treated. Believe and treat yourself as if you are important.
  3. Differences in attitude and thought management also determine success. Interest and enthusiasm are critical. Stickability is 95% of ability.
  4. Action cures fear.
  5. An approach to meetings – two important people sitting together to discuss something of mutual importance and benefit.
  6. Stretch your vision. See what can be, not what is.
  7. Ignore the trivial things. Focus on the big issues. Fight the battles that count.
  8. More responsibility is also an opportunity. Don’t blindly say ‘no’.
  9. Big people monopolise the listening. Small people monopolise the talking.
  10. Think right towards people. You will find yourself doing the right thing automatically.
  11. A person is not pulled up to a higher level, but lifted up. So, it’s important to be the kind of person who it is easy to lift.
  12. Salvage something from every setback. Find the lesson and apply it.
  13. Blend persistence with experimentation. Stay with your goal, but try new approaches.
  14. Set goals.
  15. Principles of leadership:
  • Trade minds with the people I want to influence.
  • What is the human way to do this?
  • Think progress, believe in progress, push for progress. This means to think improvement and higher standards.
  • Take time out to confer with yourself.

To do’s…

  1. If there’s something that you feel inadequate about, change it. In other words, develop the qualities that you believe are required for success.
  2. Seek out leaders or people who are a success in their field. There is much to be learned from them. Do not shy away.
  3. Compete with the best.
  4. Speak up.
  5. Jot down my ideas in the course of the week. Every Monday pick up four that I will implement.
  6. Ask myself daily. How can I do things better?
  7. Associate with people who do different things from what I do.
  8. Take the initiative to make friends.
  9. In my interaction with colleagues – recognise that no one is perfect; know that everyone has the right to be different; do not play reformer.
  10. Act on my ideas now.
  11. Volunteer.
  12. Write out my 30-day goals.
  13. Draw out my 10-year plan
  14. Invest in education and idea starters.
  15. Think progressively towards my work, my family, myself and my community.

I know some of these are simple truths. But, it’s important for you to remind yourself of this again and again because sometimes we slip on the simple things, the obvious things.

The month of May is special in the context of Hindi cinema, which had three special films released/playing at this time. They were Bheja Fry, Metro and Cheeni Kum. I did not get to see Bheja Fry. But, I did get too see Life in a Metro and Cheeni Kum.

Bheja Fry is a small budget film that has surprised everyone to go on to become a hit. As the title suggests it’s all about the laughs. But, be warned that there are those who also write this off as a “stilted comedy”. While I haven’t seen this movie, the cast still gets my curiosity… Rajat Kapoor, Vinay Pathak, Sarika, Ranvir Shorey and Milind Soman. Also, all of them liked the script so much, that they almost did the movie for free.

Life in a Metro got my attention as soon as I heard of the cast. Imagine a film that brings together Irfan Khan, Kay Kay Menon, Konkana Sen, Kangana, Nafisa Ali and Dharmendra… All of them choosy about the projects that they undertake. When I saw the film, I had to admit that it was an unusual concept. The director manages to balance his actors roles very well, and no one actor grabs the lion’s share of the script. If you like retro, you would also flip on the music. But, this apart Metro does have its fair share of melodrama and use of typical Bollywood cliches/stock characters. Why must we always make our female actors weep buckets and buckets to denote deep pain???? Yet, a lot of this is redeemed by Konkana and Irfan. They are the film’s stroke of brilliance and make the film very real and eminently watchable. Irfan Khan continues to astound me with his amazing versatility.

On the other hand, Cheeni Kum is a storyline that we have seen before. It’s a mature love story…an older man falls in love with a 30-something woman. She’s no ‘lost baby in the woods’. But, she is old enough to be his daughter. But, what’s set this story apart is the way that it is told. While there are some cliches, in the final analysis, the script is well written, with some brilliant one liners. Also, the performances are eminently believable, especially Tabu.

In a nutshell, Life in a Metro scores on concept. But, Cheeni Kum is a superior film because of its execution.

Yet, May has been an important month for Hindi cinema. Not because these films were the ultimate masterpieces. But, because Hindi cinema seems to be going experimental and is managing to make a commercial success of unusual concepts. Or would it be premature to hazard the guess that our audience is maturing????