Saturday, March 14, 2009

Resul Pookutty Talks Sense

I heard Resul Pookutty speak to an audience last week...
"Keep perfecting the same thing for ten years without shifting your mind to either sides, then neither the Academy nor the world could ignore your existance."

Now, isn't that a 'lean' idea? Absolutely no fat content! Just narrow focus.

The same thing Al Ries and Jack Trout keep talking about in all their books - 'to score big, you have to narrow your focus'!

Wednesday, March 4, 2009

Of Victorian Scrolls & Contorted Minds

Let me quote from Lila by Robert M. Persig -

"Victorians repressed the truth whenever it seemed socially unacceptable. To speak plainly and openly was vulgar. Hence their apparatus for self-correction became paralyzed. Their houses, their social lives became filled with ornamental curlicures that never stopped proliferating. Sometimes the useless ornamentation was so heavy it was hard to discover what the object was for.
Ultimately their minds became the same way. Their language became ornamental, to the point of being incomprehensible."

So what do I think when I'm thinking? I probe into the difference between the 'difficult' themes and the convoluted ones.

Persona by Bergman isn't very easy to comprehend. So is Metamorphosis, the book by Kafka. But, both give enough scope to sit back and rack one's brain. Despite their 'heavyness' in meaning they're both suave and lean. Very seasoned story telling!

In comparison does Renoir's much lauded 'Rules Of The Game' live up to them? Barring contorted story telling, why should the rest of the world be even interested in the manners and mores of prewar France? Into this category I add The Godfather by Coppola. When critics over glorifies such works to an extremely inaccessible height....

To quote from Lila again ( on Victorianism) - "it was just like their ornamental cast iron furniture: expensive looking, cheeply made, brittle, cold and uncomfortable."

Friday, January 16, 2009

Bazaar Artist and Bollywood

'Gallery Artists' is a term familiar with the art community in India. Maybe it is used in other parts of the world too. It refers to the kind of artist who crafts art to suit the taste of a Gallery. Knowing the buying patterns and tailor making art - not a bad idea, if selling is the only motive. In the process the artist is led by the buyer, he brings his originality down to make himself understood and accepted by his lesser mortal customer.

There's a certain crudeness and spontainity in the early works of many movie makers that l appreciate. 'Mean Streets' by Scorcese is an example, so is 'Repulsion' by Polanski and 'Blood Simple' by the Coen brothers. Though big names today, their highly polished later works have taken away the 'leanness' that I look for, that doesn't mean the height of abstraction of Godard is what I long for. 'Breathless' is lean but not 'La Chinoise'.

The Gallery Artist, inspite of being reminded by his conscience that he shouldn't wallow too much into troubled waters, is still an original artist, after all. But look at the next category that society has given us!

They are called the 'Bazaar Artists'. Very accessible! Bollywood, Tollywood, are you listening?

Wednesday, January 7, 2009

All things lean and beautiful

Strange it may sound, a phrase like that coming from a man who belongs to the southern tip of India. The only place in the world where one finds actresses with fat thighs of the proportion of columns, which can make Samson piss in his pants. But inspite of the Southerners penchant for such grotesqueness, deep within, many admire the leanness (minimalism) of Robert Bresson, Adoor Gopalakrishnan and Albert Camus. This is an attempt to share my love for the lean movies, lean books and lean Jazz, though many disagree Jazz as lean! Physically lean, at a 47 kg (inclusive of the weight of my shoes) I too ogle at those flab queens, ocassionally. Maybe that's why they say-society shapes a man!