Friday, May 27, 2005

The outlook is good!
I declare that the only magazine worth reading in India today is Outlook. And it’s because every once in a while it comes out with an issue that has “takeaway value”, something you will probably pick up a couple of months later for a re-read or mention to a friend in some context or the other. This brings me to the latest Outlook, in which the mag looks back on the last 10 years of Indian cinema. There are quite a few interesting articles, like Jerry Pinto’s, where he is particularly scathing in his attack on the current crop of directors who peddle feel-good flicks. Sanjay Suri’s piece, in which he disses today’s “assembly-line actresses”, is also very readable. In fact, I believe if Outlook ever launches a magazine on cinema (As opposed to a film mag, like Filmfare, Stardust etc. I am thinking Cahiers du Cinema here!) it will be well-received, even though it may appeal to a niche audience. I am pretty sure they will do a damned good job of it. Proof: Their issue on the Top 10 films since Independence was a collector’s item, as was the one on Satyajit Ray. Is Vinod Mehta listening?

Monday, May 23, 2005

Sith happens!
Watched Star Wars III: Return of the Shit, or was it, Return of the Sith. Correction. Revenge of the Sith. Conclusion: If the Force (read Hollywood Hype Machine) is with you, you can sell sunscreen to an inhabitant of Pluto, or for that matter, video games got up as films, and that too in a day and age when even kids can tell computer-generated special effects from live action.

Monday, May 16, 2005

Vini, vidi, vidi, vidi.... vici

Finally, I won a quiz. Yes, after years and years of getting eliminated at the prelims, I finally managed to win one. Though it was an intra-office version, a win is a win, right?! And with it, I have also finally made the cut as a Bonafide Calcuttan. For, if you happen to be born in the city, you grow up to realise that the only thing that will win you the respect of your peer group is your “trivial pursuits”. Nothing else matters. You can be a class topper, you can be Richie Rich or your daddy may be the city’s mayor… it just doesn’t count. Result: you grow up with a big inferiority complex. Because you are growing up with precocious 13-year-olds who will tell you that the Grateful Dead got its name after band frontman Jerry Garcia did a random dictionary search or that Thompson twins are called Dupon et Dupon in French.
So, you spent your entire childhood collecting the most arcane trivia, listening to the most obscure rock groups, trying and hoping to make it to the haloed circle of Quiz Royalty. Or, if you were like me you went for every quiz in town, got knocked out in the prelims, and sat in the audience furiously scribbling away in the hope that in some quiz in the future you would remember the answer to some “old chestnuts”. And thus it continued, till today…

Tuesday, May 03, 2005

Waterfall it is my countrymen!
L(a)-ir(a)-il(a) may be lyrical, but the new Liril ad lacks the gay (for want of a better word) abandon, the masturbatory appeal, the uninhibited exuberance of its earlier versions. Lone female frolicking under waterfall is any day better than couples cavorting under shower. So, AICH-EL-EL give me back Karen Lunel in her lime-green bikini and laa-lara-lara-laa lara-lara-la la-la-la playing on the soundtrack.
Trivia: The lead song of Virgin Records' 2002 Indipop album Main Zindagi Hoon had the Liril audio jingle integrated within it.

Monday, May 02, 2005

You still don't believe me, huh?
"THIS year the combined advertising revenues of Google and Yahoo! will rival the combined prime-time ad revenues of America’s three big television networks, ABC, CBS and NBC, predicts Advertising Age. It will, says the trade magazine, represent a “watershed moment” in the evolution of the internet as an advertising medium. A 30-second prime-time TV ad was once considered the most effective—and the most expensive—form of advertising. But that was before the internet got going. And this week online advertising made another leap forward."
Apr 27th 2005.
From The Economist print edition

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