Monday, December 26, 2016

TV Serial Review : Sci Fi series

I suppose the basic premises of all Sci Fi series are:
1. The scientific and technological advancements of the future do not help human beings to transcend their petty primitive instincts and behaviours.

2. Even when you basically possess a magic wand with all the scientific and technological development, it's far easier to correct the past than correct the dystopian present.

Is our imagination just the sum of our experiences?

Tuesday, August 23, 2016

Movie Review: Blue Valentine

The core of the movie is derived from the studies that observed women like macho men while ovulating and caring men otherwise. Even though it's about a couple, the main and the only protagonist is a woman, Cindy, struggling in a dilemma posed by nature and nurture (patriarchy).

Only Cindy has all round personality in the movie and all others, the husband, the father, the doctor and the ex-lover have one-dimensional personalities perfected in feudal ethos. In fact, her husband is a caricature of non-feudal.

The husband doesn't defy any stereotypes of a feudal man. He doesn't have an identity of his own. He's just non-feudal. He has only love because feudal man has been characterized by only lust. He adopts a macho man's child and brings her up as his own but cannot convince his wife to have a child of his own. During intercourse, he shows inverted power relations instead of mutual and thus equal action. He doesn't have any ambitions. He takes the hit but doesn't attack. He is simple. However, his developing drunkenness when love appears to evaporate, gives us a clue he is not new age man but the one always existed among us as an anti-thesis of feudal men giving some kind of validity to them. Most likely he emerges as the cliched 'gentle giant' of the working class.

Cindy on the other hand is a far more complex character. She had the potential to become part of the middle class had she become a doctor but ended up in the working class by becoming a nurse. The main reason being her acceptance of a feudal man's sperm. We have no indication of either religious or ethical considerations there. In fact, the unplanned pregnancy could be the result of a rape too if we go by certain definitions. So, she was held back by patriarchy. However, she isn't  a feudal woman but feudal woman in transition. She did break-up with her feudal boyfriend. We sense her individualism waking up when she was aghast that the doctor liked her for her body and not for the abilities. However, at the same time she can't accept her husband's lack of ambition and refusal to hit back. Her advice to him, 'be a man'. It's in these words we are left with the confusion what it is to be a man or a woman liberating ourselves from feudal ethos.

We don't get any answers in Cindy's circle for that question. Her father, ex-lover and the doctor are representatives of feudal men. Even though, she ends up being a working class woman, her individual class is middle class but there are no middle class men around her who could be defined as non-feudal.

Ultimately, the movie tries to explore what is to be a man or a woman in post-feudal societies. However, drawback of the movie is it's only a woman who is struggling to define herself but men have defined themselves as they have always been in feudal societies.

Thursday, August 4, 2016

TV Serial Review: The Red Tent

The series portrays retreats to secluded tents during menstruation as some kind of personal space for females where they have gala time. It seems the author, Anita Diamant, had no idea of such practice in ancient Israel and based it on practices in pre-modern societies.

If she had done some research on West and South Asian societies then she would have observed that;
- such seclusion, either in a separate hut or in a separate room, wasn't a choice for females
- females during that period were considered impure

So she basically romanticized a barbaric practice. It's unknown whether this practice was started before the rise of patriarchy when families were centered around women. But whatever its origins the practice was ritualized and made compulsory among both tribes and non-tribes in these regions in patriarchal religions. She is not much different from right-wing nutcases who defend it as resting period for females or hygienic  practice implemented by males. 

Tuesday, June 21, 2016

Movie Review: The Rum Diary

This is one of the mediocre Johnny Depp movies. I suppose his core self is Jack Sparrow and in all other movies he acts diluted versions of it. Anyway, my point of interest is the romance between hero and villain's girlfriend.

I suppose this idea is a fallout of traditional patriarchal society. The feudal bad guys lusted after women of good guys in real life. Now in the movies everything has to be the other way when it is good versus evil. Here the women of bad guys have to fall in love with good guys. It's a poetic justice in celluloid.  Similar idea could be found in Braveheart. Love versus lust. Reel versus real. I suppose cringe-worthy and completely misguided idea of justice.

Tuesday, March 15, 2016

Trigger Warning: Law against Marital Rape

I thought this dirty joke (I guess gorilla meant male gorilla) should be read by our union minister who thinks there shouldn't be a law against marital rape. We need that legislation as male Indians and male gorillas aren't the same.

Wednesday, December 30, 2015

Movie Review : some adult comedy

The other day, I was travelling by bus from Hyderabad to Mangaluru. To my utter surprise, they played an adult comedy movie during the journey. I wasn't sure whether they were allowed to show movie with 'A'(Adults only) certificate in public places. I would think it should be restricted because of its sexist and patriarchal nature (penis pride). But I don't think I've good examples to distinguish between a sex comedy and a sexist comedy.

Many of the scenes in the movie appeared to have lifted from similar sexist comedies from Hollywood.  But there were few differences between those Hollywood films and this Hindi film.

- No subtlety. This is really an embarrassing feature about  most of the Hindi movies. Those vulgar dialogues were cringe worthy.

- When there was supposedly a slapstick humour, we had to endure a running commentary of the proceedings (common feature I guess. On TV, a children's animated comedy, Oggy and the Cockroaches, comes with over the top dialogues in India instead of original visual comedy). That visual comedy was clearly lifted from a Hollywood movie but creativity was spent on increasing the absurdity levels and quantity.

- Repeated double entendre. It was quite exasperating to watch them trying to milk a word with double meaning, that too borrowed from English, so many times .

Am I repeating the common grouse or snobbishly expecting class in sex comedies?

Sunday, September 13, 2015

Russians are coming

The daily readership of this blog is 0-5. However, some days I find 20-30 visits from Russia. It makes me little nervous.