Jomsom

Jomsom-Muktinath Limited

A trip lasting one week, I made it from Pokhara to Jomsom and Muktinath. Jomsom is a small town located in the Mustang region of Nepal. Due to its remote location, the region is discreet in nature. It is 67 km away from the tourist-city of Pokhara.


Pokhara – Jomsom

You can take a private/public vehicle to Jomsom, which may take around 10-11 hrs; or better you can take a flight to Jomsom which lasts hardly 30 mins. (Flights aren’t available for Nepalese or domestic tourists during travel season, unless they pay for the tourist reserved seats which are worth over $100)

Jomsom marks the beginning of the arid and dry landscape which reaches until Tibet in the north through Lo Manthang.


Jomsom – Muktinath

Muktinath is a small town located 21 km away from Jomsom. The place is mostly visited by the Hindu/Buddhist pilgrims throughout the year. Due to the huge influx of both domestic and foreign tourists, the place is well developed.

It’s a custom for the devotees to take a shower in the 108 stone-taps inside the Muktinath temple. The freezing water is believed to cleanse ones soul.

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A segregated trolley in New Orleans

Les Américains: A Narrative on the Segregated America

Robert Frank is an American photographer and documentary filmmaker. Born in Switzerland, he emigrated to United States in 1947. His father was a German Jew and his family resided in Germany. During Second World War, they migrated to Switzerland and obtained the Swiss passport.


Les Américains

Les Americains was first published in France in 1958 and a year later in USA. Popularly known as The Americans, it was a photography journal/book about post-WWII journey though America. He took his family along on the road trip and extensively traveled over the next two years during which time he took 28,000 pictures. 83 of these were eventually selected for the publication.

The book initially received harsh criticism in the USA, where the tone of the book was perceived as derogatory to national ideals.

His photo journal was basically the analysis of cultural and social milieu of Post-WWII America. Racial issues were common theme in almost all.

The irony Frank found in that of American society gave his photos the distinct taste. he stood out among his contemporary for his taste, and so did his use of unusual focus, low lighting and cropping that deviated from accepted photographic techniques.


Memorable Stills

A segregated trolley in New Orleans

A segregated trolley in New Orleans

The Elevator

The Elevator

Young girl smoking a cigarette

Young girl smoking a cigarette

An Italin couple

An Italin couple

sitting-talking

Sitting

Water fountain down the South

Water fountain down the South

Driveway

Driveway

Busy diner down the South

Busy diner down the South

Public park, Michigan

Public park, Michigan

New York

New York

At cremation ground

At cremation ground

Newspaper stand

Newspaper stand

A nurse carrying a baby

A nurse carrying a baby

At Butte, Montana

At Butte, Montana

A couple riding on a bike

A couple riding on a bike

Barber shop through screen door

Barber shop through screen door

The American Flag

The American Flag

 

Copyright @Les Americains, Frank Robert

Stanley Kubrick Movie Montage

Mastering the Greatness in Cinema: Stanley Kubrick, 63 Years Later!

The screen is a magic medium. It has such power that it can retain interest as it conveys emotions and moods that no other art form can hope to tackle. ~S.Kubrick


 

In LOVE with Stanley Kubrick

As confessed in my previous article on Room 237: Documentary, my love for Stanley Kubrick is undeniably a never ending saga of respect for his works. Starting from Fear & Desire (1953) to Eyes Wide Shut (1999), every motion picture made by him grasped my senses and left me in awe for days. There are many of his movies which I fear watching for the second time, while some are very hilarious which I can never get enough of.

Watching the final sequence of 2001: A Space Odyssey; when Dr. Bowman travels through the atmosphere of Jupiter (Planet) and his transition from a human into a Starchild, left me delirious for hours. I fear ever re-watching that scene.

When Peter Sellers donned the character of the Dr. Strangelove (A cynic, war mongering ex-Nazi ), I felt a sense of hilarity in the overall absurdity of colonial tensions between nations. Dr. Strangelove calling out “Mein fuhrer” to the US President and adding a Nazi salute adds charm to the overall scene. This is one scene, I can never get enough of.

The reasons the critics and audiences mauled Kubrick for makes me smirk, because, his movies are the greatest form of art. Despite, being ratified as worthless crafts by audiences back then, his movies, over the time, gained the massive cult status and his characters became legend; Alex DeLarge, Hal 9000, Lolita, Dr. Strangelove, you name’em.

His acute observation of the unseen and unexperimented subjects left us in awe; be it the subject of pedophilia in Lolita, ultra-futuristic theme of 2001: ASO or the taboo-ish jamboree of Illuminati groups, paganism and mass-orgy in Eyes Wide Shut. A perfectionist, Kubrick’s test with various genres and subjects never failed him nor the audiences. He was the pioneer in many of cinematic achievements.

What made him Great?

Stanley Kubrick in his early days

Stanley Kubrick in his early days

A film-maker who never managed to win a single Academy Award, for which he can be considered the Leonardo DiCaprio of the filmmakers, was in the league of his own. He made movies not to please the award ceremonies but his niche audience.

An adamant director and a thrifty producer, he never made a single bad movie in his life. His films can be considered the masterpieces of modern cinema. Over his career span of 48 years, he made only 13 motion pictures and 3 short movies with an average of 4 years in between each release.

2001: ASO, Spartacus and Barry Lyndon are ranked among the epics of the films produced in Hollywood. Dr. Strangelove, Lolita and A Clockwork orange are among the highly lauded and critically acclaimed movies ever.

Most Clichéd about Kubrick

1. Slow and protracted scenes

A scene from 2001: ASO lasted more than 15 minutes. In one scene, Dr. Bowman is pulled into a tunnel of colored light and other cosmological elements of Jupiter, and in another, Dr. Bowman deactivates HAL 9000 for its mischief. The sedated and lengthy scenes often became the major trademarks of Kubrick’s craft which followed suit in Barry Lyndon, A Clockwork Orange and The Shining.

Capturing the time and space of entirety of a particular sequence [2001: ASO] were followed religiously by Kubrick, for whom there were no cutting shorts. When a scene required to be long, he made them generously long.

 

2. Reverse tracking shots

After Hitchcock, Kubrick would be the one to popularize the dolly zoom method of tracking shots in the movies. The popular scenes from Paths of Glory tracking Col. Dax (Kirk Douglas) walking in the trenches, A Clockwork Orange tracking Alex Delarge (Malcom McDowell) walking around the London mall and Gen. Sgt. Hartman (R. Lee Ermey) and his recruits marching in Full Metal Jacket were all done using reverse tracking shots.

 

3. Subliminal messages

The Shining is probably more famous for its subliminal messages that Kubrick tried delivering. The length of controversy of discreet messages went furor, even Rodney Ascher (Room 237) made a documentary film on it.

…as it happened!

#1 Lolita (1962)

Lolita happened in the spring of 1962. An independent venture of Kubrick and James B. Harris, Lolita became the most controversial movie of the time. Their experiment with the sensitive subject of pedophilia and lust landed the movie in troubles with the censors. The British Board of Film Censors rated the movie ‘X’ therefore, barring the audience under the age of 16.

Despite, the comments it may have received from the then audience and the critics later, Lolita opened up a space for film-makers to make and promote movies as they pleased.

#2 Dr. Strangelove or: How I learned to stop worrying and Love the Bomb (1964)

The year 1964 began with the release of Dr. Strangelove or…, a comic take on Cold War and the brewing hatred between two giants of the World; USA and Russia. Assimilating the great cast, creating life like sets and adapting a dark story of war and nuclear weapon into major motion picture was quite a tough task for Kubrick.

Peter Sellers as the Dr. Strangelove himself and his alien hand syndrome, along with addressing the US president with “Mein Führer,” stole the show entirely. The implications of the movie is to portray the dire consequences of brewing hatred among two nuclear powers of the world, along with a comic gesture on what could happen to the world if a nuclear war is to take place!

#3 2001: A Space Odyssey (1968)

The most challenging and expensive venture of Kubrick has to be none other than 2001: A Space Odyssey. Made in 60s’, it explored a Science-fiction tale of how the world, mankind and Space would land up in the 21st Century. Kubrick employed the specialists from the fields of science and technology, Arts, Special Effects and Sounds to give his movie a real-life like experience.

From building a rocket capsule to creating a cosmological phenomena of an unseen Jupiter’s atmosphere, he mastered the craft of making stories that are far-sighted and thoughtful.

Most critics and audiences panned the movie when it was first released. Today, it’s a cult and is used in reference to every possible space exploration movies made post-2001: ASO.

#4 A Clockwork Orange (1971)

The year 1971 ended with the horrors of Alex DeLarge‘s criminal past. As it happened, a controversial story of A Clockwork Orange established Kubrick as the film-maker who could make movies on any subject given, despite the level of visual intolerance it could render On-screen. Alex’s character portrays a sociopath; he glorifies rape, assault and loot. He’s an imagery of evil, yet the movie established him as a profound character of behavioral psychology and morality.

It’ was banned in UK for 27 years, following the controversy surrounding the violence occurred in the English society which were believed to be inspired by the movie.

#5 Barry Lyndon (1975)

Alex’s story was followed by the exploits of the 18th century Irish Adventurer in 1975, when the year ended with the Luck of Barry Lyndon. A movie of epic proportion, after Spartacus, Barry Lyndon explored the rise and fall of a hearty character –Barry Redmond, an Irishman who managed to experience the harshest treatments and sweetest pleasures the world has ever to offer.

3 hours long, the movie is considered one of the finest movies of Kubrick. Despite its rather slower and darker tone, the movie doesn’t fail to capture your attention and constant critical consensus. It’s a masterpiece!

Ryan O’Neal, donning a Victorian-aged suit with a curly blonde locks and quirky smile,  shines throughout his adventures in the movie.

#6 Eyes Wide Shut (1999)

Labeled an Erotic-Thriller by the critics, Eyes Wide Shut took on the complex premise of Illuminati and their quasi-religious-sexual rituals. Exploring the taboo subjects, Kubrick showed how a regular family suddenly disparages into the mess. Sexual fantasy, envy, dishonesty and boredom are its common themes.

Released few months after the death of Kubrick, Eyes Wide Shut remained his final project and marked the 13th motion picture his career.


For complete Stanley Kubrick Filmography, The Kubrick Site and Kubrick Collection @WarnerBros

Review & Synopsis: The 400 Blows (1959)

The 400 Blows (1959) portrays the life of a misunderstood boy in post WWII France. It is a journey from troubles to solace for Antoine and his likes in a strict social milieu which has traces of the past fascist government. The movie is one of the earliest from the French new wave cinema. It is the first in a series of five films in which Jean-Pierre Léaud plays the semi-autobiographical character.

American Army trucks parade down the Champs-Elysées the day after the liberation of Paris by French and Allied troops, August 1944

American Army trucks parade down the Champs-Elysées, Aug 1944

Almost entire France embraced the Nazi occupation in 1945, while only about 1% of the entire population resisted. Post WWII, the government, educational institution and commerce still had the traces of the fascist regime the occupation had left. More rigid and stricter laws were adopted to uplift the nation to its past glory and to erase its Nazi history.

The new wave of cinema began in France to break through the existing socioeconomic condition. The experimental films made in the era highlighted the issues of identity crisis, choices, freedom and embrace of newer culture. The new wave in French cinema and Italian Neo-realism began on the same decade. Italy, a previous Axis-power, had many different socioeconomic issues post-WWII. Poverty and famine were the major themes of the Neo-realism cinema.

Post-WW II France, a nation formerly occupied and controlled by the Axis power, was built on an idea of escaping it’s horrendous past. To assimilate with the western nations, French schools introduced teaching English to the pupils.

Children were often reprimanded and isolated as reformation for their deliquency.

Review

The 400 Blows is shot entirely on Black & White, offering a dark texture to the entire film. The plots are simpler and weave intricately into the story. Antoine Doinel (Jean-Pierre Leaud) as a rebellious adolescent and his experiences add charm to the entire story.

The underlying issues of post-war France and its adverse effects on the younger generation is seen through the experiences of Antoine. The country is moving forward, and so are its government, justice and educational institutions. The people who do not fit into the society are brandished rebels and are outcasted into reforming institutions. Antoine is a symbol for the entire generation of his kind who wish to see a less controlling state. Antoine’s major contemplation is finding his identity and representing the same in the society without any judgement, repercussion or biases.

The 400 Blows is an Escapist film. It deals with adolescence in a post-fascist and post-war French society. 

★★★★★/5

~Synopsis~

The movie starts with an opening scene showing Eiffel Tower of Paris, France.

The movie starts with an opening scene showing Eiffel Tower of Paris, France.

The All Boys School, the students are seen poking fun at the lecturer

The All Boys School, the students are seen poking fun at the lecturer

One of Antoine Doinel's classmate, dancing his way off the street

One of Antoine Doinel’s classmate, dancing his way off on the street

Children reacting while watching a Puppet show

Children reacting while watching a Puppet show

Antoine and his friend comprehends a double-crosser who tries stealing their typewriter

Antoine and his friend comprehends a double-crosser who tries stealing his typewriter

Antoine's thrown into a cell after he's nabbed by his father and after being handed over to the police

Antoine’s thrown into a cell after he’s nabbed by his father and is handed over to the police

Left: Antoine looking outside the police van, Right: He's crying over his unfortunte fate

Left: Antoine looking outside the police van, Right: He’s crying over his unfortunate fate

One of the most powerful scenes, Antoine makes a cigarette out of tobacco and stray paper inside his cell

One of the most powerful scenes, Antoine makes a cigarette out of tobacco and stray paper, inside his cell

Antoine's punished by the monitor of the Juvenile Detention Home for eating before everyone else started

Antoine’s punished by the monitor of the Juvenile Detention Home for eating before everyone else

3 young girls, probably aged 5-7, are locked up inside a cell of the Detention' Home

Another powerful scene; the 3 young girls, probably aged 5-7, are seen locked up inside a cell of the detention home.

Final scene of The 400 Blows

The protagonist, Antoine Doinel, runs away from the Detention in search of an unseen future –possibly, a happier one


The 400 Blows “Les Quatre cent coups” (1959)

Directed by François TruffautWritten by F. Truffaut and Marcel Moussy, Produced by F. Truffaut and Georges CharlotStarring: Jean-Pierre Léaud, Albert Rémy, Calire Maurier and others

Distributed by Cocinor

12 angry men cover photo

Review & Synopsis: 12 Angry Men (1957)

Right to Justice is an indispensable birthright of every human being. The Justice system is built on the structure of right to justice without any biases or prejudgment of any kind. Fair trail for any defendant in the court of law is equally a rightful entitlement which upholds their right to justice and fulfills the cause for a fairer society.

Many a time, justice fails to serve those who need it the most. In a society, which is built on the supremacy of one race, class or culture and domination of other, justice triumphs for only those who enjoy the privilege of controlling it.

12 Angry Men is one of the earliest films to be made on the issue of racism in America and the trial of a racial minority.  Roger Ebert has cleverly summed up the film;

In form, “12 Angry Men” is a courtroom drama. In purpose, it’s a crash course in those passages of the Constitution that promise defendants a fair trial and the presumption of innocence. It has a kind of stark simplicity.

Review

12 Angry Men provides an important insight on human conscience, rationality and decision making. It also raises the question of rationality and prejudgment which accompanies any juror in the court. As rightly pointed out, Jury duty is a moral duty. The film brings out the moral in the jury duty.

Official Poster of 12 Angry Men

Official Poster of 12 Angry Men

It starts with 12 men from different walks of life complaining, contemplating and grudging about their respective lives in a small jury chamber. It begins with a simple vote counting 11 ‘Guilty’ and a single ‘Not’. What follows, is a lengthy course of reasoning for a fair trail, questioning of the justice system, attacks on personal choices and personal conflict with biases. The end brings the unanimous 12 votes counting ‘Not Guilty’.

Juror #8 (Henry Fonda) is the one who challenges the vote for ‘Guilty’. He reasons with each one of jurors to make them understand the need of righteousness in this case which may serve as the finest example for many cases to come later.

The assertive dialogues and the greater gesticulations of actors add life to the entire story, many sub-plots are interweaved into one to create a single plot which serves as the story lasting a full 95 minutes. Juror 8’s immense persuasion in bringing facts and possibilities on the table for discussion brings a general disapproval but at the end he is able to bring a change.

Set in a single room, the film shows few glimpses of the court room. Evidences are shown only second-hand, as reasons for disposition of the case. The background score is less yet subtle. Sydney Lumet‘s directorial debut proves to be a an important film for all the generations.

 ★★★★★/5

~Synopsis~

Not Guilty – 1/11

12 angry men snapshot

Jurors are sent to a room to decide on the fate of a young accused

Not Guilty – 2/10

12 angry men snapshot

Jurors being ready to vote

Not Guilty – 3/9

12 angry men snapshot

Only one, Juror # 8, calls “Not Guilty,” rest jurors are convinced of the crime

Not Guilty – 4/8

12 angry men snapshot

Juror #10 makes bigot and prejudiced remarks against the accused, which other find offensive

Not Guilty – 5/7

12 angry men snapshot

Juror #8 tries hard to convince others to find a reasonable doubt

Not Guilty – 6/6

12 angry men snapshot

Juror # 5 is the most articulate person in the entire team, who doesn’t even break sweat at all

Not Guilty – 7/5

12 angry men snapshot

Juror # 9, an old man, is supportive of Juror # 8’s approach in analyzing the truth

Not Guilty – 8/4

12 angry men snapshot

Juror # 8 makes some insightful criticisms on the evidences and witnesses provided

Not Guilty – 9/3

12 angry men snapshot

Juror # 3 is the one who is most stubborn and declares Juror #8’s reasons a filth

Not Guilty – 10/2

12 angry men snapshot

Juror #3 tries proving the method of killing to Juror #8

Not Guilty – 11/1

12 angry men snapshot

All the jurors find Juror #3’s remarks against the case offensive

Not Guilty – 12/0

12 angry men snapshot

Juror #5 and #6 watch Juror #3 as he blabbers about his personal angst against criminals.


 

 

12 Angry Men (1957)

Directed by Sydney Lumet, Written by Reginald Rose, Produced by Henry Fonda, Reginald Rose, Starring: Henry Fonda, Lee J. Cobb, E.G. Marshall, Martim Balsam and others

Distributed by United Artists

Tarantino Vs Taratino, and My Big List of Tarantino favorites!!

His movies are famous for their violence and bloodshed; their blaring soundtracks; their offbeat, Pinteresque dialogue; their startling performances from actors you had almost forgotten about.

~NY Times

Tarantino Vs Tarantino

Quentin Tarantino‘s movies are mostly made up of nonlinear narratives. His movies are subject to Glorification of violence. His subjects are revenge and justice, which are indifferent from many other filmmaker’s subjects, however, what he can make out of it can completely be different in projection from the others. He’s inspired by movies from different genres made in the past, he brings old elements in his own story and mash’em up into a single theme containing of a justice seeking protagonist. He’s an amazing collaborator and a magnificent music connoisseur —picking background scores himself for his evenly eclectic scenes from the movies.

Quentin TarantinoTarantino’s repetitive and very much predictable, yet his craftsmanship is on a level of a such class that he can always get away with it by creating a niche piece of thoughtful movie that can cache on his superb direction and trademarks.

Starting from Reservoir Dogs to Django Unchained, his movies experienced a gradual development in story telling. His characters grew up and so did his film-making ability. He leaped from only telling an amazing story through nonlinear narratives and his Trademarked elements to more of a conventional narratives with his Trademarked elements still intact and flourishing.

The Tarantino we know today is different from the Tarantino that existed 10-15 years ago. His craft haven’t changed much and he still carries the same panache as before. His movies still follow similar story line; Loss, trail, retribution and revenge, however, his ability as a film-maker has grown to even wider and unimaginable horizons and he can now implore things that were rarely seen in his previous movies. We all know him best for his rougher cut movies, now they are more fine cut and well-tuned.

Advent of Grindhouse mashed with Spaghetti Western+Slasher and Retro Sound

grindhouse is an American term for a theater that mainly shows exploitation films. It is named after the defunct burlesque theaters […] where ‘bump n’ grind’ dancing and striptease were featured.

~Wikipedia

Grindhouse is the most commercial theme of Tarantino’s movies. He creates an unimaginable concoction of Grindhouse with spaghetti western and slasher. Now, slashing always has a greater purpose in his movies. Beatrice Kiddo couldn’t have gone away without slicing, dicing and chopping her enemies nor Sin City could have even more brutal without it.

There are many ways of torturing a character in Tarantino’s universe, you can either shoot them with a shotgun from a close range, cut off their limbs with a Ninja sword or just pluck out their eyes so they can’t see again their entire life. He can bring out the aesthetics and beauty of action well contrasted with the backdrop of the scenes; be it machine gun shooting Nazi occupied Germany, the Antebellum era with black slaves plucking out cotton or the fast food joint at Los Angeles.

“Music sets your soul free.”  Sure it does! He has a rare quality of picking unconventional sound for the very right scene. Isn’t it weird to hear a Jazz playing in the background when Django’s busy killing his enemies in a White supremacist South? That’s very unconventional.

[Sound Samples]

Most Clichéd about Tarantino

1. Blood Spillage

Tarantino pleasures blood. Blood plays a significant role in his movies. A movie without fountain of blood spouting out of someone recently sliced arm is non existent in his world. The gushing out of red fluid from a human body describes the occurrence of two things, either the crime has been committed or the justice has been served.

The malevolent practice of glamorizing blood spillage defines Tarantino’s style of brutality.

2. Homicide

Tarantino loves massacre. The protagonist’s lust for killing and finding the way through to accomplish the mission is what drives the entire movie. It won’t start until the protagonist kill his first victim and move on through the large crowd of dead before killing the only person that matters.

Crazy 88 from Kill Bill

Crazy 88 from Kill Bill

Homicide has a greater purpose of retribution for Tarantino and his characters. Killing is a need but pleasure. Antagonists in his movies are surrounded and covered by numerous henchmen or bodyguards, taking them off before killing the antagonist is essential because; to ensure nobody comes around from the back and stab you while your on the verge of your mission and to minimize the chance of leaving behind a potential nemesis.

3. Triumph of Truth and Justice

Tarantino supports the very idea of Truth and Justice. Audience may find his movie violent and all gore but that doesn’t mean the theme of it’s all about killing people. The greater idea is always the triumph of truth and justice through retribution. A protagonist always finds a way to seek justice, in the case of Tarantino’s movies they only find it after quenching their thirst for revenge by killing every man on sight that differs with them.

Django smiles after killing everyone of Candy's henchmen

Django smiles after killing everyone of Candy’s henchmen

It’s has never been a case when an antagonist has gotten away from the final scene without getting what he deserves. Beatrice Kiddo manages to kill Bill at the end and quench her revenge, so does Lt. Aldo Raine, he carves a SWASTIKA over Landa’s forehead to remind him of his wrongdoing for all his remaining life, and Django avenging the brutal torture he and his family suffered from the Slave owners and their henchmen.

At the end, Justice is always served. May the degree of treating a crime differ from many conventional films or what’s defined by the Standard Law, the ultimate reason for which justice stands is always served at the end.

My Big List

(Best Tarantino’s movies, listed #9 to #1)

#9

Jackie brown (1997)

Jackie Brown Movie Cover

#8

Death Proof (2007)

Death Proof Movie Poster

#7

True Romance (1993)

True Romance Movie Poster

#6

Sin City (2005)

Sin City Movie Poster

#5

Reservoir Dogs (1992)

Reservoir dogs movie poster

#4

Django Unchained (2012)

Django Unchained Movie Poster

#3

Pulp Fiction (1994)

Pulp Fiction Movie Poster

#2

Inglorious Basterds (2010)

Inglorious Basterds Movie Poster

#1

Kill Bill (2004)

Kill Bill Movie Poster

Resources

Quentin Tarantino’s Trademarks
Quentin’s World

Is Porn a Modern form of Voyeurism, and is latter a Crime??

The compulsion to seek sexual gratification by secretively looking at sexual objects or acts; the actions of a Peeping Tom.

Voyeurism gratifies sexual arousal, so does the Pornography! The concept of pornography is described by the ideas of taking sensual learning to the next level, so does Voyeurism!

Voyeurs are motivated by the curiosity of experiencing moments that generate sexual gratification, sensual pleasures or answer simple queries on ‘anatomy’. Peeping through a window or a key hole, setting up a discreet camera in a room or watching from inside the cupboard, are few prime voyeuristic acts that we know of, and couldn’t deny of not doing at least once a lifetime.

One major similarity between these two is that we don’t watch Porn in public neither do we voyeur around in front of others. Both are a covert mission operated at own risk. These days, with the advent of digital entertainment; TV, Internet and Cell phones, and quicker access to information, the whole hubbub of enjoying porn has been much easier, so has been the act of hiding oneself in a corner and exploring the world of sexual fantasies which we once enjoyed through a key hole.

Is Voyeurism a Crime, and can it be Prevented?

Caraglio Voyeurism

“Mercury and Herse”, scene from The Loves of the Gods by Gian Giacomo Caraglio, showing Mercury, Herse, and Aglaulos © Wikipedia

Many nations do consider voyeurism to be a grave crime. Though the rules and the treatment of the crime may differ, societies have never denied referring it as an impious act, a treachery and a greater guilt. Catholic Churches, since their inception, managed to define and accommodate voyeurism in their philosophies, called: common sins committed by men. According to the church, it as a heinous act of criminality; act against God’s teachings, for which one must be punished for grave sins they committed. The consideration of declaring it an act against God’s teaching has made a permanent place in their theory.

My point, we are a curious beings, we learn from our experiences, we sought knowledge on the subjects we are not known of, be it carnal. Considering the facts, can voyeurism be ever stopped? Even discouraged, can anyone really control themselves from not assaulting others’ privacy, one way or the other? May we describe it as an immoral act for which one must be punished, the weight of intentionally denying the opportunity of learning what one always have been curious about can not be dismissed, therefore, voyeurism as well as pornography can never be considered crime. Let us be humans and learn from our own faults, shall we?

It cannot be called a crime for motivating a crime, thought it can be described as a “reason for the crime” in a court, does it make a greater guilt for an accused to be banished from the society?

An over-exposed cleavage of a busty woman or her bulging bottoms undoubtedly arouses sexual desires in many straight males, or lesbians. Now, can her attire or fashion sense be charged for a criminal offence? May it inculcate a reason for crime, but will defining it morally or ethically wrong and banishing it from her closet serves a greater justice? Will voyeurism stop? BTW, it shall sure reap a woman from her right to clothing.

The more we discuss about it, the more complex it tend to be. Some Experts suggest that pornography can be used for treating Voyeurism. My Question, can a digital form of voyeurism help eliminate a physical voyeurism in any way? I personally don’t think so! Will this work for juveniles, whose instance for voyeurism exceeds that of an adult; to whom the moral policies of a society is hard to apply?

We all are a “Peeping Tom.” Pornography and voyeurism go hand in hand, and one defines other, but are they motive for crime?

Mother India Poster

Review: Mother India (1957) & Analysis of Socialist Theme and Nargis’s Character

Mother India, A Magnum Opus

Based on a socialist theme and in an Agrarian society of Western Gujarat, Mother India (1957) accounts lives of countless Indian women who were and still are bound by their immense values and beliefs, and are forced to advocate the greater cause of personal sacrifices for the others.

Cultivating in the backyard of rural India, the aesthetic value of the movie largely remains on portraying the meager lives of poorer citizens of the newly formed nation. It emphasizes on the idea of building a greater nation through hard work, traditional values and agricultural. Other major ideas associated with the movie are; championing the cause for equal opportunities, importance of education, female prowess and fair loaning policy to the farmers.

~Review~

Mother India

Mother India (1957)

Marking the 10th anniversary of the Independence of India, Mother India commemorates the idea of greater patriotism, struggle, social accomplishment and advancement of woman’s role in the society with a hint of theatrical gesture. Mehboob Khan channelized a great deal of effort to bring his niche art among the audience. As opposed to Katherine Mayo’s book “Mother India,” which primarily criticized Indian culture and the role of women in the society, Khan made his movie with the exact title to Mayo’s book to juxtapose with the contrasting theories presented by her, and to deliver the message, despite our roots in social modus operandi which is seen as primitive in nature, the nation isn’t unfamiliar with the changing concepts of society.

Critically acclaimed and awarded with countless accolades, Mother India stands out among the greatest movies ever made in India. Khan’s most ambitious project and Nargis’s most challenging character portrayal of her time, it is still remembered and applauded by critics and audiences alike.

The greater idea of the movies rested solely on bringing India into the global attention. To inform the citizens of the world about the newly formed yet independent nation. It demanded India’s share of respect and position among the elites of the world. Inspired by the Italian Neo-realism cinema of Europe, Mother India applied similar aesthetics and nature of capturing a developing nation. It’s known to have run in theaters for more than 4 decades. Film-makers, audiences and several key social stakeholders still look up to it for greater examples of cinematic and artistic triumphs, and its socialism.

★★★★★/5

Importance of the Socialist Theme, Rural Agrarian Settings and the Female Prowess

Immediately after the independence, the first Prime Minister of India, Pandit Jawaharlal Nehru, administered his iconic idea of socialism and human resource empowerment to build and organize the petty Indian states and its people into a strong nation of like-minded citizens. The very idea of “Aam Admi” championed by Nehru was to facilitate equal priority to every citizen of the nation. A country where more than 80% of people were farmers by occupation, a socialist theme of governance was essential to build the initial steps for future development.

India, today, runs through liberal and capitalist yet meager socialist practices, however, the initial ideas were developed from Nehru’s socialist inputs. The Movie, as well as Nehru, championed the cause of developing a new nation through initiation of agricultural enterprises and equal participation of working class citizens.

With ever present male-dominance in the society, mass poverty and unfair loaning and lending system, the need of resurrecting an imagery of a God like and ferocious woman was essential to suggest that women can change the nation if they wish. The male class was corrupt and polluted. Women were always known for being the ultimate Sacrificer, Caregiver and Nurturer in the Hindu society, therefore feeding the idea of representing a woman as the protagonist of the movie was challenging yet overtly ambitious.

Analysis of Nargis’s Character

Nargis Dutt

Nargis Dutt

Nargis Dutt (1929-1981), the protagonist of Mother India, portrayed the role of a Mother (Radha). She bears a patriotic emblem of her nation. Her righteous deeds throughout the span of movie; raising children during difficult times and the ultimate decision of taking the life of her beloved son, makes her a Hero, a figurine of bravado.

Her portrayal of an Indian woman opposes every bit of the theory opined by Mayo, therefore, it remains one of the strongest female roles ever potrayed in the Indian cinema.


~Gallery~

Resources

Mother India in the making ( Part I, II, III, IV )

Club 7 Poster

CLUB 7; My First Theatrical Play

I am involved in my very first theatrical play called “Club 7” currently, after I completed my theater/acting workshop at Mandala Theater Nepal, one of the most prestigious and genuine theater school in Nepal. The play is directed by Dayahang Rai, one of the leading actors in Nepal, and Rajan Khatiwada, a leading theater artist.


About the Play

CLUB 7 Theatrical Play

CLUB 7, Theatrical Play

Club 7 is an absurdist play with the satirical gist to it. It is based on contemporary city lifestyle and mainly highlights the everyday issues of city dwellers.

There are 3 different stories, all of which take place in the same party banquet hall, a posh banquet attracting the bests of the town located in the center of Kathmandu city.

Although absurd in nature, the theme accurately portrays people’s need for materialistic pleasure, social prestige and public recognition at any cost whatsoever; while highlighting their everyday crisis of identity, recreation and money, all in one place.

The banquet hall is specifically chosen as play’s backdrop mainly because it is the most happening place in the city lately where people from each social and economic background assimilate to enjoy certain occasion or to find their place in the social hierarchy.

Workshop/Process

Prior to the theatrical play, I was involved in the 3 months Acting workshop with Mandala Theater Nepal. The workshop primarily focused on intensive theater and acting. Here, I had an utmost experience of exploring my artistic side. There were lots of of elements of theater to cover at a shorter time, hence, the classes were completed in a rush. However, the overall process was effective and to the point.

The voice/speech, improvisational acting, text/reading, physical exercises/dance, playback theater, stage and presence were the major theatrical courses covered. Theater Acrobatics, Storytelling, Mime, aesthetics, observation and others subjects were introduced as well.

The classes were conducted by the experts in the field; Rajan Khatiwada, Somnath Khanal, Rajkumar Pudasaini, Bikash Joshi, Bijay Baral, Namrata KC, Dayahang Rai, RK Mehta, Renuka Karki, Jack Guru, Pradeep Choudhary, Juliya and Najir Hussain.


Takeaway

Salman, author, at Ghandruk

Ghandruk Limited

Ghandruk is an ethnic village located in the Annapurna region of Nepal. A village predominantly inhabited by the Gurung and Magar tribes of Nepal, is also an important tourist destination of the country.

I, with the team of 23 theater enthusiasts, went to visit a local theater at Pokhara and chose to spend a day wandering at Ghandruk. The 2 hours of delightful walk led us up to our lodge. We spent the next day sightseeing and taking pictures.

It connect the major roadways to many other important villages leading up to Annapurna Base Camp. Generally, people start trekking from Nayapul through Ghandruk, Chhomrong, Phedi and MBC to the Base Camp and back.

Bhaktapur Durbar Square

The former royal complex at the center of Bhaktapur district is known as the Bhaktapur Durbar Square. It contains a palace, courtyards, historic monuments and numerous temples dedicated to various gods. The entire complex, along with Kathmandu Durbar Square and Patan Durbar Square, were included in the UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1979.

After Kathmandu Durbar Square, Bhaktapur is the 2nd most visited tourist destination. It suffered a huge loss during the major earthquake of 2015.

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Exploring the Pashupatinath Temple

Pashupatinath stands for “Lords of all animals.” The temple is dedicated to Lord Shiva (One of the Hindu Trinity) and also known as the lord of animals. A stone bull in a crouching position marks the insignia of the temple.

It’s located at the heart of Kathmandu. The area of Pashupatinath encompasses 264 hectares of land including 518 temples and monuments. Due to its historical and social importance, the entire site was added in the UNESCO Heritage Site in 1979.

There isn’t certain date signifying the origin or creation of the temple. The earliest evidence of the temple dates back to 400 AD. The current temple was constructed or renewed in the 15th Century by the Lichhavi king of Kathmandu. Since, then many renovations have taken place; along with many temples, shrines built inside the premise.