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I Believe in Harvey Dent

It started with a coin. No, it actually started with me, and my innocent mistake.

Thinking it was Thursday, I woke up fashionably late to get ready for my 11 am class. At 11:45 am, I was in class, but there was no one there. Had the class already finished, I thought. That can’t be possible, it is a two hour class after all. It was five minutes later that I realized it was actually Wednesday, and I didn’t have any class till an hour later.

I decided to get breakfast instead. Fish and Chips maybe, I remember thinking. Or maybe a light sandwich with some veges on the side to give the illusion of health. I decided to have some rice, I  was in Asia after all.

It was somewhere around the school’s ATM, on the edge of the steps to the cafeteria when I spotted Manisha. I remember saying something like “What’s up Manisha?”. She wanted me to sign up for the debating society.

I’ve never really liked the idea of clubs and societies. I think they are a con, much like weddings and pyramid schemes. But it was Manisha; probably one of the few genuinely nice people I know, so I said to her, “You got a coin?”

“What for?” she asked. I explained that I was going to toss it: Heads, I sign up; tails I fuck off. It was fine with her, so she handed me a 50 from her purse.

I threw the poor thing into the air, and we waited. It seemed as the coin elegantly rose to the heavens, time slowed down. And when it reached it’s maximum height, it came to a complete halt. For a second or two, it danced like a ballerina-fairy, before falling down to earth in full speed, turning and twisting like an Olympic diver. It came crashing into my palm, and I quickly covered it with the back of my other had and waited.

Anticipation, you could feel it mounting in the air. I stood my ground, letting it sink in. What would it be? Heads? Tails? Maybe neither. Maybe this is some Chris Angel shit and there isn’t even a coin between my hands.

Slowly and carefully, I moved my hand over, and there in the middle of my palm was the king’s head, facing the sky and praying to the lord for me to sign up. How could I let down a coin like that?

The first meeting was so much fun, but that’s another story entirely. Should I tell? Well that depends, “You got a coin?”

Coin

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The Random 25

In the spirit of the Facebook tagging craze, I decided to repost my list on the blog as sort of an intro.

So here goes:

1. I think ripped-jeans are a sign of a psychological cry for help by the wearer.

2. I have an 8 year old daughter named Peyton.

3. I think Painting, more than anything, is the most “arty” of all art forms.

4. I can’t carry a decent 5-minute conversation with a stranger that is not film related.

5. From the balcony on the 10th floor of an apartment building, I’m not scared of falling; I’m scared of jumping!

6. Peyton lives with my paternal grandparents in a farm house down in Onirdap Li.

7. Ripped jeans are my favorite item of clothing.

8. I have a shitty hairline, and my favorite color is dirty-green.

9. I think Filmmaking is the ultimate art form because it encompasses writing, theater (acting), music and Cinematography which is derived from Photography which in turn was derived from Painting.

10. I don’t consider myself an intellectual, but that doesn’t necessarily mean that I don’t think I’m smarter than you.

11. Both my Paternal grandparent passed away before I was 7.

12. The movie I’ve watched the most is “Fight Club”. I’ve seen it over 30 times and it’s a different experience every time.

13. I’m attracted to highly dysfunctional women, just thought I should throw that in here.

14. I’m a filmmaker, or at least I’d like to think of myself as one.

15. “Onirdap Li” is actually “”il Padrino” written backwards.

16. I don’t like sneakers, trainers, chucks or dress shoes. I think the greatest footwear ever invented are the flip-flops.

17. I hate to be a walking cliche, but it was Quentin Tarantino’s Pulp Fiction that made me realize I wanted to be a filmmaker.

18. “il Padrino” is The Godfather, which happens to be the only movie poster on my bedroom wall.

19. The only music album I can listen to from beginning to end and love every moment of it without skipping a single track, is Linkin’ Park’s Meteora.

20. If I ever get a daughter, I’m going to name her Peyton. And no, not after that one character from that one shitty show on TV with the tree, although I think she’s pretty hot.

21. Linkin’ Park are not in my Top 10 favorite bands.

23. I don’t have a favorite movie director, but I like any director that can stretch a dollar. That being said, I think Rian Johnson is pretty amazing!

24. My favorite name on this dying Blue Planet of ours is “Zainab”, but in the galaxy, I think “Obi-Wan Kenobi” is a pretty cool name.

25. I’d like to think of myself as a misanthrope, but deep down, I’m actually the nicest, funniest and most interesting person you’ll ever meet… If only you’ll talk to me first.

Top 10 of ’08

In a few minutes, we’re going to bid farewell to the year 2008. Year 2008 has been a friend; A friend that has been there for us every second, for 365 days straight. Saying goodbye to a friend like that, knowing you’ll never see them again, ever, is very sad and emotional. In times like that, you hold on to all the good memories you shared with that friend.

It is in that spirit of farewell, that I sit here reminiscing  about my Top Ten Favorite movies of this passing year of ours, twenty-zero-eight.

With this list, I didn’t consider the writing, directing or even the acting in the movies. It was solely based on the movies I enjoyed, and not only enjoyed, but those movies I felt like rewinding and watching all over again immediately the end credits started rolling. Those are the movies worth remembering.

If you feel this list in incomplete, and feel like there’s a movie I should’ve added, feel free to tell me in the comments. And if you think this list is totally shit, well, make your own! I just did!

So with no further ado, ladies and gentlemen –

AL’s TOP 10 OF ’08!


[REC]

REC

Technically, this is a 2007 movie, I know. But it wasn’t released internationally till 2008. Still, I’ll just consider this a bonus, and not part of the 10.

10. Speed Racer

Speed Racer

True, this movie is one of the biggest flops of the year, and the fact that it got mostly negetive reviews didn’t help either. But Speed Racer is by far one of my favorites movies of the year.

I saw it once on the big screen, once on DVD ,and I’ve watched the Gran Prix from the movie more than ten times!

09. In Search of a Midnight Kiss

In Search of a midnight kiss

There is something about independent movies that I love so much, and this movie has a whole lot of that thing, whatever “that thing” is. Sure, sometimes the movie is slow, and at times the dialogue a bit tacky, but the characters feel very real, and that’s what I love so much about the movie.

I saw it on DVD twice, and I’m sure going to see it again because it’s that good.

08. Let the Right One In

Let the right one in

With “day-walkers” and glittering vampires on our screens, it’s refreshing to actually see some real vampires. Let the Right one in did just that, and boy was it disturbing!

Probably the only movie on this list I haven’t seen more than once, but the fact that it touched me in ways no other movie has secured it a place on this list.

07. Cloverfield

Cloverfield

I remember I was with a friend last year when I first saw the trailer for this movie attached to The Transformers. After Transformers, we kept trying to remember what the name of the movie we saw the trailer of was. What we both didn’t realize at that time was the movie didn’t have a name, which was probably why we couldn’t remember. When it finally came out earlier this year, it succeeded in superseding all the hype around it and standing strong as one of the greatest, if not the greatest hand held/shaky camera movie there is!

Saw it once on the big screen, once on DVD.

06. Slumdog Millionaire

Slumdog Millionaire

You know the movie you’ll hear so much about, and when you finally see it, you feel like all that you’ve heard was just the tip of the iceberg and the movie is so much better? Well this is not that movie. With slumdog, you get exactly what you expect. But that’s not saying it’s a bad movie, no. It’s amazing! Cute story, nice visuals and a Kickass soundtrack!

I just watched this movie, but god did I wish to just rewind it and watch it all over again!

05. Man On Wire

Man On Wire

I don’t see a lot of documentaries, and the few I see tend to be boring at times, even if just a little. Man On Wire was interesting from the first shot till the very last frame! This movie wasn’t only interesting and inspiring, it was entertaining as hell! Just hearing Phillip Petite talk with such passion about his wire will put a smile on your face and motivate you to chase your dream, no matter how ridiculous it is.

04. The Fall.

The Fall

I’ve been wanting to watch this movie since I first heard about it nearly two years ago. Sometimes, the story behind the making of a movie inspires me to watch the movie, and boy does this movie have a kickass making-of story.

Sadly, it wasn’t officially released till this year, and it was totally worth the wait! The visuals are off the hook, and the little girl was just so WOW!

I’ve seen it twice, and I forsee many more future viewings. This is a classic that the next generation will talk about… Well maybe not, but it still made my cut.

03. The Wackness

wackness

This is the ultimate independent movie! Forget what I said about In Search of a midnight kiss, this movie is the shit! It perfectly captured an era, and not only were the characters real and likable, they were very much relate-able!

I’ve seen The Wackness three times already, and it gets better with every viewing!

02. The Dark Knight

TDK

Remember what I said in Slumdog Millionaire? About a movie that is over hyped but all that hype felt grossly underdone after actually seeing it? This is that movie!

I saw the Dark Knight THREE TIMES on the big screen, and I have it on DVD!

I so so so love this movie, which begs the question, If The Dark Knight  is my number two, what’s my favorite movie of the year?

01. Wall-E

Wall E

Yes, Wall-E! Oh my god this movie was so awesome!

I don’t normally like animated movies, not at all, not ever. And no disrespect to Pixar, but non of their movies ever made it into my favorites list. And I have no particular reason, I just don’t get that emotional connection that I get in watching movies with animated films… That is until this little robot came and totally won me over. To tell a romantic story with no words is beyond me, but it happened, and it was genius! The character of Wall-E was so cute – it brought me to tears! That’s as deep a connection as any movie can have with me…

Honorabe Mention:

Frost/Nixon for it’s amazing dialogue.
JCVD for doing to Van Damme what The Wrestler did for Mickey Rouke.
Iron Man for making me believe in Superhero movies.
Tropic Thunder for giving me the laugh of my life.
And Milk for Sean Penn’s amazing performance.

I haven’t seen The Wrestler yet, but knowing Darren Aronofsky, I’m sure  it’s going to be a great movie that’ll probably depress the shit out of me.

So… this is it! Farewell my good friend, and I will always treasure these gifts of yours to me with all my heart!

Now… where 2009 at?

Motorola Is A Bitch, or High Phone Traffic Day

So there I  was, in the kitchen, cooking and minding my own business when all of a sudden, this tomato I was about to slice starts shouting,

“Wait! WAIT! WAIT!!!”

I freaked out! I have never heard a tomato talk before, let alone shout.

It was in that state of bewilderment that I said,

“Why?”

“I have one last dying wish”, the Tomato said.

“What?”, In a confused state of mind, you can only speak in single words.

“Call her Al. Call Barbie.”

This Tomato is crazy, I though. How did It know Barbie?

“How did you know Barbie?”, I asked.

The little fucker smirked, and casually ignoring my question said,

“Call her”

“I called her on Friday, but she neither answered nor returned the call”, I protested.

It started laughing. It laughed hard. It laughed so hard ketchup started coming out the top of Its head.

Dazed and confused, I asked,

“Do you know something I don’t?”

“Al, there are probably a lot of things I know that you don’t”, this was a smart ass Tomato. “But what you need to know now, because you need to know, is that Motorola is a bitch!”

I was in a state that can only be described as the lovechild of “madness” and “bewilderment”. My phone was a Motorola.

This smart ass tomato can’t just go around insulting people’s phones? It has to be stopped!

“You can’t just go around insulting people’s phones! You have to be stopped!”

I was ready to put my knife and slice the little fucker in half when,

“Relax big guy,” the Tomato pleaded with me, “It’s not Motorola I’m insulting, it’s their fucking Call Log!”

I didn’t follow.

“I don’t follow”

“You see, the log can only hold a maximum of 30 Dialed, Missed and Received Calls… or maybe even less”, It explained.

I use the bloody phone for crying out loud, so I know. But what has that got to do with anything?

“I know, but what has that got to do with anything?”

The Tomato looked at me. I think it was pity I saw in Its eyes.

“You’re not a smart one, are you?”, It said.

That was definitely pity.

The thought of a tomato that knows it is going to be in a soup by the end of the day feeling sorry for me was depressing, yet enlightening at the same time.

So like a good student on the road to enlightenment, I said,

“For the sake of this argument, let’s say I’m not. So please tell me, what has the Call Log got to do with anything?”

“You called her on Friday right”, my Sensei Tomato explained, “But before she saw the missed call, a hundred random guys called and wiped everyone, along with you and seventy percent of themselves off the Call Log. So you see, she never even knew you called”

Hallucegenic Tomato

For a tomato, my master was an enlightened one. It was the Buddha of tomatoes.

And It was right, Fridays are high phone traffic days for Barbie. I know this because she told me, but how did this tomato know?

“How did you know all these things?”

“I know, because you know”

“What?”

“Al, I am you.”

“What?”

Like I said, in a confused state of mind, you can only speak in single words.

“Let me put it this way: If this is fight club, I’m your Tyler Durden!”

“What?”

It was exactly at that moment that I realized, fulfilling the last wish of a dying tomato is the least of my worries!

This is not a poem… again

In the tradition of my previous This is not a poem, This is not a poem… again.

The last few posts have been more Emotional than creative. This too is not very different.

I promise to write something interesting and with a  lot more creativity when I get better.

But till then, here’s my not-so-poetic poem about a lost loved one. As usual, it’s more self therapy than art….

A MURTHERFUCKER CUT DOWN MY TREE

Every night, sure as sunrise,
from a distance far, I see you rise.
Tonight I looked, overtaken by surprise,
A Murtherfucker cut down my tree.

Your body, wood and curvy,
from a distace far, it looks lovely.
From your neck, it rose thinly,
to the top, forming your head magically.
I still don’t understand why, logically,
A Murtherfucker cut down my tree.

You’ve always wanted to say something,
from a distance far, a greeting?
I should have listened, a warning?
Or was it goodbye you were waving?
O old friend, now I’m crying,
A Murtherfucker cut down my tree.

Every night, sure as sunrise,
from a distance far, I see you rise.
Tonight I looked, overtaken by surprise,
A Murtherfucker cut down my tree.


Notes: In the playground, there’s this magical tree in the distance. It has thick black bushes and thin long branches. Because I only go there at night, from a distancce, you don’t see the braches, only a couple of bushes floating in the air. It was magical and beautiful, up until some asshole brought a bulldozer and killed it. I miss my tree, too bad we never really got to know each other…

My Demons

In a place far away from life, the night was very dark. The moon was trying so hard to shine, but the big black clouds did an excellent job at making sure that didn’t happen. No one was even talking about the twinkle little stars, because they were nowhere in sight.

There was silence in the night, not dead silence; A family of frogs were croaking and a couple of crickets were making noises, not because they had to, but because they wanted to live up to a stereotype. Goddamn crickets! Anyway apart from that, it was quiet; total silence.

The grass was soft and moist from the drizzle of earlier that night. The slides & see-saws were wet; the monkey bars were dripping; but it was the swings that were the point of interest. One of the swings in particular – the one I was on.

It was 12 Midnight and there I was on a swing in a dark, creepy kids playground far away from any form of life, why?

Swing

Moments before that, I was in the comfort of my room, for lack of a better word, chilling.

So what makes a good moment bad?

For some reason, out of the blue, I asked myself where I see myself in five years, like I was on a fucking job interview. And when I couldn’t give myself a decent answer, I freaked the hell out.

There’s this theory that I didn’t play on the swing enough as a kid, and that is why I love the swing so much. I don’t know the degree of truth to that story. What I know though is that there is no place in the world I’d rather sit and think, than this particular dark creepy playground in the late hours of the night, almost bordering on early morning. And my seat of choice is always the swing.

That was why I was on the swing.

Have you ever heard of The Stamford Prison Experiment?

In 1971 a crazy psychologist, not very much unlike the rest of them, decided out of the blue to get 70 students and psycho-analyze them. He selected the 24 he thought were most stable, and with a coin-toss, divided them into two groups, the prisoners and the guards.

The idea was that they will be monitored and observed for the experiment as they stay in a mock prison for two weeks.

Six days later, the experiment was shutdown for getting out of control.

Over the course of those six days, the guards became abusive, the prisoners notorious and all hell broke loose. Mind you, none of these students has ever set foot in a prison cell before, and the only thing they knew about prisons were the things they heard about and saw on TV. Those were the stereotypes they were trying to live up to, and the sad thing was that the fuckers didn’t even know they were doing it… It was all subconscious!

Now why do I care about some lowlifes and an experiment that was conducted back in the 70s?

Because I think maybe, like the noisy crickets and the abusive guards of Stamford, I too am trying to live up to a stereotype – The Artist.

Artists are not exactly the most historically stable group, being that more than a handful of them took their own lives for whatever reasons… and that is what scares the crap out of me!

Trainspotting

It has been a while since I updated, and honestly, I still don’t have anything serious to write about, not that anything I write is serious, but I just thought I should write something… anything. Ironically, the only way to combat a writer’s block, is by writing. So here goes:

**********

The first thing you notice about her, is her body. It is not that it’s any more special than the next girl’s, No. Her chest is not exceptionally huge, and neither is her butt. She is not even as tall as most girls, nor is she shorter than the majority. But when you add all these little non-specialties, you’ll get what is arguably the most perfectly proportioned body that ever walked this little blue planet of ours.

It had been a really shitty day for me. I walked out of the train feeling shitty and not really giving a crap about anyone. My head was down and I was walking slowly towards the exit  when I stopped dead in my track.

It was like that moment in the movies when the guy sees the girl and everything goes to slow motion. I don’t know why I stopped. It was probably the boots: They were black. Not shiny dominatrix black, but sexy black that goes up halfway to the knees.

Slowly, my eyes moved up – The skinny jeans. It wasn’t too tight, like she was trying too hard to show her body, but it wasn’t too loose to suggest she didn’t care either. It was the perfect blue jeans made from the finest material moving up her legs in the most perfect fit.

The shirt, ah the shirt… that was special. It was a brown long sleeve check shirt that looked like it had been pulled out of a men’s fashion magazine. She folded the arms just about the elbow region revealing the most assorted collection of bracelets on both wrists. Her scarf was military – black. She wore it in such a way that it took much attention away from the guy-shirt without drawing too much to itself. It wasn’t really a girly look, but she totally pulled it off.

Her face was gorgeous and relaxed. She was wearing make-up, I was sure of it. But she was wearing it so well that another person might be fooled into thinking she wasn’t. It was a jedi mind trick only a handful of girls can successfully pull off.

Then her brown shades that goes perfectly with the check shirt, which she pulled way back into her shiny black hair. The hair wasn’t so shiny that light bounced off, no. It was just shiny enough to let you know that she cares how she looks.

I couldn’t understand why a girl would carry a handbag almost half her size. It was pretty. It was cool. And I guess the fashion Mags will say it’s sexy. I think it’s just OK.

She was listening to her iPod & playing PSP, which was then one of the hottest things around.

For someone in her early to mid twenties, she was pretty much intimidating. I could tell from the fact that no one was sitting beside her, and no one tried to. But maybe I was thinking too much into the situation. As I slowly walked passed her, she randomly looked up and gave me the warmest smile ever.

In that split second, all my problems flew away and disintegrated into a million negligible little pieces. My day was suddenly brighter than the midday sun.

It was in that moment of euphoria that I collided with the glass door of the station exit and fell to the ground. I was too embarrassed to turn back and look at her. I closed my eyes and prayed that we bump again in future, when our age difference wouldn’t be a problem.

Strange thoughts of that nervous night at the train station. Has it been four years now? Five? I still close my eyes whenever I step out of a train on a shitty day hoping I’ll see her cute little face playing her white PSP again when I open. The thoughts alone lift up my spirits. It’s something you won’t understand. There’s no amount or combination of words that will take you there. It’s just one of those things that you’ll have to have been there to fully appreciate…