Don’t read this !!

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[Bunch of regulars to a blog, beating the blog author for stopping it. I don’t believe I dreamt that.]

The better idea to read this blog, going forward would be to subscribe to the site feed using a feed reader. Reason, this blog may not be updated as regularly as it was for the last few years. And whenever it’s updated your feed reader will remind you to read this blog. Even then you may or may not care to read the post. Atleast it would save you the time from typing the URL and waiting for the blog to load.

I’ve been thinking out loud, over the last few months, on the things missed while maintaining this blog. The path to this decision, I think, has been well registered here and hence it wouldn’t come as a surprise to anyone. If this bantam decision would have been made in 2002, I may not be answerable to anyone. Not even to myself. Now, averaging around 2000 unique visitors a day[Ok, this is not a brag], I understand that there has to be some form on inkling to those who bother about this blog, even if they are just a handful.

By any chance, if you mistake this as a full stop to this blog, care for a cuppa coffee. It’s not. As always a good flick, a splendid book or a funny anecdote would certainly inspire to scribble something here. By doing such sporadic scribbles, I tend to live the idea, this blog was created for, fun. Be delighted, after all I just minimized a bit of information overload on you.

P.S – Who knows, tomorrow you might find a scribble post on Dishyum, Sudesi and Pattiyal here.

Thank you for smoking – Merchants of Death

Thank You For Smoking

Thank You For Smoking takes a funny look at the lives of spin doctors, the truth they almost filter, the corporations that rest on their shoulders and the people the tackle on their everyday lives. It’s certainly not great flick that one should raise up and give a Two thumbs way way up !! but it certainly provides enough thought and laughter on a Tuesday evening.

The spin doctors or the lobbyists as they are lovingly called, manage to be a firewall between the government and the corporations. In this process they also get burnt by the public angst. These guys talk their way through even the toughest of trials and save the corporations billions of dollars every year. Now if you couldn’t make any sense of the previous statements, watch Thank You For Smoking. If you do, watch Thank You For Smoking.

Nick Naylor[Aaron Eckhart], the charming gentleman with a broad smile, is a lobbyist for tobacco. In short, he proves to be middleman between the cigarette companies and the public / government. His life is like standing on a landmine, from tackling the anti-smoking debates on a television show to arguing for pro-smoking in jury courts without giving the slightest of a doubt that he is for against anti-smoking. He dines with the Merchants of Death [MOD], a group of lobbyists who are in a league of their own. MOD consists of a lady lobbyist for alcohol, Nick Naylor for cigarettes and another gentleman for firearms. Not just that but he has a kid son who manages to dramatically change the way Nick thinks himself in general. Nick is ready to accept people calling him by names from Profiteer to a Pimp to blood sucker. Gracious performance by Aaron who carries the entire movie on him.

Nick’s bed talk on lobbying tips & tricks to Heather [Katie Holmes], an aspiring journalist of The Washington Probe, starts the fun. The aftermath forms the rest of this 90 minute movie. TYFS moves along with funny dialogues and some interesting situations along way that lead to an expected climax.

As expected, not a single person smokes in the film except for the Captain[Robert Duvall] who holds a cigar on his hospital bed. The titles roll with the cast names printed on vintage cigarette boxes reminding us of the 70’s. Other than that and the funny arguments [some of which are ture] there is not much on pro-smoking advices. In fact its all black humor, starting from the 15 year old guy on the morning show who was traced of lung cancer to the Marlboro model who accepts bribe to reduce his old-age cigarette bashings.

The writing is razor sharp with some funny quotes sprinkled all along. Made me think, when Nick Naylor tells his son, “You are never wrong, when you argue right”. Jason Reitman as the writer and director of this movie, based on the book by Christopher Buckley, does a great job in making the best out of the screenplay. From the very idea of Space Smoking to the message, Smoking is Cool !! which Hollywood sends to the world, Jason makes enough satire on the industry he comes from and that’s exciting.

If you are bored with sitcoms and reality shows on cable, this film is a great escapade.

CARMA !!

Anand C who was posting guest blogs here, couple of years back, is now an executive producer. When I first knew about it, I thought, Gosh !! What a deep problem he got himself into ?. That’s until I read more about it. Here is what the crew has to say about Carma

Carma is Anand’s first film as executive producer and is directed by self-taught filmmaker (and concert pianist / Stanford Ph.D Ray Arthur Wang). At 81 minutes, Carma features Academy Award Nominee Karen Black as the voice of the main character. CARMA is a chilling tale about a CAR haunted by a psychopathic killer’s dead MA. Carma’s last prestige festival stop was Cinequest Film Festival alumni 2005 (one of the Top 10 U.S. Independent Film Festivals), and after it was one of the Highlight Films at the Delray Beach Film Festival. Its next stop is the Bare Bones International Film Festival (one of the Best Truly Independent Film Festivals) 2006.

As the literature says, CARMA is an independent film. Just that fact differentiates it from other hollywood studio flicks. Studios don’t go with experimental films, all the time. Due to the big-budget spendings on films, studios are usually conservative and cautious in approach. At such junctures, independent films are the only way to get creative. So if you check-out CARMA’s trailer it wouldn’t necessarily look-alike MI.3 trailer. Independent Films have their own short comings in terms of financing and marketing. Still, the only reason for independent films to prosper is due to film buffs, around the world, who love good cinema.

Keeping the lazy lamenting to a seperate post, here’s the news. An exclusive screening of CARMA is happening at Stanford University. There is also a post-screening Q&A with the cast and crew:

When – April 14, 2006 | 8 PM.
Where – Fisher Hall, Arillaga Alumni Center, Stanford University. Directions.
More Info –
CARMA website .
Carma Trailer
Teaser Trailer:
Making of Carma

If you are a blogger/press media person, mail Anand[anand.chandrasekaran@gmail.com] for a special invite / backstage pass. Others please book tickets online, here.

Blogging Chennai

cc stuff
[Clicked by Chandrachoodan]

Chennai Metroblogging went online last week. A quick read of this page would tell more on Metro Blogging. Chennai is the second city in India after Mumbai to have Metro Bloggers.

The idea to have a chennai metro blog was intially brought-up by Chandrachoodan and it had a warm welcome among Chennai bloggers. All of them applied for this concept, few got selected based on their location and now the metro blog for chennai is up-and-running. Other than ChandraChoodan there are other people like Kaps [whats your true name buddy ?], Keerthivasan, Kiruba, Lavanya, Nancy and Vatsan, who write blogposts on Chennai.

I have to say that I’m quite amused by the stuff that’s written there. If they are able to maintain this initial enthusiasm, I’m sure the audience base would grow in heaps. Take a spin and you would become nostalgic about Sambars and Buckets.