Saturday, September 13, 2008

Booker shortlist, Bill's defense, Onasadya, Films to watch, New Project (No Pics)

Lots of stuff to post, so I shall follow Luddo's trailblazing footsteps. Btw, if you haven't read the post, please do. Especially the one on orphaned railway wagons. I remember once seeing one of these NEFR thingies in Shoranur circa 1989. Don pointed it out to me and I felt so sorry for it that I started crying. Since then, every time we pass by Shoranur, I look for it. It was there for years but disappeared in 2004. Some kind engine must have found it and taken it home. If I ever meet that engine, I shall thank it properly. Anyway.

1. Booker shortlist

Feanor got it right - Booker nonsense is what it is. Then again, the longlist does usually turn up a couple of gems which is the only point of the Booker though I am still yet to find them this year. Not giving up though, another month to go. Oh yeah, reviews until now here.

2. Bill's defense

Cat: Apparently it was a real defense. I have never heard Bill call anything "nerve-wracking". That must count for something, no?

The news is that its over. Doctor Bill will now shop over the weekend (is there any other reason to cross the Atlantic anymore?) and be back early next week.

3. Onasadya

Since Amma is here, I got a mini onam feast with avial and payasam. Apparently, the real thing is on the menu next weekend when the Doctor Marumagan is back.

Also called all Mallu junta back home for Onam. Apparently, no one makes feast at home anymore - all these restaurants offer 26-course Onasadya which people go to. Don says that this is causing the usual suspects to bemoan the loss of culture and healthy home-cooked food and what not. I was nodding in agreeance (the thought of not being able to go any home and have a proper home-cooked feast is more then a little disconcerting) until Don reminded me what this Onasadya process really meant in most Mallu homes:

7 bottles of Johnnie Walker, 1 Chivas (6 from Gelf, 2 from military canteen) for men of the house
3 days of non-stop cooking and cleaning activity for women of the house

Obviously things don't get as out of hand as it does for X'mas as 1) the number of Gelfies and propotionally the number of alco bottles coming back to homeland goes up and 2) meat and fish consumption goes up exponentially BUT Onam is second only to X'mas as far as alcohol consumption goes. Then he reminded me that Malluland still has the highest per capita consumption of alcohol in the country. Which by itself is not a bad thing but consider what most women are doing when this alcohol fest is going on.

Anyway. Related post on cooking on UV here.

4. Padam time

October is around the corner which means two film festivals - London and Chicago. I am in Chicago for one weekend and it will eat into my annual shopping time so not sure whether I will get to watch anything there but there's always London. Full programme here.

My personal movie advisor doesn't think this is a particularly exciting year, but suggests these films:

Achilles and the Tortoise

Synechdoche New York

Rang Rasiya


Last Thakur

Still Walking

Mahadev Ki Sajjanpur

and naturally, Vicky Cristina Barcelona


The Good, The Bad and the Weird

My plan this year is really to see the archives / restored films which the advisor thinks is an excellent idea.

5. New Project

Space Bar came up with such an awesome name that it makes no sense to keep it secret. It is called The Blank Blood Bank Project. But sorry, can't tell you anything about the project mostly because its not a real project - its a name in search of a project.

For those of you who know what I am talking about, Omerta.


Space Bar said...

I forgot the Agnes Varda. Please watch.

And Omerta. :D

Falstaff said...

SB beat me to it - I was going to say - how can you not watch the Varda?

Also, they're screening The Silence Before Bach. Am very envious.

The Archive stuff looks fairly dull, actually. I would watch Night and Day and Louise-Michael instead.

Space Bar said...

Damn. There's a Raoul Ruiz I missed, which you totally have to watch.

And did you know Michel Houellebecq has directed a film?! Should be interesting.

Romanian cinema needs to be watched, though I'm not sure how evenly good they are.

And from the guy who directed Opera Jawa (which I didn't see, but which had stunning visuals).

And I will mail you about this dude AAditya Assarat, but watch.

There's a Nani Moretti somewhere, if you like his films.

How did I leave out so much?

Falstaff said...

SB: So would you mind doing this for the NYFF as well? As of now I'm primarily focusing on the Oshima retrospective, but I'm open to suggestions.

P.S.: Oh, and now that we've got the important stuff (films) out of the way - congratulations to Bill.

Veena said...

SB: Thank Ye. Shall make my schedule now and see which ones I can fit in.

Falsie: Go get your own movie advisor. Don't steal mine.

Tabula Rasa said...

woo hoo. congchulesun to the doctorbway, and walcums to the club.

Space Bar said...

oh ya...congrats bill!

falsie: ashes of time redux, four nights with anna, lola montes, summer hours (if you haven't seen any oliver assayas you totally should), the last command (sternberg. you lucky thing), and totally envy you the oshima retro.

blackmamba said...

Dr. Bill! yippy! Congrats!

Will he now get business cards that say,

Dr. Bill
(not medical, but the other kind).

Cheshire Cat said...

I wonder if it was anything like my defense, where my advisor was deeply determined to fail me and the rest of the committee had to intercede on my behalf. What really saved me was that my proud parents had plans to be in town for my convocation, and it seemed wrong somehow to have the sins of the son visited upon the father...

I do hope Bill plans to join the fancy dress parade. Swanning about in those robes gives one an illusion of importance - I think once in a lifetime is about the appropriate frequency for that.

Bamse said...

Well, mera nam Bamse heh and all that. But I think you need recognize that this blog now transcends the indian intellectual hegemony that is spreading across the world, and therefore you cannot assume that all your loyal readers speak Hindi or understand Sanskrit phrases.

So. The hell is Onasadya and avial and payasam?

blewgenes said...

kangaroo Bill!

and now you must be busy with the 2nd most imp thing....doing all the collections for the Don family :-) from this part of the world

I'm happy that you don't have to play violin at tube stations and paste those Ads for math tutions at the local Tesco :-P

Bill said...

Falsie, Space, TR, Cat, BM, Bamse, BG: Thank ye, thank ye! The hangover is finally passing over now. I have only hazy memories, but it all seems good.

TR: Bhery pleased to be inbhited to the club. Do I get a secret keyring?

Cat: You mean a blazer and trousers for the defense wasn't enough? There's more?

BM: That is assuming I hand out business cards. Doesn't happen that often.

BG: That depends entirely on the financier

Veena said...

Bamse: If it makes you feel any better, the "Indian intellectuals" reading this blog aren't familiar with those words either. They aren't Hindi or Sanskrit - its the palindromic language of well, your own country.

One day when you have made your billions and taken over the world (thus making Bill a millionaire), we shall sit by the backwaters and translate Bamse into Malayalam. Then you will learn about the story of King Mahabali who visits his people once a year which is celebrated in Kerala as the festival of Onam. The subjects prepare a feast called Onasadya. Avial and payasam are two of the 64 things you have in this feast. Avial is a mishmash of different veggies in some coconut type sauce - its sort of like your herring. You can't have a meal in Kerala without it.

Ludwig said...

> Btw, if you haven't read
> the post, please do.

Oh, the link luuhhhvv, mmm. Thank you. Abandoned wagons are surely a metaphor or similie or allergy or something like that. We will figure out some day.

Adding my name to the congrats list for Dr. Bill.

I will interrogate SB about this omertafied thing.

??! said...

So now that he's got the title, does this mean no more Bill-bitch posts?.....dramatic pause....Naaaaaaaaaaaaaaahiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiin!

Veena said...

Luddo: Allergy only it is I think. And good luck on the interrogation. Might turn out to be quite boring actually.

??!: No need for drama. First of all, I don't bitch about Bill. I tell you facts as they are and bemoan my sad fate. Second, how does a title change anything? Not like he has a real job and making any money or anything.

P said...

Congrats to Dr. Bill. Defense is lot of fun. Acc to people present in mine I was acting all goofy and my adviser clearly was more nervous than me. But when it was all over, I felt.."Oh that's it? Why was I so nervous?"

I had my first taste of Onam sadya last week.. courtesy my Mallu bf's cooking and the Mallu restaurants and grocery store in my new city. I am a strict non-vegetarian but still I think Avial is good :D