Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Of burned books and useless skills

1. In this age of library cuts and closures (in civilisation), a short film that made my day. Well, the link is to the pitch. The film is finished (I have seen it!) but am told the makers haven't yet shared it with the wider universe. Wait.

2. Meanwhile in non-civilisation, a friend is moving and is giving away a bunch of books. No, not the first edition Dumas (not yet, anyway) but an assorted collection of everything from Faulkner to James to well W Smith, Follett and Ludlum*. After a couple of NGOs who came to pick up other stuff refused to take any of the books, we called the local lending library. Yes, the same sort of people who fleeced our parents in our childhood by charging up to 15% of the cost as reading fees but well, we were desperate. The chap came yesterday, checked the books out and said resignedly that he will take them. He then went on this rant about how kids don't want to read anything anymore. Apparently they all come and borrow books right before Saraswati puja so that they can keep them under the golu and promptly bring them back after the event. Seriously. What is the world coming to?

3. I have also been politely chastised by above-mentioned friend who informed me that Shakespeare is not a 21st century skill and hence I should stop this nonsense right now.

*I know but have been told recently by certain people in their dotage, that these R Ludlum, S Sheldon, J Archer types are very much underrated. Ahem.

Friday, November 02, 2012


One good reason to watch the film - a delicious Ben Whishaw as Quartermaster. Seriously. Though he appears for all of 10 minutes. I know, it is a recurring theme.

As for the rest, the two Bond fans I went with to watch the movie were terribly disappointed. No plot, no saving the world, not much in terms of exotic locales (a bit of Istanbul, Shanghai, and Macau), I was told. I thought it was rather decent. Could put it down to homesickness I suppose - the film was shot mostly in London and a bit of Scotland. Not exactly exotic but who wants exotic when you can get rainy London?

But overall though, my feeling is if you want to make a Bond movie, you make a Bond movie and make your fans happy. If you want to make a film about the desk operator who actually runs the show, stick with George Smiley. No offence to Dench who was perfect in her role but the role itself lacked a bit of character.