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Vol. 1 #4

The Yellow Issue 1/4/2011


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Contributors 1. Movie Criticism - Krushna Dande 2. This Is An Observation - Nikhil Mane 3. God’s Special Child - Saahil Dama 4. Mondengar Nerves - Sushrut Munje

A Saahil Dama, Ishan Dabri, Krushna Dande production.

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Epifunny

- Krushna Dande

Movie Criticism Movie criticism is undoubtedly the most popular form of criticism today. Movies have now come to an age that a person can settle down with a movie cozily in his home, like the books of yesteryear. Everyone reads the reviews, and sees the stars awarded to the movie, but few think about it. Therefore, I present a few insights into the entire process, from the views of the critics as well as the readers. Readers trust writers. What goes on in a typical reader’s mind as he reads something in a magazine or newspaper is that the writer must know something of the subject, as opposed to something he reads in an online magazine, awesome as it may be. While this theory breaks down in the case of Chetan Bhagat’s editorials in the Times, it holds true for everything up to and including reviewers. While a reader may not directly believe so, a small part of him assumes that the reviewers have small books that hold all the secrets to making perfect movies, and know exactly what a movie should be like. This, unfortunately, is not true. Or at least, the publishers of the book do a great job of threatening their recipients with their cohorts of deadly ninja. One’s opinion of movies is delightfully subjective. What seems like a masterpiece of filmmaking to one pair of eyes is a disaster to others. A lot of this is because of the different levels of importance people may assign to various aspects of the movie. While watching a movie, a cinematographer may look at the play of the camera, while an actor may see the portrayal of emotions above everything else. In an attempt to cash into the popularity of this specialized genre of writing, I started a movie blog (which later metamorphosed into a humour blog). As I wrote reviews of bad movies I wanted to bash, good movies I wanted to praise, and okay movies I wanted to get out of the way, I encountered two different responses, which could be succinctly summarized into two categories: You suck because I disagree and you rule because I agree.


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Intrigued by this, I looked at famous movie reviewers like Roger Ebert, and found that I was a victim of this unconscious bias, because the movie reviews which correlated to my view of the movie were the ones I liked, while the others seemed like mindless drivel. I have no doubt that there are people who share Roger Ebert’s exact taste in movies, but as an outsider, what he says is all Greek to me. For instance, he praises the first Transformers as stupid and bombastic, and derides the second as stupid and bombastic.

Dragging jowls are a sign of hypocrisy. As you may have guessed by unraveling the layers of the above narrative, much like the plot of Inception, this is the spinning totem at the heart of it all: movie reviewers, self included, all have our heads up our arses. There is no such thing as a balanced review, and that will never change. There is a small valve in my brain that prevents me from recommending the Twilight saga to anyone but misogynistic females and males who need mental help; the same also applies for other critics everywhere. So you have two choices: you could stand with the others, who talk about how the use of the lens in Rear Window mirrors the entrapment of the Stewart inside his room and makes the viewer feel like Stewart as he revels in his wheelchair voyeurism, or with the people who miraculously don’t prefer a long winded tale of ‘Hope’ to a movie about a nerd punching out seven exes. Krushna is the author of http://loltothegrave.blogspot.com/

A Saahil Dama, Ishan Dabri, Krushna Dande production.

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Ionic

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Nikhil Mane

This Is An Observation

Your life is an observation. Depending on the way you look at it, a well organized one or a truly messed up one. But it is an observation. I don’t watch much cricket but the cricket world cup has thrown up quite a few ones. The camera will always show some fan holding a poster that makes some clever word play about the home team and some sort of insult for the opponents.

Cleverest shit I read all day

There will be four shirtless idiots in the stands with the letters I-N-D-I painted in sequence on their bare chests, the fifth guy with A will be looking somewhere else. Worst case: he won’t even be there. If the television camera locates a significant spectator -- an owner or parent/ spouse of a coach/player or celebrities -- you can be sure those folks will get an excess amount of camera exposure during breaks in the action. This is also true about some decent looking folk and those completely shameless ones. Upon realizing they are on camera, spectators will first comically attempt to


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locate where the camera is. Then, they will proceed to make a complete fool of themselves. This can be done by the usual method of gesticulating wildly and imitating some creature. It can also be achieved by thinking of what to do, failing at finding anything and then smiling bravely.

No one has any clue where the camera is

Needless amounts of motion replays will be shown. In games, commentators will use some reference to their past which no one really young would be aware of. Commentators really struggle with tense and clichés. Catches win matches and all that. They rarely argue - on the contrary, they go out of their way to complement each other for saying the most mundane things. The cliché response to a cliché statement is: "I couldn't agree with you more." If a commentator is hyping-up a team in the pre-game show, the cliché response is "Well, the Opponents might have something to say about that." The highest expression of disbelief for an announcer is the ubiquitous "Unbelievable!" When the camera pans through the stands after returning from a commercial break, fans close to the camera will stand up and scream with delight even if their team is losing or in last place. During a pause in a close game, a TV camera will show a close-up of the scoreboard, gradually lose focus until the image becomes a blur, then cut back to the game. In between pitches of close games, any spectator with hands clenched together as if praying for divine intervention is a prime candidate for TV. After a player makes a critical error late in a game that guarantees defeat for his team, the camera will zoom-in on his face as he stands alone. If a team is about to lose a game that eliminates them, the camera will lock-

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on to any player sitting on the bench with his face buried in a towel. The awards ceremony. The biggest joke of all. Some bigshot with a bigass name will hand over a bigbutted cheque to some bigplayer who hit big shots. Clap, cheer, boo. A semi-educated player comes. Tries to speak English. Ends with ‘Jai Ram ji ki’ or ‘Salam-waaleinkhum’ and leaves. And no one even cares. Neither do I. Because this is just an observation. Nikhil is the author of http://rtcodek.blogspot.com/

A Saahil Dama, Ishan Dabri, Krushna Dande production.


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Eureka!

- Saahil Dama

God’s Special Child

'I believe in God and His suffering. Some people need to suffer to learn the pain of others. Some people need to fall ill for their own sake. Some people need to get hurt to learn the difficulties of of life. This is His wish.' - Some douchbag. And apparently, He also believes that some people need to have an accident, blow open their cranium like a balloon and get their eyes popped out from the back of their heads because it teaches them the hidden, mystical truth of life.

Because starving, burning, getting crushed and drowning is good for us.

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A quiz for all theists. Persumably the shortest quiz they will ever take. Answer it if you resolutely believe in Him, before you read the answer. Q. Do you think you are God's special child? A. If yes, then everything in life should go the way you want it to. Technically, you should be six feet tall, look hotter than Brad Pitt, should run faster than Usian Bolt, should be immensely rich and all your dreams and aspirations should have come true, because the person who supposedly created the whole Universe can certainly do so much for his special child can't he? And suppose I am stretching that to an extent, let's take something trivial instead, because apparently God has better things in store for his special child than make him Superman, like reserve parking space. So let's say that you get parking space, always, being God's special child. But this will come at the cost of another staunch believer. Favouritism is not very God-like, is it? If he doesn't do the it, then he shouldn't be termed as God because what is a God who doesn't care for his special child. Or, the answer to the question should be no. If no, God clearly isn't the the noble deity who we believe him to be, because you being a devout, dogmatic, disciple of his principles ought to be given something more than agnostics and atheists get. You devote hours to him and his prayers, are ready to sacrifice beasts and men for him and even then he treats you indifferently from the latter two categories, who aren't really burning in hell, by the way. A selfish God? If so, he isn't really concerned about his followers or has no power to do anything. Either way, he ceases to reside on the pedestal of worship we have placed him on. And what is God who isn't worth worshipping? Unless of course, if he isn't God at all, or your answer to the question is yes. Food for thought. Saahil is the author of http://sadamned.blogspot.com/

A Saahil Dama, Ishan Dabri, Krushna Dande production.


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Monocle

- Sushrut Munje

Mondengar Nerves

If you happen to be from Mumbai & boast of an insatiable appetite for food, you are most likely to know Cafe Mondegar- the seemingly cramped place near the Gateway, Colaba Causeway. I am someone who would love food to be small capsules with chemicals convincing the brain that I’ve had a full satisfying meal but then- lets get back to the ‘experience’ again. Now really, ‘experience’ is all about the specific secretions inside the brain. That is it. Yes, the heck. But now, back to the seemingly real ‘experience’ again. I always end up being at Mondegar one way or the other. It was where I tried my first beer (not my type, thanks) and the first meal with my business partner after a satisfying mentormeet. I don’t drink and the only things I’ve had there are bowlfuls of magnificently subtle rice. The perfect flavors, the perfect blend & the tender hint of veggies present. Cannot get better. Note that they have some awesome coffee mugs. The point? I don’t drink, I am not a foodie, I adore mugs, I’ve been there thrice and I’m a fan already. I like the walls they have. They are covered with these huge paintings that remind me of 1970s British Newspaper cartoons. Pay attention- I wrote ‘remind me of’, not ‘similar to’. Yes, I’m grinning. Done by wonderful wonderful Mario Miranda. If you’re the smart one with the sharp eye, you’ll notice the fellows who drink beer and some random animals. You will notice them anyway. A high ceiling, they have. And some good lights. I like the tables they have. Menus will be proudly displaying their content from under the sly glass-top of any table you choose. Gotcha. Since there are no separate menus, owners efficiently manage to dismember ‘clutter’ and save costs too. Furniture, being old fashioned and the way we want it to be, makes us feel real good. Waiters are an enthusiastic breed at this joyful place. They look similar, are very smart, do resemble an MI5 agent while taking down orders & conveniently forget to serve water right away. There are humans who guzzle down water instead of beer, they ought to know.

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The crowd? I thought we were past this already. In case you have been tad procrastinating and have not guessed it yet- we can see a lot of foreigners and youths here. The place is almost always full, with a table or two to spare. On recognizing those lucky tables from the vantage point of the entrance door (with people around you shuffling in or out), we wade through a partially drunk sea of folks having a good time. And then it rubs off. Then your pals eat/drink and so do you. And holy cow you end up having a nice nice time till its time to go. Wonderful world. Music is essential, no? I will blast you with a Waffen-SS fire-spitting weapon of the 1940s if you disagree. Thus, we have an agreement here. The place has well-picked country music playing through the speakers. With the earthy flavors of the food and a dash of country music, beer is probably all that is required to take you to a new high. I don’t understand why we drink the foul smelling chemical liquid though. I’m fond of the place, I tell you. And I’m fond of the energy it radiates. Make an effort to feel good and some pretty chicks might give you the look. That is when you put an arm around your girl’s waist. Wicked. Weird. Senselessly obligatory. Tea-Center deserves a mention too. For that is where we go [‘Hey Where Do We Go’ by Rainvan is a good listen] if we want to feel sophisticated. What ho, it is another story. Dream of Rice Bowls and overall Mondegar ‘hawt’-ness for now. Love and peace. Sushrut is the author of http://sushrutmunje.com/

A Saahil Dama, Ishan Dabri, Krushna Dande production.


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