CINEMA, MUSIC & ART WITH THE
MARCH 2013 2013 VOL APRIL 03 ISSUE 06 VOL 03 ISSUE 07 ` 40
“I don’t do a stunt, just to do it, it’s how I can bring the audience in action, bring them into the story…” - Tom Cruise
CINEMA, MUSIC & ART WITH THE
Creative Director 01 Mihir Ranganathan Art Director 02 Sibiraj Bastin 01
Graphic Designer 03 Abhilasha Kushwaha
Operations 04 Niteesh Menon 04
06 Marketing 05 Manish Magesh Kumar
Dear Readers, Welcome to yet another exciting edition of The Brew featuring one of my favourite actors Tom Cruise. His latest film Oblivion hit theatres recently and has some of the finest CG that we have seen in films. The magazine has expanded circulation and would be available in a lot many more places. Watch out soon for the independent film festival and a few other exciting things being planned at the Brew.
Circulation & Sales 06 Seeman Ezhumalai 07 Rajesh Manoharan
Keep Brewing. Until next time. Sameer Bharat Ram Editor
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Edited and Published by Sameer Bharat Ram, and owned by SM BrandMuni Consulting Pvt. Ltd, Published from No.609, Lakshmi Bhavan, Anna salai, Mount Road, Chennai - 600 002. Tel.: +91 44 4208 9392. Printed by K. Srinivasan at Srikals Graphics pvt. Ltd, No.5, Balaji Nagar, 1st street, Ekkattuthangal, Chennai - 600 032. Editor: Sameer Bharat Ram
CONTRIBUTORS AND ADVISORY BOARD Sethumadhavan N. Sethumadhavan.N holds an MBA from XLRIJamshedpur and has a background in the FMCG & Retail sectors. It was while leading the editorial team at PassionForCinema.com (a popular movie portal that’s now defunct) that Sethu realized that his true passion was Cinema and everything connected to it, including the business side of it. Currently based in Mumbai,Sethu works in the education sector and also runs www. madaboutmoviez.com, a portal dedicated to Indie/Small films,Regional Cinema and World Cinema. Sethu has also been associated with filmmaking workshops and film festivals.
Venket Ram Venket Ram is a leading Indian celebrity & fashion photographer, who has shot principal photography stills for several notable films as well as portfolios. He quit his engineering studies to work with cinematographers for a while, then joined a course in Visual Communication at Loyola College. After that, he worked with photographer Sharad Haksar and in 1993, started his own studio. He recently released the first two editions of his annual calendars in 2011 and 2012 with an overwhelming response.
Kavita Baliga The young American Soprano, Kavita Baliga has sung in concerts around the U.S., Switzerland, Italy and India with repertoire ranging from Opera and Oratorio, Musical Theatre to Indian film. In 2008, Ms. Baliga joined A.R Rahman’s KM Music Conservatory as a faculty member and founded the KMMC Chamber Choir. She is presently developing performance programmes in India.
Mallika Sarabhai Educated as an economist and a business manager, Mallika Sarabhai is one of India’s best known Bharatanatyam and Kuchipudi dancers. She has taken her work and her company Darpana to not only over 90 countries around the world, but also to the farthest parts of India.
Ashok Verghese Is one of the youngest education entrepreneurs who is making a great difference in this field in the country. He is the Director of the Hindustan group of Institutions, again one of the pioneering educational groups in the country. He supports the cause of promoting young talent in art and music.
Neeru Nanda A graduate from Delhi University. Passionate about writing, she freelanced as a feature writer for ten years before switching to publishing. Author of a collection of short stories titled “IF” (Rupa & Co), Neeru is now working on two novels and a series of books for children.
Veejay Sai An award-winning writer, editor and a culture critic. He has written and published extensively on Indian classical music, fashion, theatre, food and art, and loves traveling, researching literary and cultural history. He is an editorial consultant with over 40 brands and designers in and outside India and is on the jury for several prestigious awards in the arts across the country.
Dr. M. Lalitha and M. Nandini Internationally acclaimed, award winning Violin Maestros Dr. M. Lalitha and M. Nandini have been widely applauded as the ‘Queens Of Violin’ and have enthralled audiences across the globe. They have been selected as Cultural Ambassadors and dignitaries to the US and UK respectively. They have published books and written numerous articles relating to Music and religion..
2012 is the year that saw Vishakha venture into Film production. She has Coproduced ‘Peddlers”, directed by Vasan Bala, produced and presented by Guneet Monga/Anurag Kashyap Films Pvt Ltd. The film as selected at the Cannes Critics week at the Cannes Film Festival 2012.She has also coproduced Haramkhor wth Guneet Monga and AKFPL directed by Shlok Sharma. the film is set to release in 2013.
Vishakha Singh Vishakha is an Indian Film Actress/Producer. She started her career appearing in various Tv and Print commercials. She is currently working as the leading lady in Vikram Bhatt’s next production Ankur Arora Murder Case, a film on medical negligence where she plays a medical intern. She is also one of the leading ladies in Farhan Akhtar and Ritesh Sidhwani’s Excel Entertainments’s upcoming film Fukrey based in Delhi directed by Mrig Lamba.
VOL 03 ISSUE 07
36 MARVELS IRON MAN 3
10 CARNATIC'S NEW
16 JURASSIC PARK 3D
18 AND WHY DO 36
WE NEED INDIAN ZOMBIES?
32 A QUEST FOR UNIQUE HANDICRAFTS OF THE WORLD
27 IN CONVERSATION WITH TOM CRUISE & OBLIVION TEAM
comrades - Veejay Sai
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Earlier this season, as the Coke Studio fever caught on Indian music lovers, a bunch of non-descript music enthusiasts made headlines across popular social networks and music circles. Raising even critical eyebrows, AGAM took a whole generation by storm with their popular number ‘Malhar Jam’ and before anyone knew, their fan following grew by leaps and bounds. Unlike most bands, these refreshingly innovative bunches of young musicians are actually full time working professionals. Looking into the band’s brief history is an exciting tale of inspiration for many. “Me and Ganesh, the drummer went to college together. We were making music long before the band was formed. Much later we started writing our own songs in a small way. The first song we wrote was called ‘Brahma’s Dance’, which is pretty popular today. Ganesh also plays the keyboards. At that time we hired a keyboard for thousand rupees a day for a week!
It seems small but at that time it was an astronomical price for two students who were pursuing their passion. We would try experimenting and mixing all kinds of tunes and genres and all we had was a single keyboard”, says Harish Sivaramakrishnan, the lead vocalist of the band, recollecting their initial days. A few years later others joined in. “Swamy Seetharaman played a very critical role in shaping the band’s identity. He can actually rationalize a lot of things, something which I couldn’t easily do. We used to call ourselves ‘Studio F6’ named after a simple residential address that we were based out of. He gave us the name AGAM. It means the inner self. We were all youngsters with full-time day jobs and playing music would also mean expressing our common interest that held us together within ourselves. Looking back today, we are happy we took his advice with the name. We were not doing any gigs. This was a name that seven of us and may be my family knew. It didn’t make a radical change in anything. Now that we had a name, maybe we could use it for some social media networking”, he adds as he unravels the mystery of the fascinating name the band acquired for itself. From almost no where in the scene just a few years ago, to being the new face of Indian bands, AGAM’s journey has been a fairy tale worth a movie.
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A lot of ink has been consumed about if artistes need to groom themselves in classical arts before they experiment. “I come from a home of Carnatic musicians. Being the grand-nephew of the legendary T V Gopalakrishnan and trained under the Chembai-baani, I spent a good seventeen years with the genre to grind myself into it before venturing out with my own ideas”, says Harish. His other band members Vighnesh Lakshminarayanan is a keyboardist turned guitar player who also helps with the backing vocals, Jagadish Natarajan handles the rhythm guitar, Praveen Kumar the lead guitar while Ganesh Ram Nagarajan who handles their drums is self-taught. For a band’s success it is important to see where the points of divergence and tangents can be drawn when it comes to what each member brings in terms of their
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approach and influence to music. “Vighnesh is a big fan of Iron Maiden and Dream Theatre. He started unabashedly playing progressive metal on top of our songs. It took some time for me to understand that. I had limited exposure and understanding to it. He was doing some crazy riffing on top of Carnatic music which I had never heard earlier. Three weeks down it actually sounded different”, adds Harish. The members sat, brain-stormed, experimented and went through a process of severe self-analysis and self-criticism before everyone agreed on the final nod over a single track. This organic process of working is a fading quality amongst most bands, certainly amongst most individual members who keep their options to study very limited. AGAM’s success lay in this process.
“Once we went through our own process we thought we would beg venues to give us gigs for half a song or so”, says Harish. Today AGAM is one of the most wanted Indian bands on the scene rubbing shoulders with their industry seniors, in fact giving a stiff competition to many established ones.
is history. AGAM’s first album was launched with high fanfare at the Hard Rock café and before anyone knew it became the most sold album across social media and otherwise. Looking at their growth chart and the originality of their music, one can successfully congratulate Carnatic music for finding its true global ambassadors.
At a television reality show they were vouched for by none other than A R Rahman for their music. “Frankly speaking we were thinking we would get our backsides kicked because Rahman was judging the show. After much thought we arrived to a reason why we decided must go. A few people said we were good and we thought they were just being polite. The head of a famous record label asked us if we had an album and we thought he was kidding” adds Harish about the whole experience of their initial success. The rest, as they say,
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I wait in the taxi and watch you pace the cobblestones, impatient. You are going to the city for work, a date, obligations, curiosities. I am going to the city because that is where I stay, enduring years like these for days like the ones that have just passed. There is salt in the wind, and my wounds though dulcified are still wrought delicate. The driver has disappeared. “If you get out of that car, honeybee, you will run away too,” you complain. “So stay inside”. I imagine stepping out, refusing to leave, escaping to the village to live like a poet, a potter, raising papaya saplings and children mud-luscious and illegitimate, coming to town twice a week to wander these streets of Pondicherry ochre and Virgin Mary blue. “I know you, madcap,” you say, reaching a hand into the window to smooth back my hair. And you do. But there’s only so long I can sit inside; already the heat and the weight of departure have begun to vex. You concede, open the door with a flourish, and I tumble out with a mismatched flower behind each ear and my heart heavy as a skirt worn in the sea. I lean into your chest and you hiss fiercely into my hair, “And what else do you have to do in that city but cry? So save it. You’re still here.” And just then, the driver appears at the far end of the street, carrying a clear bag of white nectarines in one hand and one of swimming goldfish in the other, glitter-glorious in the sunlight. We both notice him and at once, the perfect circuitry of a single thought occurs. “Do you remember that afternoon when we were riding back home on the bike and at the start of the Dindivanam highway–”
“–when they had just chopped down all those trees and we were shattered to see them standing there like amputees –” “–but on our right, to the east, was the translucent full moon, and to our left, on the west –” “–the sun, perfectly parallel, two heavenly bodies in the sky with us right in the middle.” You smile. “It was 3.30pm on one of the first days of that year,” I shake my head. “I’ll never forget it.” You open the door and whisper, “For you, always, the sun, the moon, the stars.” “For my sister’s children in Madras,” grins the driver, apologetic. He places the fish and fruit in the passenger seat and we’re in the back, doors locked before we can regret it. “That’s where we’re going,” you say, and nod slowly.
- Sharanya Manivannan
They say that if you dream of the one you long for on a night when you have kept four lotus petals under your pillow, your love has not gone unreciprocated. In the French Quarter I see them, all pale formality and long-stemmed leaning, and smile remembering this. I have no use for the sad dignity of lotuses, not here. Tonight, in the other city, I will sleep alone for the first time in weeks, but this is how it works: while I am here, this is all there is. Nothing exists beyond the periphery of desire. We have stopped for petrol and for gerberas, my weakness. Through the window, I pick and point out a crimson one, for comeliness, and a salmon one, for greed, and the man who sells them out of bright plastic buckets smiles into my eyes as he hands them to me through the window, a cat’s cradle of wet stalks and silken petals. Yesterday, someone tenderly lifted an eyelash from my cheek, held her fingertip near my lips and told me to make a wish as I blew it away. “I have everything I want this morning,” I laughed, and I meant it. My bare feet were in cool sepia earth, soft with recent rain, and above us the neem trees were susurrus with applause and coincidence. “Then wish for more mornings like this,” she said, and I kissed her wrist and did.
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When we pass the junction that leads back to the village, I will blow a kiss in its direction and bless the memory of that dusk, beautiful and bloodshot, when I was overwhelmed with love for the land that gave rise to the dirt road on which a girl I had met just that morning and I had braked our motorbike because a peacock had darted across, right to left, and moved amidst the undergrowth while we – stunned speechless – watched. So let me ride back with you in this taxi you have hired so we can talk or hold hands all the way up the east coast to the other city, where we will separate because magic this pure cannot suffer a place like that. We are not there yet. But as we pierce its limits, you will get out of the car without saying goodbye. Alone, again, I will re-enter the city concealed like a mercenary, the weeks I have spent at home already fading, like a dream too surreal to hold whole, too sweet to bear. It will be months before we meet again, almost as long before we speak. In the car we will have been mostly silent, each lost in thoughts that isolate the other; as if in preparation. And even when there’s nothing to look at in the hours ahead but other cars verging toward or away from the holiest place we know, there, reflected in the windshield: a mirage of marigold, fish swirling in the sky in a trick of light. You won’t put your arms around me when we part, and I won’t promise you a thing or pretend to know what is true, except that life is long and love is small and selfish and I do love you, I love you, I do.
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JURASSIC PARK 3D EVOLUTION REBOOT - Ameet Bhuvan I was ten when I saw Jurassic Park in a dingy cinema at Kolkata’s (then Calcutta) Dunlop market; in Hindi. Accompanied by my Massi, we kids grabbed on to our seats in exasperated wonderment as the Dinosaur magic unspooled on screen. Big giant Dinosaurs captivated my mind then, the science awed me, and we walked back to our house discussing how life could be brought back from the dead, asking incessant questions to my botanist Massi on the way. It was one of those definitive childhood experiences that stay alive in the subconscious mind forever, fueling ambitions and dreams alike. Today, twenty years hence, as I saw Spielberg’s Jurrasic Park in Imax 3D, I was awestruck all over again. Cinema has moved leaps and bounds in the ensuing twenty years since Spielberg gave my generation its first brush with CGI spectacle on screen. Avatar, Life of Pi, Hugo, LOTR and the Harry Potter series are undoubtedly far more superior work of art; Jurassic Park itself has had two sequels (though none a patch on the first). Yet, Jurassic Park 3D manages to leave you dumbstruck and amazed. It is a fine example of a film that has aged graciously, Jurassic Park has ripened in appeal, almost ready to enter the hallowed list of cinematic greats of our times. Yet surprisingly, the film is a revelation when watched as an adult all these years after on the big screen. What works most importantly for this re-release is the fact that while the sequels to the first part- the ingloriously underrated sinister Lost World and the irritatingly boring part three- have been doing regular runs on TV, the first part itself has been missing from the idiot box. With the third dimension added this time, one cannot but wonder how made-for-3D this film already was. Dinosaurs snapping at the feet of the hapless humans, car running down a tree right on to your face, the spectacular kitchen chase sequence with the kids, and the sweeping shots of the park with herds of the gentler monsters, Jurassic Park is a textbook case for justifying the extra efforts in adding a third dimension. Does the 3D work entirely is debatable, but more on that later. Jurassic Park is a study of a filmmaker on the verge of maturing into a master storyteller. Spielberg here is just about mastering the art of churning out money making mega blockbusters that also have a nuanced amount of art and dark edginess missing in monster flicks before it.
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In many ways the director’s tribute to Godzilla and other such tacky Hollywood obsessions with monsters on screen, Jurassic Park is also, in hindsight, surprisingly dark. Nonchalantly thrown in between the stunning appearances of the Dinos, are portions that question the very fundamentals of human nature and his tendency to reach beyond the limits nature has set for him. Through the story of an audacious tycoon who seeks to bring back to life an extinct species in his quest to leave a legacy behind, Spielberg belies his own ambition of being an audacious filmmaker ready to take ridiculous risks like this one, and many more after it- to trail blaze with never before CGI that seamlessly merged the real with the make believe to give you a masterpiece that till date is fresh. To believe in a story idea by Crichton, even before a word of the book it is based on was written. To make dinosaurs a part of dining table discussions worldwide. Crichton, in his adapted screenplay, dilutes much of the gross violence that the novel had, adding in ample changes to the story to almost make this a standalone script, and in the same breath managing to retain the menacing quality of the whole plot. Spielberg uses this wonderful adaptation, avoiding deftly the broad strokes of black and white used to paint the monsters and the “victim” humans with in films of the genre before and even after. The dinosaurs are at no point made into absolute villains- Alan the expert makes it a point to explain to the kids, that the “meatosaurs” do what they got to do and are not monsters- while at the same time don’t make humans the innocent victims of nature’s evil side. Enough fingers are pointed at the innate need of the human kind to outdo and outrun nature at any cost. Together, the writer director duo create a stellar piece that has gimmickry and spectacle covering a very intriguing dark and brooding question on the human psyche- all the while sticking firmly to the typical Hollywood potboiler framework. Today in 3D, much of the film’s original surprises and thrills get retained. Understandably a few portions do not work anymore- the 3D separates the dinosaurs out from the rest of the scenery breaking the illusion, while in some parts, 3D adds to the menacing urgency of the thriller. At its core, the film is perfectly paced adventure with measured dollops of morals, science mumbo-jumbo, emotions and comedy- a mix that works to perfection even today. At ten, Jurassic Park kindled in me the love for biology and genetics. Twenty years hence, a Masters in medical genetics and innumerable hours spent in state of the art labs with DNA later, the film brought out that child back in me. Some things just never get too old or dated. This is one such classic. Note- Originally published in wwwmadaboutmoviez.com
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And why do we need Indian Zombies? - Ganesh Matkari
sub-genre of Zombie films emerged in Hollywood. Lethargic slow moving but unstoppable zombies took over a large chunk of horror cinema and managed to spread in other countries to an extent like all things American have a tendency to.
As if the Indian horror genre was not dead enough, we are trying to resurrect it with Zombie films. ( who comes up with these ideas ......?) Earlier we had to suffer with the rise of Ramseys who made Hammer films look like sophisticated works of art. They did achieve a cult status, but a cult is appreciable when you have the mainstream which we didn’t. There were few semi supernatural films which mixed equal part romance with ghost stories like Mahal, Madhumati, Woh Kaun thi? ( A mystery actually, with a supernatural flavor inspired by The Woman in White) and Kohra( A mash up of Rebecca but with a good OST). Still the real culture specific supernatural from our traditional, mythological or rural backgrounds, as well as our literature was never exploited. Some half-hearted creepy films managed to get a decent audience in the past few years but none of them original. And now ...this. Zombie films were and are quite idiotic if you look at the genre seriously. Forget the original African traditional Zombies animated and controlled by witch doctors, most of the new Hollywood zombies have sprung directly from the ghouls in Romero’s Night of the Living Dead(1968). Romero made a career out of making living dead films and slowly a
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There were a few brilliant exceptions like Edgar Wright’s social satire ‘Shaun of the Dead (2004) or a reworking of the concept in Danny Boyle’s 28 Days Later’ (2002) or Ruben Fleischer’s excellent farce ‘Zombieland’ and some good attempts like ‘The Walking Dead’ series based on the graphic version, still overall, the output remains unsatisfactory. Now, the plague of Zombies has reached us. We, in our eternal wisdom, have refused to look at our own horror traditions and have blindly adapted these dimwit creatures as we normally do with American things. (To me, this seems like a cultural equivalent of the Stockholm Syndrome, if you know what I mean! With the onslaught of their influence we are becoming more Americans than they themselves are.) The problem here is though Luke Kenny’s first film ‘Rise of the Zombie’ attempts a sort of an origin tale, it’s no ‘ Night of the Living Dead’ to kickstart a genre and has no capacity to have a deep-rooted impact on moviegoers who have managed to resist horror as a genre for many years.
We are perfectly capable of wasting a lot of money and try to inject something which is not from this soil and have little hope to be culturally or even from a pure entertainment point of view, very significant. We rather do this than try something original or meaningful.Why is Bollywood doing this? Why do they do most things they end up doing?Ultimately, there is only one answer to that question. Because they can.
Now we have the upcoming Kunal Khemu, Saif starrer ‘ Go Goa Gone’, and at least 2 more films in the pipeline.I have no illusions that Zombies will reinvent the horror genre for us. It’s stupid to even assume that, but stupidity has never stopped us earlier.
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OBLIVION “Is it possible to miss a place you’ve never been? To mourn a time you’ve never known”? —Commander Jack Harper (Tom Cruise)
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OM CRUISE stars in Oblivion, an original and groundbreaking cinematic event from the visionary director of TRON: Legacy and producers of Rise of the Planet of the Apes. On a spectacular future Earth that has evolved beyond recognition, one man’s confrontation with the past will lead him on a journey of redemption and discovery as he battles to save mankind. 2077: Jack Harper (Cruise) serves as a security repairmen stationed on an evacuated Earth. Part of a massive operation to extract vital resources after decades of war with a terrifying alien threat who still scavenges what’s left of our planet, Jack’s mission is almost complete. In a matter of two weeks, he will join the remaining survivors on a lunar colony far from the war-torn world he has long called home. Living in and patrolling the breathtaking skies from thousands of feet above, Jack’s soaring existence is brought crashing down after he rescues a beautiful stranger from a downed spacecraft. Drawn to Jack through a connection that transcends logic, her arrival triggers a chain of events that forces him to question everything he thought he knew. With a reality that is shattered as he discovers shocking truths that connect him to Earth of the past, Jack will be pushed to a heroism he didn’t know he contained within. The fate of humanity now rests solely in the hands of a man who believed our world was soon to be lost forever. Cruise is joined in this epic action-adventure by Academy Award® winner MORGAN FREEMAN (The Dark Knight Rises, Wanted) as Beech, leader of a band of survivors who are highly suspicious of Jack’s motives; OLGA KURYLENKO (Quantum of Solace, Seven Psychopaths) as Julia Rusakova, a traveler who has crossed time and space in search of true love; ANDREA RISEBOROUGH (W.E., Happy-GoLucky) as Victoria “Vika” Olsen, Jack’s by-the-book navigator who is ready to depart Earth forever; NIKOLAJ COSTER-WALDAU (Mama, television’s Game of Thrones) as Sykes, second-in-command of the revolution and the first to want Jack eliminated; and Oscar® winner MELISSA LEO (The Fighter, Frozen River) as Sally, the commanding officer overseeing the evacuation who has an agenda of her own. Director/producer JOSEPH KOSINSKI has assembled an elite behind-the-scenes team of frequent collaborators to transform his graphic novel original story into an epic motion-picture event. They are led by Oscar®-winning cinematographer CLAUDIO MIRANDA (Life of Pi, TRON: Legacy), production designer DARREN GILFORD (TRON: Legacy, Idiocracy), Oscar®-winning VFX supervisor ERIC BARBA (The Curious Case of Benjamin Button, TRON: Legacy), VFX producer and co-producer STEVE GAUB (TRON: Legacy, Terminator Salvation), co-producer BRUCE FRANKLIN (TRON: Legacy, Terminator Salvation) and
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orchestrator JOSEPH TRAPANESE (TRON: Legacy). Welcome additions to the crew include editor RICHARD FRANCIS-BRUCE (Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone, The Shawshank Redemption), costume designer MARLENE STEWART (Tropic Thunder, Date Night) and composer M83. Joining Kosinski on Oblivion are fellow producers PETER CHERNIN (Rise of the Planet of the Apes, upcoming The Heat), DYLAN CLARK (Rise of the Planet of the Apes, The Heat), BARRY LEVINE (Detroit Rock City, upcoming Hercules) and DUNCAN HENDERSON (Master and Commander: The Far Side of the World, Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone). The team is working from a screenplay by KARL GAJDUSEK (Trespass, upcoming The Last Days of American Crime) and MICHAEL DEBRUYN. Executive producers of the action-adventure are DAVE MORRISON (44 Inch Chest), JESSE BERGER (Hercules) and JUSTIN SPRINGER (TRON: Legacy). Oblivion was shot in stunning digital 4K resolution on location across the United States and Iceland, including interiors in Baton Rouge and New Orleans, Louisiana, and exteriors in New York City, New York, Mammoth, California, and across Iceland.
Oblivion Takes Flight In 2005, five years before Joseph Kosinski directed his first feature, TRON: Legacy, the director wrote a 12page story titled “Oblivion.” In his sci-fi adventure set in 2077—six decades after an alien invasion irradiates Earth—we follow the missions of Jack, a repairman on a nearly destroyed planet who is uncertain of his place in the universe.
Kosinski reveals story elements of his graphic novel: “It’s an action-adventure set in the year 2077 after a massive war has left Earth uninhabited and in ruins. The story centers on Jack, a drone repairman who is an integral part of a larger mission. A wonderful mystery, unbeknownst to him, will be the key element to saving what is left of humanity.” What the director focused upon was the brutal honesty of the story. He adds: “There is a difference between those who ignore the truth and put their blinders on and the people who decide to take the truth head on-regardless of how hard it is to face what it means.” Kosinski admits that this science-fiction saga was one he’d long been interested in telling. Growing up, he was enamored with such films as The Omega Man, Blade Runner and 2001: A Space Odyssey, books including “Hyperion” and TV shows like The Twilight Zone. The filmmaker admits that he loved the juxtaposition of a rugged backdrop against the stylish results of imagined future technology. He says: “I have always liked the ’70s sci-fi art by Chris Foss, Peter Elson and Chris Moore and knew that with VFX technology as advanced as it is today, I could combine CGI work and real landscapes seamlessly and create something unique.” Levine and Berger were inspired by this young director’s vision, and Levine recalls his first reaction to the property: “When I read Joe’s story, I found it to be compelling, original and motivating of human nature and character. Oblivion is a great actionadventure, but at its core is that one character you are rooting for, and that is what makes for a great movie.”
Flight of the Odyssey
Though the daredevil pilot serves as the last drone repairman stationed on our planet, Jack questions authority and is curiously drawn to preserving the world he once knew. When a gorgeous stranger crashlands in front of him and upends everything that he believes, he awakes to a reality-shattering alternative truth that he must accept or reject. Ultimately, he becomes a leader for the remaining people of Earth, a man driven by purpose and a new destiny.
On Stage 7 at Celtic Studios, the art department, under the direction of supervising art director KEVIN ISHIOKA, built the interior of the space shuttle Odyssey set. The goal for the team was for the cockpit to resemble that of an actual spacecraft and for Kosinski and DP Miranda to achieve a natural look of weightlessness when shooting with Cruise and Riseborough inside of the space shuttle.
It was a dream of Kosinski’s to turn “Oblivion” into a screenplay, but the timing wasn’t quite right. The delay would prove fortuitous, however, when Kosinski met Barry Levine and Jesse Berger, co-founders of Radical Studios, several years later. Together, the men partnered to develop the story into an illustrated graphic novel known in the industry as an “ashcan”, written by ARVID NELSON, illustrated by ANDRÉE WALLIN and art directed by Kosinski, Levine and Radical Studios art director JEREMY BERGER. This would allow them to demonstrate to investors the direction in which they wanted to go with the property.
The most obvious question was, How could this be done on the practical set? To accomplish this, an opening was left in the top of the cylindrical set from which a 40-foot vertical cable could hang freely from a 70-foot horizontal truss that was connected to the ceiling of the stage that began 30 feet underneath. Its creator, stunt rigging coordinator DAVID HUGGHINS, who is part of the stunt team, dubbed this antigravity system the “XYZ flying rig.” A similar rig was used in the magnet room for the pivotal scene with Jeremy Renner’s character in Mission: Impossible—Ghost Protocol.
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Four stunt performers, who doubled as cable operators, were in charge of the XYZ flying rig and the 1,500 feet of cable-strapped to an electric motor with hydraulics-that it required to run all of the lines. Operators controlled the up-down, left-right and the forward-back. Another operator was in command, giving specific instructions and safety checks. For safety and performance, the XYZ flying rig had to be exactly precise. The cast rehearsed in harnesses for weeks in advance and was QuickLinked with climbing industry hooks to the cable. On the day of shooting, Kosinski advised Cruise and Riseborough to grab onto the walls as they dangled in weightlessness in the cockpit. To add an extra spin, the Odyssey cylindrical set was created so that it could rotate counterclockwise for an illusion of more movement. Kosinski wanted to be as accurate as possible when re-creating a key scene in the space shuttle. Therefore, he called in astronaut RICK SEARFOSS to act as technical advisor. Searfoss, a space shuttle commander, consulted on all of the antigravity stunt moves, the look of the Odyssey cockpit and the script dialogue. Commander Searfoss guided the art department after they laid out the control panels inside the Odyssey set, as well as on the switching of the graphics and video playback. He showed filmmakers and cast how and when each one of these control systems was going to be used for takeoff, preflight and landing. Says Searfoss: “Simulating weightlessness is an interesting challenge, both in the real world of training astronauts and when you are trying to tell a story on film. But with clever camera angles and the athletic ability of the actors, it is possible to make it look realistic. On top of that, add some real cockpit chatter and you are on your way.”
The masks began with the use of a simple, retrofitted flight cap, and from there various items were attached to maximize vision. Lights illuminated earpieces, while pieces of old cameras and plumbing parts went over the eyes of every costume. Each alien outfit was one of a kind. For many of the action sequences involving the scavengers, a military advisor and retired Navy SEAL, DOUG MCQUARRIE, worked with the 10 hero alien stunt performers and the entire stunt department. McQuarrie ran an alien boot camp with these stuntmen, and one stuntwoman (ZOE BELL, who portrays Kara). Working with the weapons, McQuarrie would instruct the scavengers on how they might crawl, walk or run during a confrontation. McQuarrie did not hesitate to yell at his scavenger trainees, with such commands as “Look! Shoot! Kill!” motivating the stunt performers. Kosinski and McQuarrie felt it was important that the scavengers move like indigenous people of the culture, and not in a militant way. McQuarrie offers: “The scavengers would do things in a little looser fashion. I worked with these talented and athletically gifted stunt players, giving them some basic military skills and a foundation, and from there we created a specific style together.”
Also featured at Raven Rock was the aliens’ sled, which they use to transport an unconscious Jack. Gilford explains that the initial item they needed to find was a platform, a working vehicle with which they could tinker. He relays: “We were looking for snowcats and other tread vehicles. We found a type of snowcat that had steering treads, so we bought one of those in Vermont. It was an old snowcat, and we brought it down here and started taking it apart. We used the drive train and the tread mechanism and started building the platform on top of it. Special effects guru MIKE MEINARDUS tore apart the snowcat for us and built the deck on the platform.” Meinardus and his crew created a tanklike vehicle complete with two operating MK machine guns, and a feed tray with 50 call bullets that are able to fire 100 rounds at once. The sled also featured an MK19 grenade launcher with 40 mm grenades. The turrets on the sled spun, and the hydraulics made it possible to go up and down and in all directions. This was a serious war machine.
Beyond Practical VFX supervisor Barba previously teamed with Kosinski on TRON: Legacy. He viewed his goal on Oblivion to make Kosinski’s vision come to life in post so that the audience will believe the Bubbleship can fly, the Skytower rests 3,000 feet in the air on a platform, and that drones rocket by at warp speeds to chase down scavengers. Says Henderson: “There are huge VFX components that go into making a film of this scale. Nevertheless, Joe wanted to capture as much practically on set during filming as he could. We have a good balance of the two and they feed the story, so VFX are not just there to be a spectacle. Rather, they are plot-driven.” The director reflects upon the world his VFX team helped to create: “From a visual effects standpoint, our biggest challenge was making sure that the digital elements in this movie integrate into the live-action photography seamlessly, because so much of this movie is in camera. We never wanted any of the digital elements to stick out. So when the drones are flying around, they had to feel like they were captured in camera on set.”
McQuarrie had previously worked as military advisor with Cruise on Jack Reacher, and their ease with one another was evident. After McQuarrie and Cruise had multiple discussions about how Jack would shoot, move and interact with others, they worked with the sophisticated weaponry created just for Oblivion. Says McQuarrie: “These are futuristic weapons, so we have to change movements and adapt to that to make it believable.”
Other sets built on stage at Celtic Studios included the interior of the Empire State Building gift shop and a New York City hotel room. Off-stage production was also shot at the local Homeland Security/911 Call Center, which doubled as Mission Control for the center at which Sally gave Vika her commands.
Aliens on Earth After the war to end all wars, the only remaining survivors on Earth (or so Jack has long believed) were the alien scavengers. These creatures were all played by stunt performers, and that necessitated that the alien costumes were both safe and functional.
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VFX producer and co-producer Steve Gaub came on board Oblivion early on to work on previsualization shots with Kosinski. Says Gaub: “We had a whole previsualization team doing early animations. The more we could lock into that, then the earlier on we could set the template of what we wanted to be practical photography versus what needed to be computer-generated, and what we wanted to be half and half.” The VFX team chronicled everything that was happening on set so that they would have the necessary tools with which to work during postproduction (when they created the computergenerated imagery). Through the use of still references, they compiled as much data as possible to record what space and lighting-as well as intricate scene details-were used on each day of shooting. Approximately 400 computer artists at VFX venues Digital Domain and Pixomondo relied upon the Oblivion on-set VFX team for incredibly specific texture and light data so that 3D models of everything from the set to the Bubbleship to the cast could be created for the VFX shots. Shadows proved to be a particular challenge on this film as most of the action takes place outdoors under bright sunlight…while computer creations need to match the real world flawlessly.
In Conversation tom cruise & O
Soundtrack to the World’s End
When Kosinski wrote the story for Oblivion in 2005, he listed in the treatment a soundtrack from the mastermind behind M83, Anthony Gonzalez. He felt that M83 was an artist whose music fit the story he was trying to tell, and knew that when he made the film, his temp score should become his permanent one. The French native, who has toured internationally with bands from Depeche Mode and The Killers to Kings of Leon, debuted in 2001 and recently released his first double-disc album, “Hurry Up, We’re Dreaming” as his sixth record. Says the director: “His music is not only cutting edge but it’s also very emotional. It felt like a good fit for this movie.” Together with Joseph Trapanese, Kosinski’s orchestrator from TRON: Legacy, they composed soaring, expansive soundscapes that distinguish Oblivion and correlate to its wondrous visuals and action. Continues Kosinski: “It’s a hybrid score in a way. It has electronics and drum kits that you wouldn’t recognize from M83’s music, but at the same time, we’ve got a full orchestra and a choir. Bringing all these different elements together into something that feels cohesive and appropriate for our movie was a fun part of the process, and it blended beautifully. It sounds very original, which is all I wanted for an original film.”
Oblivion ticks all the boxes for the perfect use of literary devices and establishes enough original cannon to stick in your mind long after the credits start rolling. It is a distinct success among the largely abysmal offerings of 2013 so far, don’t miss it!!
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- Niteesh Menon & Manish Magesh Kumar
An Exclusive with the team of Oblivion on set
- Niteesh Menon & Manish Magesh Kumar
Joseph Kosinski (Director) : “Jack is the last man left on earth after a massive war that has left earth inhabitable”. Tom Cruise (Actor) : “When you are looking at the world that is 60 years from now been obliterated” Joseph Kosinski (Director) : Feels like earth the way it may have looked a million years ago even though it’s in the future Tom Cruise : Jack is a futuristic blue-collar guy who basically fixes drones. Joseph Kosinski (Director) : He’s fascinated with the relics of the past. His New Yankee cap that he finds, when he finds structures of old earth, there is a connection to it that he can’t quiet explain. Tom Cruise : Everyday he goes back to earth, just fixing drones, trying not to get killed by the enemy. Joseph Kosinski (Director) : It is very dangerous whenever jack is on the surface because he’s always vulnerable to an ambush. Jack and Vic are partners and she is his Communications Officer, they have been stationed together, just the two of them for the past five years. But one day a spacecraft impacts near Jack’s location. And he is trying to figure out what is happening, and in the wreckage he finds this woman. Tom Cruise: Everything he knows becomes inverted. Jack knows he has to fight, because the world is at stake, literally.
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THE WORLD OF OBLIVION Joseph Kosinski (Director): “It started as an illustrated novel and I had shown a preview of the graphic novel just had low introduction of the story and Tom called me and wanted to know more about the project, I talked him through the entire story. Tom Cruise: He truly is a visionary filmmaker and a world creator and he showed me the graphic novel and then he came back with the script, I immediately said I’m in. Joseph Kosinski (Director): So as creative as we wrote the script, half tom and mine, he’s a great creative partner behind the whole process. Tom Cruise: I’ve had the great privilege to work with artiste’s who have defined cinema and Joseph Kosinski (Director) has that kind of ability Joseph Kosinski (Director): This is an original story that is done on a big scale. The two words I had from the very beginning of the projects were BEAUTIFUL DESOLATION. Tom Cruise: It has a haunting beauty to it. Joseph Kosinski (Director): Blue skies, black sand, almost primo real earth. And then against that rugged landscape I wanted to bring a very clean, forward-looking technology, I thought their juxtaposition would create something visually that looks so unique.
“Olga Kurylenko has such a classic kind of quality that she created before this character.”
ICELAND Tom Cruise: I couldn’t have waited to get there, Iceland is an absolutely stunning country. Joseph Kosinski (Director): Shooting in Iceland is one of those experiences thought as a director going to places that most people have never seen, and getting to capture it all in camera, the landscape looks like no other place on earth. Its an volcanic island, black sands, no trees, just moss growing on the hillside, there is a beauty in the desolation, and that seemed to kind of, fit the aesthetic I wanted for oblivion. Everyday in Iceland we saw something we had never seen before; just around every corner in that country you see something spectacular. Tom Cruise: Joe’s eye and how he shot it, is just so fast and it seems to go on forever… Joseph Kosinski (Director): In Iceland, in the summer time, the sun really never sets. You know we get magic hour, which is when the sun is low in the sky, a beautiful light that lasts for about 7-8 hours and from a filmmakers point of view its an amazing opportunity
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THE SKY TOWER to just get the beautiful lights for hours in line. We went to Earl’s peak in the middle of Iceland, literally in the middle of nowhere, glaciers on one side and sand desert on the other. Tom Cruise: Everybody went around flying in helicopters which was amazing, it was really good to see so much of the country and then we landed on this lench and all the crew would just carry all the stuff up there we hiked up and then spent the afternoon on Earl’s peak which is amazing. Joseph Kosinski (Director): Tom had no problem sitting on the edge of a mountain; he has no fear of heights so we could get some beautiful scenes of him. Tom Cruise: It was really peaceful, so beautiful; that I think when you see the film it has captured that serenity that the place has. Joseph Kosinski (Director): That kinda stuff, capturing it in camera and doing it on a soundstage is what its all about when you are making movies about it.
Darren Gilford (Production designer): The sky tower is this house on top of this very delicate, fragile structure and it is intended to look that way, we wanted it to feel like a futuristic evolution of architecture and human engineering is involved based on a fact that this would be a stable structure. Joseph Kosinski (Director): The whole philosophy for the movie was to try and build everything we could to try to shoot everything in camera but the sky tower is a home built 3000ft above the ground, its yet not something you could build but I felt like we can get close by using kind of a modern take on a technique that Stanley Kubrick used on 2001: A Space Odyssey which is front projection. So rather than putting a green screen or a blue screen behind an actor and keying it out and replacing it with footage later. We went to Holyakhawa, which is a volcano in mavi 10,000ft above sea level; we set up three cameras that captured sky, clouds, sunrise, sunset, stars and then when we were shooting we had those images projected onto the screens so that was the natural lighting. It was the clouds, what is actually allowed us to do is to use the
reflective light to actually light the sets and the actors, so you end up with a all in camera visual effect, you can have things like glass and reflective surfaces. Andrea Riseborough (Actress playing “VICTORIA”): There are quiet different textures you pick up from each different surface on the camera. Tom Cruise: It was without a doubt, the most beautiful set to be shot on. Joseph Kosinski (Director): It creates a visual quality that just can’t be faked in addition for the actors when the look out of the window of the sky tower while they see clouds drift by the windows they are seeing the sunrise or sunset, so I think just from the point of performance, it gives them a cue and it even allows them to immerse themselves so deeply in the story. It is interactive so you don’t have to try to imagine something. Tom Cruise: It really makes a big difference Olga Kurylenko (Actress playing “Julia”): I can’t believe they are going to take this apart, this is an amazing piece of art, I want to stay here and live here, I want to move in.
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PRODUCTION DESIGN Joseph Kosinski (Director): The New York public library we built, which had a four rows meeting room at the beginning of the movie. The giant stadium sequence was shot in an actual crater in north Iceland. Darren Gilford (PD): I scoured Iceland for a crater roughly the size of a stadium and we found this crater where we can drop a football field right in the middle of it, it was perfect. Joseph Kosinski (Director): For the Empire State Building, we built the observation deck in a hillside in Iceland and shot on the actual Empire State building at New York City a week before, so we got some surreal moments. One week we are standing in the middle of Manhattan surrounded by 40 million people, overlooking the incredible metropolis and a week later we are standing exact same set in the Iceland with not a person to be seen for miles together.
THE BUBBLESHIP Joseph Kosinski (Director): Jack lives in the Sky Tower, so bubble ship is how he gets from home to work everyday. Tom Cruise : Incredible piece of machine. The inspiration for it came from L47 helicopter and crossing it with a modern fighter jet and you come up with the bubble ship. I just thought, man! This is so cool. Joseph Kosinski (Director): We decided to build a fullscale model of the bubble ship, which was a tremendous thrill for me. We had designed the bubble ship down to every bolt and these guys were able to take those plans and build a spectacular vehicle of the movie that we took with us everywhere. Tom cruise: Every piece of it was so smooth and elegant, and they designed it to fit to my body. Joseph Kosinski (Director): Tom’s a pilot so he has some input in the controls to make sure it felt as realistic as possible, foot pedals and the control stick, he really got kick out of it, he loved sitting inside I think. Tom Cruise : I want someone to built it so that I can fly it for real Joseph Kosinski (Director): It is able to do things that a
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normal quad copter jet are not able to do, it was important for me and for Tom, when we are in the bubble ship we feel like we are really flying this thing, so we built a gimbal that spin in all the different axis to provide motion of bubble ship. And for Tom he couldn’t wait to get into it, that’s just the kind of guy he is. OLGA: It was terrifying! Joseph Kosinski (Director): Her performance in a lot of scenes in the movie is brilliant, because it’s real and not acting. OLGA: I think the bubble ship is a beautiful creation, to observe it from far away, but you do not want to be in there because it will turn upside down. Tom: Eventually the more she was in it the more comfortable she became. She’s going to tell you she is not scared but she is scared. Couple of other people tried getting into the bubble ship, and for her defense they were scared, really scared. OLGA: Kidding obviously, I lied, don’t tell anyone, I pretended like I didn’t.
JACK’s MOTORBIKE Joseph Kosinski (Director): I wanted Jack to have multiple modes of transport and a motorcycle made perfect sense, it could fit right into the back of the bubble ship so we built a bike for him based on modern motocross bike but we modified it so that it could fit our world and our design. Tom cruise: It was a tricky design because its not just the look of it, it had to be safe enough for me to travel at very high speeds. Darren Gilford: If we were going to design our own bikes from scratch, we really wanted to respect and maintain all the engineering aspects of the bike so it could perform. Tom Cruise: The guys that designed this did a sensational job, I had a blast riding that. Joseph Kosinski (Director): Tom’s a great motorcyclist as well, so to chase him with a helicopter across Iceland from his bike looks fantastic in the movie, there are no limits, no boundaries to where we could go in that stretch of Iceland that we could chase him.
ABOUT THE CAST Joseph Kosinski (Director): Tom was really enthusiastic right from the get go. Andrea Rise Borough: Everybody around him is surrounded by joy and excitement… about what we are about to do. Joseph Kosinski (Director): The enthusiasm he has for this movie is just incredible, I mean he has a tremendous work ethic…. he works harder than anyone I have ever seen…. and just wants to make the best movies he can. OLGA: Tom is so farrow…. he pays attention to the smallest details. Nikolaj Coster-Waldau: I understand why he’s so successful, because, I’ve never met anyone so focused, wants to get it right every time...but at the same time he’s very generous because he wants me to get a ride, he wants me to be good, its not intimidating its inspiring. Joseph Kosinski (Director): He was willing to do jumps at high speeds as he’s fearless and he really is…. He never wants to hand something out to a stunt man and he has the skills to do that, the physicality of the character comes through and the library sequence was to jump a couple of gaps, and when you have an actor like that you want to take advantage of it. Tom Cruise: I don’t do it, just to do a stunt, it’s how I can bring the audience in action; bring the audience into the story that’s how we always look at it. Joseph Kosinski (Director): Morgan Freeman brings wisdom the believability when Morgan says something you believe it, he’s just a fantastic actor.. Morgan Freeman: I’m always promising myself to perform any opportunity I get.
Tom Cruise: I’m sad it took so many years before this occurred but I’m happy to have acted with such an extraordinary actor. Joseph Kosinski (Director): Watching the two great actors perform was a real thrill for me. Olga plays a strong, very intelligent character. OLGA: She creates trouble, the perfect idealistic life collapses. Tom Cruise: Olga Kurylenko has such a classic kind of quality that she created before this character. Joseph Kosinski (Director): She’s a really nice balance to VICTORIA played by Andrea Rise Borough…. Whoa! Very skilled actress she is so committed like that, she understood the character so well, the complexity of the character, both really strong women but they are different in their personalities. Nikolaj is a very physical actor very striking when you see him you remember him. Nikolaj: - I’ve never done anything of this scale before and that’s interesting because they are overpowered to a meticulous scale.
M83 (The Music)
Joseph Kosinski : My entire idea goes back to whenever that original dreaming began. I was listening to Anthony’s music then. Bringing him on the film was the real thrill, his music is cutting edge but also very emotional, felt like a good fit for this movie. Joseph Trapanese (Composer): When you have something so forward thinking, you have to bring the same kind of interesting element brought into the filmmaking and in the music also.
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ART Sand Art Perhaps the earliest memories of sand would invariably be the beaches, where as a child, one would have created trenches or sandcastles, feeling the sand trickle away under the feet as the waves receded. Sand falling through the fingers is a very relaxing feeling! Sand art is the practice of modeling sand into an artistic form, Sand grains will not stick together unless the sand is reasonably fine. While dry sand is loose, wet sand is adherent if the proper amounts of sand and water are used in the mixture. The reason for this is that water forms little ‘bridges’ between the grains of sand when it is damp due to the forces of surface tension. However, if too much water is added the water fills the spaces between the grains, breaking down the bridges and thus lowering the surface tension. The ideal ratio is eight parts dry sand to one part water. (Though this may depend on the type of sand). Sand sculpting as an art form has become very popular in recent years especially in coastal beach areas. Hundreds of annual competitions are held all over the world. Techniques can be quite sophisticated, and record-breaking achievements have been noted in the Guinness World Records.
A Quest for Unique Handicraft of the world
- Vidya Magesh Kumar
In the world of creativity, handicraft finds a unique place for itself. Before going into details, let us first define the word. Handicrafts are mostly defined as “Items made by hand, often with the use of simple tools, and are generally artistic and/or traditional in nature”. They are also objects of utility and objects of decoration. Handcrafting has its roots in the rural crafts—the material-goods necessities—of ancient civilizations, and many specific crafts have been practiced for centuries, while others are modern inventions, or popularizations of crafts which were originally practiced in a limited geographic area. That explains the purpose of our journey into this world of creativity. Born out of the mundane activities of daily existence, it creates with its inherent aesthetic beauty, a refreshing atmosphere. We shall be exploring one craft each time to know about its history, ethnicity and its metamorphosis with changing times.
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Sand painting is the art of pouring colored sands, powdered pigments from minerals or crystals, and pigments from other natural or synthetic sources onto a surface to make a fixed or unfixed sand painting. Unfixed sand paintings have a long established cultural history in numerous social groupings around the globe, and are often temporary, ritual paintings prepared for religious or healing ceremonies. It is also referred to as dry painting. Dry painting is practiced by Native Americans in the Southwestern United States, by Tibetan and Buddhist monks, as well as Australian Aborigines, and also by Latin Americans on certain Christian holy days. Navajo Sand paintings, are called “places where the gods come and go” in the Navajo language. They are used in curing ceremonies in which the gods’ help is requested for harvests and healing. In this ritual,the Medicine Man (or Hatałii) paints loosely upon the ground of a hogan, where the ceremony takes place, or on a buckskin or cloth tarpaulin, by letting the colored sands flow through his fingers with control and skill. There are 600 to 1000 different traditional designs for sand paintings which are known to the Navajo. They do not view the paintings as static objects, but as spiritual, living beings to be treated with great respect. More than 30 different sand paintings may be associated with one ceremony. The colors for the painting are usually accomplished with naturally colored sand, crushed gypsum (white), yellow ochre, red sandstone, charcoal, and a mixture of charcoal and gypsum (blue). Brown can be made by mixing red and black; red and white make pink. Other coloring agents include corn meal, flower pollen, or powdered roots and bark. The paintings are for healing purposes only. Many of them contain images of Yeibicheii (the Holy People). While creating the painting, the medicine man will chant, asking the yeibicheii to come into the painting and help heal the patient.
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The patient will be asked to sit on the sand painting as the medicine man proceeds with the healing chant. The sand painting acts as a portal to attract the spirits and allow them to come and go. Sitting on the sandpainting helps the patient to absorb spiritual power, while in turn the Holy People will absorb the illness and take it away. Afterward, when the sandpainting has done its duty, it is considered to be toxic, since it has absorbed the illness. For this reason, the painting is destroyed. Because of the sacred nature of the ceremonies, the sandpaintings are begun, finished, used, and destroyed within a 12-hour period.
Other ornamental sand arts
ABORIGINAL SAND ART
Another form of art with Sand is the art in bottles. It is very popular in the Middle East. Sand art is the creation of images, pictures, or designs in a bottle or even boxed glass frames made from different colors of sand. These images, pictures, and designs are all done using only one main “instrument” it is a simple funnel. With some skill, patience, and a steady hand equipped with creativity, layer by layer the product is always a one of a kind No one recalls precisely who started the whole thing or when, the only thing we know for sure is that it was born in Petra, inspired by its multicolored sand rocks in the 1920’s or earlier.
The aborigines are the indigenous people of Australia who are still in existence in the country up to this day. Aboriginal art pictures are mostly depicted in the ground or in desert sands and are characterized with concentric circles that signify the power of their sacred deity. It is drawn on the sand to signify that the power of the Great Ancestor is from the ground and will eventually return to it. Art and rituals are merged in the aboriginal culture. A high priest or shaman initiates the ritual by placing his ear on the ground while tapping it with a pole. This is an important gesture because it is the coming together of the human and the spirits of its ancestors Aboriginal sand art is considered a ritual in the traditional aboriginal culture. It is used to signify territorial landmarks and tells the history as well as the origin of the aborigines. More specifically, it showcases the aborigines’ creation myth known as “The Dreamtime”. The Dreamtime is re-enacted today to remind people of the sacred creation ritual. Tibetan Buddhist sand paintings are usually composed of mandalas. In Tibetan, it is called dul-tson-kyil-khor (mandala of colored powders).
From the 15th century in Japan, Buddhist artists in the times of the shoguns practiced the craft of bonseki by sprinkling dry colored sand and pebbles onto the surface of plain black lacquered trays. They used bird feathers as brushes to form the sandy surface into seascapes and landscapes. These tray pictures were used in religious ceremonies.
Sand art in bottles
Sand Tapestry Y Lan, real name Tran Thi Hoang Lan, is a famous Vietnamese artist who uses multicolored sand to create beautiful paintings Another Sand tapestry artist is David Alcala. The technique used here is similar to bottle sand art only the container used is a flat framed glass instead of bottle.
The sand is carefully placed on a large, flat table. The construction process takes several days, and the mandala is destroyed shortly after its completion. This is done as a teaching tool and metaphor for the “impermanence”. The mandala sand-painting process begins with an opening ceremony, during which the lamas, or Tibetan priests, consecrate the site and call forth the forces of goodness. They chant, declare intention, mudra, asana, pranayama, do visualisations, play music, recite mantras, etc. Formed of traditional prescribed iconography that includes geometric shapes and a multitude of ancient spiritual symbols (e.g.: Ashtamangala and divine attributes of yidam), seed syllables, mantra, the sand-painted mandala is used as a tool or instrument for innumerable purposes.
Sand drawing live is a spectacular and original sort of painting art. The moving sand creates continuously fantastic and poetic figures. Sand animation is a cinematographic practice which uses the visual and aesthetic properties of sand to create an animated image. Sand animation can takes place on stage: the performer creates sand drawings using a lightboard and an overhead projector. The sand animated images are projected in real time on a wide screen. Fluidity, high speed execution, sets of transparencies and superposition form spectacular drawings in perpetual transformation which excite imagination, surprise, allow abrupt changes of tone and images unforeseen. As for the contemplation of the clouds in the sky, each one can recognize different forms which are assembled and are given birth to. With sand, magic pictures are growing on the table and the screen.
Present-day sand painting techniques
Each of these three art practices are made within the context of community for a specific purpose, in cultures that make no distinction between the spiritual and secular realms. In each of these three indigenous cultures, life, art & spirituality exist as one interconnected organism, where life itself is sacred, as are the natural & symbolic elements that, together, sustain it. In each of these indigenous forms, on the other hand, the value of the work is experiential, accessed through the process of making it. As soon as the artwork is complete, the materials from which it is made are cleared away, and the work is destroyed. Each of three forms uses the representation of space, whether psychic or physical, as its basis.
Dry naturally occurring oxidised and mineral-charged coloured sands, perhaps with the addition of powdered charcoal to widen the palette, are sprinkled through a sieve or ‘drawn’ with a paper funnel onto the area of the picture being worked on, and then blended in - either with a discarded feather ‘brush’ or gently blown into position with a drinking straw before being permanently fixed to a plywood offcut which is used as a ‘canvas’. Having been allowed to dry, the sand painter moves on to the next section of the picture. Any minor adjustments or snags are sorted before the work is given a final coat of varnish which intensifies the depth of colour but without the disadvantage of surface reflection which occurs in the case of many oil paintings
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MUSI C CINEMA CURTAIN RAISER While this swashbuckling action flick made in 2D, 3D and IMAX 3D is hitting the U.S. screens on the 3rd of May this year, surprisingly, the release of the film in U.K. as well as in India has been scheduled on the 26th, a week before! Before we opt to take a look into the contents of the third installment, it will only be fair to look back and see what the previous two outings were all about!Iron Man was a 2008 American superhero film based on the Marvel Comics character of the same name. Directed by Jon Favreau, the film featured Robert Downey, Jr. as Tony Stark, an industrialist and master engineer who builds a powered exoskeleton and becomes the technologically advanced superhero Iron Man. Jon Favreau, the maker of the first Iron Man, had let his actors to create their own dialogue because pre-production was focused on the story and action. Rubber and metal versions of the armors, created by Stan Winston’s company, were mixed with computer-generated imagery to create the title character. The American Film Institute had selected the film as one of the ten best of that year. Robert Downey, Jon Favreau and Paltrow returned for the sequel Iron Man 2, released in 2010. Downey made a cameo appearance as Stark in The Incredible Hulk and starred as the character again in the 2012 crossover film The Avengers. Downey has now reprised the role for a fifth time in this sequel, Iron Man 3.Iron Man is an American fictional character, a superhero who appears in comic books published by Marvel Comics. The character was created by writer-editor Stan Lee, developed by scripter Larry Lieber, and designed by artists Don Heck and Jack Kirby. Iron Man was ranked 12th on IGN’s Top 100 Comic Book Heroes in 2011.
SYNOPSIS This third outing speaks a bout the terrific battle between Tony Stark (alias The Iron Man who is a wealthy playboy, a highly talented engineer and a brilliant industrialist) and an unknown enemy whose power and reach has no boundaries! All hell breaks loose when Tony’s personal world gets disturbed by the unexpected moves of that unknown enemy. An angry Iron Man sets out with fury to find those responsible for the turbulent situation that he is forced to face! His journey proves not only tough but challenging too! With his back against the wall, Stark is left to survive by his own devices, relying on his ingenuity and instincts to protect those closest to him. As he fights his way back, Stark discovers the answer to the question that has secretly haunted him: does the man make the suit or does the suit make the man?
Cast: Robert Downey Jr., Gwyneth Paltrow, Don Cheadle, Guy Pearce, Rebecca Hall, Stephanie Szostak, James Badge Dale with Jon Favreau and Ben Kingsley, “Iron Man 3″ is directed by Shane Black from a screenplay by Drew Pearce and Shane Black and is based on Marvel’s iconic Super Hero Iron Man.
Photo Courtesy: Dhruv Bhasker 36 | APRIL 2013 | Cinema, Music & Art with the Brew
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