Friday, December 31, 2010

Open Ended

As I sit here in between the foregones and forthcomings, those little details that make up who I am at present still deny any form of categorizations. Not that you care, of course, and frankly, neither do I. Here I am, quite weary but hopefully still bright eyed, hoping to make up for lost time as I try to end the year with a substantial post in this godforsaken site. (Insert GONG sound here).

This time each year, I see it as a customary practice to look back at some things and thereafter forced myself to put together an appropriate list (possibly in more ways than one) of the many impressive sights and sounds which became marks for the collective memories. Visuals play a crucial part in life, so does music and words. Movies, on the other hand, are the marriage of all three - the end product of creative synthesis. The birth of a new decade gives me a fairly lame excuse to lay down 20 films that helped to redefine my cinematic experience and broaden the language of styles in the first decade of the 21st Century. But the list needs a little tweaking and it’s going to take another week or two as I make comparisons between titles before finally putting them in order.

As for now, I should state clearly with a straight face that the target to watch ‘100 Movies Per Year’ was unachievable for 2010. The final tally is 60, which should be an achievement in itself considering that I have to juggle time between school, family and personal (oh, how I “miss” my daily job, for nothing is more pathetic than a man without wages!). Despite the lacks, consider these as my favourite 10 for 2010 in descending order (plus 5 more for the Special Mention, as usual):

Darren Aronofsky’s latest work is probably his best thus far – a tour-de-force every movie lover can’t dismiss. Black Swan is an intense psychological thriller, told in a dramatic Hitchcockian style, about the struggle of a ballerina who is haunted by her own determination and goal. Wanting badly to perfect the roles for both the leading parts in her company’s production of Tchaikovsky’s Swan Lake, Natalie Portman’s character is troubled by her own inability in mastering the role of the Black Swan. Delusional at times, she is disturbed by an illusion of reality and suspected that her understudy, Mila Kunis (very sultry I must say) was trying to snatch the role away from her. Here, Arofonosky’s movie-making trademark is clear: the theatricalities, the disconcerted key player in pursuit of personal interests that often lead to downfalls or other absurd reasoning, and it’s interesting to note that Black Swan is a companion piece to his previous work, The Wrestler. In her most impressive role to date, Portman’s brazen deliveries were constantly evolving as the story took twisted and dark turns. For this, she is nominated for Best Actress in a Leading Role in the upcoming Golden Globe.

Other interesting works in a mixed-bag of themes are: (2) David Fincher’s The Social Network, a show emphasizing the geniuses of the echo-boomers in a time of modern technology, networking and business rivalry; (3) Inception, an action piece by Christopher Nolan that speaks about the possibilities of implanting or stealing an idea through dreams; (4) The Ghost Writer, Roman Polanski’s tensed political thriller whose storyline is outshined by the sleek performance of Ewan McGregor as the writer in pursuit of truths; (5) Let Me In, the remake of 2008’s Swedish coming-of-age, romantic thriller that is as thrilling as the original source material, (6) Enter The Void by Gaspar Noé, a psychedelic drama that brings you inside the head of a druggie for an out-of-the-body experience through moments past; (7) Un Prophète, a gritty drama about a young illiterate Arab prisoner who had to face his fears in an environment controlled by a Corsican mob; (8) Scott Pilgrim vs The World, a comedy that falls under the category of sheer brilliance through expressive audiovisual mumbo-jumbos (and that’s not in a bad way); (9) The American, a gripping thriller which moves like a contemporary tone-poem, often long and pensive but always ticking towards the crowning point; and (10) Micmacs à Tire-Larigot by the French director Jean-Pierre Jeunet, known for his off-beat protagonists and whimsical fable, and this satirical black-comedy is nothing short of a showpiece.

So that’s 2010 in cinematics, in approximately 435 words (yes, I counted). With the year approaching a closure, here’s hoping that '11 will be “something” worth noting. It is unclear what “something” might stand for at present because I am looking forward to moments of unplanned turn of events. Otherwise, I hope to define “something” soon enough before that illusive numeral ‘3’ begins to creep in soundlessly and alter my age to a non prime-number.

Keyword for 2011: Thrive. Secondary watchword: Swoop!

Overall, 2010 has been a smooth-sailing journey with occasional hiccups. 2nd half of the year would not have been better if not for school. Thanks also to a group of creative minded people who filled up the days, namely: AbsoluteReally, Kokkokmee, Uhzree, The Monstrosity, Aza, Yazid, Nettology, The Lavish, H. Angus and Tintedlush. To all, a Happy New Year from Wurlpiz.

Monday, December 27, 2010

Define Strange

You're hyphenated and slashed, bracketed and dashed. You know that there are more to come in this endless ambush. A modicum of madness, as expressed, will dither the way you speak. In an act of desperation, you just say what you feel to fill the essay. You re-quoted with intense love by pounding the pound symbol as #hastags: I, in the middle of Ax and Om, but U, always in between 'Fun'. Later you seconded in such forceful haste: ‘mis’ have what it takes; deducing Murphy in strings of frightening dialects. You’re obsessed with rearranging the slingbag of dingbats. You threw a few assumptions without backing up: Phlegm of ink for a femme: Pink! Spew of hue for a beau: Blue? You get the low down through free downloads from servers in reverse. You counted your blessings in smiles, most often than not, with lauded styles. You thought that actors are erectors, treating bananas as spanners. You thought without really thinking, that maybe the yoga that you learnt in Nagoya will realign your neurons. The word ‘sadded’ landed as periods. Your iPhone's dial tone is a diphthong of oe, oe oe (pronounced as wee). Hummed became Drummed. Uneven strums. Flummoxed. You get excited by the musical terms: Poco piu mosso. You have pores of ponders. A porous. Pours. You paused. You paused some more. You have more pores. Supposes, you proposed. Not some bed of roses. You’re not a soft wood of yew. You are you, now renewed with crude attributes. Strike a chord while your thought is flawed and grind the sounds beneath the mounds of crowns. You filled a long list about emptiness: No long narratives, no cold bloody epics, just bytes to be bitten at every spirant of a mizzpeld bywords. Sweet, condensed and a little offensive? You wrote the answer on the cardboard backings of a 200 by 400mm foolscap paper: Milk (which you were still trying to justify its limited rhymes). You insisted that rhythm has none to be sung. Except if you count Smitham. Which is unacceptable, of course. You thought really hard like nothing. Flounderings. Your neurotransmitter is a retro instrument ~ a failed password you anagrammed at half past twelve, yesternight. You tend to remix a bag of tricks to fix a fixer's mixed feelings. That’s your first hobby. NO, that's your only hobby. Suffice to say, you survived today. And when your brain cells jammed? DIE! You rushed for the diazepam. But still, the cryptic dreams called you names and you’re weighed down in thoughts. Till you decided to figure this shit out. But that’s not going to happen anytime soon. You guessed.

Some nights like tonight, when the brain wonders and the fingers do the phrasings, I jived to madness.