Did You Like Kaminey?

I mean Vishal Varadwaj’s latest film “Kaminey”. I liked it a lot! I was pleasantly surprised when I saw his previous film “Omkara”.  So I went to the theater with high hopes. And Kaminey exceeded my expectations. I can say that it is the best Bollywood gangsta movie ever made.  It is a treat to watch how this talented film maker has blended in violence with humor! The story telling style, the high paced and intelligent editing, the mood photohraphy and lighting, the music and the exemplary acting by the cast members reminds us that Bollywood film making has evolved a lot from the days of Ajit, Pran and Prem Chopra! Vishal Varadwaj is the Quentin Tarantino of Mumbai – he can create visual poetry with violence, he can create characters that get tattooed in your brain, and he can create wonderful music with Gulzar’s lyrics!

If you have seen the movie, let us know how you liked it.

And if you haven’t seen the movie – don’t sit there! Go to the nearest theater that’s screening “Kaminey”

Cartoon of the week 2: Abstract Art

Ulto ChhobiThis cartoon was done for “Proma” a long time ago. Abstract art has always drawn the attention of humorists and cartoonist. This one exaggerates the abstractness to the extent that the artist himself does not have any clue regarding his own painting, not event it’s orientation. Many of us, the naive (read pseudo) art connoisseurs, think that abstract art – the art that does not represent any form that we are familiar to, is quite easy to render. Many of us consider them nothing but few blotches of paint and maybe some geometric patterns in an arrangement which does not resemble anything that we see in our daily lives. Hence, many pseudo-artists tend to declare themselves as artists by creating such absurd canvasses and trivialize the bewildered viewers as “uneducated an uncultured” brutes. This is true not only for fine arts, but also in those branches of art that thrive on abstractions and absurdity – like poetry, play, film, music and even short stories. Hence it is of utmost importance, that we make an attempt to train ourselves to be able to appreciate these art forms – to open up our minds to appreciate forms and colors and movements and sounds that are beyond our accustomed reality.

Cartoon of the Week: Quality of Art

Long time ago, I used to draw cartoons for some magazines like Proma (published in Kolkata), Udayan (published from NY), Sangbadik (also published from New York) and News India Times. I would like to share some of them with you. This cartoon was published in Proma few years ago. It is a take on art valuation. Let me know how you like it. In future weeks I’ll post one cartoon a week, from my old archives.

Gas and Us

Couple of years ago, I wrote an article on how to save gasoline by changing some of our driving habits. I have republished the article again with the faint hope that it may help us again. I say “faint hope” because whatever we could have saved has been wiped out by this record price increase. These days I am taking a more philosophical approach towards this disaster, and this resulted in a new play “Baad Protibaad”. Well, don’t be scared, since “Baad Protibaad” is not a philosophical play at all (unless you really try hard to dig out the trace amounts from deep within the characters). It is just a humorous take on the effects of the gas price increase on us, the Bengalees.
The word “Gas” has some special connotation to us the Bengalees. But now, it almost means our life blood. And when this important part of our existence in this country is threatened, how do we react?
“Baad Protibaad” is a short play, produced in an audio play format. The play will be broadcast on EBC Radio, 1170 AM on Sunday, June 22nd, in the Bengali program air slot – “Probaha” hosted by Abhijit Sanyal at 10am in the morning. The play is produced by ECTA Inc. Following are the detailed credits:

“Baad Protibad”
A Hilarious Play in Bengali by Sudipta Bhawmik

Produced by ECTA Inc.
Directed by Indranil Mukherjee
Subhodev Das as Ashok
Aparajita Das as Kakoli
Indranil Mukherjee as Soumen
Anisha Das as Jhimli

Recorded and mixed at the Bharatiya Kala Kendra, NJ, Studio by Partha Sarathi Mukherjee
Edited by Partha Sarathi Mukherjee and Indranil Mukherjee
Music and effects by Partha Sarathi Mukherjee.

And please remember to come to ECTA’s mini theater festival on June 28th and 29th at the Edison Valley Playhouse, in Edison, NJ. If you like the above play, I am sure you’ll love the plays at the festival.