Illness, crime and punishment

150px-speck1966 (Photo of Richard Speck who after killing 8 nurses on a single night in 1966 tried to defend it on base of an inherent genetic abnormality XYY)

I met a boy at the hospital. He had fever and ensuing encephalitis at the age of around 12 years. Encephalitis affected the frontal lobe of his brain.
After recovering from encephalitis his behaviour gradually started to change. He became more and more disinhibited. He would be often seen on the road side talking to girls in provocative language. He would talk with lot of sexual nuances.
He would appear cheerful all the time. He would repeatedly visit relatives who had daughters in their house. Even the ones with little girls. He would be very friendly with them and would visit the girls in schools or colleges with gifts. His sexual advances wouldnot spare even his mother and sister. Continue reading

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Rachel getting married

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An addict returns home after years of rehabilitation for attending the marriage of her sister. How long can the guilt, the bitterness, the agony and the anger remain under the surface?
The good thing is that it never boils down to the typical hollywood fanfare. The hiking of stakes, every dramatic situation more high wire than the preceding one, building up into a big orgasmic climax- you know that kind of stuff. The movie cleverly sidesteps from that. But still the family face offs were a little out of the writer’s control. Dialogues of individual characters appeared a little too self conscious during each argument.
But the most issue I had was with the documentary style of direction. The shaking handy cam was great for Jason Bourne but not for this movie. I don’t know why its so. It didn’t feel awkward in ‘monsoon wedding’ too. A reason may be that for a emotional drama like this, with each camera twitch you jerk out of the story, having lost your involvement.
Still I should say that the writer had made some brave choices while writing this.

Write short film scripts




A thing that has happened in the last 6 months is that I get a lot of requests from people for my writing samples.
Always the problem is what to give. I am not that prolific. Rather I am too perfectionistic.
What I have is the heist script which is about 90% complete now, half of another script in which I got stuck because I didn’t outline before starting to write and a half completed outline of ‘River bends.’

I don’t want to give heist script to any one right now. There are two reasons. One is that there is lot of work to be done on that. It is now around 210 pages long. I have to cut short into the range of something around 140 pages in second draft. Second reason is that I have spent 1 year on it. May be its not good. But I respect my time and effort. So I don’t want to pass it around without a proper guarantee.

So what should one do? I can always sent some shortstories or poems written earlier. But I think the best idea for beginning scriptwriters is to punch out some short film scripts. It shouldnot take more than 1 week to write something clocking around 10-15 minutes and so you will be having something for your portfolio. So that’s the plan after finishing my 1st draft. Write some short scripts.

Photo by Dayzee_M

A letter to a fellow scriptwriter

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Dear friend,
I went through your blogs. You dont have to be apologetic about them. I would say that you can write. And half the battle is already won. But dont try too hard to make people laugh. Try out all genres in your writing. You may like humor, but you may be better in something else.

One thing I have to say to you beforehand is that I am not a professional writer. I am just a struggler like you only. I have got some offers but right now I would like to punch the keys some more before I am ready to jump on that. What I am trying to say is that whatever I tell you is not written on rock.

But this much I must tell you. Writing blog/screenplay daily when
board exam is near the corner- bad bad idea. Its not because you may fail in board exams. It shows me a chink in your motivation in writing. I would call what you are doing as ‘anxious avoidance.’ You are using writing as a philosophy to avoid facing the anxiety that is going to be provoked if you open the text book and go ‘o man-what have I done?’ You are just postponding the inevitable regrets that you are going to have.

Writing is not a roller coaster ride that you jump into. Or a dose of
heroin that gives you a momentary high. Its more like a painstaking ‘grain by grain’ exercise of an industrious ant. What is relevant is the consistency and not the individual peaks that you attain. Continue reading

Citizen Kane: and why it makes me uneasy about the film ‘industry.’

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Originally published here in passionforcinema.com

I didn’t think that Citizen Kane could live upto the hype. No: 1 movie in so many ‘best 100 films’ lists, including that of American and British Film Institutes- well, overexpectations always rigs the returns.
But here I was pleasantly surprised.

After beginning with the last moments of Kane uttering the word ‘rosebud,’ what we see is a documentary on Kane’s life for the next 10 minutes. All the major twists and turns in the news paper tycoon’s eventful life is laid open before you in that 10 minutes.
Here is the tricky part. Now we know the basic trajectory of Kane’s life. But as a journalist sets off to find out what this ‘rose bud’ is, Continue reading