Saturday, July 25, 2009

Anirudhha & Logos - Part II

We saw Anirudhha's response to the facebook quizzes a while back, that was about cars.

This one is about everything. From soaps to supermarkets, from his favorite music icons to IPL teams, TV channels and many more.

Some 60 of them were shown to Anirudhha and you can see how he manages them.

Rebeca (1940)

Actors: Laurence Olivier, Joan Fontaine, George Sanders, Judith Anderson

The first film of Alfred Hitchcock the American. Yes, this was the great man’s first American project. And the first film under David O Selznick.

The movie was an adaptation of Daphne du Maurier’s novel of the same name (1938).

The first of the many Hitchcock’s in America, those were the days when the master of suspense was trying hard to prove his mettle in the new land whre he was trying to settle down. The place where he was putting all his Trans-European experience into practice, to become the most wanted director of motion pictures.

The story line:

A wealthy widower who, purportedly under depression of having lost his wife meets an young charming woman. They marry and go back to the man’s land, and then begins the fun.

Mrs Danvers, the house keeper who has been very close to Rebecca, the dead wife of the man tries to chase the charming young woman (who is never named in the film) out of Manderley. Does she manage to ??

What happens in Manderley after the new woman comes in, that is the movie.

I see a similarity between this movie and Strangers on a train (1951). In both the movies the protagonists are rich or famous and are distanced from their unfaithful wives (Miriam / Rebecca), at the end of the day they are accused of having murdered the wife. In both the cases the wives cheat their husbands.

The disgusted husband wants to do something, but can’t because of his social standing.

At the breaking point the man wants to kill his wife but doesn’t because he is in love with a senators daughter (Strangers on a train) and he doesn’t want to create controversy.

That said, many critics say this movie is similar to Easy Virtue. I would beg to differ. It definitely is not.

It is said that Sir Hitchcock wasn’t faithful in his adaptation of the novel. But Selznick, the producer wanted the movie to be a copy of the novel, so what did Sir Alfred to ?

He shot what he thought was his story, his movie and just that. He ensured that nobody could edit and reach their means. This is what we call these days the “edited in camera” technique.

Trivia: Sir Alfred is seen outside the telephone booth when Jack is making a call to Mrs Danvers to tell her about the result of the inquest.

Rebecca was the best picture (1940 Academy awards), George Barnes also won the best cinematography for a black & white movie. Apart from these two wins there were nine other nominations including one for Sir Alfred for the best director.

Friday, July 24, 2009

Easy Virtue (1928)

Actors: Isabel Jeans, Franklyn Dyall, Robin Irvine
Dir: Sir Alfred Hitchcock

Based (loosely) on a novel by Noël Coward.

One of the early Hitchcock’s, a silent movie with some supers that tell the audience what is happening. But the brilliance of this movie is that you don’t need those supers, it is simply superb.

From the Jurist’s scribble to the explicit expressiveness of the characters. This probably is one story that tells many stories.

The plot is simple, the mother doesn’t like the woman his son has married. She already has her choice made, so she has to look at ways to chase this woman out of her sons life. How does she do it ?

The best thing about this movie is the fact that one doesn’t realize that this is a silent movie. It makes you realize why Shivaji Ganesan, Rajkumar and Raj Kapoor were so over expressive. You have to be when there are only supers (subtitles) to tell the audience what is happening. The only difference when it comes to our stars is that they were simply over expressive for no reason when they were talking !!

Trivia: Larita runs away from reality to save her easy virtuous past immediately after the trial. Sir Alfred is seen walking past the tennis court of the hotel where Larita stays with a walking stick in his hand. This is just after 16-20 mins into the film.

Monday, July 06, 2009

A test match fact file...

Q called the first test between Pakistan and Srilanka in Galle, A more than happening test match.

True it is. And he also had 3 Q's & A's about the match.

One of them was that debutants shared 16 wickets between them. He said he wouldn't be surprised if these (3 he had mentioned) had happened in the Galle test for the first time in history.

You would be surprised, of course...

It happened during 1988 in the Madras test between the Westindies and India. There was a young leggie called Narendra Hirwani who made his debut in that match. He took all of 16 Westindian wickets.

That was not all, there was another leftarm spinner who was also a capable lower order batsman (It was ironic that this leftarm spinner forgot bowling to become a opening bat soon...) called WV Raman who also made his debut. He took 1 wicket.

So I remember an instance when 2 debutants shared 17 between them. It was another story that the (in)famous Ajay Sharma and Phil Simmons also debuted in the same match.

But here comes a twist in the tale...

There is another instance when 40 wickets fell in a match and all 40 were captured by debutants. How ??

It was 1887 and that was the first test (called the first official test) between a combined Australian team and the visiting English team. Australia batted first Charles Bannerman scored the first runs of test history. And in the end Australia won the test by 45 runs.

Another trivia to close this post...

This was probably the only instance when 24 people who made their debut were there in the middle.

Yes 22 players belonging to the two sides and the 2 umpires. Add the scorers the number swells !!