Monday, December 31, 2012

HELLO 2013!

New beginnings.

A couple of resolutions to start things off: the first one -- i.e., the 0th Resolution -- is that I will post a fresh resolution every day for the first month of this year.

So here's the first:

01: I will update this blog every day of January 2013. After which ... well ... I'll see how it goes. The update might take any form -- a picture, a shared idea, a haiku -- whatever. But there'll be a fresh post every day for 31 days.

Amongst the things I'd like to post about is the movies I've been seeing. I have a NetFlix streaming account (augmented now and then by a one-DVD-at-a-time account too). Since I don't have a TV -- or else I would be a total video-zombie -- I feel it's acceptable for me to indulge my current primary addiction, i.e., movies. So I plan to write brief (sometimes not-so-brief) summaries and reactions to the entire list of those I saw in 2012. Once I've caught myself up, I'll keep going with the ones I hope to see this year, as I go along.

This is, in part, to avoid writing about Me, Myself & I and/or Family and Friends. I'm sure no-one wants to feel they're going to be blog-fodder whenever they say or do something funny/clever/ghastly in my presence.

I don't want to blog about current events either, except very occasionally.

There's so much comment out on the web these days. In the end, all that registers are the shrieks, the blasts, the maniacal laughter fading into the distance.

Whereas what interests me are slight things -- the smart pop of a well-placed full-stop, the soft sigh of an ellipsis -- I like slightness -- the passing second, the current breath, the leaf that falls unseen, without being memorialized on YouTube or made into a post-card. All the unremembered non-events that fill the mattress of my days, making it comfortable to lie on.


The last couple of months have been especially hectic. I got back to Newport in late October (the 21st is when I left India, according to my passport. It's amazing how easily I forget the dates of my journeys. At once.) with the plan of staying still for two months. But almost immediately, there was the momentous election, then Thanksgiving, then my sister Su travelled to India for a week, which meant that I stayed at her pretty new home in Randolph, MA (suburb of Boston) for the duration. Briefly, I had the idea that I wouldn't leave for India till the end of January. Then I changed my mind and chose to be in Delhi for the New Year, staying most likely for six weeks.

So ... here I am.

Arrived early on the 31st. The flight -- KLM: Boston-Amsterdam then Amsterdam-Delhi -- was practically enjoyable. A very rare event these days. I believe this is ENTIRELY because my seat allocation for the final leg of the trip was the best there is in Economy, i.e., the window seat in the exit row of a 747-300. Plus I managed to see three movies that I've been wanting to see, yet not enough to be willing to pay for them, either on screen or on DVD.

Three animation films: Tim Burton's FRANKENWEENIE, PARANORMAN and HOTEL TRANSYLVANIA. I would rank them FRANKEN, TRANS and PARA but the best animation was unquestionably Burton's since it was stop-motion as well as stylishly black-n-white. I mean ... can you imagine the nerve of doing stop-motion animation film in B/W?? Breathtaking. The story is cool too: Boy Loves Dog; Dog Dies; Boy Re-Animates Dog, Creating FrankenPet. Mayhem Ensues -- all the kids in town want to re-animate THEIR pets too.

Funny-weird and also just funny, but with a big helping of clever on the side. When the re-animated Sparky touches noses with his poodle dog-friend next-door, she (the poodle) is zzzzzzapped with electricity, transforming her bouffant of curls into the classic Bride of Frankenstein hairdo, with its streak of white on the side. Neato.

TRANS is about Count Dracula creating a monsters-only hotel so that monsters can vacation in peace without being pursued by cruel, pitch-fork-and-stake-and-fire wielding humans forever trying to kill them. Plot twist? He has a teenage daughter, Mavis who falls in love with a young human who accidentally enters the hotel in the midst of her 118th birthday celebrations. Adam Sandler is the voice of Dracula and he does a great job. All the creatures and monsters featured are funny/clever/manic too and though the plot is a bit clunky there are lots of good moments.

PARA is a slighter story all round -- Norman sees dead people and talks to them, causing his friends and family to treat him like a freak/nerd/geek. However, the town was cursed by a witch 300 years earlier and when the film begins, the curse is about to take effect once more. Norman has to save the town. He does so (oh come on! You knew he would). End of story, but the secondary characters were well-realized, especially the overweight fellow-geek kid and the school bully and all nine of the city's ancestor-ghouls, the councilmen who had originally condemned a young girl to be burned as a witch.

All three movies revolve around the theme of Being Different -- that's right, my favourite theme -- so it's not surprising that (a) I wanted to see the movies (b) I liked them.