Wednesday, October 10, 2012

Not A Preview: Lincoln


With less than a month away to one of the year’s most highly substance movie, I wait with abated breath for the red curtain to roll aside and give the world Lincoln. Did anyone notice that the world premiere of this movie happens to fall on the day where this year’s US Presidential Election will take place? Coincidence much?
US presidents aside, I’m looking forward to this movie because of Daniel Day-Lewis who will be portraying Abraham Lincoln as is never seen before on the screen – period.
What the studios and producers decide to put in their movie posters – especially the first official image to the public – always fascinates me the most. You can tell so much from the first poster and if you’ve seen your fair share of posters, you can tell if a movie is going to be great or not.
From the poster above, I know this movie isn’t going to be boring and won’t be about his entire life. This looks like a weathered and beaten-down man – a man who is hunched over his back because the fate of a nation is on his shoulders.
I think it is going to depict the last few months of his life before his assassination. It is going to be about a nation’s leader that works tirelessly, who must make tough choices and get things done in the face of overwhelming opposition that will forever change the history of a nation.
I also know that from the black and white colour used in the poster, this movie is going to be centrally revolved around his attempt to abolish slavery once and for all. The colour choice here is great because it sends a message of the biggest theme in the film.
And finally, this poster excellently hammers home the fact that Day-Lewis will star in another role where he absolutely loses himself in the character. So I know this movie is going to be moving and enlightening. I know the script will be awesome.
But what I know even more is that the acting is going to still your body, hearts and minds in the cinema when you see all the stellar cast bring the historical biopic of Abraham Lincoln to life. How I know? Because I had goose bumps when I saw the trailer.
For a YouTube trailer that has 6.2 million views so far, it sure says a lot. Even if you do not believe this movie is going to be Oscar-sensational or Oscar-bait incarnate, I can bet you the acting will blow you away because Daniel Day-Lewis, Sally Field and Tommy Lee Jones are all Oscar winners in their own right. Did I mention Spielberg too?
Do not forget that this is still a historical movie. And we all remember how well did Spielberg’s other historical movies turned out – Schindler’s List and Saving Private Ryan.
One of Lincoln’s famous quote is “How do I get a nation to see beyond the colour of someone’s skin?” Lincoln wanted us to be colour-blind, so does this poster.
Lincoln is scheduled for release on the 9th of Nov, 2012.
Click below for the official trailer:

Monday, October 8, 2012

Around in the Dark


Have you ever wondered how would it feel like not to know something you didn’t know? I doubt you or anyone does. I for one don’t. But if it is about not knowing something you want to know, then I have something to share.
These days, almost everything we want to know is literally at our fingertips. With a few strokes and taps on a screen, our intellectual thirst to know something is quenched. This kind of existence is gratifying to the most of us.
What’s the weather like today? Tap on the weather app. Who the heck is Julian Assange? Check Wikipedia. Who is that pretty and promising lead girl actress in Wes Anderson’s Moonrise Kingdom? Search IMDB. Is the latest Hollywood’s box office Looper worth watching? Look up Rotten Tomatoes. Google it, Facebook up, Twitter that, the list just goes on. Anything you want to know, you can know it, right now.
But when you think back, just a little less than 20 years ago, all of the above was unthinkable. I can’t speak for the most of you but I’m pretty sure it won’t be that different from my childhood. If I wanted to see something, I’d switch on the TV and hope to get lucky. If I wanted to listen to my favourite music, I’d turn on the radio and hope to get lucky. If I wanted to know the meaning of a word, I’d open my dictionary and hope to get lucky. If I wanted to know about something more in detail, I’d flip my encyclopedias open and hope to get lucky.
However, because these methods often took time, effort, and commitment and is also more physically demanding, most of the time I had to settle on not knowing. And life went on just fine then.
I’m starting to cultivate a habit of being away from my computer, phone and tablet for a prolonged period of time, several times a day and extending that time periodically longer as each day and week passes by.
One thing I realised from this so far is that whenever I think of a question I want answered, my first instinct is to access my gadgets and search. But then I pause and examine that urge. I ask myself if it is a true need, to know right now? Or can it wait for 30 minutes, a few hours or even a day? Of course it can. It is not like a matter of life or death anyway.
So I stop myself and make a note to look it up later. I then notice something else entirely new, and utterly interesting – not knowing something has now become a strange and exciting phenomena to me. Sure, there are like a billion other things in this world I know nothing about. But those are the things I’m unaware that I don’t know about. On the other hand, I’m talking about not knowing something I want to know, for an hour or sometimes even longer. The difference here is the conscious choice.
And amidst all these, I come to this awareness – that this new habit of mine – is a strange freedom. Not knowing something means I am free to walk around seemingly “blind” and unable to see the light at the end of the tunnel. I know that I must live with it and work with it in a certain timeframe. It is interesting. It is mysterious. And it is exhilarating. It is just a different way of living.
It isn't bad. It's just different. And there's something minimalist and efficient about it. It creates more space for other things that matter more, that have often been missed or postponed. So I'm learning to let go of the urge to know, bit by bit every second of the day, and let my mind wander around in the dark for a while.