Items of Interest (Jan 2012 Recap)

Apart from the collection of tweets in the earlier post, here are some more interesting things that I posted online this month.  Archived for posterity.

First off, this is my official 2012 New Year Card:

2012 New Year Card by KarthikEven if the world is going to end on 21-Dec-12, we’ll still get to see these movies before that: The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo (which unfortunately may not get released in India after all), Prometheus (8-Jun-12), The Dark Knight Rises (20-Jul-12) and The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey (14-Dec-12).

As I’d mentioned in my collection of tweets post, I bought a Canon Speedlite 580 EX II flash for my camera.  This is, as I later found out, one of Canon’s top-of-the-line external flashes.  I still have to learn to use it to its full potential.

Canon Speedlite FlashI’d remarked that when attached to my camera, it’s quite bulky and makes my Canon EOS 550D look positively small!  In fact, if one was to add a bigger telephoto lens to it, it would be heavy enough to do bicep exercises with.  So I took a photo of that.

I later posted larger resolution versions of two of the drawings in the New Year Card above.  Here they are:

The Dark Knight Rises - Drawing by Karthik AbhiramThat’s a stippled drawing of Batman holding what appears to be an EMP Gun from The Dark Knight Rises.  The drawing was done based on a screenshot from the HD trailer.  The text is the chant you hear in the trailer.

And here’s Rooney Mara as Lisbeth Salander from David Fincher’s The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo:

Rooney Mara as Lisbeth Salander - Drawing by Karthik AbhiramI decided to use the original Swedish title instead of the English one.  I love the posters and the artwork for the movie.  From what I read, the publicity materials are designed by Kellerhouse Design and the photography is by Jean-Baptiste Mondino.

Another interesting thing:

Businessman - CBFC CertificateThese days, I’ve observed that at Prasad’s Multiplex, for Hindi and Telugu movies, they post the censor certificate for the movie as approved by the Central Board of Film Certification.  The front part of the certificate is what you see attached to the film itself, but they’re even putting up the reverse side of the certificate these days.  Apparently, if there’s a triangle stamped on the certificate, it means that there are cuts made (these things I found out thanks to a friend).

Above is a quick photo I took of the certificate for the Mahesh Babu movie Businessman.  The list of cuts is pretty interesting.  If you want to know what all dirty stuff you are missing, all you have to do is read the list of cuts!

I found this description very funny (“Delete the visuals: close exposure of cleavage”, “finger of hero moving on the chest and hip of heroine”, “Mute the words: …, lanja kodaka, fucking, …”), that’s why I took a photo of it to preserve the memory!  One friend commented that this description is actually more sleazy than what it would have been if this stuff ended up in the movie.

While there may be a rationale to certifying movies, I still can’t understand why cuts are required in a movie that’s anyway rated “A” or “Adults Only”.

Some other videos and trailers of interest:

  • i2 (i square) Promoi2 is an upcoming short film from Nakama Creations and Planet Green Pictures (the filmmakers behind the massively popular short film Shadow).  The trailer totally wowed me, the music (Prakash Anantha) and cinematography (Surya Vinay) are awesome.  It looks like a movie made for the big screen.
  • Theme from A Fistful of Dollars by Ennio Morricone – Watch the video and then tell me, does that tune sound familiar?  If you recently saw the Mahesh Babu movie Businessman, then it will.  That’s the theme music associated with Kajal Agarwal’s character.  I’ve not seen A Fistful of Dollars, but when watching Businessman, I recognised the theme right away as being from a Clint Eastwood movie – because I had a desktop theme (remember those things from several years ago?) with these sounds.
  • Comparison Video from the Manos in HD ProjectManos: The Hands of Fate is a 1966 movie directed by Hal Warren.  This is known as one of the worst movies ever made.  Someone has discovered a pristine print of this movie and are painstakingly restoring it by scanning the film at 2k resolution.  I’ve actually seen this movie and would love to watch it in that beautiful HD transfer at some point of time.  The page that I followed to get to this video link rightly says: “The Manos In HD film restoration project is one of the most important things going on in the world today. Never before has such a fucking disaster looked so beautiful!”
  • Talaash Trailer – A psychological thriller starring Aamir Khan.  Looking forward to it!  Releases in June.
  • Kahaani Trailer – Another thriller starring Vidya Balan.  Looks good.  The trailer kind of reminded me of Anurag Kashyap’s That Girl in Yellow Boots.  This movie releases in March.
  • Agent Vinod Trailer – Action / spy movie starring Saif Ali Khan.  It’s written and directed by Sriram Raghavan who made Johnny Gaddaar, so should be good.  Also a March release.
  • Jeremy Keith – All our Yesterdays – This is a 45-minute video but an interesting talk on preserving our memories, comparing the longevity of digital data to analog (info engraved on a stone tablet can last, and can be read after hundreds or thousands of years, can the same be said of digital data on a DVD?).

This month, we had a few events at office, for which I acted as a photographer.  For two of the events, you can see the photos I took on these Facebook albums:

The first album consists of photos entirely shot with my Nokia N8 phone camera – which does surprisingly well in good light.  The second one though was taken with my Canon EOS 550D camera (I got permission to bring the camera and two additional lenses).  I got a lot of good feedback on these photos.

Flower among Leaves - Photo by Karthik AbhiramThis is one of the photos that resulted from that set.  Taken with my 550D with the 50mm f1.8 II lens.  You can download the full-size image and peek into the EXIF info if you wish.