The CW’s television series, Supergirl, is unequivocally bad. This was a show that I really wanted to like, being a fan of the DC universe (which is already plagued by films that do it no justice), but after watching the first season the show just comes off as a statement for political correctness — for having a female superhero in a male-dominated superhero world — and as for the wonderful, promising comic book universe of Supergirl itself, the whole series just falls flat on its face.
Halfway through the season it dawned on me that if Supergirl receives a reboot it should only be to ensure that female superheroes exist at all. By contrast, Wonder Woman in Zack Snyder’s Batman v Superman was simply excellent and the upcoming solo film is something I look forward to with high hopes. This is particularly bad because Supergirl is a missed opportunity: the show could have been so much more alongside Arrow, The Flash and Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D., and it should have learnt a thing of two from their successes — at least from The Flash, with which Supergirl even had a crossover.
Nothing to do with feminism
I will say this openly: it seems to me there are a lot of people holding back criticism of Supergirl for fear of their opinion being misinterpreted as an attack against feminism; that pointing at flaws in Supergirl would be as if they were doing it just because it has a female lead superhero. Continue reading
There is no doubt that DC’s superheroes are some of the most popular in the world. Whereas most had never heard of Black Panther, Deadpool or even Thor and Iron Man till the films made them famous, almost everyone knew or had heard of Batman and Superman and considered themselves fans. With this footing, it would seem perfectly sensible to assume DC has a headstart on Marvel that they would make full use of. Alas, their newest film, the rather lazily titled, “Batman v. Superman: Dawn of Justice” does little to push DC ahead. This writer, although a longtime fan of DC comics, believes that at this moment, Marvel is clearly crafting the better superhero film universe.
Director Zack Snyder’s “Batman v Superman” begins with an operatic retelling of the Wayne murders: young Bruce witnesses his parents’ death, falls into a cave, sees a swarm bats etc. the whole rigmarole. It is probably a fifteen–minute section of the film solely targeted to help the audience make a particular scene later in the film — specifically tailored for those unaware that Bruce’s mother’s name is Martha.
The films feels, for lack of a better word, unwholesome. There are somethings it gets right: a bunch of well–choreographed fight sequences involving Batman1, Snyder’s signature zooming in on Superman in mid–air, and good use of scale — when a tiny Superman cracks wide a skyscraper thousands of times his size, you really feel the impact. If only the story carried the same weight. Continue reading
The trailer for my upcoming short film, Thieves, was released yesterday. It is a story of a bike theft and moments when we are faced with cut-and-dried questions about how far we are willing to go to survive. Continue reading
I have not written here for over a week now owing to the fact that I have been extremely busy with my upcoming short film, Thieves. And while I work on a film, I prefer to focus my emotion and thoughts to it wholly, because I have found that external stimuli can substantially affect my directing and my thought processes.
Following Origami, this new film works towards making a trilogy (of which Thieves is the second) built around the idea that landmark events — oftentimes life–changing in some manner, large or small — can occur to people anywhere, even out in wide open spaces. I call it the Outdoors trilogy. Continue reading
Perhaps I am late to the party, but Spectre only released this week where I live and, naturally, I watched it on the first day. It is James Bond after all. In short, I loved the film, but I decided it was worth taking a moment to pen some extended thoughts here.
Spectre is the twenty–fourth film in the Bond franchise, this time not based on Ian Fleming’s book but stemming from a screenplay by Neal Purvis, Robert Wade, John Logan and Jez Butterworth — Pruvis and Wade are regular Bond writers who returned to edit Logan’s original script. Before we go ahead, first of all, this is not strictly a review. And there are spoilers. Continue reading
Recently I decided it was time (after three years) to backup my mobile phone photographs. I only started taking mobile photography seriously after getting my Note 3 and that enthusiasm swelled with my iPhone 6 Plus. In all I had about 1,300 photographs made since I got my iPhone — just the photographs I wanted to save, the total number of photographs is greater. And I looked around for an ideal backup and storage solution with which I could maintain my photographs.
The first option a lot of people suggested to me was Loom, but that is not available where I live. (Loom happens to be US-only.) And then there was Everpix — was — which was free and shut down as fast as it became popular. In all honesty, Everpix was an excellent solution, but faced the biggest problem with cloud storage solutions: they shut down, mostly because they run out of money trying to give storage free. Lesson: never opt for free cloud storage.
Then I tried Picturelife about three months ago and still love it for a lot of reasons. Some readers asked me to talk about my experience with the product and how I went about moving my photographs to the cloud, so this is it.
Update: After this article was published and discussed around the web, Picturelife got in touch with me and offered a generous 20GB of additional free storage for life. Thank you. And here’s to Picturelife for being one of the top cloud storage solutions for all of us.
It started as an offhand idea, so we began with literally zero preparation. Half a basketball court, a ball and an iPhone in hand, I do not recall just when the idea struck me, but the four of us who were together had soon decided to make a short film.
The story, as I often like it in all of my films, was simple and open to interpretation. Two guys, a basketball: it does not matter whether they had the court or — quite literally — what was blocking their way, they would still play their game. Continue reading
As a man of physics, Interstellar is a film I would not miss for the world; if not for the physics, for the images — and director Chris Nolan’s images have always been powerful. Interstellar does not fall short on that. However, it helps for the layperson to learn a thing or two about physics before watching the film, which is why I wrote this article — and made sure there are no spoilers.
The film is really very small, but dressed as an operatic journey through space and time. The use of physics is interesting, almost exciting, and what holds the audience’s attention is (surprisingly) as much the science as the story of a parent-child relationship.
And yet, like so many films before it, Interstellar falls short merely because it was hyped far too much and it set itself an unrealistically high barrier. Continue reading
Nature diaries is an ongoing collection of five short films, often not spanning more than three minutes in length, which explore select ideas in a raw and organic, yet subtle, manner. These are shot entirely handheld and in natural light, with no setup whatsoever.
This means I need to be prepared when something is happening, not after the fact; and this often leads to some funny situations: since I enjoy photographing everything, people start to think I do this because I am excited by it, and they are right. But they fail to realise why I am excited by it: it is not that I have never seen that thing before (I probably have) but because every time I look at it, I see it as a new work of art.
I photograph roads. Sometimes I spend several minutes rooted to one spot trying to capture the graininess of a road or the wave white lines running along it in an artistic manner. This is construed as my awe with roads because I have not seen such roads before.
On the one hand this is outrageous and, if anything, shows the other person’s complete lack of knowledge of globalisation; but, to me, this proves to be very entertaining. This was what I experienced when I set out to film for the fourth part of the Nature diaries collection, titled “Civilisation”.
And that was understandable. Why would anybody pick up their camera and film a random street? The obvious conclusion drawn was something like, “he hasn’t seen such streets where he comes from”. Continue reading
One of Fernando Eimbcke’s earlier feature films, Lake Tahoe, almost disappeared from mainstream cinema alongside some better known films that came out that same year on the international stage (The Dark Knight, Iron Man, Quantum of Solace, Indiana Jones: the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull).
That is something very unfortunate, because Lake Tahoe, at the very least, is a stark contrast to all these big budget commercial works in that it is truly a work of art.
Despite what many might argue is an excruciatingly slow, somewhat motionless film, I believe that that is exactly where Lake Tahoe’s strength lies. Right from the very first, lengthy, action-free still that opens the film, Mr Eimbcke’s intention is pretty loud and clear.
As I can recall off-hand while I pen this review, the entire film is shot more like a series of carefully thought, beautifully composed photographs with a single moving subject right up to the point where the camera starts rolling in a dolly alongside Diego Cataño’s disturbed teen on his way to a mechanic’s.
The film literally begins with a bang. Juan has hit his car onto a light pole. And for every passing moment then on, we give ourselves to Mr Eimbcke’s patient story-telling. One mechanic shop to another; one person to another.
EVERY FRAME ACTS LIKE A PLAYGROUND LETTING [EIMBCKE’S] ACTORS BECOME PAWNS IN THE DIRECTOR’S INVESTIGATION OF LIFE.
Back home, our protagonist, Juan’s, mother is depressed, having locked herself in the bathroom. Continue reading
I noticed on my visit to the music shop today that a new batch of low-price The Beetles CDs had arrived. Now I already own all of The Beatles, so I really had no reason to pick up the disc set to inspect it, but I did and one thing stood out: a €5,99 price tag; which is roughly 7 on Amazon” href=”http://www.amazon.com/My-World-Justin-Bieber/dp/B002T921AC” target=”_blank”Beiber’s enhanced My World disc on Amazon.
Without meaning disrespect to anybody, I think that this shows just how popular The Beetles had become by the time they broke-up. In contradistinction, it is an issue of concern that every music group’s gospel — performing every single one of the Beeth’s excruciatingly hard-to-perform symphonies — sells far cheaper than the mediocre music made today solely for cash. Perhaps that is because everybody does it; but should repetition of a classic make it any less of a classic?
Speaking of Beethoven, I recently answered myself a question that had been bothering me: what on earth does Beethoven mean? As it turns out, Beeth is beetroot (yes), and hof is farm. So that gentleman we all so admire is Ludwig from Beetroot Farm.
But are classics really held far less worthy, or does everything modern generally take precedence when it comes to setting prices, or are our tastes as a society changing, or should there exist a very different kind of motivation to last, as former US Labour Secretary, Lynn Martin, put it:
No matter what your religion, you should try to become a government program, for then you will have everlasting life.