Tag Archives: film

Highway

In the evening, we went to the cinema to see Highway (trailer), as recommended by Kallu. On the way to the cinema there were long queues outside all of the Shiva temples by the roadsides, as it was Maha Shivaratri, a day dedicated to Shiva.

We got to the mall (security guards in berets this time) and were taken up in the lift by a gentleman on a wooden stool. Kalu and Sujoy hadn’t yet arrived, so we killed some time looking in Chumbak, a shop selling t-shirts, mugs, keyrings etc with fantastic India-specific drawings on them, like gurus bending themselves into knots and the plastic bucket bath to be found in every home.

I chose a mug with ‘you know you’re Indian when…’ With lots of lovely cartoons that I wouldn’t have really understood before coming here. Before I chose to buy it, I showed it to Sellappan with the promise to myself that if he didn’t laugh I would leave it right there in the shop. We also found a shirt with a certain motorbike on it, which unfortunately didn’t come in Sellappan’s size – but they’ll be getting them next week! I sense a return trip…

We collected our tickets and went through the airport security at the cinema, and I read the auditorium rules which included no hooting or whistling, taking a crying baby outside and not chewing gum. Sujoy and Kalu arrived and we went into the auditorium. We got excellent seats right in the middle of the modern auditorium, with a rail to stick our feet on as our chairs reclined back.

The film was in Hindi, so I didn’t understand most of the dialogue, but it was well acted and very well shot – on a shoestring budget too according to Kallu and Sujay. The film got a good review from all of us, though I’d have to see it again with subtitles to really judge. The characters weren’t exactly incredibly complex or deep, but they developed, at least, and there were enough laughs and action sequences to move the story along. The film also showed off some phenomenal North Indian landscapes that got Sellappan’s feet itching for his bike trip to the Himalayas this summer.

After the film we had a quick bite at the food court before heading homewards. On the way, we stopped at a busy Shiva temple and came away with flowers as well as spiritual benefits.

The film contained so much footage of the open road that my feet are definitely itching for our adventure to the North, which starts tomorrow with our flight to Jaipur.

The Imposter Poster

The Imposter

The Imposter PosterI recently saw The Imposter, which is a documentary film about Frédéric Bourdin, and specifically follows his attempt to impersonate a missing person.

The film itself was gripping, and throughout I wondered whether the people in the film were the real people portrayed or actors, and how the film had been put together. Something that really stood out was the testimony of Bourdin himself. His way of telling the story almost made me doubt that it was really him. Bourdin told the story with perceptible mischievousness throughout, which was very unsettling at times. The way the story was told with the participants’ testimony interleaved with the “action” sequences kept the tension high, and I found all of the speakers very engaging.

The reconstructed scenes were very well shot with plenty of atmosphere, and the occasional overlap with the voices of the people talking about the events made the two aspects of the film hand together very well. The most striking parts of the film were when Bourdin was quoting word-for-word the things he had said, while the drama sequences were being played out.

There is no doubt that the subject matter of the story was controversial, and this did make me uncomfortable at times. I felt that the film’s final scenes were over the top and far too dramatised. Other than that I thought that the film was very well made and well put together. As the family had clearly cooperated I hope that they don’t feel that the resulting film was exploitative, although some viewers did have this opinion. I can’t say that I would choose to go on screen and talk about similar experiences, but that is their choice after all.

Overally I thought that the film was of a very high quality, very well made and told a very compelling tale. I would recommend it to any fans of documentaries or drama, as I think it performs equally well on both counts.

Star Trails

I left my Holga out overnight with the shutter open. My method to hold the shutter open was to wrap the shutter release round and round with an elastic band. Some people just cut the shutter spring, but that’s too permanent for me.

Star Trails

The exposure was about 6 hours give or take. I picked the camera back up before dawn, but it was already getting light, probably would have had more trails if I’d gotten up a little bit earlier.

Nostalgia

These two pictures are very nostalgic looking. The Holga, teamed with the black and white film produces something from the 70’s, or earlier! The two subjects here also enhance the effect – the ancient kitchen and a simple seaside scene.

Here is Diane again with some butternut squash.

Diane in the Kitchen in 1970

..and Anstruther seafront.

Anstruther

Both remind me of something my granda would have taken.

Double Exposure

One of the most fun things about the Holga is the capacity to do double, or multiple exposures with it. I like the unpredictability of this. One fun approach is to shoot the same subject twice from two very different angles, which is what I did here;

Pegs

The exposures don’t have the same saturation as each other, and this leads to lovely dreamy effects, like a flashback sequence in a film.

Introduction to the Holga

This is my Holga

My Holga

I bought it a year ago in Bologna – though they can be easily found on eBay for less cash! I’d never even heard of the camera before I bought it, and I spent a few days considering the purchase before I finally went for it. I’ve had a couple of rolls of film through it now – I don’t like to take too many as it’s expensive to develop the 120 film (£9 for the 12 exposures). My favourite roll is by far the most recent one, my first black and white film (pictured above).

The Tower

Here is the second shot on the roll, the chapel tower. My Holga is finally developing that natural vignette effect so praised on the lomography website. It’s a nice focaliser. I’m also a fan of the slight grain, and I love the fact that it manages to capture clouds on a sunny day!

Today I also loaded my first film into my polaroid…