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HARD ACTS TO FOLLOW

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If only an actor does a scene-stealing performance I go after his zodiac signs and lineage. That’s how John Lithgow fell into me as a much heard and talked about Winston Churchill through the series, The Crown (a Netflix hit of 2016) Up in his hat, Churchill was heavy-handed, harsh and oppressive. He loved good language but ended up in controversies many a time in some of its usages. His comments or the epigrams used could tickle any funny bones but I’m skeptic about the responses hit back. Having seen only a few episodes of The crown I became a hardcore fan of John Lithgow.

It never ends there. The two-time prime minister is being portrayed again by two more people this year. Gary Oldman’s version of Churchill will appear in the Darkest Hour in November this year. While you see a headstrong PM in the series, The Crown, mentoring the young queen, Gary Oldman is going to have a brainstorm in his film to decide whether England should negotiate a peace treaty or stand up to Hitler and his evil thoughts. The 3rd one is Brian Cox, the Scottish actor who is performing in and as Churchill of 1944 at the time of the invasion of Northern France by Allied Forces. This film is going to hit the theatres on Jun 09, 2017.

John Lithgow as Churchill in The Crown, a Netflix Series

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മറുവശം

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മറുവശം

There’s nothing to be laughed at, when a PM like Modi addresses an official foreign gathering, with the help of a tele-prompter. In a way it’s like the reading of a written speech which by and large everybody does. The matter is about bilateral relationships or issues. An impromptu speech might miss certain points. In order to avoid it, a speaker uses either a written message or a tele-prompter. And the latter is better than the former just to ensure good eye-contact with the audience. A reading speech has only an intention of conveying the message. But a speech with adequate eye-contacts has an intention to measure back the response it resonates. That way this practice stands good. But if someone wants to view the matter through a political tube vision it’s a different scenario. If it’s a testing venue of oratory skills this practice is to be avoided.

ഉള്‍ക്കാഴ്ച

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യു.എസ്. കോണ്‍ഗ്രസ്സില്‍ നടത്തിയ അതിഗംഭീര പ്രസംഗത്തിന്റെ പേരില്‍ എല്ലാവരും പ്രധാനമന്ത്രി നരേന്ദ്ര മോദിയെ വാഴ്ത്തുന്നു. പ്രസംഗം എനിക്കും വളരെ ഇഷ്ടമായി. അതിനെക്കുറിച്ച് ഞാന്‍ എഴുതുകയും ചെയ്തു. ആ കുറിപ്പിനോടുണ്ടായ ചില പ്രതികരണങ്ങള്‍ മോദിയുടെ പ്രസംഗശൈലി വിശദമായി അവലോകനം ചെയ്യേണ്ട ആവശ്യകതയിലേക്കു വിരല്‍ ചൂണ്ടുന്നു.

ശരിക്കും മോദിക്ക് ഇംഗ്ലീഷില്‍ ഇത്ര മനോഹരമായി സംസാരിക്കാന്‍ കഴിയുമോ? ഇന്ത്യയിലെ റാലികളില്‍ അദ്ദേഹം ഇത്തരത്തില്‍ തന്നെയാണ് പ്രസംഗിക്കുന്നത്. പക്ഷേ, അത് ഹിന്ദിയിലാണ്. മോദി പ്രകടിപ്പിച്ച ഇംഗ്ലീഷ് പ്രാവീണ്യമാണ് ചിലരിലൊക്കെ സംശയം ഉണര്‍ത്തിയത്. സംശയം ന്യായമായിരുന്നു താനും. കോണ്‍ഗ്രസ്സിലെ പ്രസംഗപീഠത്തില്‍ മോദിയുടെ രണ്ടു വശങ്ങളിലുമായി രണ്ടു ടെലിപ്രോംപ്റ്ററുകള്‍ ഉണ്ടായിരുന്നു എന്ന കാര്യം ശ്രദ്ധയില്‍പ്പെട്ടു. ഇതു സംബന്ധിച്ച സത്യാവസ്ഥ അറിയാന്‍ യു.എസ്. കോണ്‍ഗ്രസ്സില്‍ കടന്നുചെന്ന് പരിശോധിക്കാന്‍ ഏതായാലും നിര്‍വ്വാഹമില്ല തന്നെ. അതിനാല്‍ ഇന്റര്‍നെറ്റില്‍ പരതി. രസകരങ്ങളായ പുതിയ അറിവുകളാണ് -കുറഞ്ഞപക്ഷം എന്നെ സംബന്ധിച്ചിടത്തോളമെങ്കിലും -മുന്നില്‍ തെളിഞ്ഞത്.

എന്താണ് ടെലിപ്രോംപ്റ്റര്‍? പ്രാസംഗികരുടെ ഏറ്റവും പ്രിയപ്പെട്ട സങ്കേതമാണിത്. കണ്ണാടി പോലുള്ള പ്രതലത്തില്‍ പ്രസംഗത്തിലെ വാക്കുകള്‍ സാവധാനം ഒഴുകി നീങ്ങും. ടെലിവിഷന്‍ വാര്‍ത്ത അവതരണത്തിന് ഉപയോഗിക്കുന്ന പ്രോംപ്റ്ററില്‍ നിന്ന് കുറച്ചുകൂടി ഉയര്‍ന്ന തലത്തിലുള്ള സാങ്കേതികവിദ്യ. ടെലിപ്രോംപ്റ്ററില്‍ ഒഴുകി നീങ്ങുന്ന വാക്കുകള്‍ പ്രാസംഗികന് കാണാനാവുമെങ്കിലും മറുവശത്തിരിക്കുന്നയാള്‍ക്ക് അത് ഒന്നുമില്ലാത്ത കണ്ണാടി പ്രതലം മാത്രമായിരിക്കും. പ്രാസംഗികന്റെ വേഗം കൃത്യമായി മനസ്സിലാക്കുന്ന ടെലിപ്രോംപ്റ്റര്‍ ഓപ്പറേറ്റര്‍ കൂടിയുണ്ടെങ്കില്‍ സംഗതി ജോര്‍. രണ്ടു വശങ്ങളിലുമുള്ള ടെലിപ്രോംപ്റ്ററില്‍ ഒരേ വാക്കുകള്‍ തന്നെയായിരുന്നു ദൃശ്യമാകുക. വശങ്ങളിലുള്ള കണ്ണാടി സ്‌ക്രീനിലെ വാക്കുകളിലേക്കു പ്രാസംഗികന്‍ മാറി മാറി നോക്കുമ്പോള്‍…

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Adieu, Maya!

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“Pretty women wonder where my secret lies.
I’m not cute or built to suit a fashion model’s size
But when I start to tell them,
They think I’m telling lies.
I say,
It’s in the reach of my arms
The span of my hips,
The stride of my step,
The curl of my lips.
I’m a woman
Phenomenally.
Phenomenal woman,
That’s me.”                                – Maya Angelou
***
Goodbye lady! You had been celebrating womanhood when many of your friends were held up in a quandary. You encountered many defeats, but not got defeated. When you wrote your life and shared with us, you were blinking back your tears. The war you started never ends. You would certainly be able to watch from somewhere, someone carries your torch. Now, rest in peace!

Loaded for Bears

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We have an estimated number of around 105000 bears live with us in Ontario, which is a bit ‘alarming’ as far as the protection of the public is concerned. So we’re planning a spring bear hunt very shortly. It’s not a new thing but could be traced if required if you turn the pages of our animal love back. And someone said that it would even boost the tourism also if we do so. Great idea to go along whoever had transmitted that! What an idea!

According to Bill Mauro, our minister for forestry and natural resources, here are the highlights of the project.
1. You can hunt only bears who bear black colour.
2. Hunt cannot be carried out before May 01, 2016 or later Jun 15, 2016.
3. The hunt will be repeated for the next 4 years for the same duration.
4. The bears who are fond of blueberry would get preferences to get shot
first. Also, the guys who ate up last years blue harvests!
5. It’ll be illegal to hunt cubs.
6. It’ll be illegal to hunt mother bears with cubs. (Wait for mother bears
coming out without their kids, if you are so particular!)
7. Father bears have no exemption – except that you stand cleared in
your consanguinity or phylogenetic relationships as per Canadian
standards.
8. ‘One bear a year per hunter’ will be strictly followed. (Better get licensed
with the whole of the family so that a family day out would be worth-
mentioning!)
9. No complaints will be entertained from animal activists with the effect that
the project is cruel or untimely due to winter hibernation or resulting in
orphaned cubs. (Cubs should take care not to leave their moms at any
dire straits lest they lose their maternal endearment forever)
10. The bears who are human-friendly would be exempted from getting shot
if they can prove so till April 30, 2016.

We are liberal by all means -to rural residents as well as rural hunters!

A Decorated Veteran Leads Canadian Defence Ministry

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Harjit Singh Sajjan

Harjit Singh Sajjan

Harjit Singh Sajjan is undoubtedly a paradigmatic impression of Canadian diversity that came to power yesterday. He is the newly sworn in defence minister of Canda, reporting to Justin Trudeau, the new prime minister.

Born in India and moved to Canada at the age of five, Harjit Sajjan has too many turn points in life to his credit. This retired lieutenant colonel is the recipient of Order of Military Merit, from the Governor General of Canada. Despite the initial rejection to get enlisted, Sajjan’s hard work has really paid off to become one of the top brasses of Canadian defence force. He had served in Afghanistan and Bosnia in three deployments, for Canadian army. He represents South Vancouver riding where he grew up and served the Police Department as a detective earlier. History has its wit that he is the first Sikh to command the British Columbia Regiment, a one-time unit involved in turning their back to the ship Komagata Maru, filled with, by and large, Punjabis and other South Asians. That was a century ago.

Sajjan’s elevation to this post is notable when you come to know that he has been chosen over another MP, an ex Lt. General, Andrew Leslie.

A Judas Unlike

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judas
Story of Judas (Histoire De Judas)- French film

Director-Screenwriter & lead actor
Rabah Ameur-Zaïmeche

When ideologies conflict along with new revelations and thoughts, characters are deconstructed with more insights and plausibility. History always stands with those who won the battles. And the losses, whatever it may be, are not counted at all. Winners do not like their victories being tied up with a host of events which could be looked up with scornful pity. Pathetic tones of the voices, at any cost, are taken out from the luminous pagination. That’s where the relevance of reexamining the roles played by the legendary characters. Here, Judas is not greedy or a betrayer. He’s Jesus’ closest friend and prepared to die to protect his master. It’s a different read and version from the usual canonical narrative. The film focuses on the relationship of Judas with Jesus. Every scene is narrated in a different way and quite unlike what we have learnt so far, without being anti-Christian or blasphemous, if anyone deems to say so. The relationships, entry to the temple court, trial, crucifixion, resurrection are all different from what we’ve learnt so far. In this movie, Jesus is a revolutionary and trying for liberation through knowledge. He stands against animal sacrifice and revolts against all types of confinements. This may well be an apocryphal story for some who firmly believe in the history we had learnt. But absolutely no signs of impiousness, but a different angle altogether to stand and look at things.

A great visual treat within the Pasolini tradition and a must-see for serious film-goers and students. The shots, dialogues and overall script construction is a matter to be gone through for creating an ambiance of a different perspective.

Reminded me the treatment of Aravindan’s Kanchana Sita!