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August 2009 review


August 2009 review


The Satyajit Ray Award has been given every year since to a film "which best captures the artistry expressed in Ray's own vision" and Di Gregorio could not have been a more appropriate recipient.

Almost 60 years ago, early in , the newly married Ray, then working for an advertising agency in Calcutta, made his first visit to Europe to spend some months at the parent company's headquarters in London. On his return home, he wrote an article on "Some Italian Films I Have Seen" for the Indian Film Society Bulletin, which concluded: "For a popular medium, the best kind of inspiration should derive from life and its roots in it.

No amount of technical polish can make up for artificiality of theme and dishonesty of treatment. The Indian film-maker must turn to life, to reality. De Sica and not DeMille should be his ideal.

The year-old Di Gregorio is best known to us as the screenwriter on Gomorrah, Matteo Garrone's expansive, multilayered film about the terrible hold that organised crime has on Naples. His directorial debut, which Garrone has produced, is on a quite different scale. Ray, I think, would have admired the film for its humanity, its concern for family and the elderly and for the way Di Gregorio suffers fools gladly. In addition to writing and directing, Di Gregorio plays the central character, also called Gianni, a bachelor in his late 50s, unemployed because he's the full-time carer for his year-old widowed mother.

They live in a well-furnished, somewhat shabby fourth-floor flat in the charming old Roman district of Trastevere.

Inside, it's dark, outside blindingly bright, and the time is the height of summer on the eve of Ferragosto. That's the annual celebration on 15 August of the ascension of the Virgin Mary into Heaven and it empties the city. Do you remember what yours were when you started writing haiku? Clubs and circles of sports, hobbies and the like, or even businesses often mention in their recruitment literature that no experience is needed, or that training will be given.

This is because they prefer to have someone without any prior experience or knowledge and to train him or her right from the very beginning. One extreme is to recruit totally inexperienced teenagers to join the army, or in the most sinister way to recruit child soldiers.

In the areas of arts and music, those talented are spotted when very young and encouraged to start learning whatever branch of art they are good at as young as possible.

An interesting anecdote overheard in an airplane seems to point to the same direction. It was a French man talking to a fellow passenger about his three sons who were brought up and educated in America, Britain and France respectively as he worked in these three countries. According to him, American education is banal until it reaches the post-graduate degree when it suddenly takes off and becomes highly sophisticated, producing super brains.

Education system in France on the other hand, he went on, is sophisticated right from the start to higher education but regimented, producing people who are sophisticated but also moulded. British education is somewhere in between. All his sons have gone to computer industry; the eldest, educated in America, is actually working in the Silicon Valley. They are all successful in each of their own ways but it is this eldest son who has become a legendary innovator in the harsh environment of the American computer industry.

The other sons had their head overflowing with too much sophisticated knowledge and heavily loaded with too many preconceived ideas to do anything original or different.

Let us see what lessons we can learn from these observations. Such openness, responsiveness, flexibility and literary agility are one of the most important requisites of writing good haiku and should be maintained all through your haiku life;. Children are often genius haiku writers.

It is well to set aside ample time to ponder upon why. This is a Zen teaching but it can be applied to almost all other human endeavours. Thus our mind is normally over-cluttered, unable to think for ourselves. Our mind becomes saturated, cluttered, fuddled, clouded, muddled, dismayed and confused. No more needs to be said. However, let me quote a good account of this from Stanford M. In Zen there is the importance of seeing. Seeing clearly. This is so in haiku. Writing about what one sees can never be embellished.

It must be true. You must see without obstacles. How can one see directly if they have clutter blocking their view. When the mind is cluttered it is like a bloated stomach during a large meal. Without a clear mind so much is missed. August 31, September 1, irom Leave a comment. August 29, August 29, irom Leave a comment. August 28, August 29, irom 4 Comments. August 26, August 28, irom 1 Comment. August 25, August 25, irom Leave a comment. August 24, irom 2 Comments.

August 22, August 23, irom 4 Comments. August 20, August 20, irom 1 Comment. August 19, August 19, irom Leave a comment.



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