G C Lichtenberg: “It is as if our languages were confounded: when we want a thought, they bring us a word; when we ask for a word, they give us a dash; and when we expect a dash, there comes a piece of bawdy.”

H. P. Lovecraft: "What a man does for pay is of little significance. What he is, as a sensitive instrument responsive to the world's beauty, is everything!"

Martin Amis: “Gogol is funny, Tolstoy in his merciless clarity is funny, and Dostoyevsky, funnily enough, is very funny indeed; moreover, the final generation of Russian literature, before it was destroyed by Lenin and Stalin, remained emphatically comic — Bunin, Bely, Bulgakov, Zamyatin. The novel is comic because life is comic (until the inevitable tragedy of the fifth act);...”

Werner Herzog: “We are surrounded by worn-out, banal, useless and exhausted images, limping and dragging themselves behind the rest of our cultural evolution.”

John Gray: "Unlike Schopenhauer, who lamented the human lot, Leopardi believed that the best response to life is laughter. What fascinated Schopenhauer, along with many later writers, was Leopardi’s insistence that illusion is necessary to human happiness."

Justin E.H. Smith: “One should of course take seriously serious efforts to improve society. But when these efforts fail, in whole or in part, it is only humor that offers redemption. So far, human expectations have always been strained, and have always come, give or take a bit, to nothing. In this respect reality itself has the form of a joke, and humor the force of truth.”

विलास सारंग: "… . . 1000 नंतर ज्या प्रकारची संस्कृती रुढ झाली , त्यामध्ये साधारणत्व विश्वात्मकता हे गुण प्राय: लुप्त झाले...आपली संस्कृती अकाली विश्वात्मक साधारणतेला मुकली आहे."

Sunday, September 21, 2008

Indian Film & Glamour World Women: Only Peek-a-boo and Coloured Contact Lenses?

Dev Anand:

“…All the girls today are too bold. Take a look at two of their pictures and there is nothing more left to see. A girl is beautiful only if she is innocent and vulnerable. Hasn't all that innocence and vulnerability evaporated? They wear coloured contact lenses. God, if I was acting in today's films and had to kiss an actress on her eyes, I would be turned off…” (Times Of India-Mirror, August 12, 2008)

Alfred Hitchcock told Francois Truffaut:

“Sex on the screen should be suspenseful, I feel. If sex is too blatant or obvious, there is no suspense. You know why I favour sophisticated blondes in my films? We’re after the drawing-room type, the real ladies, who become whores once they’re in the bedroom….” (“Hitchcock by Truffaut” 1968/1986)

Where is this complex thinking gone?

Is this because “as we come to rely on computers to mediate our understanding of the world, it is our own intelligence that flattens into artificial intelligence”? (Stanley Kubrick’s 2001: A Space Odyssey)

Now we read:

“Fearing censure from the Censor Board, Kangana Ranaut’s wardrobe malfunction scene in Fashion has been blurred.” (Asian Age, September 19, 2008)

“No one blinked at the Marc Jacobs fashion show last week when the model Freja Beha Erichsen appeared in a sheer black top that revealed that she was wearing a nipple ring. No one blushed at the Chris Benz show when Sasha Luss and Ekat Kiseleva posed in see-through camisoles. No one seemed particularly hot or bothered that Ali Stephens’s breasts were clearly visible through her dress when she walked for Derek Lam. No one was outraged that Francisco Costa showed a transparent raincoat at Calvin Klein with nothing but a thong underneath.

Peek-a-boo was the biggest trend at the New York Fashion Week that ended on Friday,

…But nudity, like fashion, has lost much of its power to shock.

We have become so desensitized to images of naked celebrities, sex tapes and Internet pornography that designers are hard-pressed to create anything that seems really transgressive.” (ERIC WILSON NYT September 12, 2008)

I feel we Indians are still not completely “desensitized to images of naked celebrities, sex tapes and Internet pornography.”

When we do, can we hope for some quality mainstream cinema, television and fashion?

Or are we condemned to what the late David Foster Wallace said:

"TV is not vulgar and prurient and dumb because the people who compose the audience are vulgar and dumb. Television is the way it is simply because people tend to be extremely similar in their vulgar and prurient and dumb interests and wildly different in their refined and aesthetic and noble interests.”?

source: The New York Times