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."

Saturday, February 23, 2013

Setsuko Hara 原 節子: A Japanese Nutan नूतन... Touch of Melancholy...Sigh

Today February 23 2013 is 22nd Death Anniversary of Nutan

After seeing a Setsuko Hara film, the novelist Endo Shusaku wrote "We would sigh or let out a great breath from the depths of our hearts, for what we felt was precisely this: Can it be possible that there is such a woman in this world?"

In year 2012, I saw two Japanese films  'Late Spring', 1949 and 'Tokyo Story', 1954. Both masterpieces by Yasujiro Ozu, both starring Setsuko Hara.

Watching them was like reading G A Kulkarni's (जी ए कुलकर्णी) 'Kairi' ( कैरी)  one more time. Such tenderness, such lyricality, such beauty, such simplicity and yet very little sentimentality...While I have known GA's story for more than thirty years, where was 'Tokyo Story'?

I am glad I did not 'meet' Ms. Hara at a more impressionable age unlike Ms. Nutan. If I had, I would have madly fallen in love with her, would have lost the sleep for a few days.

Ms. Hara's partnership with  Mr. Ozu reminds me of Nutan's partnership with Bimal Roy.



Setsuko Hara, in Yasujiro Ozu's masterpiece 'Tokyo Story'

Photograph courtesy: the distributor of the film or  the publisher of the film.




In Hrishikesh Mukherjee's Anari, 1959

Image courtesy: Wikipedia

Ms. Hara foreswore the acting profession in 1963 and became a Greta Garbo-like figure. Nutan never did anything like that but she too remained an enigma for me.

They both- June borne- look stunning on B&W screen. While they are there, I look at nothing else. I also notice  a touch of melancholy that goes with an incredible amount of beauty. 

That's what makes them special.