Tag Archive: News


Welcome to September 2017!!!!!

Come September, and signs of fall, with it’s colourful Autumn leaves should be taking form, on one side of the globe; whilst blossoms with a hint of Spring ought to be appearing on the other; while here in the tropics, of heaty humidity, the monotonous weather never changes, much like anything else, ever (at least never for the better).

Yet, lets welcome this new month with open arms; and let us keep hoping, against hope, that things shall improve. So, to all my fellow bloggers, wish you a great new month!!!!! 😀

So to start this month off, I have a questionnaire, related to Films, and this month of September 2017!!!

Q.1 What’s the first film that comes to your mind, when you hear the name ‘September’?

Q.2 What’s your favourite film, with ‘September’ in the title?

Q.3 Have you seen any, or are you planning to watch a, movie today, the 1st of September, Year 2017?

Q.4 Is/Are there any movie release/s, this month, wherever you reside, that you are really looking forward to?

Q.5 Is/Are there any film related function/s, this month, wherever you reside, that you are really looking forward to?

Nuwan Sen’s Film Sense

 

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Hattie mcDaniel as Mammy in Gone with the Wind (1939)

If Americans think that one of the biggest racial issues Trumpland is facing today, is the viewing of Gone with the Wind (1939); they’ve totally gone BONKERS!!

The Orpheum Theatre, in Memphis, Tennessee; recently pulled out the showing of this iconic Hollywood epic, on the grounds it was too insensitive for modern audiences. That’s soooo stupid. Are they insane??? Gone with the Wind, especially taking into account the time period it was made in (minus modern day technical wizardry), happens to be one of the greatest Hollywood creations ever. Plus, it’s my second favourite film ever (pls also see my post My Favourite movie by decade, My Favourite Oscar Winner per decade from March 2014; and my list of critiques Why I love …. from November/December 2012 on IMDB)

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French, Socialist Party member, 39 year old Emmanuel Macron, is the new President of France. Vive La France!!

Emmanuel Macron with his wife; the new First Lady, Brigitte Macron; at the Inauguration, yesterday.

Macron, who ran under the banner En Marche! (a centrist, liberal movement, founded by Macron, which encapsulates a balance between social equality and a certain degree of social hierarchy, without going into extremes) won, by a decisive margin, at the Presidential elections, defeating Marine Le Pen, on 7th May 2017. He was inaugurated into office yesterday, 14th May 2017.
This is exactly what the world needs now. Youthful, progressive, modernists, but with intellect, wisdom and maturity, of a 65 year old; to bring the world into the future. Open minded, great progressive minds, the likes of, what former Presidents, John F. Kennedy and Barack Obama were to USA, former Prime Minister, Rajiv Gandhi was to India; and what current Prime Minister, Justin Trudeau is to Canada today. Not ridiculous leaders like, America’s George W. Bush (jr.) & Donald Trump; or even worse, the pathetic Shit Lankan Presidents, with archaic, crude, extremist, mentality, that lead/have led this country for the last 28 years. J.R. Jayewardene was the only good President SL ever had, and no doubt the best Prime Minister this corrupt island has even seen. Devil’s own country, with their love for Devilled food; inhumane hot headed humans, and a heat, as hot as hell.

Kudos to France, for electing a young modernist. Let’s hope for the best!!

Wishing Emanuel Macron, all the best, in his future endeavours.

Nuwan Sen n’ Politics
Nuwan Sen n’ News ( The Front Page)


(1929-1993)

Remembering Audrey Hepburn, on her 88th Birth Anniversary!!!

Audrey Hepburn; a brave kid during the second world war who participated in the Dutch resistance, a beautiful young ballerina, a Tony & Oscar winning actress of the stage & screen, a Hollywood icon, a classy Fashionista, a kind humanitarian, a caring philanthropist, and a Goodwill Ambassador for UNICEF; who gave herself completely to serving poverty stricken, and ailing, children, across, Africa, South America and Asia!! A modern day saint!!

A mini-pictorial tribute, to this unique personality!!

Nuwan Sen

 

This Blogathon, hosted by ‘Real Weegie Midget’, that I joined the last minute (as we just came across each others Blogs, just few days ago, and before I knew it, I was invited to take part in this new Blogathon), is in correspondence to actor Jack Nicholson’s 80th Birthday!! Thus, a VERY HAPPY BIRTHDAY, to a legendary genius of modern cinema, Jack Nicholson!! Wish him all the best in health and happiness in his old age. For this Blogathon, I’m paying a ‘Double Bill’ tribute, featuring Nicholson’s TWO Film releases, of 1966 (both Acid Westerns, with similar story line)!!!!!
Ride in the Whirlwind (1966)

Directed by Monte Hellman, and Written, Produced & Starring, a very young Jack Nicholson; the story is about an innocent man on run from a group of vigilantes.

Three cowboys, including a young man called Wes (Nicholson) stop to break for the night, at a remote hideout of a gang of outlaws, led by Blind Dick (a young, Harry Dean Stanton). Come morning, they find themselves surrounded by a vigilante hanging party. It’s interesting to note, how the vigilantes here are portrayed in a realistic light. Unlike many films and television shows of today, where people taking the law into their own hands, are portrayed in a heroic light; here we see them, for what they actually can be. They are not necessarily the good guys. They not only kill off the gang they are after, but they are responsible for the deaths of two innocent people as well, assuming they are part of a gang of robbers. Plus they are on a hunt to kill off, another innocent person, Wes. It’s a hint on why people shouldn’t take the law into their own hands. Protecting oneself and other victims is a different matter, but going after someone, committing murder, in the name of justice, without any factual evidence, doesn’t make you a hero/heroine. Sure the law makes mistakes too, but that doesn’t give anyone the right to go around harming people in the name of justice. Vigilantes are humans too, and human beings are very flawed creatures.

A pretty good story, but just an OK film. Average Fare!!!
My Rating: 6/10!!!

Jack Nicholson in Ride in the Whirlwind (1966)

The Shooting (1966)

Directed by Monte Hellman, and Produced & Starring, a very young Jack Nicholson; this film is about a group cowboys going on a hunt, under the persuasion of a mysteriously secretive woman.

While, in Ride in the Whirlwind, Nicholson plays the hunted, here he is the hunter. The villain of the piece. Nicholson plays a gunslinger named Billy Spear, who’s been hired by a nameless woman (Millie Perkins). What’s really interesting here is, like most of the male characters in the film, we (the audience) ourselves, aren’t aware of what the hunt is for, until the end. The woman who hires them, is very secretive, and keeps changing her story, as to what they are accompanying her for. The ending of this movie is, unexpectedly, excellent.

Very good movie, very well told!!!!
My Rating: 8/10!!!!

Millie Perkins & Jack Nicholson, in a scene from The Shooting (1966)

Nicholson’s TWO Roles

Whilst, in Ride in the Whirlwind, Nicholson plays an innocent and kindly character, in The Shooting, he is sexier and scummier.

Young Nicholson is brilliantly different in the two very diverse roles he does. In Ride in the Whirlwind, you feel sorry for him, he is just a young man, who is afraid of being killed, for something he hasn’t done. He has his whole life ahead of him, but is being pursued by idiotic vigilantes; who assume they are being very heroic, by trying to kill him off. He’s just a kid. But in The Shooting, he shoots an innocent kid, Coley (Will Hutchins); and you wish to shoot him off. He is the monster, with a conniving smile, and an equally slimy body language, accompanying the smile. Amazingly Nicholson doesn’t look so young, despite the fact, both these movies were made back to back, in 1965, and released in 66’. Besides, he was in actuality in his late 20’s, when he made these movies. He’d turn 30, less than a year, after their releases. So, in reality, he wasn’t ‘just a kid’. But he looks really young, and with his innocence, in Ride in the Whirlwind, to complement him, he looks like he could be still in his teens even.

Out of the two roles, it’s his devious persona, in The Shooting, that shows potential for a more successful acting career. The acting career, we are used to, in some of his most defining roles, in films like; Easy Rider (1969), Chinatown (1974), One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest (1975), The Shining (1980), The Postman Always Rings Twice (1981), Batman (1989), A Few Good Men (1992) As Good as It Gets (1997) and The Departed (2006); to name some.

Though Jack Nicholson, ventured into Hollywood, at the wee age of 17, in 1954; it was the 70’s decade that brought him into prominence. And his most notably, best performance to date, no doubt was in, One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest, for which Nicholson bagged his very first Oscar trophy, for ‘Best Actor’, at the 48th Academy Awards, held in 1976.

Jack Nicholson & Cameron Mitchell, in a scene from Ride in the Whirlwind (1966)

Behind the Scenes
As stated above, Jack Nicholson, didn’t just act in these low-budget movies, but he also produced them; plus he also wrote the screenplay for Ride in the Whirlwind. This wasn’t his first screenplay, yet success as a writer, was yet to happen. It was later, for The Trip (1967) that he would be commended for his brilliant literary skills, on a very 60’s, counterculture, film script, about a hallucinogenic acid trip. Speaking of counterculture and acid trips, both these acid westerns too, have a major influence of the 1960’s counterculture. But one of the major flaws in both films, happens to be the look of Millie Perkins’ character (yes she appears in both films, in a supporting role in one, and a lead in the other). Her hairdo feels very 60’s (but her head is mostly covered with a hat, in The Shooting). Luckily her makeup is that of a minimalist nature; which apparently Perkins wasn’t very happy about.

Monte Hellman and Jack Nicholson made decisions on the films together, including the lead cast. They together searched for locations for several weeks; before deciding on Kanab, Utah, USA. It was the perfect site to film both their films. The cinematography in The Shooting is wonderfully imaged. The entire film was shot in natural light.

It was producer, Roger Corman’s, idea, to make two films back to back. Corman financed the pictures, serving as the film’s uncredited ‘Executive Producer’. Nicholson was apparently worried about going over budget, while making these movies. But both films were completed in a total of six weeks of continuous shooting (three weeks per film). And thus, the films were completed for the original budget estimated. Yet, Hellman had to spend more than a year, editing the film footage.

These two Acid Westerns; which do not romanticise the west, rather shed a more realistically bleak light; one of which is just OK, and other really good; is an interesting insight into Jack Nicholson in the making. The Nicholson we came to know and love, today.

A Special THANK YOU, to my new found blogger pal, of ‘Real Weegie Midget’, for roping me in, for the Here’s Jack Blogathon 2017.

Nuwan Sen’s Film Sense
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Congratulations, to all the winners, of the 89th Academy Awards, held last night!!!

As per usual, I woke up, way before, 5 a.m. (rather I hardly slept). Just had time to make myself a cup of coffee, and grab a couple, chocolate coated, muesli bars, before sitting down to watch, the Oscars Red Carpet LIVE! It started at 5:30 a.m. on this side of the ocean.

An enjoyable show, hosted by, Talk show host/Comedian, Jimmy Kimmel. The Oscars went pretty smoothly, and I thoroughly enjoyed it, despite the ‘Miss Universe 2015’ style blunder, towards the end!!

A Big Applause, to the Oscar Winners, for Year 2017!!!!!

Nuwan Sen’s Film Sense

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To Sidney Poitier Esq.  

Dear Sir,
            First of all, let me wish you a very Happy 90th Birthday. And a big congratulations for being in the acting profession, on both the stage and the screen, for over 70 years.
           Thank you sir, for making it in Hollywood, at a time, when non-Caucasian celebrities, were a rarity. Most of Hollywood was initially made up of, the British, various European countries, Canada, and a few Americans (though those Americans who found fame, were limited to the stars of the fairer skin). Yet, considering the fact, that many a notable Hollywood personalities, were mostly British (and from other Western European countries); it’s obvious that Hollywood is actually, made up of immigrants. Yet, a very big thank you, to you, Sir Poitier, for not only being a leading actor, from the 1960’s (a decade when the world began to change, for the better) onwards; but also, for being the first black male actor, to win an Oscar.
           Legendary, Hattie McDaniel, beat you to it, by winning in the, Best Supporting Actress, category, at the 12th Academy Awards, in 1940; for her brilliant role, as ‘Mammy’, in Gone with the Wind (1939). Thus, making her, the very first African American to win an Oscar. So in a way, she paved the way for you. But it’s only when you won, for Lilies of the Field (1963), at the 36th Academy Awards, in 1964; that darker skinned stars truly started getting a recognition. Of course, in the 70’s, there were a lot of Blaxploitation (a.k.a. Blacksploitation) films. A pity, Afro-Americans, were being reduced to cliché’s. BUT, luckily you were not part of the Blaxploitation cinema, of the 1970’s (not to my knowledge, anyway). So, thank you, for not falling into that trap, and keeping a dignified edge, for Black stars, yet to shine. Plus, thank you, for opening up an avenue for non-white acting talent, in general, in Hollywood. Today, a British born actor, with Indian roots, is nominated for an Oscar; i.e. Dev Patel, who has been nominated in the Best Supporting Actor, category, for his role, of an Indian brought-up abroad, in Lion (2016). So, you started it, by being the first non-white actor to make it in Hollywood (which was already full of white immigrants); and today there are quite a few immigrants, from Europe, Asia, Africa, Australia and South America (of various skin tones), making it, in the most celebrated film industry, in the world.

Classic Bromance: Sidney Poitier & Tony Curtis in The Defiant Ones (1958)

Classic Bromance: Sidney Poitier & Tony Curtis in The Defiant Ones (1958)

          Growing up I had heard about you, but had watched very few films, of yours; like Sneakers (1992), and your directorial ventures, like, Stir Crazy (1980) and Hanky Panky (1982), for instance; but it was in my late teens/early adulthood, when I saw, Stanley Kramer’s Guess Who’s Coming to Dinner (1967), that you became one of my favourite stars. What a brilliant movie!! It’s my second favourite film, of yours. My first, is no doubt, the British film, To Sir, with Love (1967), directed by James Clavell. I had heard of , To Sir, with Love, since I was a kid (in the late 80’s). BUT, it was only, finally in 2005, that I got watch it. I actually saw it on the Big Screen, when it was shown at Russian Centre, here. But it’s rarely I get to see good cinema here, especially on the Big Screen. I’ve actually, only seen three classics, at the Russian Centre. First was, Gone with the Wind, in 2002. Then, To Sir, with Love, in 05’. And finally, Tess (1979), in 2012. So it’s that rare (see my Blog post on Tess from October 2012). Of course, the Ethnic Centre, in Colombo, is, comparatively better. It’s still been a while, since they last showed anything worthwhile; but this week, they are showing two of your movies; the above mentioned, Lilies of the Field, and The Defiant Ones (1958). Both are on my Watchlist. And am really keen on going and watching these two films, this week. I heard, you play a modern day saint, in Lilies of the Field. A really kind human being. Humanity, is the best religion to preach. Kindness and open-mindedness, is sadly something still missing in today’s world of greed and materialism. In, The Defiant Ones, I heard, that your co-star, Tony Curtis requested, that your name appeared alongside his, above the movie title. This was a progressive first for you, and all other (non-white) skinned actors. How kind, it was, of Tony Curtis, to request something, so unheard of, at the time. He didn’t see your skin colour, but the fact, that you were a talented actor, and a lead character, in the movie, and not a supporting one. Blackboard Jungle (1955), A Patch of Blue (1965) and In the Heat of the Night (1967), are three other movies, in my Watchlist, that am really keen on checking out.

Sidney Poitier receiving the Presidential Medal of Freedom from President Barack Obama, in 2009

Sidney Poitier receiving the Presidential Medal of Freedom from President Barack Obama, in 2009

             Besides being a talented actor, you’ve also been a great diplomat. In real life, you’ve played the role of an ambassador for the Bahamas, to Japan; for a decade, between 1997 and 2007. Concurrently you were also the Bahamas ambassador to UNESCO. This most probably was the greatest, and the most significant, role, in life, you had to play.
On top of all the film awards, you’ve received, I must congratulate you, on receiving the great honours, of the KBE (Knight Commander of the Order of the British Empire) in 1974; and more specifically, the Presidential Medal of Freedom, by the previous American President, Barack Obama. Again, thanks to you, paying the way for African Americans, in the United States; Barack Obama, was the very first African American president, that USA, finally had. Him winning the election, in the end of 2008, and becoming the President in January 2009; and during his tenure, the Supreme courts ruling, of same-sex marriage to be a fundamental right, in June 2015; America showed progression. Being an avid supporter of Equal Rights, you shall agree, how progressive and open minded the country was getting. BUT, a pity, with Trump’s triumph, at the elections, held in November 2016, the country seems to have taken a step backwards. None the less, there is still hope for improvement; and the 2017 Women’s March, held last month (in January 2017), not just in your part of the world; but around the globe, is enough proof!! You too were part of an equality march, back in 1963; the March on Washington, headed by Martin Luther King Jr.
              The last time you worked, on screen, was sixteen years ago. I hope, something that interests you comes up, and you wind up doing another impressive role, even today. Or a great directorial opportunity comes your way. I don’t feel, you’ve retired from the film industry, yet.
              And lastly, Thank You, once again, for your great contribution, to the world of Cinema.
                                                                     Wishing you the best of health and happiness
                                                                                                                             With Regards
                                                                                                                                    Nuwan Sen

This Blog Post, in the form of a letter, is my contribution to the, 90 Years of Sidney Poitier Blogathon, hosted by , of The Wonderful World of Cinema.

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Thank you Virginie; for letting me take part, in this wonderful Blogathon.
Please also do check out my Blog posts, To Sidney, with Love and South Africa, The Apartheid, Missing Diamonds and The Wilby Conspiracy, from 20th February 2013 & 23rd December 2014, respectively.

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Last month, on the culture segment, ENCORE, on FRANCE24; I saw Lisa Nesselson, speaking about an online French Film Festival (FFF)!! It wasn’t until, the night of, the 20th of January, 2017; that I finally got to check it out. All the short films, in the festival, were free; and apparently, in some countries, including our neighbouring country, India, ALL Films were Free!! So, I got to watch some of the short films, on 20th, last month (as I stated earlier); but I didn’t get to the watch some more until, the 11th & 13th of February 2017!! I wish I could have done a post about this earlier; as the Festival finished on the 13th of February, 2017. Pity, I hardly got to watch all the short movies, let alone, BLOG about it, sooner (I did not watch a single, full feature length, movie). BUT, I DID Tweet about the festival, initially, the very next day (after I first saw it), on the 21st of January, 2017, so that at least my followers on Twitter would be aware of it, just in case they already didn’t know about it. Even though, it’s too late to catch any of the films, from the festival site, do check out the website, “www.myfrenchfilmfestival.com”!!

So here is a look, at my quick take(s) on French Shorts, from the virtual Festival!!
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Vincent Cassel in a scene from Violence en Réunion (2015)

Vincent Cassel in a scene from Violence en Réunion (2015)

Short Films, I watched on 20th January 2017
SET OF SEVEN7

A Done Deal (2015/16) a.k.a. Une Formalité

A hilarious short film about a hit man, who is asked to take out a man to coffee, and shoot him later in an alley. But instead, the intended victim, ends up being a real pain in the arse; driving the hit man into near insanity. The most enjoyably piece of farce française, in the Festival.

This Canadian film, stars, actors, Steve Laplante and Richard Fréchette, as the hit man and his mark, respectively. Une Formalité was co-directed by Pierre-Marc Drouin and Simon Lamarre-Ledoux.

Funny, yet violent!! Excellent movie!!!!!
My Rating:- On FFF: 5/5  On IMDB: 10/10

Overpass (2015) a.k.a. Viaduc

A teenager risks his life, in the middle of the night, to do a  graffiti, on a flyover (a.k.a. overpass). The next morning, there is talk of picking up his brother from the airport. The scene at the airport, is sad, once we understand, what they meant, by picking up the brother. BUT, it is when we realise what the young teenager was writing, on the flyover; that it really pulls at your heartstrings. A poignant Canadian film, directed by Patrice Laliberté.

Young newcomer, Téo Vachon Sincennes, gives a heartrending performance!!

Touching! Another Excellent Short!!!!!
My Rating:- On FFF: 5/5  On IMDB: 10/10

Group Violence (2015) a.k.a. Violence en Réunion

Headed by a celebrated French actor, like Vincent Cassel, how can this movie go wrong. Vincent Cassel, plays an ex-street fighter, who is trying not to go back to his old violent ways. But it’s not as easy, as it seems.

Really good take on the western fear of Islam; and how a group of thugs; headed by Cassel’s character, use that, by covering up in a burka, and walking in the streets in the hours of darkness, to intimidate the cops on night patrol. An excellent short film, mostly due to Cassel conveying so much through expression, and less dialogues. Pure Perfection!!!!!
My Rating:- On FFF: 5/5  On IMDB: 10/10

4XD (1964) a.k.a. 4 Fois D

The Classic short film in the competition, is a nostalgic trip to beautiful French femmes of the 60’s decade. Near excellent documentary short, thanks to director Philippe Labro’s, directorial debut, naturalistically filming, Mireille Darc, Marie Dubois, Françoise Dorléac, and my favourite French actress, Catherine Deneuve (see my post 3.3.3.3 from July 2015, as well).

Year 2017, also marks the 50th Death Anniversary of Françoise Dorléac, the elder sister of Catherine Deneuve. Dorléac’s untimely death, at the age of 25, was due to car accident; when the car flipped and burnt. Françoise Dorléac had tried to open the door, was unable to do so, thus was incinerated. The police could only identify her remains, through the fragments of a cheque book, a diary and her driver’s licence. A tragic loss, to world of cinema.

Beautifully filmed in Black & White, 4 Fois D, is really worth checking out, if you are fan of these classic French stars!! An Ode to Beautiful Women!! Close to Excellence!!!!!
My Rating:- On FFF: 4½/5  On IMDB: 9/10

Téo Vachon Sincennes in Viaduc (2015)

Téo Vachon Sincennes in Viaduc (2015)

1992 (2016)

The year is 1992! A lonely, gay, 17 year old, only has a video camera for a friend. He films everything around him, all the time. Soon he develops a crush on a 23 year old. After a night of sexual pleasure, he films the sleeping, naked body of , his 23 year old, on night stand. What would happen when the teenager’s father see’s the tape!!

Director, Anthony Doncque, has brought out a very touching, coming of age drama; of what it was like to be a gay teenager, in the early 90’s!! It’s interesting to see how the father handles it, when he discovers his son is gay. Young Louis Duneton, and Matthieu Dessertine; play the teenager, and his older sexual desire, respectively. Alain Beigel, plays the father of the 17 year old lone youngster.

Really Good Queer Short!!!!
My Rating:- On FFF: 4/5  On IMDB: 8/10

The Plumber (2016) a.k.a. Le Plombier

Méryl Fortunat-Rossi’s, Belgian movie, Le Plombier, is a hilarious film, full of sex sound. Behind the scenes of the porn industry, a Flemish man, who generally dubs, for animated characters, in cartoons; goes into lend his voice, for a blue movie. The results are idiotically comical. Though there is no actual skin show, the movie is very adults only, thanks to the various sounds, explored by the dubbing crew of characters.

Erotically Funny!! Quite Enjoyable!!!!
My Rating:- On FFF: 3½/5  On IMDB: 7/10

The Geneva Convention (2016) a.k.a. La Convention de Genève

Two group of teenagers are getting ready for a fight, over somebody owing someone money. One young man, tries to act as a mediator; and thus unfortunately gets roped into it. But when the person, the money is owed to, walks in, with no violence in his mind, the movie takes a comical turn.

Pretty Good Coming of Age, movie!!!!
My Rating:- On FFF: 3½/5  On IMDB: 7/10

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Short Film, I watched on 11th February 2017
LONE1 RANGER

Flesh & Volcanoes (2014/15) a.k.a. La Chair et Les Volcans

An ailing adolescent girl, lives with her father, in Auvergne; a beautiful region in France, popular for it’s dormant volcanoes, and natural hot springs. The young lonely girl deals with daily constraints of living in this little village, with a lot of patience. But there is a limit to her patience; and her inner volcano could easily burst out, any day now, and make her do something completely irrational.

Pretty good, specially thanks to surreal hallucinogenic qualities interwoven into the film. Though I wasn’t a fan of the abrupt runaway, at the end. Still Quite Good!!!!
My Rating:- On FFF: 3½/5  On IMDB: 7/10

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Short Films, I watched on 13th February 2017
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In Deep Waters (2014) a.k.a. Dans les Eaux Profondes

A beautiful creation in animation, blending 3D & 2D artwork. Yet, quite an unnerving experience. Is it possible, to spend nine months, in your mother’s womb, with the corpse of your dead twin, and never know about it. Does the feeling of loneliness, fear of being alone, have something to do with?

This is a beautifully shocking tale, of three lonely people, who are unaware; the reason they don’t feel whole; is ’cause of  the fact, that they were meant to be a twin; but their sibling died in the womb, in the initial stages of pregnancy. Scary, Excellent!!!!!
My Rating:- On FFF:  5/5  On IMDB:   10/10

A Town Called Panic: Back to School (2016) a.k.a. La Rentrée des Classes

A beautifully animated children’s movie. I thoroughly enjoyed this. Love the stop motion animation, process, used in this.

In a school, an astronaut named, Monsieur Youri (an obvious allegory on Soviet Russian cosmonaut, Yuri Gagarin; the first human to venture into space and orbit the earth, in 1961. See my Blogpost The American Civil War & Yuri Gagarin from April 2013) arrives; and tasks the students to measure the distance between the Earth and the Moon. The prize; a trip to the moon, with Monsieur Youri, in his rocket. It’s hilarious how, a Cowboy, a Red Indian, and a group of farm animals, try to find the distance, from the Earth to the Moon.

Comically Excellent!!!!!
My Rating:- On FFF:  5/5  On IMDB:  10/10

Veil of Silence (2016) a.k.a. Un Grand Silence

Set in 1968, in a sanatorium for pregnant teenagers, expecting unwanted children, a well-to-do young pregnant girl is sent, by her parents; to avoid scandal. Being the only well-to-do girl, she finds it hard to fit in with the other, more rebellious, and somewhat jealous, peers. She faces a dilemma, when she doesn’t want to give up her baby, and go back to her wealthy family; and start anew.

A very tragic film, about the hypocritical world; which doesn’t necessarily denounce teenage sex, but does so, to the unfortunate result, of pre-marital sex. It’s absurd, how an unplanned pregnancy is looked down on; and mainly it’s just the woman carrying the child who bears the burden, of being a societal outcast. Of course, this is set in the late 1960’s, in a more rural country side.

Starring Nina Mazodier, in the lead, Un Grand Silence is the directorial debut of Julie Gourdain. The movie also stars, Sonia Amori, Clarisse Normand and Louise Legendre.

The last film, I watched, of the festival, and it went on till close to half past midnight; thus finished on 14th February 2017 (St. Valentines Day), on this side of the ocean. Very Good!!!!
My Rating:- On FFF:  4/5  On IMDB:   8/10

Juliet’s Band (2016) a.k.a. La Bande à Juliette

A French film bordering on sexual harassment, tells of a group of art students, who travel to one of their batch mate, Juliette’s, holiday home in Normandy. Here she introduces the others to her childhood friend. Soon her childhood friend, tells Juliette, about one of art students constantly hitting on her, and treating her in a discriminating manner. But, Juliette doesn’t believe her own close friend. A sad film, where we ourselves wonder whether Juliette’s friend is just crying wolf (as she’s suppose to have done in the past), or telling the truth.

Beautifully filmed, in a lovely house, yet a very slow moving, movie. But still, enjoyable enough. La Bande à Juliette, happens to be the directorial debut, of newcomer, Aurélien Peyre. The movie, from France, stars a beautiful young cast, including Pauline Acquart, Adrien Schmück, Phénix Brossard, Aurélien Vacher, Fanny Lamblin, Faustine Levin and Lucas Audineau.

Average Fare!!!
My Rating:- On FFF:  3/5  On IMDB:   6/10

The Last Frenchman (2015) a.k.a. The Last of the Frenchmen, and Le Dernier des Céfrans

What is it to be French? A pretty good story on Muslim youngsters, with Middle Eastern/African roots, born in France. Technically they are French, born and brought up in France; but when one young Muslim boy goes to enlist in the French army; he’s questioned, as to where his loyalties stand. Added to which, it’s difficult for him to tell his fellow ‘Muslim’ French friends, that he is enlisting.

The movie starts off with the French Muslim youngsters; going to the mosque, then hanging out, making fun, of one of the gang, for dressing up in outdated clothing; from Back to the Future (1985), et al. Then one of them, goes off to enlist. We see an identity crisis, these kids are neither here nor there. They are born French; but their roots aren’t. Thus, they are not accepted in either societies, without scepticism.

There is a scene, where the lead young man, waiting to enlist, is standing at a bus stand, named Frantz Fanon. This could be symbolic, as the; Martinique born, Afro-Caribbean psychiatrist, philosopher & revolutionary; the late, Frantz Fanon, spoke in detail, on the subject of identity crisis in the fields of post-colonial studies. Back in 2002-2003; when I was studying for my MA in International Cinema; I used his very first published book, Black Skin, White Masks, as a reference for various assignments, specifically on Post-colonial Cinema. Black Skin, White Masks, is a deep psychoanalysis, on effects of colonial subjugation upon Black people.

Despite a really good concept, and interesting metaphors, it feels like a waste. Quite a dull movie!! Only short film, in the online festival, that I did not care for, much; although I liked the idea, of the message the movie was trying to convey. Pretty Bad Film though!!
My Rating:- On FFF:  2/5  On IMDB:   4/10

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That’s all Folks!!
french-online-film-festivalThere were two short films, I couldn’t watch; i.e. Mother(s) (2015) a.k.a. Maman(s), and Of Shadows and Wings (2015) a.k.a. D’Ombres et d’Ailes; as, when I finished watching Un Grand Silence; it was already, past midnight (as I have stated above). Thus, unfortunately, I couldn’t see the last two available films, mentioned here. Plus, there were a couple of films, that were not allowed, in this country!!

One of the Classic Feature films, on the festival site, was, Agnès Varda’s Cleo from 5 to 7 (1962) a.k.a. Cléo de 5 à 7. Though I did not watch it online; I saw this excellent movie, some years ago. It’s French New Wave, classic. A Must Watch!! I gave it a 10/10, rating back then (also see my Blog-post Being mesmerised by ‘The Umbrellas of Cherbourg’ from August 2013). Sad, I couldn’t watch, any of the full length films, in the festival.

None the less, from the short films I watched, quite a few of them, were really worth it. Do check them out, if you get a chance, to do so!!

Nuwan Sen’s Film Sense
#‎NuwanSensFilmSense

french-short-films

Has it been almost 11months already? Is it already the last month, of Sweet Year 2016?? Time sure flies!!
nudin-on-the-6th-decembre-2016-2Nudin – a New Day, in a New Year!!
Let’s go back to the beginning, of the Year of the Sweets!! ❤ ❤
Day 8, Year 2016!!

On the 8th of January, Year 2016, early in the morning, one of our neighbour’s had called to say, that a litter of new born puppies had been abandoned at the entrance of Siripura (our Private Housing Scheme). I was fast asleep. When I woke up, and was told about this, I called to inquire. My neighbour mentioned, she called me to find out, about the foster parent of my dog (), from where I adopted her, in December 2014. But it was OK now, as the pups were taken, by another neighbour, to people involved with saving them, but sadly one male pup had been left behind. I went and brought him home, then and there.

He was just about a few days old, dirty (it has rained the previous day), with his tiny eyelids tightly shut, he fit into the palm of my hand. Poor little frightened fellow, was shivering, until I put him on my chest, and he slowly started to relax. How could people be so cruel, as to just dump them somewhere? And what might the poor mother of these newborns be going through, with her whole litter removed from her? Ugh!! This Dogist nation, so called Buddhist country. The more religious the people of this shit hole are, the more inhumane they tend to be. They wouldn’t sterilize their dogs (as they feel it’s not a good thing to do), but have no qualms about throwing newly born pups to die in the streets. And my puppies weren’t born to some poor family, that can’t afford to take care of the dogs, this new common mongrel, supposedly had, Alsatian/German Shepherd roots. As my dogs’ vet mentioned later. Added to which, there was a scar on the tiny newborn’s head. Apparently (again according to the vet), somebody had hit his skull, with a sharp object, most probably hoping it would die. Hard to believe, such disgusting people still exist. It’s really sad!!!

I already had a dog, and didn’t plan to have another one, but this was more about saving a life, than just having a pet. So I adopted him, cleaned him up, took care of him, nursed him back to health. Poor fellow would wake up, at odd hours in the middle of the night, drink his milk, and sleep on my chest. So basically I had to stay awake. I was afraid if I fell asleep, I’d accidentally squash him. If I tried to lift him and put him in the basket, he’d wail. He was most comfortable, especially in the middle of the night, lying on my chest, sleeping, whilst listening to the rhythm of my heartbeat. This went on for a week or so, and then slowly I’d leave him in the basket.

Meanwhile, Gingerella (a.k.a. Gingy), my elder dog, though at first a bit confused, was a great support, like a true caring big sister, to him. The first few days, she didn’t lie down, but stood keeping guard, and letting us know, as soon as he woke up crying. He’d cry after he urinated, defecated and/or was hungry, throughout the day. The first few days, Gingy, didn’t even sit down, stood keeping an eye, babysitting this new addition to the family. After, days of having no sleep, when I started keeping him, in the basket, as soon as he woke, Gingy would run around waking up everyone. Poor girl, she hardly had any sleep herself. When the little one was teething, he use to bite Gingy. Though in pain, she winced, but never hurt him. Only 14 months apart, she had a maternal instinct. They adore each other, of course today, you see them wrestling one another, it’s war. But in a playful manner. Now Gingy is 2 years, & 1 month, old (thus 25 months altogether). And the little fellow is just 11 months. He’s a New Years baby!!

What did I name the little fellow? It took me a while to come up with a name (but named him, on the same day I brought him though). Initially, since he was like a little black blob, I wondered whether I ought to call him, ‘‘Blackie’’. It was too common a name, and I came up with a few other names, that would hint at the start of a new year, but I finally named him ‘‘’’. WHAT?? One might wonder. Well I took the word ‘New’, in English (& used it, as I spell the first two letters of my name ‘Nu’), and added ‘Din’, which means ‘Day’ in Hindi; to create ‘‘Nudin’’!! Meaning ‘‘New Day’’ (‘‘Naya Din’’ in Hindi). After all, he was most probably born in the New Year (the vet stated he could be anywhere from just 5 to 10 days old). Thus ‘‘Nudin’’ is the perfect name for him!! And I decided, the 1st of January, shall be his official Birthday!!!!!
A New Life for the New Year!! Year 2016!!

Can’t believe he’s already in the last month, of the first year of his life!! He’s gone through a lot. From sterilization (which both my dogs have gone through), to operating deformations on his two hind paws (with numerous visits to the vet, Nudin was in bandages, for a whole month, in September 2016), to a neighbour’s trio of dogs attacking, especially through our gate (recently they pulled out one of his claws, from his front left paw, and he was in bandages yet again, for days this time. It’s yet heal, for the soft tissue is exposed and vulnerable till the claw grows back), and what not. BUT, much like his Papa Nuwan (i.e. me of course), he is a survivor. No amount of physical or psychological pain, thrown at us, from this Dog forsaken country, they’d never be able to drag us down with them. This envious green country shall never achieve in destroying our inner strength and survival instincts.

My babies are my life!!
Love you two darlings, Gingerella and Nudin Sen!!
Wish you all the happiness in the universe!!!

With Love,
Nuwan Sen (Papa Nuwan)

The Growth of Nudin
(In Pictures)
Have a look at the Growth of Nudin, in the Year of the Sweets, from 8th of January, to now, 6th of December, 2016!!!

nudin-of-the-year-of-the-sweets-header

DAY ONE: When I brought the little Puppy home. Gingerella inquisitively explores, this new arrival! 8th January 2016

DAY ONE: When I brought the little Puppy home.
Gingerella inquisitively explores, this new arrival!
PIX: 8th January 2016

DAY ONE: The Little fellow relaxing on my chest (8th January 2016)

DAY ONE: The Little fellow relaxing on my chest (8th January 2016)

DAY TWO: Nudin Sen, in his new (temporary) bed basket (9th January 2016)

DAY TWO: Nudin Sen, in his new (temporary) bed basket (9th January 2016)

DAY THREE: Gingerella taking care of her new sibling, on my bed (10th January 2016)

DAY THREE: Gingerella taking care of her new sibling, on my bed (10th January 2016)

DAY THREE: Gingerella already started training Nudin, in the front yard (10th January 2016)

DAY THREE: Gingerella already started training Nudin, in the front yard (10th January 2016)

DAY FOUR: Sibling Love <3 Gingerella & Nudin Sen

DAY FOUR: Sibling Love ❤
Gingerella & Nudin Sen (11th January 2016)

DAY FOUR: Gingerella lovingly takes care of the new member of the family, her little brother, Nudin!! (11th January 2016)

DAY FOUR: Gingerella lovingly takes care of the new member of the family, her little brother, Nudin!! (11th January 2016)

DAY FIVE: Nudin getting comfortable in his new home, starts to explore, close proximity, the house around him, quite blindly (12th January 2016)

DAY FIVE: Nudin getting comfortable in his new home, starts to explore, close proximity, the house around him, quite blindly (12th January 2016)

DAY FIVE: Sibling Love <3 (12th January 2016)

DAY FIVE: Sibling Love ❤
(12th January 2016)

DAY FIVE: When I'm working in the evenings, on my laptop, I'd keep Nudin on the table, so that I could keep an eye on him. He use sleep comfortably on the table!!! (12th January 2016)

DAY FIVE: When I was working, especially in the evenings, on my laptop, I use to keep Nudin on the table, so that I could keep an eye on him. He use to sleep comfortably on the table!!!
(12th January 2016)

DAY FIVE: Fast asleep, next to Papa Nuwan’s laptop!! (12th January 2016)

DAY FIVE: Fast asleep, next to Papa Nuwan’s laptop!!
(12th January 2016)

DAY SIX: Nudin was still being bottle fed, but he enjoyed disrupting Gingerella's food. Gingy didn't mind (13th January 2016)

DAY SIX: Nudin was still being bottle fed, but he enjoyed disrupting food meant for Gingerella.
Gingy did not mind (13th January 2016)

DAY SIX: Enjoying playing with Gingy’s food!! (13th January 2016)

DAY SIX: Enjoying playing with Gingy’s food!!
(13th January 2016)

DAY SIX: Disrupting his elder sister’s dinner (13th January 2016)

DAY SIX: Disrupting his elder sister’s dinner (13th January 2016)

DAY SEVEN: Nudin & I, in my room!! (14th January 2016)

DAY SEVEN: Nudin & I, in my room!! (14th January 2016)

DAY SEVEN: Gingy & Nudin, resting on my bed (14th January 2016)

DAY SEVEN: Gingy & Nudin, resting on my bed (14th January 2016)

DAY SEVEN: In the evening, soon after Nudin had his milk. Gingerella use to watch me feed Nudin with the milk bottle, but never disturbed me (14th January 2016)

DAY SEVEN: In the evening, soon after Nudin had his milk.
Gingerella use to watch me feed Nudin with the milk bottle, but never disturbed me (14th January 2016)

Nudin got to use the dog-bed I brought for Gingerella. Gingy was too big for the bed, when I bought it. PIX: 16th January 2016

Nudin got to use the dog-bed I brought for Gingerella. Gingy was too big for the bed, when I bought it.
PIX: 16th January 2016

Naughty Nudin (20th January 2016)

Naughty Nudin, in my palm (20th January 2016)

Nudin playing with his elder sister! Like a mother, she took care of him!! PIX: 20th January 2016

Nudin playing with his elder sister! Like a mother, she took care of him!!
PIX: 20th January 2016

Gingy & Nudin, in the Pantry-cum-Dinning room, with their Granny (my mum), during Gingerella’s lunch time (21st January 2016)

Gingy & Nudin, in the Pantry-cum-Dinning room, with their Granny (my mum), during Gingerella’s lunch time (21st January 2016)

Maternal Love <3 Sibling Love <3 Nudin sleeping on Gingy’s furry belly!! PIX: 22nd January 2016

Maternal Love ❤
Sibling Love ❤
Nudin sleeping on Gingy’s furry belly!!
PIX: 22nd January 2016

Nudin reaching HIGH!! He tries to get at Gingy’s food, placed on the first step!! PIX: 24th January 2016!!

Nudin reaching HIGH!!
He tries to get at Gingy’s food, placed on the first step!!
PIX: 24th January 2016!!

Nudin disrupting Gingerella’s food, as usual (25th January 2016)

Nudin disrupting Gingerella’s food, as usual (25th January 2016)

Nudin’s First Bath (till then I cleaned him with a wet tissues) PIX: 26th January 2016

Nudin’s First Bath (till then I cleaned him with wet tissues)
PIX: 26th January 2016

Bathing Nudin, Gingerella looks on!! (26th January 2016)

Bathing Nudin, Gingerella looks on!! (26th January 2016)

Nudin scratching Papa Nuwan’s moustache!! Nudin use to love playing with/biting my moustache, beard and hair. He still bites and pulls at my hair sometimes (ouch!!) PIX: 27th January 2016

Nudin scratching Papa Nuwan’s moustache!!
Nudin used to love playing with/biting my moustache, beard and hair. He still bites and pulls at my hair sometimes (ouch!!)
PIX: 27th January 2016

Little Nudin watching the Pantry/Dinning area, from the passage!! (29th January 2016)

Little Nudin watching the Pantry/Dinning area, from the passage!! (29th January 2016)

After a month, we tried to wean him off the bottle. Nudin seen here, enjoying him milk and Pedigree!! PIX: 10th February 2016

After a month, we tried to wean him off the bottle.
Nudin seen here, enjoying his milk and Pedigree!!
PIX: 10th February 2016

Lunch Time (12th February 2016)

Lunch Time (12th February 2016)

Nudin asleep with his favourite stuffed toy, Scooby-Doo (today that toy is in pieces, sans stuffing). PIX: 17th February 2016

Nudin asleep with his favourite stuffed toy, Scooby-Doo (today that toy is in pieces, sans stuffing).
PIX: 17th February 2016

It took a couple of months, to wean Nudin off the bottle completely. PIX: 21st February 2016 (Close to midnight)!!

It took a couple of months, to wean Nudin off the bottle completely.
PIX: 21st February 2016 (Close to midnight)!!

Gingerella & Nudin Sen, in the front yard (23rd February 2016)

Gingerella & Nudin Sen, in the front yard (23rd February 2016)

When my next door neighbour, and close friend, visited!! Nudin Sen with Rozanne De Silva (4th March 2016)

When my next door neighbour, and close friend, visited!!
Nudin Sen with Rozanne de Silva (4th March 2016)

When another close friend visited. Nudin Sen with Sakvithi de Silva (a.k.a. Saki) (9th March 2016)

When another close friend visited.
Nudin Sen with Sakvithi de Silva (a.k.a. Saki)
(9th March 2016)

Gingerella & Nudin, playing in the front yard (3rd April 2016)

Gingerella & Nudin, playing in the front yard (3rd April 2016)

When relatives visited!! Nudin & I, with my Cousin neice, Kaumali (i.e. my cousin’s daughter)

When relatives visited!! (17th April 2016)
Nudin & I, with my Cousin niece, Kaumali (i.e. my first cousin’s daughter)

Nuwan & Nudin Sen!! The two of us, in the front yard (10th June 2016)

Nuwan & Nudin Sen!!
The two of us, in the front yard (10th June 2016)

Gingerella, Nudin & I, in the garage (10th June 2016)

Gingerella, Nudin & I, in the garage (10th June 2016)

Gingy, Nudin & I, at the entrance, in our front yard (10th June 2016)

Gingy, Nudin & I, at the entrance, in our front yard (10th June 2016)

My Parents with Nudin (11th June 2016)

My Parents with Nudin (11th June 2016)

Gingerella and Nudin, playing in the front yard (21st June 2016)

Gingerella and Nudin, playing in the front yard (21st June 2016)

My Babies & I, on my 41st Birthday (22nd JUNE 2016)

My Babies & I, on my 41st Birthday (22nd JUNE 2016)

My Babies, playing in the garage (23rd June 2016)

My Babies, playing in the garage (23rd June 2016)

My pups, playing in the garage (23rd June 2016)

My pups, playing in the garage (23rd June 2016)

My Babies & I, in the front yard (6th July 2016)

My Babies & I, in the front yard (6th July 2016)

Nudin jumps on me, and Gingy looks on behind (28th July 2016)

Nudin jumps on me, and Gingy looks on behind (28th July 2016)

Nudin & Gingy, plaing in the front yard (26th August 2016)

Nudin & Gingy, playing in the front yard (26th August 2016)

Gingerella looks through her favourite arch, in our house, into the living room; whilst Nudin stands atop the stairs (31st August 2016)

Gingerella looks through her favourite arch, in our house, into the living room; whilst Nudin stands atop the stairs (31st August 2016)

Nudin in my Bedroom, on my Bed (4th October 2016)

Nudin in my Bedroom, on my Bed (4th October 2016)

Nudin with his new harness, on Gingerella’s 2nd Birthday (November 1st in Gingy’s official Birthday) PIX: 1st November 2016

Nudin with his new harness, on Gingerella’s 2nd Birthday (November 1st, in Gingy’s official Birthday)
PIX: 1st November 2016

Nudin Sen, on Gingerella Sen’s official 2nd Birthday (1st November 2016)

Nudin Sen, on Gingerella Sen’s official 2nd Birthday (1st November 2016)

Gingy & Nudin, on Gingy’s 2nd Birthday  PIX: 1st November 2016

Gingy & Nudin, on Gingy’s 2nd Birthday (Nudin was too afraid to move in his new, soft clothed, turquoise blue, harness)
PIX: 1st November 2016

The Gatekeepers: Nudin & Gingy love looking out, through the gate!!  Keeping a lookout (7th November 2016)

The Gatekeepers: Nudin & Gingy love looking out, through the gate!!
Keeping a lookout (7th November 2016)

Wrestling Match: My babies fight all the time, but they never harm each other (touchwood!) PIX: 7th November 2016

Wrestling Match: My babies fight all the time, but they never harm each other (touchwood!)
PIX: 7th November 2016

Nudin, looking Alert, on my bed!! (29th November 2016)

Nudin, looking Alert!, on my bed!! (29th November 2016)

Today: 11 month old Nudin, today morning, under the dinning table (one of his favourite spots, our home)!!! PIX: 6th December 2016

Today: 11 month old Nudin, today morning, under the dinning table (one of his favourite spots, in our home)!!!
PIX: 6th December 2016

Also see my post on my FB page, from the day I brought home.
Link:- https://www.facebook.com/nuwan.sen.7/posts/1500954503540536

AND see my four legged fur balls, own Facebook page, Gingerella Sen!!
Plus, my Blog Post on Gingy (Gingerella) from December 2014!!!
nuwan-sen-kids
Nuwan Sen (NS)
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Quoting Édith Piaf

edith-piaf-2016

“Death is the beginning of something ”
– Édith Piaf
     (1915 – 1963)

Today happens to be the 53rd death anniversary of the famed French singer, Édith Piaf. She died from cancer, at the age of 47, on the 10th of October 1963. Also see my post Édith Piaf: 50th Death Anniversary, from October 2013.

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