Movies and sausages

Otto von Bismarck apocryphally joked, ‘Laws are like sausages, it is better not to see them being made,’ and we all know what happened to him. So here are snapshots of two yet-to-be-completed movies as they’re fed through the meat grinder.

The Namesake: Kal Penn photoblogs a day of shooting The Namesake at Calcutta’s Howrah Station:

The press had somehow found out that May 29th had been secured as the day we were shooting at the station, and they saw fit to publish that as news. So in addition to hordes of reporters, photographers, and camera crews, we also had a lot of people standing around watching. I don’t mean “a lot of people” as in 80 people on some street corner in midtown. I mean thousands…

See the photos, watch the video.

Life of Pi: M. Night Shyamalan has dropped out of the Life of Pi film project to focus on his mermaid tale. Alfonso Cuarón, who directed the excellent, dark, third installment of Harry Potter as well as Y Tu Mamá También, may now fill the director’s chair (via Anangbhai):

Fox appears to be breaking with Shyamalan over his decision to make his next picture Warner’s Lady in the Water instead of Pi, an adaptation of the Booker Prize-winning bestseller by Yann Martel. Unwilling to wait a year and a half for Shyamalan to finish Water, Fox was happy to take a call from Cuaron’s reps at William Morris offering his services.

I finally got around to reading the religiously syncretic yarn which starts in Pondichéri and stars a piscine Patel. The Booker book is solid, quality writing, though old-fashioned in style. I do like writers who break the rules of language when required, but that’s not the complaint here. The book’s psychotropic island scenes and its entire narrative arc remind me of Jules Verne and other 19th century adventure authors. There’s also a genteelness and reserve which belongs to an era when women wore corsets and men wore fedoras. It’s an oxymoron, a survival tale that’s not in-your-face in any way. Like Shyamalan, it’s Hitchcock in a De Palma age.

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64 thoughts on “Movies and sausages

  1. Shyamalan is pronounced Shya-Muh-Luhn. The “L” is retroflex just as the N in KrishNa is.

  2. But whats the twist in the tail?

    Is that pun directed at the supporting hero of our book? ;)

  3. No honestly, no pun, but whats the twist in the tail? I mean, I am intruiged and I want to know.

  4. I’ll hit you off-list. I’ll get beaten with shoes if I spill it here…

  5. Amazingly I think this is the first time I can find myself agreeing with Anna. I thought God of small things was fantastic. The language, imagery, and structure was phenomenal. I can only assume the people that said GOST was wack, and Life of Pi was awesome was trying unsuccesfully to be funny.

    “‘the god of small things’ is the worst book i made myself read! ‘life of pi’, on the other hand, was genius!”

    ! whose been hittin the crack pipe ?

    But thankfully all is well in the world when I realized that Anna dreamed of Namesake characters. I couldnt imagine reading a more boring book, except maybe Red Pony. This book was the embodiment of banal to me.

  6. agreeing with Anna is just stupid, i concur. ;)

    namesake may be boring to you (i personally think that adjective should be reserved for her collection of short stories) but Dave Barry makes me want to stab my eyes out with hot forks of displeasure. to each their own, then? :D

  7. does anyone know what the hell happened to vikram chandra? imo, his second book “love and longing in bombay” still sets the standard in english language contemporary desi lit. but the brother seems to have gone into deep hibernation. wassup?

  8. does anyone know what the hell happened to vikram chandra?

    You know, you could just ask him. I met Vikram Chandra on his first book tour, in Seattle 10 years ago. Both the book of short stories and Red Earth and Pouring Rain were fantasic. Chandra was a software consultant by day, yet he writes in a way which even Rushdie says he envies.

    This bio says,

    He co-wrote an Indian Feature Film, Mission Kashmir, released in 2000, and currently teaches Creative Writing at George Washington University.

    He worked on Mission Kashmir with Suketu Mehta. SAJA says he’s working on a new novel. I doubt we’ve heard the last of him, he just doesn’t seem to enjoy PR. He’s neither pulpy nor prolific, but he’s worth the wait.

  9. Vikram Chandra gave a talk a couple months ago at Berkeley. Apparently the English department is looking to hire someone for a fiction writer position. They screened Mission Kashmir and then had an interesting Q & A session, mostly discussing the screenwriting/moviemaking process. I don’t remember all that well, but I think he said that at the moment he was working on his personal writing, and had no immediate plans to do another movie. (I could be making that up, though.) Don’t know what happened with the job search, though.

  10. A software consultant, and a writer ? Forget Pavitr Prabhakar I found my new indian superhero.

  11. I found out Vikram just finished his third novel – hopefully it will be out this year?