Sunday, June 24, 2012

Film Recommendations...

By Anant Mathur (June 24, 2012)

Every now and then I like to tell my readers about films they might enjoy watching. If you love films and have seen more than two of them and your favourite films are not Action Replayy or Ra.One, you too will enjoy these as much as I did. Below is a list of 10 films I think you will enjoy.
After Terminator 2: Judgement Day, James Cameron, gave up the Terminator franchise and moved on to bigger and better things. Although T2 is to this day my favourite effects film, I prefer Terminator 3 for the story, I concluded the trilogy in a brilliant way. The ending is very unexpected and like it's predecessors T3 leaves you wanting more.

Directed by the master of disaster - Roland Emmerich - It's probably one of the best disaster films out there. I have seen it many times and with the end of the world predicted for December 21 of this year, I'm sure I will watch it again before then.

If you've seen it, it would come as no surprise that I'm recommending Memento. This film is not only one of the most brilliant films ever made, it also forced writers and directors to re-think their story telling formulas.

Although it bombed big time at the box office in it's initial release. It's a wonderful life found an audience decades later and is considered a timeless classic today. Beyond the financial aspects, the film tells a great story that's been imitated many times but none have been able to duplicate it's heart and soul.

Like IT'S A WONDERFUL like KKP was also a box office disaster. It's failure depressed it's director, Guru Dutt, so much that he never directed again and Indian Cinema lost its greatest director a short time later. Some films are ahead of their time and Kaagaz Ke Phool certainly belongs in that genre.

This is one of my favourite suspense thrillers. While watching it you're sure it's been directed by Alfred Hitchcock, but here's a surprise, it's directed by the same gentleman who directed the first 3 James Bond films, Terrence Young.

Although it was a little predictable for me, I still enjoyed the ride. If you want an intelligent mystery/action/effects film, this would be one to watch.

Anytime North By Northwest is on TV, I have to watch it. It doesn't matter if I have missed the first ten minutes or if I joined with 10 minutes remaining, it's one of those films that you can't get enough of.

Sadly, Cary Grant and Audrey Hepburn only made one film together but it's one of their finest performances and a great action/suspense film. Cary Grant proves why even at age 59 he was one of the most sought after leading men.

You may be wondering why I started with this one. But when Robocop first came out no one had seen anything like it. A lot of films have followed in Robocop's footsteps and some may even be better, but if you want to know how it all started, I recommend watching this one. 

© Anant Mathur. All Rights Reserved.

Saturday, June 16, 2012

Tip # 22: Plot vs. Story

By Anant Mathur (June 16, 2012)

I have been asked many times what the difference between a plot and a story is? In this post I will try to explain what plot is and how it differs from a story.

To begin with, a PLOT can be described simply as a logical structure which connects events. A STORY on the other hand is a chronological sequence of events. 

A story requires at least one event in its narrative in order to be considered a story. Most stories have a series of events involving many characters rather than just one event.

English novelist E.M. Forster provides the following examples to illustrate the difference between story and plot:
The king died and then the queen died (story).
The king died and then the queen died of grief (plot).
A narrative can have one or more plot-lines, that is, events can center around one or a groups of characters.

It's very rare to find single plot stories, most stories develop multiple plots. Multiple plot lines don't necessarily get the same level of importance, there is usually a main plot-line and one or more subplot lines. Subplots can be used to contrast the main plot, for example, if there is a sad scene in the main plot, the writer may have a subplot which provides some comic relief.

I cannot go into too much detail about plot and story on this blog as it is a complex subject. If you require further explanation, there are many books available to you. Below is a short list of books I suggest you read if you wish to learn more about this subject:

1) Aspects of the Novel by E.M. Forster
2) The Seven Basic Plots: Why We Tell Stories by Christopher Booker
3) The Plot Whisperer: Secrets of Story Structure Any Writer Can Master by Martha Alderson
4) Plot & Structure by James Scott Bell
5) The Story Solution: 23 Actions All Great Heroes Must Take by Eric Edson
6) The Writers Journey: Mythic Structure for Writers, 3rd Edition by Christopher Vogler
7) Plotto: The Master Book of All Plots by William Wallace Cook
8) Writing Subtext: What Lies Beneath by Linda Seger
9) The Art of Subtext: Beyond Plot by Charles Baxter

© Anant Mathur. All Rights Reserved.

Thursday, June 7, 2012

Best & Worst Of The 2011-2012 TV Season

By Anant Mathur (June 07, 2012)

Every year I look forward to the new American TV season and wonder which shows I will still be watching over the next few years. After a disappointing 2010-2011 season, where none of the new shows were worthy of a second look, I'm relieved to say that the 2011-2012 season was much much better. With the 2011-2012 season coming to an end in May, we can now separate the winners from the losers. Out of all the shows that debut in the 2011-2012 season, below are the ones I watched 'till the end of the season (or 'till the show got cancelled) and feel are the best or worst of the year: 

Best Concept of the year:
1) Once Upon A Time (ABC)
2) Touch (FOX)
3) Person of Interest (CBS)

Honorable Mention:
4) Grimm (NBC)

Best New comedy:
1) 2 Broke Girls (CBS)
2) Last Man Standing (ABC)
3) New Girl (FOX)

Worst New Shows of the year, so glad these got cancelled:
1) I Hate My Teenage Daughter (FOX)
2) GCB (ABC)
3) Free Agents (NBC)

How did this get on television:
1) Charlie's Angels (ABC)
2) Are You There, Chelsea? (NBC)
3) Man Up! (ABC)

Shows with Promise but didn't get picked up or renewed by the network:
1) Unforgettable (CBS)
2) PanAm (ABC)
3) Rob (CBS)

Why is this still on (surprisingly these low rated shows earned a second season):
1) Whitney (NBC)
2) Hart of Dixie (The CW)
3) Fairly Legal (USA)

A Good Concept gone horribly wrong:
1) Prime Suspect (NBC)
2) Alcatraz (Fox)
3) The Playboy Club (NBC)

The Worst Actor of the year:
1) Christopher Moynihan (Man Up!)
2) Hank Azaria (Free Agents)

The Worst Actress of the year:
1) Jaime Pressly (I Hate My Teenage Daughter)
2) Leslie Bibb (GCB)

Most Entertaining Villain/Villainess on Television: 
1) Lana Parrilla (The Evil Queen, Once Upon A Time)
2) Robert Carlyle (Rumplestiltskin, Once Upon A Time)

3) Enrico Colantoni (Carl Elias, Person Of Interest)

Best Actress in a New Comedy: 

1) Kat Dennings (2 Broke Girls)
2) Kaitlyn Dever (Last Man Standing)

Best Actor in a New Comedy: 

1) Tim Allen (Last Man Standing)
2) Jonathan Kite (2 Broke Girls)

Best Actress in a Drama Series: 

1) Jennifer Morrison (Once Upon A Time)
2) Poppy Montgomery (Unforgettable)

Best Actor in a Drama Series: 

1) Jim Caviezel (Person of Interest)
2) Kiefer Sutherland (Touch) 

Best New Shows of the year:
1) Person of Interest (CBS)
2) Once Upon A Time (ABC)
3) 2 Broke Girls (CBS)

Honorable Mention: 

4) Touch (FOX)
5) Last Man Standing (ABC)
6) Grimm (NBC)

Please remember these are TV show that I watched based on my personal preferences and this post should not be misinterpreted as official results or facts regarding TV shows released in the 2011-2012 season.

© Anant Mathur. All Rights Reserved.