Monday, November 22, 2004

mail bag

Wow, a lot of people I know are reading this blog. I'll move back to posting about Nepal tomorrow, but today it's mailbag! To that effect, I should reiterate that I am at competition weight, not compton weight. The two look a lot alike, and there were some misreadings. While in Nepal, I've been eating well, biking quite a bit, and lost some weight. However, I am not approaching the trimness of Shop TA Patty Compton. Competition weight.

With the reception the Catwoman review has received, I'm considering what I really thought of Troy. Two weeks ago, Ewan, Nini, Anisha, and I went to Kathmandu's one theater that is unique, in that it shows Western movies in addition to the ubiquitous Hindi movies. We were hoping for a little piece of home. Unfortunately, that little piece was Troy. At least it wasn't a Bollywood movie.

The one Bollywood movie I've seen marked the previous "worst movie ever" before Catwoman. About an hour and a half into it, the screen went black and I thought "that wasn't much of an ending, but at least it's over". It turned out to be intermission. I didn't know movies had intermissions. Between ripping of Meet the Parents, the repetitive song and dance with out-of-context backgrounds where girls danced with scarves, terrible writing full of illogical leaps in plot development, and acting like my junior high's christmas pagent, that truly was another waste of unexposed film.

I was always told Marlon Brando is significant in the history of film because he changed the way actors act. Instead of doing the same thing as in stage acting, he behaved on screen like people really behave. The story goes that this was called method acting. Bollywood apparently hasn't rented A Streetcar Named Desire, nor any other movie made in Hollywood since 1951. Those irritating Bollywood actors were exagerating like the audience was between twenty and sixty feet away, when in fact we were right there, the camera three feet from their faces, as we suffered through their performances. And they kept striking poses as the camera swooped around them. It was terrible.

We rented Himalaya (also known by the name Caravan) a week ago. It was awesome. It's talked about a lot here in Nepal, as it's a story about salt traders who live in the remote, high-altitude deserts of Nepal - places called Dolpo and Upper Mustang. They go into Tibet by yak caravan to harvest salt, then go down near India to trade the salt for grain. They live in between the two places. The actors are local people from Dolpo, and the lead actor turns out to really be who his character is. It was nominated for best foreign film when it came out in 2000. It turns out our bosses know the people who made the movie. Awe inspiring.


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