october sky, the shining, matewan and um, the shawshank redemption

December 29, 2015

Yesterday, a short 10 day break for the Erdkinder (Montessoriese term for adolescents) began – and we thought, may be they could see a couple of films (not merely high brow, not cryptic Arthouse, nor very mainstream, but reasonable flicks) that they can reflect on and get back to the School post their holidays.

The first was ‘The Shawshank Redemption’ – not exactly great, but a reasonable film (story of that pulp ‘horror’ fiction writer – Stephen King) directed by Frank Darabont; however, I would consider the rendition more melodramatic than what the storyline warrants, and I would tell you why.

The thing is that, after viewing ‘The Shining‘ (story of the same King, but directed by the legendary Stanley Kubrick) – sometimes I wonder how this Shawshank would have turned out, if my dear Stanley had directed it instead!

But then, probably, Stanley would not even have touched this story as it is fairly linear, predictable and with a lot of loopholes to boot. But given the basic parameters, Shawshank is a good story of hope. Of course Morgan Freeman is there, he is good, but the best acting is/was by that venerable Bob Gunton – what with the image of a cynical manipulator and a system-beater, being perfectly portrayed by him.

Recommended, if one doesn’t want to exercise her brain cells and go with the ‘flow.’ Definitely reasonable entertainment and it makes one think. The children of course ‘enjoyed’ the film and latched on to the ‘hope’ and ‘persistence pays’ themes, I suppose.


The second one was ‘October Sky‘ – a ‘biopic’ kinda film – once again about exercising choices and hope. A fine film, no cinematic hijinx, no hi-falutin’ techniques, no layering of stories – nothing. It would have bordered on the melodrama, if the story were to be pure fiction – but the story is based on the struggles and DIY efforts of a wannabe scientist (who persists and against odds, emerges chasing and realizing his dreams and lands a position in NASA!) and the children liked it too…

Overall, it was good to see the children observe that there are/were coal mines and dusty environments and underprivileged children and ‘strict’ parents and ‘son taking up father’s profession’ and ‘obeying & disciplined children’ to everything else – even in USA!

Anyway, the kind of images that one develops using those infernal Archies comics and swashbuckling Schwarzeneggers and trashy films to stereotype USA, had better be reconstructed, what?

May be they should see that majorly underrated film – once again based on coal mines and politics – John Sayles’ Matewan. We would, sirs and ma’ams, we definitely would!

We wanted them to get exposed to good/reasonable films, even though they are not in the class of, say, a ‘Shichinin no Samurai’ – just to help them unwind, especially when they have promised to curtail their TV and Internet time!

Oh, I should tell you this – very cheerfully (hic!) and all that, the children have volunteered to stay away from TV and Internet thingies and focus instead on the nonTV things at home – that is, they have promised to spend at best, 1 hour per week, sitting in front of the offending idiot box and the computer monitor.

This is only a trial and let us see how this works.

I wish them goodluck! :-) May be I believe in miracles, what…


JournalEntry# 25th April, 2009

… and uh oh, these korean ‘action’ films! (or, are they comedies(or horror flicks(or like our very own tamil pilims ?)?)?)


‘circular ruins’ vs ‘taare zameen par’ & ‘tinkle’


wrong day, basandhi ! @ ~ &^ $#


tarsem singh dhabdwar – the fall (2006)


africa, africa


ஸலீல் சௌத்ரி: ஜாகோ மோஹன் ப்யாரே + இலவச இணைப்பு: சில அறிவுரைகள்


அந்த்ரெய் தார்கொவ்ஸ்கி – ஸொலாரிஸ் (1972)  ஆஹா!


debra granik: winter’s bone (2010)


our daily bread (2005) – some reflections


the school of ‘helicopter parenting’


the faking of news


எழவாவது அறிவு


மேற்கண்ட பதிவு (அல்லது பின்னூட்டங்கள்) குறித்து (விருப்பமிருந்தால்) உரையாடலாமே...

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s