Monday, April 30, 2007

RTFF, the second edition

On Saturday night, I attended the second edition of the Roof Top Film Festival. After lounging around all day, making pointless and lengthy phone calls, I finally moved my butt to Sid's place in Mandaveli, which has a great rooftop, where the festival is held. Sid is one of those perfect host types, discreet and genuinely hospitable.

A quick guide to the festival for dummies: RTTF is an all-night festival of films held on a roof top. The march version of RTTF being a success, the second edition was held on the day of the cricket World Cup finals, April 28. Details of the movies shown are here.

What's right with the festival:

Enthusiasm of the participants. Even when a boring, pretentious movie like Elephant was shown, about 10 people survived. A few even wanted to discuss the movie, despite Kiruba's threat that he will throw me off the roof for choosing the film. I was ethu, in case you are wondering, because of the similarity of the film's story with the Virginia tech massacre. Great roof. We seem unable to move the event to another roof. Sid's is so good. Discussions. I love them. I learned that I like to show off too, like everyone else. I flatter myself that I am subtle about it.

There are a good many other things that come to the mind that is great about the festival like its lack of stuffiness. But let's get to the points that we may have to correct the next time around.

Organise it better. Start at 9 pm and end at 4.30 am. Show only three features. The rest should be shorts. Even show old ad films. Download films from U-tube you find interesting. A sequence of Rajnikanth dancing to Rock can lift the spirits of the audience and make them ready for the cruelly boring, but rewarding films. Show films that are not seen widely. Stick to the theme of the edition. Don't lean towards cult films. Strike a balance between the classic and the timeless and the contemporary. Invite more people to come and participate. Even if they are not part of the in-crowd. We could also host a veteran film critic for a day, who may stay, if he/she wants to, only for the first feature.

At the end, Syed called out for a theme for the next edition. No one volunteered. Half of them were sleeping. Some were watching the match. No bother, can we have a weekend of CGI movies? Syed seems to think Twister is a great choice. I watched this movie in Coimbatore with my cousin. There is a moment in which a cow caught in a twister flies past a jeep. Pure, unforgettable CGI moment. I still hear the cow moo in Dolby. Lately, CGI movies have taken a rap in Hollywood because it dishes out so many of them. I remember A Perfect Storm being very good, while I hated Day After Tomorrow.

Sagaro has written about discussion with the CNN-IBN reporter. I don't agree with him completely, especially when he credits BlogCamp as one of the reasons why Chennai is the blogging captial and when he says it became so due to the IT boom. I thought about the issue as I was driving home last night. I really don't have the foggiest idea why this city is the blogging capitial of India, if at it is. I really don't have the figures either - like say how many bloggers are there in Delhi and Mumbai as opposed to Chennai. But couple of contentions made seemed absurd. One is the link between the peninsula's history of never been invaded and blogging. What's that again? I kept blanking out each time this was discussed.

An even stranger thing happened. This reporter had called up and we had what she said was a detailed conversation about blogging. I arrived at RTTF without recalling this conversation and after she mentioned it, I realised she was right. Calls that you attend in the middle of your precious daylong sleep are that way bizarre, I guess. About four months ago, I had a fairly serious and almost career-deciding conversation with my editor. Didn't recall it when I arrived in office the same day. She was so angry.

And finally a reminder, those who took photos at RTTF please upload them on Flickr. I would like to add them. At the moment, there are some photos here, including of course, some of mine.

Thursday, April 19, 2007

Turning 30

Felt like a normal day. A couple of friends stopped by to wish me and have lunch at my place. Metbloggers, by coincidence, were to meet that day. Got my only gift of the day. Lavanya had 'thoughtfully' bought me an address book and a fat pen. Well, I must be the only journalist, I guess, who doesn't have contacts. I don't keep an address book. The last one I wrote in still lies unused for more than 3 years gathering dust. Hopefully, now I will start anew.

Turning 30 isn't a big deal. Like I said it felt like any other day. I didn't look back on my 20s. I didn't think "ah! now finally I am a man". I hate my birthday. I hated this one too.

There were two things I did want to do before I turned 30. One was to be a chief sub. I missed this round of promotions in office. So that went unrealised. The other was to get married before I started to hate marriage. That didn't happen for a whole lot of reasons. Well, now I get a creeping sense of being a failure. No matter, I guess it will go away. Besides, there's plenty of snobbery in being a failure, you know. When things don't happen to you is the only time in your life when they can happen to you. Warped as that sounds.

Ok. April 17 was my birthday. I turned 30. That's for those who don't know.

Amit Agarwal has listed the top blogs in India. I didn't make it. Was really surprised to find Rohini there listed under journos. Envy is a hard thing to get over with, lemme tell you.

Saturday, April 14, 2007

Happy Tamil New Year, guys

Let's not for once get into a debate on which the real new year is.