Tuesday, November 04, 2008

A little bit of this and a little bit of that

There have been an astonishing number of people landing up here on google searches for Eunoia. I'm wondering why. Apparently the BBC have suddenly decided to review it (or something. Please read comments however). But why, having read samples from there, must people have to search for it and land up here? I'm mystified.


This is a strange week in my life. Nearly two years ago, I was in Delhi visiting a friend. I used to go to college with the wife and edit things for the husband (in later years. I wasn't born knowing how to edit). Back then, friend said he was making a film on such-and-such subject and would I mind being in the film. I said, sure!

Now those chickens are coming home to roost.

So this friend is going to be here for the rest of the week filming me (my life as a film, Falsie) and it's an interesting experience. I'll tell you why.

For one thing, when you're behind the camera or viewing someone's life as just one portion of the film, you treat them as (however hard you try not to) a commodity or an experience that you mediate as soon as it happens. For a change, since I am the subject, I get to see things from the other side. I feel the pressure.

For another thing, my daily life's pretty boring and I find myself trying to think up things that might be interesting for my friend to shoot that will look good visually on his film. In effect, I am trying to reshape my life temporarily so that it looks acceptable on screen. This is not to say that it's not true to my life; it's just that I'm considering scrunching up a lot of excitement into my day for a purpose. I'm editing my life in camera, as it were.

What books can I leave lying around? Ought I to finally start on that photography project I've been meaning to do but been to damn bone lazy to begin? Where can I go where the camera will be allowed? How many people's consent can I take for granted just because I casually gave mine two years ago on a terrace in Delhi on a winter morning when there were oranges and coffee to seduce me?

And finally, what should I wear?


Since I'm scraping the barrel I may as well do it in style.

My son says the other day, "Amma, what do you call it when you say 'write' but when it happened before you call it 'wrote'?"

"It's called past tense."

"Oh, ya. Past tense.

"Amma, you know what the past tense of self-confidence is? Self-confidental."

Since that day, I've been looking for my grandfather's copy of Wren and Martin. I mean, my grammar's pretty shaky - I can't tell a preposition for a gerund - but I know how it works if I don't have to explain. Now it appears I will have to learn how to.


Banno said...

Interesting people don't necessarily have interesting enough lives for the camera. While working as a documentary researcher, I've often faced this quandary myself.

Am really curious about the film. And what you are going to wear.

??! said...

Hold on - don't only verbs have tenses?

And finally, what should I wear?
I'm guessing - lots of pink?

dipali said...

Sound fascinating- the film, what do you wear for it, and the son's grammar!

blackmamba said...


oh can I call you during some shoot and feature as a voice in the film too? please.

Sharanya said...

What to wear - bandanna. I know it is rumoured that you wear sarees and other items of clothing on occasion, but in my mind you will always be in pink bandanna.

What to photograph -- Chennai Photowalk?

What book to leave around - (okay, you knew this was coming) Witchcraft.


Space Bar said...

banno: will tell all, in good time!

??!: that was my point. but how to explain that to an eight year old when one's own grasp of grammar is shaky?

and actually, no. It's all greens and blues. I have a reason.

dipali: :D

bm: what a fantastic idea! call in a while. That way you can tell me all about the elections live.

sharanya: no way. and of course witchcraft is lying around. That's one of my 'work' excuses.

km said...

viewing someone's life as just one portion of the film, you treat them as (however hard you try not to) a commodity...)

Oh this is worthy of a Herzog or an Errol Morris study :) They often talk about how reality changes for both the filmer and the "filmee" when there's a camera involved.

??! said...

how reality changes for both the filmer and the "filmee" when there's a camera involved
But this is just the observer effect all over again, isn't it?

Falstaff said...

What if you didn't do anything special, didn't try to make your life seem more interesting in any way and then when you watched the film afterwards you realized that your life actually was pretty interesting - you just hadn't noticed it before?

There's a Murakami short story in there somewhere.

Books to leave lying around: Sartre, obviously. After all, life doesn't get more existential than this.

SUR NOTES said...

sorry, but am being a bit crass here. you are forcing the guessing game.


am coming to hyd to be your spot boy. pleeeeeeeeaaaase

smoke screen said...

what do you call it when you say 'write' but when it happened before you call it 'wrote'?

Good lord!! Your son actually said that?! That's a far more complex skill than being able to define past tense!! Be very afraid SB ... :)

Space Bar said...

km/??!: I know, I know. There's a whole post in there about it.

falsie: Oh, I don't know. Maybe a voice-over or a laugh track will improve it. Or a stirring background score.

And the last time I looked, I saw an Ian Fleming, a tattered Dorothy Sayers and a couple of Wodehouses lying around. In compensation, there was a Skvorecky and the Muldoon. What to make of that now?

sur: come and be spot girl, no, since it's too late to include me in your pregnancy film? And yes, you got it but that's cheating. You know too much.

smokescreen: yes he did. But why's it a complex skill? (I'm really asking. I stopped reading up about when something should happen in the growing up years).

Smoke Screen said...

Oh that wasn't an "enlightened" psycholinguistic comment! Common sense suggests a child who can say "what do you call it when you say 'write' but when it happened before you call it 'wrote'?" is far more evolved, linguistically, than one who can say "'wrote' is the past tense of 'write'."

amruta patil said...

i always thought gerund was a rodent. now i don't know what it is.