White noise is a random signal (or process) with a flat power spectral density. In other words, the signal's power spectral density has equal power in any band, at any center frequency, having a given bandwidth. White noise is considered analogous to white light which contains all frequencies.

Who am I?

Neo-hippie cinephile. Follower of the great Jim Morrison who once said "If the doors of perception are cleansed, everything would appear to man as it truly is, infinite."

Tuesday, February 26, 2008

Screening

As I pulled up to my usual parking space in the nondescript back alley of the building with unprecedented punctuality, I must say I found myself a little blue to find it conspicuously empty. I entered the building through the usual back door and walked up the endless gray steps one last time to embrace the cocktailed aroma of fresh baked cookies and Mexican diligence emanating from the little hole next to the studio that calls itself a bakery. The cinefan in me cannot help but gush about how the building is set up exactly like the one in which Somnath starts his business in Jana Aranya with its array of letter boxes signifying businesses ranging in a rich variety from Chinese clothing manufacturing businesses to Tekwondo lessons to our studio. Another similarity is the elevator, albeit minus the creaky, black oiled grills and its operator, seemingly a victim to the harshness time, both dripping with old world charm.

There was a nice little reception laid out - complete with wine and cheese - the diet of the aantels (pseudo-intellectuals) of this world that involves more chewing that eating and more sipping than drinking. I was still belching from my Mysore Masala Dosa of an hour or so ago and the near morbid thought of driving back in searing rain stood like a filter between my jittery nerves and the drink of the Gods (or is it the French?). And then they started pouring in with their unfamiliar faces and disruptive facial hair or handbags, brushing off drops of water from their waterproof jackets onto one another and rubbing their feet on the life expectancy of the huge fiber carpet, probably a product of the handicraft shop down on the second floor. I should have been happy to see all sixty or so of them, but suddenly the exuberant thudding of my heart drowned all ambient sound.

The familiar faces were far and fewer, shining like crazy diamonds, hugging me, pecking me, introducing me to names I wouldn't remember and making me shake alien hands, some firm, others not, but all of them rough to the touch. My actors had come too, discussing the Kuleshov Effect with each other and amongst their other brethren. A couple of aspiring actresses trying to flirt their way into the cast of the next film and hell, I could tell they were good at their job. I felt like that kid in school whose parents didn't come to the annual exhibitions.

Technical problems even though "we only use Macs here". I was third last in the schedule. Seems like they had bunched up all the black and white films together at the end. I would see my camera work sooner though, in that film about guns and shooting, whose name I can't remember completely. Kind avuncular introductory words. Darkness. Then they started rolling. One after the other. Some self-indulgently long, like this post, others choppy, some rip-roaringly funny and others just too beautiful for words, but all of them reeking of five weeks of passion and labor.

Audiences at film screenings tend to be polite. There was applause after every film, the only difference being in the duration of the response. The film about guns and shooting was shot differently. Hopefully, people would not term the hand held technique as utter amateurism. The ending was a shock, even to me, simply because of the sinisterly amazing editing. Applause, as always, but after three seconds of stunned silence. It was almost as if the director had jumped off his seat and slapped each and every one of us. An interval, very much in keeping with the short film theme, that lasted but a few seconds.

The moment was drawing near. Some Sci-Fi flicks whizzed by and over my head. And then, and then that all too familiar pitter patter of the rain against text I had read a million times by now it seemed. People were watching. I was watching them. A couple of 'What?!''s at the intro from behind me. The next scene and realization quietened them. What was I doing? Why was I watching the screen? I knew I would only be sniffing out faults like a constipated old bloodhound. Magnification has its demons. Then the music - sweeping everything away, but was it powerful enough? A couple of 'aww''s in female voices, not completely unexpected. Now the credits were rolling. As always applause. Female hands were petting my right leg and hugging the left part of my body. Sheepish smile in the darkness. As She said, "Thank you".

A couple of films (including my favorite film of the screening - a Black and White Spanish film, though a little too long maybe) later the lights were back on. More applause. All ten of us were standing up. I was nodding my head at different corners of the room and smiling my lopsided Steve Waugh grin, trying to look intelligent, while my palms were engaged in foreplay with one another - a Scorcese touch, I would tell myself on the drive back home. The eyes looked genuine, but hell, how should I know; most of them were actors.

More hugs. Some snaps. Some roses. Some brickbats after the demand of honest opinions, but thankfully there were more roses, or my instructors are really nice. I don't know, you decide.

PS: Compressing the digital HD format to a more manageable size for Youtube has ruined the resolution completely and this looks nothing like it does on the DVD :(

8 comments:

puranjoy said...

Ok. I am major confused.
What is it that you DO? What are you?

puranjoy said...

And I had figured it was Arik Sen :)

ArSENik said...

As Tyler Durden would say, I am the all singing all dancing crap of this world. I am Jack's cloak and dagger. No, if you go by an Orkut testimonial someone wrote for me a long time ago and has since deleted it, I am just someone who wants to do something else, but is stuck being an engineer.

I don't know; maybe 'Arik' was on the dining table when Mum's water broke but was eventually tossed out by the scheming viziers on grounds of not being as sinister as 'ArSENik'.

ad libber said...

Having watched too many movies recently, I seem to wonder about significances all the time.

Did Macbeth have a special significance? I never understand significances :(

ad libber said...

hmm, rethinking it, is it because Macbeth (or rather, Macbeth due to his wife's urgings) was a form of Helios himself? A lesser God hoping to be a greater God?

ArSENik said...

I am going to make you a consultant for my next film. In any case, the original story was born out of your request for a tale of the common man. That is a brilliant deduction. I can obviously act aantel and say "Bull's eye, girl" :) but I think I owe you the truth. No, I just wanted him to be reading a tragedy and as we all know Shakespeare was the grand daddy of tragedies. I didn't want R & J because it would be too obvious. Hence, Macbeth.

ad libber said...

Oh no. And here was I with a theory patted to perfection where everything was a symbol of the theme, the tram, the book, I was hoping even the cigarette would be a less popular brand.

ArSENik said...

Well, sorry to disappoint you in that case. Since Helios does not get onto the tram, it is supposed to symbolize a very literal version of 'gaadi chhoot jaana'.

I was planning to end it with a close up of him giving a wry smile as he looks at the tram leave, but decided that the current last shot relays a sense of loss better, with the tram leaving him and all. Also, thought it would be nice to roll the credits on that.

The cigarette brand was Virginia Slims, though I am not too sure if it is visible in the final cut. I was obviously trying to stereotype the classiness of She, since she isn't supposed to be a commonwoman, so to speak, but from the upper echelons of society.

Now you have got me started! So let me tell you a bit about He. He's character is existential (at least that was the intention), thus his appearing out of nowhere, ostensibly to surprise She. The fact that I let him "win" and take the woman away stems from my soft corner for the concept of existentialism.

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