Slow movies and the big picture

I’m now watching a movie called What Do We See When We Look at the Sky?. What a beautiful name isn’t it? It’s a nightmare of a movie. It really is. For me, that is. To any normal person, it’s just a romantic drama. To me it isn’t. To me, it’s a ticking time bomb.

When I was a kid I used to love movies that took their time to explain everything, the feelings, the landscape, etc. But now, I start to loose it when two people kiss for too long, or a 5 minute shot of a girl walking by under the street light. It’s like, get on with it man! I’ve got shit to do! My patience is so low that it morphs into anxiety and then it’s hell. So anyway, this movie is a prime example of that. The director really spends a lot of time on in showcasing all the minute details. And I’m happy for those directors who have the luxury to do that. But the problem is there’s so much detail, that you forget whats going on with the story. It’s like when I read the Godfather back when I was in college. Took me three years to finish the damn thing. By the end I didn’t know who the fuck was Sonny or Freddy. So what I am trying to say is, I’ve lost the ability to enjoy a long movie. It’s like a superpower has been lifted. Imagine that being a superpower. There’s Iron man , Thor and me who watches long movies. Speaking of the MCU, guess who just signed a contract to make their own Universe? COVID. I read an article on the Hindu that gave a glimpse of the bigger picture. It was like watching Kevin Feige unveil his master plan.

Basically, COVID-19 is like the Black Panther of the MCU. Then there’s the Avengers, The Eternals, The X-men, all kinds of stuff. Remember when Quick Silver appeared in the Avengers? That’s a ‘Zootonic Spillover’. Now they’re saying more and more of the X-men are going to appear alongside the Avengers, which is madness right? A Multiverse of Madness perhaps? (God, I’m so good). Remember how powerful Thanos was? That guy could grind pepper with his chin. And he was purple. Don’t even get me started on the DCEU.


I came home today, sat in front of my computer, and for a whole half hour, imagined I had two close friends in Kolkata, like practically family. I’m talking, sharing-Netflix-password-level of friendship. I hadn’t decided on spending a half hour doing this, it just happened out of nowhere. It doesn’t help that I haven’t met anyone outside of work for the past month. It was bed-rest, hospital, work, home, work, home, movie theater, hospital, bedrest, work, home, nightmare. I haven’t been this alone since, never. And, when you’re alone, you start to use your imagination more. A friend’s mom once told me that life will not always be the same. There will be times of loneliness and reading books would help me get through it. It took me four years to finish the Godfather, and I loved it, but never again. It was something I took up during the first year of college, and immediately regretted it because I kept forgetting the characters, and their backstories (except for the very creative sex scenes), now, that’s what I call a ‘graphic novel’. Wait.. that’s not a graphic… anyway, it’s too much information, is what I am trying to say. A movie on the other hand, not a big deal. My attention span can deal with 2001: A Space Odyssey with zero trouble. I could watch that spinning bone for hours.

It’s not that bad

Back in the day, I would go to watch a movie, and be so immersed in it that when the movie ended, I would get struck by this bolt of depression, because now, I had to go back to my shitty, regular life. But now its different. I still get the depression, but then I go,” It’s not that bad. My life’s not that bad. I can eat a burger and watch You tube”.

Enlightenment during overtime

My manager (also referred to as “cocksucker” in my other posts), made me work overtime today. Luckily, the task at hand was cinema hall-audio-design, which is what I was BORN TO DO. While working, I realized that I never really left the cinema hall after watching Jurassic Park, back in 1993. I was 3 years old when it came out. But it made such a great impact on me that in my head, I still roam on the island of wonders(and man eaters). Everything we see in the movie emerged out of Steven Spielberg’s imagination. The way the actors talked, the way the dinosaurs moved, the way it rained, was all envisioned and painstakingly crafted by the director. So in a way, all of us got to see how the director’s brain works! We got to see a little bit of his creative mind and his thought process. By broadcasting the movie, he was actually beaming his thoughts to millions of people. How cool is that? Millions of people viewing his mind all around the world. I think it is the most mysterious/awesome type of communication in the word!
(I hear people who read books feel the same way about writers. Fuck those nerds and my ADHD)

My first Dolby Atmos experience

Warning: This post will derail into several unrelated topics. Let the adventure begin!

Date: November 12th 2017

Time: 10:30 pm

Movie: Thor Ragnarok a.k.a. Rainbows

Audio configuration: Dolby Atmos

Seats: 240

Viewers: 15

Depression level: mild

Popcorn: chilly cheese

Verdict: Meh. Auro 3D wins.

It was nice to see a good mix of loners and couples in the audience. Despite being a loner myself I was slightly uncomfortable with the close proximity that some of the other loners maintained with me. So I gently got up, went to the restroom, came back and sat in a completely different seat(like a man). It was interesting to see that all the loners had also left the hall, possibly to use the restroom. What was even more interesting to see was upon returning they looked around for me and sat right next to me again. I felt like a shepherd who came to watch Thor with a flock of sheep. I wasn’t threatened however. Most of them were nerds like me. Its easy to spot nerds and weirdos. Nerds keep checking their “notification-free” blank phone screens while weirdos secretly stare at people. I guess that makes me a weirdo too. Learning everyday! Back to the topic. I did not feel very enveloped in sound which is the whole point of ATMOS. The quality of audio I experienced does not justify the extensive use of expensive, high quality speakers. Maybe the audio was “too real”. I don’t know. I am aware that the audio in Thor is not great but I feel the whole ATMOS thing was overhyped. I guess movies need to be mixed properly to take full advantage of  ATMOS system. I am obsessed with surround sound. It might be because I am a homebody. However I think it plays an important part in todays cinema.

My theory on why surround sound is important:

Movies are getting realer. That’s not a real word but its true. We like it when there are “real” emotions, real weather and obviously, real sound. And for sound to be real, it has to come from all directions. It has to envelope the listener and take them on a journey away from reality. Wait… that contradicts what I just said but you get the point. This might come as a surprise to many movie enthusiasts but natural sound is surround sound at its best. Yes, I am talking about the sounds that you hear everyday. Take a moment and think about the sounds you hear everyday. Replay them in your head. I’ll help with a few examples from my exciting life:

  1. The sound of the alarm that reminds you everyday that there’s no escape. Even with your eyes closed you are able to make out in which direction the sound from hell is coming from. All it takes is a little fumbling around with the hands on the table, making way through all the antidepressants, bills and maybe a drop of the cellphone until you finally feel the familiar snooze button.
  2. Annoying roommates ,their radio and their general happy mood. For some reason, your roommate thinks the only way to spread joy is to make sure that her favourite DJ’s voice reaches aliens clearly.
  3. Neighbourhood dogs
  4. Thunder- You might have noticed that these types of sounds create uneasiness in the mind. Other examples include tremors, storms, etc. Studies have revealed that we are pre-programmed to dislike or fear these type of sounds as they signal danger. Just another gift of evolution.
  5. Drunk people in the night
  6. Lovers whispering
  7. Occasional hip hop fan driving by with the windows wide open, spreading happiness in his own way

What all of these sounds have in common is that you can localize the source without having to actually see them. We need the same effect in movies. This is what Dolby, DTS, Auro 3D,etc. have been trying to replicate for years. Stay tuned for my next post- “Stereo, I don’t hate you”