Dhoom Dhamaka!

Our friend Lapata is having an exhibition at Counter Pulse and I failed, miserably, to notify you. More importantly, I wasn’t able to attend in person.

She has put the works featured in the show on her flickr page: Dhoom Dhamaka! Show

I think some of her strongest work, to date, is being featured in this show – specifically, the Rasa series. Since she has portrayed generals and kings, she immediately got how a true theocratic-juristical Leader, such as me, should be captured. After a lengthy, exhaustive, and exhausting series of photo-shoots – scattered around the globe – she finally was able to capture the sprite that lurks behind my twinkling eyes. That iridescent smile.

Karuna
Bhayanak
Bibhatsa
Shanta
Adbhut
Raudra
Veer
Hasya
Shringar

In all seriousness, go see her show:

1. Dhoom Dhamaka!

Sept. 4 – Oct. 1

Opening reception: Sept. 4 at 6-8 PM.

CounterPulse
1310 Mission Street, San Francisco, CA 94103

The show will be held in conjunction with a performance by Joti Singh’s Duniya Dance Company. Performances will take place Sept. 11-13 at 8 PM.

The theme? The War on Terror! Paintings are shown in the lobby and can be seen from 12-6 Tues-Fri, at the opening, and during the performance (where they will be projected onto the stage). For more information about purchasing tickets ($12-$20) for the performance and directions to the venue, visit CounterPulse .

Chapati Review: Wristcutters, A Love Story

(Suggested listening while reading this review: click here; don’t bother to watch the clip, since it’s just a fan slideshow) The film version of Etgar Keret’s novella “Kneller’s Happy Campers” (which is also recreated in the graphic novel Pizzeria Kamikaze) has finally been released in the US (see the earlier review of Keret’s work here). Despite some major and possibly regrettable alterations to the setting and plot, it is still an excellent movie. The biggest disappointment is the location. The story takes place in an afterlife universe where people go after they have committed suicide. In the novella and graphic novel, this place is a city and surrounding countryside that bears a remarkable resemblance to Tel Aviv. The movie was shot in the Wristcutters: bleak landscapeUnited States in run-down parts of LA and somewhere near the Nevada-California border, which makes sense, since most cinematic universes are relocated to California. The characters are now mostly American, or recent immigrants to America. Choosing to make the whole movie American and losing the Israeli element of course robs the story of some of its original flavor, although in the novella the place is never named, and is only meant to resemble the lousy places where the suicides lived before they killed themselves. Suicide is not a culturally flat construct and in the context of an ironic Israeli tale it takes on an especially dark and provoking resonance. Goran DukicOn the other hand, the Croatian director, Goran Dukic, has done a superb job choosing the grimmest and most derelict locations imaginable, and this does make up for the initial disappointment that our hero is now from New Jersey and his life has probably improved quite a bit now that he is dead and living in California.
Continue reading Chapati Review: Wristcutters, A Love Story

I am a horse.

ghoredaan_3_small.jpgAs you can see, I am a magnificent horse. Proof of my magnificence lies in the fact that I was presented as a special gift to First Lady of the United States Jacqueline Kennedy by Field Marshal Ayub Khan in 1962. During the First Lady’s resplendent tour of South Asia, she was presented with many fine gifts, including me (Sardar), an elephant named Urvashi (presented by the Nehrus), and two baby Bengal tigers (presented by Air India) whom the First Lady had planned to name Kitty and Ken after Ambassador John Kenneth Galbraith and his wife. I say she had planned to name them Kitty and Ken because they perished before they could be shipped to the United States from India. Clearly I was the most suitable gift of these as the First Lady was an equestrienne nonpareil and I was successfully brought to the state of Virginia in the United States so that Mrs. Kennedy might enjoy my company as much as possible.

I know what you are thinking. You are thinking, “You say you are magnificent, but you are only half a horse! Where is the other half of your body?” This is an excellent question. As it happens, I am actually a painting of a horse, representing a particular horse, named Sardar, that existed in history. My photograph was taken in Virginia in the company of the First Lady and Field Marshal Khan, and an artist has rendered that scene in a triptych. During the course of this rendering, the artist has made certain stylistic decisions, causing me to be only half a horse in her painting, though I remain a full horse in the original photograph. This decision was no doubt made because, in the style of miniaturists of old, she did not wish to make the animal larger than the two great human leaders also present in her painting, yet, bound by the duties of a perspectival painter in the Frankish mold, she was not able to bring herself to make me a very small horse in proportion to the First Lady and the Field Marshal. Thus, I have become half a large horse.
Continue reading I am a horse.

Kal Penn on the Namesake

Kumar and GogolMany of us were surprised to learn that the actor who performed the role of Kumar in Harold and Kumar go to White Castle with such panache will now be starring in the film version of Jhumpa Lahiri’s novel the Namesake. There will be lots of publicity on this in the coming weeks; but for now, sepoy has forwarded me this intriguing interview with Kal Penn about his new movie.

We Heart OBaMaRaMaMaMa

Fully Clothed ObamaWhile CM was being hacked, some of your correspondents ended up getting hijacked by the trendiest new web presence in town, my.barackobama.com. Within moments of the site’s inception, we began to feverishly collect friends, join groups and start movements. But now that the site is already five days old, the bloom has faded from the rose and we are ready to come home. We are not sure if, after all, we wish to be part of a nationwide email conversation about how much, how very very much, we want our guy to kick the cig habit, or how it might be fun to have a ginormous sixty minute conference call with fellow supporters across the nation.

We still love the man, and it being Valentine’s Day, we’re here to express that, despite concerns about his handling of the whole madrassa issue, and other worries yet to be discovered. So in honor of his dignity, which is being vigorously shredded from all sides, we’ve gone photoshopping for a pretty new t-shirt to help him cover his nakedness, since he is still apparently somewhat miffed about the People mag papparazzo shot. As in the sad tale of the toothsome Gavin Newsom, who learned too late, after being caught with his pants figuratively down, that all those hair gel articles recalled a simpler, happier time, the Obamalator needs to understand that he should count himself lucky when he has only been exposed literally.

Barack Obama I: Style Icon

First in a series of posts on the junior senator from Illinois.

Gary Cooper: Perfect. It’s a matter of fact. Everything about you is perfect.

Audrey Hepburn: I’m too thin and my ears stick out, my teeth are crooked and my neck’s much too long.

Gary Cooper: Maybe so, but I love the way it all hangs together.

Love in the Afternoon

Gary Cooper just can't resist the mysterious ingenue

Like Cooper’s character in Love in the Afternoon, we’re terribly jaded: we’ve lived the capitalist high life and rolled with all sorts of exotic dames, Swedish twins, Spanish princesses, you name it. Frightened Republicans, cranky pessimistic Democrats and The Main-Stream Media alike may ridicule us for our sudden infatuation with the new pair of ankles in town, but what they don’t understand is that like Ms. Hepburn, Senator Obama is the real deal. You can get to Hepburn’s waif-weight on a steady diet of club-hopping, methamphetamine and cocaine cut with strawberry Quik, or you can get there by gnawing on tulip bulbs in the basement during the Dutch Famine. You could achieve the grace and poise of Hepburn by hiring a personal trainer and doing pilates every day or you could get there by cutting short your training as a professional ballet dancer due to poverty-induced malnutrition. Similarly, you could give speeches as well as Obama by hiring a stable-full of professional speech writers, or you could get there by spending a lifetime reading literature and honing the craft of writing. You could adopt a message of hope, non-partisanship and reconciliation after consulting with a team of highly paid pollsters, or you could hold such a message as a conviction, a lesson learned through personal experience and public service. Continue reading Barack Obama I: Style Icon

Dictators: They’re just like US!

[rejected by US Weekly]

They’re CRAZY about celebrities!

Starstruck!Dictators can meet any celebrity they want. They can even kidnap them and force them to make movies for them while they eat live lobsters with silver chopsticks. But that doesn’t mean a dictator can’t be starstruck. Chairman of the National Defense Commission of North Korea, Supreme Commander of the Korean People’s Army, and General Secretary of the Workers’ Party of Korea, the notorious Kim Jong-il can’t believe his good luck: he’s standing right next to the beautiful and talented singer Kim Ryon Ja!

They LOVE their pressure cookers!

Fidel loving his cookerPresident of Cuba and Comandante of the Cuban military Fidel Castro loves to cook with Chinese pressure cookers! Not only are they energy-saving for his entire nation, but they really lock in the flavors of meats and vegetables…without boiling out all the nutritional content, like with regular pots and pans! Usually people share cookery tips with their friends and family without expecting everyone to set up their kitchens the way they do, but when you’re a dictator, you can command everyone else in your country use your favorite cooking utensils too. It’s just like being Martha Stewart or Emeril Lagasse, only with a whole country, and not just a franchise and a series of trend-setting media appearances. Continue reading Dictators: They’re just like US!