Had a very nice afternoon with Sammy San who came over to watch that gripping German movie The Lives of Others (Das Leben der Anderen).
In the early 1980s, Georg Dreyman (a successful dramatist) and his longtime companion Christa-Maria Sieland (a popular actress), were huge intellectual stars in (former) East Germany, although they secretly don't always toe the party line. One day, the Minister of Culture becomes interested in Christa, so the secret service agent Wiesler is instructed to observe and sound out the couple, but their life fascinates him more and more.To make it even more interesting, Georg Dreyman reminded me of Roger Moore and Wiesler a stoic (if such a thing were possible) Kevin Spacey.
As usual, i picked Sammy up from HyperCITY, but Glympse that we use for coordinating was acting up. It wasn't updating the position of his Volvo bus. But we found a very nice alternative. It was all the while under our noses, in WhatsApp.
In a WhatsApp chat window, you can send your location:
- In an Android, click the attachment icon and select the (folded) Maps icon.
- In the iPhone, click to the left of the text (entry) box.
It's still a synchronous operation, but, imho, a sync op (WhatsApp) is better than an asynchronous op (Glympse) that isn't doing what it's supposed to!
Anyway, he got a wonderful bottle of red wine (year 2006) of Domaine de Saint Ser. It cost a pretty little penny as well.
While we let it breathe, we knocked back some:
Later we polished off some fried rice and curd rice and, of course, the great red ;-)
The ending of the movie got to me:
As Wiesler purchases the book, the sales clerk asks if he wants it gift-wrapped, and Wiesler responds, "No, it's for me."Sammy said that was why folks made movies. Never know where and how it's going to affect people down the line.
Even those with the bit parts were so good. Sammy later on talked of one of the short stories of Satyajit Ray where:
An actor, once popular, has to come on for a very bit part, running into the hero and uttering just an "Oh!" But he remembers his acting guru that drama and movies were collective efforts and that he had to satisfy the role, however miniscule it might be. And he does just that and, having satisfed the role, goes away without bothering to accept the payment.*
Reminds me of PSM's great observation that when we satisfy the job, we might get job satisfaction!
Related: Itsy bitsy, but super-duper
Interestingly, earlier this year, i saw one of the movie's plot-lines (the typefaces of all typewriters are registered with the government) right at the start of this TED talk:
Update on 30.MAY.2012 (WED)
Strangely enough, last evening, found a reference to this in the Cinema Century Special Issue of Outlook:
Dance In The Glade
I found myself re-reading Ray’s short story, Patol Babu, Film Star, about a middle-aged guy, quite the amateur thespian in his youth, who becomes wildly excited to be offered a walk-on part in a movie. All he has to do is bump into the leading man in the street and say the single word: "Oh!" And so, as he waits around for his scene, he frantically starts thinking about he can endow this monosyllable with meaning. This is a lovely, gentle, funny story, building up to something quite different from the embarrassing catastrophe I had been expecting. It’s a reminder of the energy, sophistication, and sheer enjoyment to be had from Ray, and Indian pictures generally.