Notes & Conversations

The Notebook: Issue 22

Hi

Welcome to the 2019 October issue of ‘The Notebook’.

This is a list of books, movies, blog posts, 

interviews, video clips and other stuff

I found interesting and feel worth sharing.

I hope you’ll like some of the stuff I am sharing.

If you have any feedback, please drop me a line…

Here it goes…

A Book Worth Sharing:

Newcomer” by Keigo Higashino

I love Keigo Higashino. And this one is an absolute delight. I would say this is his best book I have read and much better than his most popular book “The Devotion of Suspect X”.

A Movie Worth Sharing:

Nainsukh” by Amit Dutta

“Nainsukh” is made in 2010 and I watched it recently.

It’s mind-blowingly beautiful and an exquisite work of art.

A few review quotes as appeared in the trailer…

“… creates a hypnotic fusion of imagery and sound that conjures up a lost age” – Museum of Modern Art, New York

“Amit Dutta is one of those exceptional filmmakers for whom every shot is an event” – Jonathan Rosenbaum

“In Dutta’s films, we literally breathe the air of the shot” – Cinema Du Reel – Centre Pompidou, Paris

“Its beauty can often take the viewer’s breath away” – Huffington Post, US

Don’t miss the masterpiece.

An Idea Worth Sharing:

“Over 107 billion people have lived throughout history. (There are roughly 7.7 billion people alive right now.)

Over the centuries, these billions of people have tried things, failed, learned, and tried differently. Sometimes, they found new solutions. And when you are born, you get to inherit the insights they learned by trial and error.

The cumulative lessons of those 107 billion people have been passed down to you. It is the greatest gift you will ever receive. We are smart not because of our individual genius, but because of our collective knowledge.

As the historian Niall Ferguson noted, “The dead outnumber the living fourteen to one, and we ignore the accumulated experience of such a huge majority of mankind at our peril.” – Via James Clear

A Quote Worth Sharing:

“Unthinking respect for authority is the greatest enemy of truth.” – Albert Einstein

Random Stuff: 

Venkatachalam Saravanan by Amit Dutta

An international chess master and a filmmaker play a match while discussing the art of the game and its history in India.

Thank you, Amit Dutta.

 

Thanks for reading.

Take care and have a nice month… 


 

Wong Kar Wai on Literature

I am reading “Wong Kar Wai Interviews” edited by Silver Wai Ming Lee and Micky Lee.

There is this interview by Lin Yao-teh. First published in United Literature no 120 of Taiwan in 1994.

There is this fascinating discussion on literature.

I found it worth writing down because I am interested in knowing what influences Wong Kar Wai and, as I love reading.

The following books and authors influenced him…

Albert Camus.  According to him Camus’ ‘The Stranger” resonates with him immensely. In fact in real life he feels like living through many scenes in the book (I have not read Camus).

Honore de Balzac influenced him a lot (I have not read anything by him).

His favorite America Novelist John Steinbeck and Ernest Hemingway (I have not read either Steinbeck or Hemingway. I have not read Hemingway!!! It’s shameful).

His favorite Japanese writer is Yasunari Kawabata. Especially “Snow Country” and “The House of Sleeping Beauties”(I want to read Kawabata).

He is a big fan of Osamu Dazai and Riichi Yokomitsu (I have not read them too).

Kawabata, Dazai and Yokomitsu from Japan.

And Marquez from South America.

But it was another South American author… who influenced Wong Kar Wai in a very profound way… especially in his film-making style (His narrative divided into a series of fragments and shunned chronology).

Manuel Puig.

Two books…  “Kiss of the Spider woman” and “Heartbreak Tango”

I read somewhere that WKW has taken elements from Puig’s book in “Happy Together”.

(Well, I have not read him too)

Among Chinese writers, his favorites are, Lu Xun, Zhou Zuoren and especially Mu Shiying. He wants to adapt Mu Shiying’s novel.

And Wuxia novelist, Louis Cha and Gu Long.

(I have not even heard these names)

And we all know that initial story idea and some dialogues in “In the Mood for Love” came from Liu Yichang’s novels “Intersection” and “ The Alcoholic”.

So, Wong Kar Wai is a voracious reader of world literature.

And now I feel like a complete illiterate.

The Notebook: Issue 21

Hi

Welcome to the 2019 August issue of ‘The Notebook’.

This is a list of books, movies, blog posts, 

interviews, video clips and other stuff

I found interesting and feel worth sharing.

I hope you’ll like some of the stuff I am sharing.

If you’d prefer not to hear from me any more,

you can unsubscribe completely using the link

at the bottom.

If you have any feedback, please drop me a line…

Here it goes…

A Book Worth Sharing:

Zen Mind, Beginner’s Mind” by Shunryu Suzuki

“In the beginner’s mind there are many possibilities, but in the expert’s there are few” 

I got to know of this book from a very unusual source – Michael Kahn.

A longtime editor of Steven Spielberg’s films talks about  this book in an interview. 

Michael Kahn reads this book, again and again, every time he starts editing a new film. 

A Movie Worth Sharing:

“Before” Trilogy by Richard Linklater

Well, this time I am sharing three films instead of one. Three of my most favourite romantic films of all time.

An Idea Worth Sharing:

“Get Drunk!” 

One should always be drunk. That’s all that matters;

That’s our one imperative need. So as not to feel Time’s

Horrible burden that breaks your shoulders and bows

You own, you must get drunk without ceasing.

But what with? With wine, with poetry, or with

Virtue, as you choose. But get drunk.

And if, at some time, on the steps of a palace, in the

Green grass of a ditch, in the bleak solitude of your

Room, you are waking up when the drunkenness has already

Abated, ask the wind, the wave, a star, the clock, all that

Which flees, all that which groans, all that which rolls,

All that which sings, all that which speaks, ask them

What time it is; and the wind the wave, the star, the

Bird, the clock will reply: ‘It is time to get drunk! So that

You may not be the martyred slaves of Time, get drunk;

Get drunk and never pause for rest! With wine, with

Poetry, or with virtue, as you choose!


A Quote Worth Sharing:

“I used to think that the brain was the most wonderful organ in my body. Then I realized who was telling me this.” – Emo Philips



Random Stuff: 

The Effects of Caffeine

In the 1980s, NASA scientists exposed spiders to different drugs and observe the webs they constructed. 

The drugs included LSD, speed, marijuana, and caffeine. 

Researchers noted how strikingly incapable the spiders were in constructing anything resembling a normal or logical web that would be of functional use when given caffeine, even relative to the other potent drugs tested. 

Source: Why We Sleep

 

Thanks for reading.

Take care and have a nice month… 











The Notebook: Issue 20

Hi

Welcome to the 2019 July issue of ‘The Notebook’.

This is a list of books, movies, blog posts, 

interviews, video clips and other stuff

I found interesting and feel worth sharing.

I hope you’ll like some of the stuff I am sharing.

If you have any feedback, please drop me a line…

Here it goes…

A Book Worth Sharing:

Absolutely on Music” by Haruki Murakami

This book comprised of six conversations between the acclaimed conductor Seiji Ozawa and the novelist Haruki Murakami 

I don’t listen to western classical music. Yet I was completely captivated by the book. 

As one “The Guardian” review wrote…

“Absolutely on Music is an unprecedented treasure, valuable if for no other reason than that these conversations mark the first time that Ozawa has reflected at length on his 50-plus years of conducting. “Come to think of it,” he says, “I’ve never really talked about music like this before, in such a focused, organised way.” Talking about music is like dancing about architecture, it’s often said, but what joy to watch these two friends dance.” 

Read the complete review here

A Movie Worth Sharing:

Burning” by Lee Chang-dong

I love Haruki Murakami. And I love Lee Chang-dong.

When these two geniuses come together, magic happens.

Read Lee Chang-dong’s interview here

An Idea Worth Sharing:

My favorite fable: Derek Sivers:

A farmer had only one horse. One day, his horse ran away.

His neighbors said, “I’m so sorry. This is such bad news. You must be so upset.”

The man just said, “We’ll see.”

A few days later, his horse came back with twenty wild horses following. The man and his son corralled all twenty-one horses.

His neighbors said, “Congratulations! This is such good news. You must be so happy!”

The man just said, “We’ll see.”

One of the wild horses kicked the man’s only son, breaking both his legs.

His neighbors said, “I’m so sorry. This is such bad news. You must be so upset.”

The man just said, “We’ll see.”

The country went to war, and every able-bodied young man was drafted to fight. The war was terrible and killed every young man, but the farmer’s son was spared, since his broken legs prevented him from being drafted.

His neighbors said, “Congratulations! This is such good news. You must be so happy!”

The man just said, “We’ll see.”

A Quote Worth Sharing:

“I’m quite convinced that cooking is the only alternative to film making. Maybe there’s also another alternative — that’s walking on foot.” – Werner Herzog ( via Ridgeline )

Random Stuff: 

Photographer Jun Yamamoto Captures The Magic Of Japan Streets At Night ( Via Tim Ferriss Newsletter )

Thanks for reading.

Take care and have a nice month… 

THE NOTEBOOK: ISSUE 19

Hi
Welcome to the 2019 May issue of ‘The Notebook’.
This is a list of books, movies, blog posts, interviews, video clips and other stuffI found interesting and feel worth sharing.I hope you’ll like some of the stuff I am sharing.

If you have any feedback, please drop me a line…Here it goes…

A Book Worth Sharing:

21 Lessons for the 21st Century  by  Yuval Noah Harari

“An obscure Israeli academic writes a Hebrew-language history of humanity. Translated into English in 2014, the book sells more than a million copies. Facebook’s Mark Zuckerberg includes it in his book club in 2015. Ridley Scott wants to turn it into a TV series. Barack Obama says it gave him perspective on “the core things that have allowed us to build this extraordinary civilization that we take for granted”. It’s sales spike when it is mentioned on Love Island. That book was Sapiens, which is bold, breezy and engaging, romping its way from the discovery of fire to the creation of cyborgs in less than 500 pages. The future-gazing follow-up, Homo Deus, was also a global bestseller, and now Harari has turned his attention to the present with 21 Lessons for the 21st Century.” – Helen Lewis I am a fan of Harari. And I’ll definitely reread the book a second and third time… Read Bill Gates’ review of the book here

A Movie Worth Sharing:

One of the most beautiful films I have seen in my life…

Paterson by Jim Jarmusch

“Great poets are masters of words, but their most finely tuned skill is often simple attentiveness: to the matches on the kitchen counter, the water slipping over the boulders in the falls, the beer softly frothing in the half-drunk mug.”Read the complete review here

An Idea Worth Sharing:

Phones smash, notebooks bend

“People sometimes ask me why I don’t use a phone to take notes when I’m ‘out’ in the field. The answer is that phones smash, while notebooks bend. I also like the way that notebooks record where they’ve been not just in terms of what’s written in them, but also in terms of the wear they bear as objects.” – Robert Macfarlane
A Quote Worth Sharing:
“If we can forgive what’s been done to us… If we can forgive what we’ve done to others… If we can leave our stories behind. Our being victims and villains. Only then can we maybe rescue the world.”—Chuck Palahniuk ( Via Tim Ferris 5-Bullet Friday )

Random Stuff:

Ominous Views Of Japan’s New Concrete Seawalls

 

Thanks for reading.

Take care and have a nice month…

THE NOTEBOOK: ISSUE 18

Hi
Welcome to the 2019 April issue of ‘The Notebook’.

This is a list of books, movies, blog posts, interviews, video clips and other stuffI found interesting and feel worth sharing.I hope you’ll like some of the stuff I am sharing.

If you have any feedback, please drop me a line…

Here it goes…

A Book Worth Sharing:

The Atlas of Beauty by Mihaela Noroc

Since 2013 Mihaela Noroc has travelled the world with her backpack and camera taking photos of everyday women to showcase the diversity and beauty all around us. The Atlas of Beauty is a collection of her photographs that celebrates women from all corners of the world and shows that beauty is everywhere, regardless of money, race or social status, and comes in many different sizes and colours.
Take a look at some of the photographs here

Atlas of Beauty: women and girls around the world – in pictures

A Movie Worth Sharing:

Hana-bi by Takeshi Kitano

I must quote a few lines from Roger Ebert’s review

“It has been said that Western art is the art of putting in, and Eastern art is the art of leaving out.

The new Japanese film “Fireworks” is like a Charles BronsonDeath Wish” movie so drained of story, cliche, convention and plot that nothing is left, except pure form and impulse.

Not a frame, not a word, is excess.

The film is an odd viewing experience. It lacks all of the narrative cushions and hand-holding that we have come to expect. It doesn’t explain, because an explanation, after all, is simply something arbitrary the story has invented.”Fireworks” is a demonstration of what a story such as this is really about, fundamentally, after you cut out the background noise.” – Roger EbertRead the complete review here

An Idea Worth Sharing:

Werner Herzog on reading and writing” (via Austin Kleon)

Here are two quotes of Werner Herzog from the article…“I’ve always been more interested in teaching myself. If I want to explore something, I never think about attending a class; I do the reading on my own or seek out experts for conversations. Everything we’re forced to learn at school we quickly forget, but the things we set out to learn ourselves — to quench a thirst — are never forgotten, and inevitably become an important part of our existence.”“Read, read, read, read, read. Those who read own the world; those who immerse themselves in the Internet or watch too much television lose it. If you don’t read, you will never be a filmmaker. Our civilization is suffering profound wounds because of the wholesale abandonment of reading by contemporary society.”

A Quote Worth Sharing:

“Old George Orwell got it backward. Big Brother isn’t watching. He’s singing and dancing. He’s pulling rabbits out of a hat. Big Brother’s busy holding your attention every moment you’re awake. He’s making sure you’re always distracted. He’s making sure you’re fully absorbed. He’s making sure your imagination withers. Until it’s as useful as your appendix. He’s making sure your attention is always filled. And this being fed, it’s worse than being watched. With the world always filling you, no one has to worry about what’s in your mind. With everyone’s imagination atrophied, no one will ever be a threat to the world.”— Chuck Palahniuk ( via Tim Ferris )

Random Stuff:

A photographer re-creates the snapshots in old family albums

Thanks for reading.

Take care and have a nice month…

The Notebook: Issue 17

Hi
Welcome to the 2019 March issue of ‘The Notebook’.

This is a list of books, movies, blog posts, interviews, video clips and other stuffI found interesting and feel worth sharing.

I hope you’ll like some of the stuff I am sharing.

If you have any feedback, please drop me a line…Here it goes…

A Book Worth Sharing:

Exit Wounds by Rutu Modan

This is an amazing graphic novel written and drawn by Israeli author and illustrator Rutu Modan.
Exit Wounds is a lovely and strange and unpredictable story. Exit Wounds is surprisingly quiet and restrained. There’s never a big reveal, or a Shocking Plot Twist™, just a lot of small character moments that show you how little people are knowable, even the people theoretically closest to you.”
Read the complete review here

A Movie Worth Sharing:

Personal Shopper by Olivier Assayas

The film won the best director award at the 2016 Cannes Film Festival.Guillermo del Toro ranked it number 1, in his favorite ghost stories on film list
Read Olivier Assayas’s interview on making this film…

I don’t think I would’ve written this screenplay if I had not known Kristen Stewart.

An Idea Worth Sharing:

“Here’s a cool trick to show the kids at parties. Take a problem—any problem—in your life, and you’ll realize that it’s fundamentally an emotional problem.

  • Working too much? Anxiety and stress are driving you mad = emotional problem.
  • Not working enough? Lethargy and indifference = emotional problem.
  • Sister pissed off at you for stealing her birthday cake? Being a selfish asshole = feeling entitled and vindictive towards your sister = emotional problem.
  • Don’t have any friends? Inability to connect with others in any meaningful way = emotional problem.

I could do this all day. Name a personal problem and I guarantee there’s some sort of emotional dysfunction at the heart of it. A lot of my next book is based on this idea. And one of the realizations that came up while writing it is that we tend to think of self-discipline in terms of having the right knowledge and ideas and then executing on them. We always think of a disciplined person as having their mental shit together, when really, it’s that they have their emotional shit together.Because when you get down to it, self-discipline isn’t about knowledge or even effort—self-discipline is fundamentally about emotions. If an action or behavior doesn’t feel right then eventually, you will stop doing it. Or, conversely, if the wrong behavior feels right, you will keep doing it. So really, self-discipline, in many ways is about getting a handle on your own emotions.” – Mark Manson

A Quote Worth Sharing:

“The hardest thing to learn in life is which bridge to cross and which to burn.” — Bertrand Russell. (Via, BrainFood#303)

Random Stuff:

The Untold Story of Magic Leap, the World’s Most Secretive Startup

It’s a long article. But this is well worth a read, so please take your time to read it.
And I’ll tease you with few quotes…
“But the second thing it does is more important. The technology forces you to be present—in a way flat-screens do not—so that you gain authentic experiences, as authentic as in real life. People remember it not as a memory of something they saw but as something that happened to them.”
“It will be the most social medium yet. More social than social media is today.”
“Something certainly has just happened. A threshold has been crossed. After a long gestation, it is good enough to improve quickly. It’s real.”

Thanks for reading.

Take care and have a nice month…