All posts filed under: Features

Revisiting Vaporwave In 2020

Almost 10 years ago, vaporwave memes took over the internet by storm. The first microgenre to be born and live its life entirely on the Internet. Thanks to its nostalgic and surrealist take on popular culture and entertainment that helped exteriorized the bygone-ingenuousness. But writing about Vaporwave in 2020 is almost as unnecessary as carrying small changes for the phone booths. We don’t need to do that anymore because there are plenty of other things out there to do and talk about in 2020. Not that consumer capitalism is dead, it’s just we are trying to be satisfied with the status quo we are in right now. If everything I am saying sounds confusing to you, try this. Or this.. Vaporwave was originally created as a meme with an ambiguous and satirical take on globalization, runaway consumerism, manufactured nostalgia, and most importantly technoculture (the interactions between, and politics of, technology and culture). No other music has ever been directly associated with these aspects of the zeitgeist. And if it was the first time you heard …

Maborosi And Memory

Maborosi, the first feature film by contemporary Japanese maestro Kore-eda Hirokazu. Yumiko, the protagonist, is a girl when we first meet her. She lives with her parents and grandmother in Osaka. Her grandmother leaves the home to go back to the village she is from before dying. Yumiko tries to stop her but fails. Her grandmother never comes back. She met a boy with a bicycle named Iuko and the story cuts forward to several years when they are married and have a new-born child. Their life is happy and charming until Yumiko becomes a widow. After five years or so a well-wisher of Yumiko finds a match for her named Tamio who lives with his daughter and his father in a village by the sea far away from Osaka. Yumiko moves there with her son to start a new life. I sat still in my chair even after the end credits were gone and the faint hint of light was clearing out the darkness of the screen. I was in my room and it …

A Young Director and his only film

I came across a brief write up by one of my acquaintances on Facebook a few days back. “…Asia is the place where cinema is still breathing a fresh whiff of significant cinema – something which current European cinema is visibly lacking!”, it concluded. He listed a bunch of directors from different parts of Asia who are shining with their works today. But what caught my eyes was this line: “Sadly, I couldn’t add Bo Hu’s name.” I asked him if it’s because of the fact Hu Bo is no more. His answer was ‘yes’. “An elephant sitting still” is the first and the last feature film by Chinese director Hu Bo who killed himself during the final editing procedure of the film, in 2017, at 29. The film came out in 2018 and immediately gained attention from the world audience. Hu Bo was a student of Bela Tarr, the Hungarian auteur. The film opens up in a morning with a story about an elephant, narrated in a voice of one of the characters. In a northern Chinese city …

A Soundtrack Worth Remembering – Le Mariage Collectif

If you type in Le Mariage Collectif or Collective Marriage on Google, it’s definitely unlike most of the search results you would get for a movie. There’s not much out there on the Internet about it that might be of your interest. Mariage Collectif has been anything but remembered by history as an important movie, that’s for sure, a fact even admitted by the press release for its soundtrack. A 1971 French drama based upon a married couple having difficulties in a sexual relationship. Sounds lame, right? Well, not everything about this movie is as lame as you think it might be. Conversely, Mariage Collectif could be taken as a minor classic as well. But what has really been noteworthy and significant about it is the soundtrack from Jean-Pierre Mirouze and the story behind the recovery of the album. Even though, Mariage Collectif’s soundtrack is considered one of the most fascinating soundtrack out there and has influenced many sounds of 21st century, the album was once long forgotten and had been conserved through only a handful …

I Trawl The Megahertz

I said ‘Your daddy loves you.’ I said ‘Your daddy loves you very much…He just doesn’t want to live with us anymore.’ It’s been a good one year since Prefab Sprout reissued I Trawl the Megahertz. But its original release eventuated way back. Almost 17 years. Hovering around the Internet to find the reviews of the album, three results pop up as the most relevant. One of which by Chris Jones at BBC has now been archived (Archivng is primarily a process of collecting portions of the world wide web to ensure the information is safe and preserved in an archive for future researchers, historians, and the public.) and is no longer updated, even after the reissue, another one by Guy Collier at thedigitalfix, looks old and an in-depth review by Sam Sodomsky at Pitchfork published on March 23, 2019 after the reissue. All of which found their commonground in agreeing the novelty of the project. I Trawl The Megahertz is a beautiful musical ecstasy, originally released as a Paddy McAloon solo project in May 2003, but one must also understand …

The Rise And Fall of Non-Film Music in Kolkata

For a few years when I was in my preadolescence, my favourite (Bengali) band was Cactus (ক্যাকটাস). I loved its early 00s mellow aesthetics; I loved the blues, pop-rock and psychedelic flux, bedded with the furor over creative and pioneering ideas. It was an odd thing. Especially for someone of that tender age who didn’t understand a single word singing along with the guitars and drums. It’s difficult to articulate now exactly what I liked about the band at that time beyond that the music resonated with my general preadolescent angst, but I do remember headbanging with the guitar riffs and drums every time I listened to them. I continued to follow Cactus along with other bands and solo acts like Fossils, Krosswindz, Chandrabindoo, Anjan Dutta, Nachiketa Chakraborty, Bhoomi, Lakhhichhara, Srikanto Acharya, Lopamudra Mitra and the trailblazer Moheener Ghoraguli for several more years til the late 2009 or early 2010. The enthusiasm, however, gradually waned. The more time passed, the less likely it seemed that I would ever retake interest in listening to my once favourite …