Charlie Chaplin, one of the most powerful protagonists in world cinema spent the last 25 years of his life in Vevey Switzerland, one of the pearls of the beautiful Swiss Riviera. While living in Lausanne, I got the opportunity to visit Chaplin’s World, the Charlie Chaplin house in Switzerland. It was wonderful to know about the bright mind and creative man behind the baggy pants, tight coat, small hat, oversized shoes, and a cane in the hand through his everyday life, portrayed thoughtfully inside his house. I gained insight not only about his personal life inside the mansion but also his artistic creations in the newly built studio film museum, in the same premise. The visitors here get to see the recreated scenes and characters built with wax from the famous movies of our beloved tramp. If you are like me whose childhood Sundays in India mostly began with a Chaplin show or are interested in Chaplin, the passionate artist, the comic genius, and the cinematic innovator who worked on both sides of the camera, come along with me and explore Chaplin’s world.
Category: Art & Culture Page 1 of 3
Movies have always been my passport when I can’t travel. The best part is, through movies set in different countries, we can all travel without visas, tickets and travel passes from the comfort of our homes. It can probably never match the real experiences, but can spark a feeling of wanderlust in us. I often feel that the past, culture, aesthetics and uniqueness of a place survive in its art and movies, which are otherwise dwindling in a globalized and digitized world today. In this article, let me suggest some incredible movies set in Europe to spark your wanderlust, as they do to me. Having watched all of them, I can surely say that these movies are adept at immersing us fully within their time and space – hallmarks of any great cinema. Find out about all the movies and savor them at your own pace.
Cinema is truth 24 frames-per-second.Jean Luc Godard
In this age, when our lives are changing fast and the overwhelming powers of technology are stirring every aspect of our living, I often think about the cardinal values in life. Will they remain the same or will they change with this fleeting age? Struggle for survival has been there from the beginning. Our past generations had struggled with a conviction for a few certainties in life. In today’s world, conviction and certainty and even identity are flickering in the dynamic realm of a fast-paced society. Hence, during my travels whenever I witnessed weddings, I felt a sigh of relief. It is indeed comforting to witness love and dreams still occupying a place in this world.
In today’s era when technology refutes geographical distance, music helps me to cross the distance within. Music connects me to my inner self. I love spending my evenings sometimes filled with music; only music. It is to me is a tremendous mysterious element, a force of nature that I have to bow before. Recently, I got an opportunity to spend a musical evening with the San Francisco Symphony. I listened to Mendelssohn’s Violin Concerto and Berlioz’s Symphonie fantastique at the Davies Symphony Hall in San Francisco and went through layers of emotions within. Remembering a beautiful quote by Charles Darwin,
If I had my life to live over again, I would have made a rule to read some poetry and listen to some music at least once a week; for perhaps the parts of my brain now atrophied would have thus been kept active through use. The loss of these tastes is a loss of happiness, and may possibly be injurious to the intellect, and more probably to the moral character, by enfeebling the emotional part of our nature.
In this social media and digital era, our minds are increasingly getting saturated with images and videos in different forms. Manipulation, reproduction, and distribution of images and videos can be done within seconds using powerful software that is accessible to all. From my understanding, these have manyfold results. People have the power to express and distribute their work like never before. But, the lack of uniqueness and originality leads to relentless production in order to remain in the top of people’s minds. This overproduction leads to saturation and nothing really registers in the mind of the viewers, good or bad. In other words, the shelf life of such images or artworks has decreased significantly. I being a blogger, who extensively uses various mediums to tell a story, always try to find the subtle balance between art and its commercial and mass appeal, a difficult task in this world of excess. When I heard about the exhibition on the effervescent pop art of Andy Warhol at the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art or SFMOMA, I turned to the pop art maestro for inspiration and motivation to keep on creating.
India is one of the greatest players in history. All human pasts are still alive in this piece of land. A five thousand year epic continues till today. It’s people, cities, cultures, heritage, and traditions have now juxtaposed with the modern internet era and resulted in a conundrum and yet it remains refreshingly unique. From the vast and diverse landscape of India, I chose to write about Gwalior, a historic city in Madhya Pradesh – the heart of incredible India. During my month-long trip to Madhya Pradesh, I was intrigued to discover not only its world-famous forest but also the charm of Gwalior, India – the home to world’s second oldest zero!
The rain was pouring incessantly on the sweet Saturday evening while I was inside the beautiful auditorium of the San Francisco Ballet and was reveling in the flow of music, dance, and drama. The on-stage ballet was a welcome break from the constant presence of screens in our lives. Dancers, musicians, background stage sceneries and a spirited audience transported me to a world of chivalry; a world of adventure; the world of Don Quixote. The refreshing cadence of this ballet rekindled a memory and my mind traversed back to Madrid’s Plaza de Espana, which I visited a couple of years ago in Spain. The plaza features a stone sculpture of the author
Miguel de Cervantes and two famous characters of his novel – Don Quixote and Sancho Panza.
The Montalvo Arts Center in Saratoga, California, gifted me a lyrical evening where the main protagonist was light. I got to experience a unique blend of imagination and craft, art and science, dark and light, silence and music, and fantasy and reality. British artist Bruce Munro took me away to an unknown world where darkness was a stage and light, a performer!
His creation, beautifully named Stories in Light, is an art installation that blooms at night. It gifts us wonder, beauty and joy – the intangible yet fundamental components of our life and existence.