“Music produces a kind of pleasure which human nature cannot do without”
Every person has a particular kind of music they listen to or a particular artist they prefer over the other. I too have such preferences but my music taste can vary or rather varies from Kishore Kumar to Ed Sheeran to Jay-Z. I enjoy most kinds of music but my preference will always be towards acoustic or pop music. On certain days, i could only listen to a particular kind of music but on others and most, any song will get me in a cheery mood. One the most extreme examples is on my phone, straight after ‘Niggas In Paris’ by Jay-Z and Kanye West, a meoldy of Kishore Kumar, Mukesh and Mohammed Rafi sung by Atif Aslam plays. My friends get really confused as to such a wide contrast but personally I really enjoy most types of music. Somehow Trance was never a genre that i coud get myself into; it actually gives me a massive headache and this becomes difficult as my brother mainly only listens to trance.
Recently I’ve been to two concerts, which I’ve thoroughly enjoyed. The experiences for both of them were so different but pleasant nonetheless. The first concert was ‘Arijit Singh’, although we missed most of it, the time we did spend there was fully utilized. The concert actually started at 5 but we ended up going only at 8.30. I had gone with a group of my really close friends but handling them was quite a task as they were mainly high. At one point of time, one of my friends actually collapsed on the ground and it was quite funny. She was conscious but absolutely had no idea what was going on around her. I think my friends made the concert quite entertaining, as their antics were too much to handle yet nothing extreme. They completely made fools out of themselves as they really had no idea as to what they were doing and how they were dancing, luckily no one there cared enough to react to them and we barely could get a hold on them. During one of his songs, one of my friends started to laugh uncontrollably and that was quite fun to watch as she was properly making a fool out of herself, trying to ‘photobomb’ random strangers pictures. It was a show within a show. I personally think at that point, Arijit Singh could not bother us and we were in our own zone, dancing and singing horribly might I add.
The second concert and probably one of the best days of my life was seeing Ed Sheeran perform live. I’ve followed him since 2011 and seeing him perform was absolutely the best experience, it felt unreal. We actually went quite early for the concert as i couldn’t have any more patience and my excitement was thoroughly getting the best of me. We were probably in the 15 the row from the stage but eventually moved behind as my friends started to feel a bit claustrophobic. The atmosphere of the entire show was so great and energetic. It was a whole new experience altogether. There was not a dull moment during the entire show; from the moment he got on the stage and even after he exited, the excitement level did not go down one bit. Everybody knew the words to his songs but stayed moderately quiet just to hear him sing and it got all to real when he started singing one of my favorite song “Photograph”, his entire album is brilliant itself so I think from the very get go, my inner fangirl came out. He sounds exactly the same live as he did on his record, which left all of us stunned. The visuals on the screen itself had another story to tell and impressed us to great extents. He himself was looping his track while making up the song on the stage; with the leg pedals he’d put his guitar solo on loop and would add different tracks to the song. In totality, he sang for an hour and a half but it sincerely got over really quickly; it felt like a blink of an eye and I really couldn’t get over it.
Ever since he announced that he’d be coming to Mumbai (which is back in November) I had been looking forward to that day but now that its over, I cannot get myself to accept it. Since the concert, I’ve only been listening to him on repeat and cannot get myself to listen to anything else other than him. When i listen to any song that he played at the concert, I can exactly pin point what I doing or thinking during it; for example, he played ‘I See Fire’ and I exactly know where I was standing, how I was swaying and singing in probably in a horrendous tone. I even can tell what visuals were playing on the screen and when they turned from him to a snippet of ‘The Hobbit : Desolation of Smaug’. Everyone who was present at the concert, paid all their attention to seeing him and listening to him. It was something I’ve never seen, not only were they physically present but also mentally. He himself was so interactive with the crowd and it genuinely seemed as he was enjoying the concert, which made everybody a bit crazier than usual. He even wore a kurta and put up the Indian flag on his microphone, which I think was a nice touch as it made everybody a little giddier.
Post his concert, everybody I know went into depression including me as we could not believe that it is over. I seriously reckon his concert was by far one of the greatest time of my life.
“That’s one of the great things about music. You can sing a song to 85,000 people and they’ll sing it back for 85,000 different reasons”
– Dave Grohl
The image personifies a human who is suffering. Each of the suffering feels like an pin poking down right to its core. Each pin has added to the pain. However this also depicts that this human has not made a conscious attempt to fix himself or herself. There may have been a few feable attempts, which are seen in the picture as black holes. As the scars are not filled, it can be said that the damage is not fixed. The mask is broken at places. This can be seen as hurt or pain that was so deep it has broken the person down to pieces and now is irreversible as the broken pieces are not present in the picture. There are cracks seen in the mask too that look this person is slowly disintegrating, unable to bear with the pain. The pins have affected every sense of this person. The skin has gone numb, the eyes, nose and ears are pierced, the mouth is broken. The capacity to perceive, analyze and conclude has been taken away such has caused a further downward spiral. From the picture it looks nearly impossible for this person to get out of this tragic state and live a normal happy life. Every decision and judgement is clouded due to the lack of perception. Medical procedures may not be able to help this person as there are only a few holes that medicines can fill up. This care looks like one of complete blocked circuits.
This image looks like it could be a picture of a religious place. It could either be a picture of a consevative church or a mosque. The intricate detailing on the roof, the shape of the arches and colourful glass painting may also make one believe that this place belongs to somewhere in Morocco, Turkey or even the Middle East. Solid colours have been used for the glass painting. The reflection of the glass painting on the floor resembles an oil spoil on the road during the monsoon. There is a stark contrast between the gray roof and the grey flooring and the brightly coloured windows. This contrast provides a nice balance to the image. There is monotony in the structure as the ceiling as well as the windows are all in the shape of pointed arches. The pillars have been kept quite simple with a limestone kind of texture. They could have had more detailing done on them. Similar monotony is seen in the design on the roof. The entire roof is coloured with rhombus shaped designs with detailing done in grey. The floor also reflects the same pattern of grey rhombuses. The wooden doors are a good change from the monotonous grey but the brown polish on the door does not math well with the rest of the colours present and stands out in an awkward way. The pillars in between the windows look stalky and the dark grey bottom adds to their unpleasant look even more.
In the Mood for Love is a film by Wong Kar Wai that was released in the year 2000. It is a story of obstructed love by the society and their norms. It is a bittersweet tale of unrequited love and of finding solace in another person, which reciprocates those feelings but is bound by their faith. It is a different take on a love story. The film begins with a short scene, describing it as an “awkward moment” for Mr Chow and Mrs Chan as they meet for the first time in the hallway. The opening sequences states “Hong Kong, 1962” as to tell us the exact location and time the film is set in. During this entire film, we are made to pay attention to the scene; for example, when the characters are talking, the focus is given to an object so that people pay more attention to the conversation that is playing in the background.
In this film, “visual theme” or “Mise-en-scène” is used very effectively to focus the audience into the underlying story. the duality of them being together but not together sets the theme in this film. Everytime they are together, it is mostly reflection shots. Wong Kar Wai uses reflection to tell another story all together. In his analysis of In the Mood for Love, Gary Bettinson wrote:
Noir iconography invades the misc en scene: ringing telephones and doorbells remain discomfortingly unanswered; cigarettes are obsessively smoked and function as ubiquitous markers of anxiety; and at night a perpetual rainfall pounds the lamp-lined streets of Hong Kong (175).
One of the key elements of In the Mood for Love is its cinematography. The detail shots (of the phone or objects), long shots (of corridors), the edit breaks (between two scenes) really bring in the movie together. Wong Kar Wai in an interview said much of the film was shot using normal lens as it ‘seeks to avoid noticeable perspective distortions’, giving the audience the feeling of being present during the movie. He used framed close-ups to ‘convey the quality of a personal encounter’. Wong speaks of In the Mood for Love being inspired by Hitchcock’s Vertigo;
“I wanted to treat it like a Hitchcock film, where so much happens outside the frame, and the viewer’s imagination creates a kind of suspense. Vertigo, especially, is something I always kept returning to in making the film.” Being truthful to his description, he uses a variety of shots and creates suspense by using props like partitions and window grills. This can also be seen as a metaphor for portraying Mr Chow and Mrs Chan’s feelings of being trapped.
Music plays a critical role in this film. The sound of the violin creates a mod of sadness and monotony, which indeed is depictive of both of their lives. The music also marks how their relationship progresses. The music is very specific to make you feel exactly what the characters go through. The music is made and played in such a way that you really invest yourself in the particular scene and feel like a part of the conversation. ‘When Chow calls Su before leaving for Singapore, he asks her to move with him; there is no reply from her but the song “Quizas, Quizas, Quizas” starts to play, hinting that the answer is “Perhaps, Perhaps, Perhaps”. On many occasions the round of rain contributes to the setting of this story.
The aesthetic of the film moves with the feelings of Mrs Chow. At first, her dressing is dull and monotonous but as she starts spending time with Mr Chow; her dressing becomes more colorful, brighter and even floral. Throughout the film, she wears a ‘Cheongsam’, which is a traditional Chinese ensemble for women. Even the set of the film changes, as the scenes get brighter and colorful. She sometimes repeats her outfits, which make you, wonder if it is a continuation of a previous scene or is it an entirely different scene. The way the film is edited makes it difficult to answer this question and confuses the audience. The breaks in this scene are used effectively as it leaves a sense of mystery but the next scene reenacts it anyway. The audience always knows what happens when one scene shifts into another. The story itself has different underlying issues. There is a constant connection throughout the film.
Mr Chow and Mrs Chan reenact their spouses’ affair but the barrier is soon broken when Mrs Chan asks “Do you have a mistress?”. They are in their own relationship but they fall in love. They seek comfort in each other but soon realize what they’re doing is much worse because they have connected on a different emotional level unlike their spouses who have a rather physical relationship. Not showing the faces of their respected spouses also portrays their attitude of not caring about their partners.
The story itself being a play on its title justifies it as both of the characters crave love but don’t receive it from their respective partners. The film is beautifully depicting the feelings and state of the characters and leaves a grave impression of the viewer as they are suddenly bombarded with questions about the film and its characters.
In the Mood For Love, Wong Kar Wai.
Soundtrack Review of In the Mood for Love, Glenn McClanan