Author Archives: Quetzalcoatl

About Quetzalcoatl

I slack, therefore I am.

10

The Independence Day Quiz: Volume Zero

Hi,

In order to celebrate the Independence Day, a dedicated Quiz on Indian History is being conducted here in two volumes. This is the second volume.

In case you haven’t seen you can also visit The Indian History Quiz Volume Pi.

Pattern:
There are two rounds with 15 questions each. First volume was posted on 13th night and the answers were posted on 15th night. The second volume is being posted now. So you have a deadline of 48 hours.

Marking Scheme:
Questions will fetch one mark each unless mentioned otherwise. But some of them have multiple variables and hence will fetch as many marks.

Mode of Answering:
Put your answers as comments. They are being moderated and they will not be visible unless they are approved after the deadline.

Warning: Please put your answers in the WordPress comment system at the bottom and NOT as Facebook comments. The FB comment box has been provided for easy interaction but the answers must be moderated and not published directly

Prizes:
There are small token prizes in the shape of Flipkart e-vouchers worth Rs 300, 200 and 100 for cumulative winners in order to encourage participation from younger quizzers. In case you think the amount can be passed off to newer participants, you can mention that you are “Non-Comp” along with your answers.

Request:
Please like the FB page on the right side box or +1 this post to show support so that such efforts can be continued in the future.

A Quiz By
Jitaditya

__________________________________________

Independence Day Quiz: Questions

1. Easy: Translation of a famous stone inscription. Who are they talking about?

2. Situated northwest of Delhi, X is a place of mythological and historical importance mostly known as the ancestral kingdom of a certain Emperor Y who is quite well known. X was a prominent city during the ancient times but after it was sacked by Sultan Mahmud of Ghazni, it started losing its prominence. By the time of British rule it had been relegated to a nondescript village. But after partition a bunch of refugees were settled around the place and soon it went through a revival of sorts to become a notable commercial town. Now it is a part of a district named after an epic battlefield. Enough clues… identify X & Y. (2 marks)

3.He was of Syrian origin and apparently was only 17 years old when he achieved his most famous achievement. He’s still a popular figure in Pakistan with a port named after him. Nevertheless his success was temporary and he faced defeat soon. Also, due to political changes in his own country, he fell out of favour. There are several controversial accounts about his death, although it is more or less certain that he was only 20 years old when he died/killed. Who?

4. X was one of the most powerful rulers of the 8th century India. According to accounts of various Indian, Tibetan, Turk and Chinese accounts, he not only conquered the bulk of India but also led successful campaigns to different central Asian regions. He is also believed to have conquered regions in Western China and marshalled his troops across Tibet. A twelfth century Indian historian has described his exploits in his magnum opus. Who?

5. Need a bit of explanation here. The gentleman here has made several discoveries with regards to Indian history and archaeology. One particular achievement of his was achieved through the items shown at the bottom and whatever he “discovered” can trace back its origins to the region shown in the map. Identify and explain (2 point)

6. He was a traveller who visited India in the 15th century. He took the sea route and landed on the western coast. He spent a few years in a Deccan kingdom and then tried to return to his place but died before he reached home. A joint production film was made in the 1950’s with a fictionalized account of his travel and affair in India. Among others, the film starred a reigning Indian actress of those times. Identify the explorer.

7. Identify these two and name the more famous one of their kind. (2 points)

8. This is not an exhaustive collection of flags. But they represent something very specific. As shown by the arrow in the middle, they have been arranged following a certain order. The two flags in a row are equal in that regard and it gradually changes as we go downwards. Sorry if it sounds vague, any more clue will ruin the question. Just explain. (2 marks)

9. His exploits were legendary. He expanded the empire of his master at a breakneck speed and British contemporaries considered him to be capable of pushing his boundary up to Europe, only if he had the technology of the Europeans. He apparently died in a winning cause while fighting the Afghans in a critically strategic location. A popular Bollywood song of the 60’s refers to him. Identify.

10. A slight deviation from serious stuff with some indulgent dose of glamour. An Indian royalty, she was considered a fashion icon in the West and was regularly managed get noticed by fashion magazines, photographers and designers. Identify.

11. Sitter again: A trained medicine man from a Brahmin family. What did he start?

12. He sought revenge. It took more than two decades and in between he spent time in Africa, USA and Europe. He also spent a few years in an Indian jail during the period when most of his revolutionary comrades fell. Nevertheless, he finally achieved his goal and he always maintained that his victim deserved it. Identify this martyr.

13. The ruler of this princely state wanted to assimilate with Pakistan. However the Hindu majority populace made it difficult. The Indian government put economic and political pressure and finally occupied the state and the ruler fled to Pakistan along with most of the money in the treasury. The prime minister of the state finally negotiated and completed the formalities of the accession with India. Now, this prime minister was also a prominent personality whose subsequent generations went on to create a political dynasty. Identify the state and the Person mentioned. (Clue: I am not looking for Hyderabad although the initial parts sound like it) (2 marks)

14. A lawyer by profession, he once had the British administration declare a prize on him due to his revolutionary activities. But he is more famous for the role he played more than three decades later during India’s darkest hour. As a matter of fact he achieved a unique achievement during this period and was also involved in a high profile lawsuit. Who?

15. Simple one to end with… who?

Repeat Warning: Please put your answers in the WordPress comment system at the bottom and NOT as Facebook comments. The FB comment box has been provided for easy interaction but the answers must be moderated and not published directly

__________________________________________

Independence Day Quiz: Answers

1. Samudragupta’s exploits as mentioned in Allahabad inscription.

2. X= Thanesar (Thaneshwar) in Kurukshetra district of Haryana, Y= Harshavardhan

3. Mohammad Bi Qasim, who beat King Dahir in 715 AD in Sindh to mark the first successful muslim invasion. He was later beaten by a Rajput Chieftain Bappa Rawal to check his progress and mark his downfall.

4. Lalitaditya Muktapida, as mentioned by Kalhan in Rajtarangini

5. James Princep deciphered the Kharoshthi script using the seal that had Greek inscription on one side and Kharoshti on the other. In a way it can be called India’s Rosetta stone. Kharoshti script mainly developed in the Gandhar (Kandahar) region as shown in the map.

6. Afanisi Nikitin. Film Pardesi (1957) with Nargis as the female lead and produced by Mosfilm and Naya Sansar.

7. French & Dutch East India Company. More famous is of course the British one.

8. Gun salutes is the login behind this order. The princley states were given gun salues based on their stature and importance. Big ones like Gwalior and Hyderabad got 21. The likes of Bhopal and Travancore had 19 and so on…

9. Hari Singh Nalwa. The song Mere Desh Ki Dharti refers to him… “Rang hara Hari Singh Nalwe se.. Rang laal hain Lal Bahadur se” …

10. Sita Devi of Kapurthala

11. K B Hedgewar… RSS

12. Shaheed Udham Singh who pulled one back by eliminating Michael O’Dwyer, who was the Lieutenant Governor of Punjab during Jalianwalabagh massacre. Do note that he is often confused with General Dyer who actially ordered the firings.

13. Junagadh in Guajarat. The man is question is Shah Nawaz Bhutto. You can figure out the rest with his surname.

14. Raj Narain who defeated Indira Gandhi in Rai Bareily.

15. Shah Bano.

Scores being counted…. Thanks for playing.

______________________________________

Score Update

Total maximum score 26+20=46

Daktar Vinay (Non-Comp) 10+9=19
Nikhil Kulkarni 04
Harsha VS 9+16=25
Kapinjal Choudhury 7+6=13
Mit Choudhury 1+3=04
Shekhar Shengar 05
Vedanuj Goswami 14+19=33
Anadi Mishra 01
Ritwik K 8+18=26
Arindam Phukan 12+16=28

So, based on the scores in both rounds,

Winner Vedanuj Goswami

Runners up Arindam Phukan

3rd Rithwik

A close miss by Harsha VS!!!

I’ll contact all three with the details after a couple of days.

Thanks

india flag

India Quiz for Quizcraft

I framed these India related quiz for the group Quizcraft. You can also have a look at the group for more action.

Just reproducing it here. The answers have also been provided at the bottom.

India Quiz

1. This pre-independence era Bollywood film incorporated a patriotic song that became very popular. The lyrics warn outsiders to stay away from the sacred motherland and it was worded carefully to avoid British censorship and it rather mentions Britain’s enemies. The young lyricist went on to achieve more success later on and is most remembered for another patriotic song in 1960s. Identify the film and the lyricist.

2. He achieved fame in the 1920s as a politician for his courageous struggle against the British officials in a certain widely publicized scandal of those times. Later on, he joined Congress and rose to prominence but his opposition and unsubstantiated allegations against the high command led to his expulsion. Nevertheless, he is now remembered for lending his name to a prime location in his city of birth.

3. This film X consciously tried to break away from the exotic image of India and its culture in the western eyes. It was also one of the earliest Indian films to collaborate with foreign studios and was based on a verse of the same name by an English poet. The co-director Y also played the lead role and the female lead role went to an Anglo-Indian actress Z who debuted with this film and went on to become one of the earliest stars of that era. Identify X, Y and Z.

4. X made his film debut as a retired clerk harassed by a property-developer and his lawyer. He went on to do several small roles in important films and TV movies including one based on his own magnum opus based during the era of India’s final freedom struggle and partition. While he was a late entrant in the field of acting, his brother Y was a well-known and respected actor in his own right. Identify both.

5. X is a lesser known event in Indian history that basically is a set of sporadic rebellious activities against the British by the ascetic communities in Eastern India during the late 18th century. While they did not achieve much success, they were immortalized by Y almost a century later. Y’s work was called Z which also received a film adaptation in the 1950s. Identify X, Y and Z.

6. There are multiple myths about this historical character from ancient India (pre-Mauryan era). One of the myths goes as follows,

His father didn’t have any children for a long time. So he consulted a soothsayer who told him that a hermit living in the mountains would be reborn as his son but the father was impatient and killed the hermit and the son was born soon afterwards. The soothsayer now said that due to his sins the son would kill the father one day. So the father had the kid thrown from a tower but he escaped. In due course, he grew in strength a held his father captive and starved him to death. Who?

7. X was a 19th century English statesman who was assassinated while inspecting a penal colony of convicts by Y, who was languishing in that remote prison. X was instrumental in founding a well-known college aimed at educating the Indian elite with western culture and orientations. Not much is known about Y or his motivations but for the fact that he shares his last name with a popular Pakistani cricketer. Identify.

8. This 1941 film starred two of the biggest stars X and Y, of early Bollywood talkies and dealt with a very famous event of Indian history that aroused patriotic feelings among the viewers in those turbulent times. While X was also the director of the film, Y played X’s role in another film of 1965 based on the same event. Identify X and Y.

9. He moved to the US and changed his last name and acted in a few Hollywood silent films as well as Broadway shows. In his prior avatar, he also worked for Indian football Association. Who is he? Why does he feature in this India themed quiz?

10. Identify this place that is said to have derived its name fromthe wife of a Rajput chieftain. The urs of saint Sarkar Sabir Pak, one of the leading lights of the Chisti Order is celebrated here every year in the month of May June at the glimpse of the moon of Rabi ul Awwal. It houses a centre of education that is one of the oldest of its kind in India.

_____________________________

India Quiz Answers

1. “Door hato aye duniyawaalon, Hindustan hamara hai!” from the film Kismat (1943). Poet was Kavi Pradeep who went on to pen “Aye Mere Watan Ke Logon” later on.

2. Khurshid Framji Nariman. The Nariman Point in Mumbai is named after him which is one of the oldest business districts in the country and also among the most expensive in the world.

3. X = Light of Asia
Y= Himansu Ra
Z= Sita Devi (Renee Smith)

4. X= Bhisham Sahani
Y= Balraj Sahani

5. X= Sanyasi Rebellion
Y= Bankim Chandra Chatterjee
Z= Anandamath

6. Ajatasatru, the son of Bimbisara of Magadha.

7. X= Lord Mayo who established the Mayo College
Y= Sher Ali Afridi

8. X= Sohrab Modi (Played Porus in the film 1941 film where Kapoor played Alexander)
Y= Prithviraj Kapoor (Who played Porus in 1965 film with Dara Singh playing Alexander)

9. Norman Pritchard (Trevor), who represented Indian in the 1900 Paris Olympics and was the first one from the country to win a medal. In fact he won two silver medals.

10.Roorkee. It houses one of the oldest engineering colleges in India which was later converted into an IIT. The Sufi Saint in question is Alauddin Sabir Kaliyari.

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The Independence Day Quiz: Volume Pi

Hi,

In order to celebrate the forthcoming Independence Day, a dedicated Quiz on Indian History is being conducted here in two volumes.

Pattern:
There will be two rounds with 15 questions each. First volume will be posted on 13th night and the answers will be posted on 15th night. The second volume will be posted on 19th night and the cumulative winner will be declared on the 21st night.

Marking Scheme:
Questions will fetch one mark each unless mentioned otherwise. But some of them have multiple variables and hence will fetch as many marks.

Mode of Answering:
Put your answers as comments. They are being moderated and they will not be visible unless they are approved after the deadline.

Prizes:
There are small token prizes in the shape of Flipkart e-vouchers worth Rs 300, 200 and 100 for cumulative winners in order to encourage participation from younger quizzers. In case you think the amount can be passed off to newer participants, you can mention that you are “Non-Comp” along with your answers.

Request:
Please like the FB page on the right side box or +1 this post to show support so that such drives can be continued in the future.

A Quiz By
Jitaditya & Vikas

__________________________________________

Independence Day Quiz: Questions

1. Connect

2. X & XY both are mythical entities. XY is more popularly known by his surname Y. But there is a theory that X is the same person as XY. But it may also be a coincidence that they shared the same first name. X was a celebrated monarch who is said to have divine protections and his son was the victor of a famous battle among Vedic tribes. On the other hand XY is the founder of certain branch of practical knowledge and learning that has endured the test of time till date. Identify X and XY. (2 marks)

3. P is a peculiar entity in Indian mythology who has seen a fall from grace over ages in his own pantheon. During the early days, P is also supposed to have aided X from the previous question in vanquishing his arch rival by demolishing multiple fortifications and thus earning the epithet, Q. P and some of his cognates also find mention in other ancient mythologies and was a major deity in the pantheon of R, an ancient state that is believed to have flourished somewhere in Asia Manor and Levant. Identify P, Q and R. (3 marks)

4. A Google friendly one. Three major trade routes passed through this ancient city.

• The northern road which connected Gandhara in the west to the kingdom of Magadha in the Ganges valley in the east.
• The northwestern route through Bactria, Kapisa and Pushkalavati
• The Sindhu route from Kashmir and Central Asia to the Silk Road in the north and also to the Indian Ocean in the south.

This city was also a capital of the state that supported Alexander against Puru during his campaign. Nevertheless, it is more famous till date for another reason. Identify.

5. There is no clear information about the rise of this important center of trade in ancient India. Some experts claim that it existed as early as the 7th century BC although the claims lack material evidence. But even Mahabharata mentions the place on various occasions, thus suggesting its antiquity. Even Periplus Maris Erythraei attests its burgeoning trade with China and South East Asia. It slowly began losing its prominence due to various factors and finally went into oblivion. It is generally agreed that a nondescript present day town with less than 50000 populations is the site of that legendary spot. Which place?

6. Just connect (exhaustive list)

7. It is considered to be a masterpiece in Arabic literature although it was actually a translation. The Arabic version differs considerably from the original book owing to the cultural and religious differences between two countries and the fact that Arabic version was never directly translated. The Arabic version was the source for all European versions until 18th century. Parallel versions exist in Tibet, China and much of South East Asia. What am I talking about?

8. Certain places have been depicted here either through maps or historical monuments. They follow a chronological pattern as suggested through arrows. Explain how they are connected.

9. A certain new testament apocrypha mentions the meeting of X and Y that lead to an event that was “first” of its kind in the subcontinent. But archeological and numismatic evidences suggest that actually X might have predated the event and it may be one of his successors adopting the same name. Identify X and Y. (2 points)

10. This historical site derives its name from Sanskrit word Nagar. Now serving a different religion than what it was built for, its design was based on a certain geographical entity in Indian mythology. It has such a passionate connect with its people that recently a rumor about the site caused riots in the country. Identify.

11. X is believed to be one of the earliest as well as celebrated dramatists in the history of Sanskrit literature. Not much is known about his early life but his oeuvre is replete with classic tragedies. As his works do not always follow the rules of Natya Shastra, we can assume that he even predated Bharata Muni himself. Y is arguably his most famous work which was believed to have been lost forever till it was rediscovered in Kerala in the early 20th century. X & Y? (2 points)

12. Identify the three characters.

13. X and Y differ by approximately 134 years and were started to celebrate two similar events. Still much in use in South Asia and officially endorsed by two different countries, they also gave birth to parallel traditions in India and South East Asia. What are X & Y? (2 points)

14. During his heyday, X was considered to be among the greatest rulers of the ancient world along with his Chinese, Byzantine and Caliphate counterparts by some of the travelers. He belonged to the Y dynasty and is believed have one of the longest reigns in history. X & Y? (2 marks)

15. P was a lesser known frontier king who is known to have prevented at least two invasions from powerful western invaders, finally succumbing to a third one. While much information about him is not available, he is believed to have used scorched earth policy to weaken Q’s army before getting into a real battle and defeating Q comprehensively. This incident finds mention in a rock inscription that is named R after a certain local myth regarding Lord Krishna. The event is also described by historian S in his seminal work T which is considered one of the major sources of those times. Identify P, Q, R, S and T. (5 marks)

____________________________

The Answers:

1. A generic connect to start with. The Indust Valley Civilization.

First train of East Indian Railway, Pashupatinath Temple and Ghaggar-Hakra River basin.
It was during the laying of Lahore-Karachi railway line by East Indian Railway company, ancient ruins of Indus Valley Civilization were found in city of Brahimabad.
One of the seals of the civilization has been interpreted as that of Shiva (Pashupatinath) although its debated by some historians.
Ghaggar-Hakra river basin is believed to be the remnant of dried up Saraswati river by many Historians. The drying up of Saraswati river is considered one of the reasons of the ultimate downfall and end of it.

2. X= Dibodasa, an ancient kind mentioned in the early vedic literature. He was the father of Sudas, the victor of the Battle of Ten Kings.
XY= Dibodasa Dhanvantari, more popularly known as Dhanvantari, the founder of Ayurveda

3. P= Indra, the powerful vedic deity who no longer enjoys the prominence in Hindu pantheon.
Q= Purandar (Destroyer of the cities). Apparently Indra destroyed a hundred fortifications belonging to Divodasa’s enemy who was apparently a non-Indo-Aryan entity.
R= Mittani, a Hurrian speaking state that flourished for a short period around 1200 BC in Syria and Anatolia. They surprisingly worshipped deities such as Indra and Varuna and thus giving rise to a speculation that the local population was ruled by an Indo-Aryan ruling class.

4. Takshashila/ Taxila.

5. Tamralipti, a port city that flourished in the ancient times due to the maritime trade with the South Eastern markets but got buried under silt over time and lost its importance. Present day Tamluk in West Bengal is supposed to be the same place.

6. Symbols of 24 Jain Tirthankaras. The number 24 was the key here in case people counted.

7. Panchatantra. Arabic version is named as Kal?la wa Dimna. Arabic version was adopted in 750 AD from Persian translation that happened in 570 AD. It was exported (probably both in oral and literary formats) north to Tibet and China and east to South East Asia by Buddhist monks on pilgrimage. These led to versions in all Southeast Asian countries, including Tibetan, Chinese, Mongolian, Javanese and Lao derivatives.Intrestingly, a German translation, Das Der Buch Beyspiele, of the Panchatantra was printed in 1483, making this one of the earliest books to be printed by Gutenberg’s press after the Bible.

8. Locations of The four Buddhist Councils.
Rajgriha. The map shows the present day Rajgir, which used to be Rajgriha, the first capital of Magadha.
Vaishali. The pic shows ruins of the single lion capitol of Ashoka in that place.
Pataliputra. The pic of ancient remains near Patna.
The location of the fourth is unsure. It is believed to be Jalandhar or somewhere in Kashmir.

9. X= Gondophares, the Indo-Parthian King, the first Indian royalty to have converted to Christianity.
Y= St. Thomas
Mentioned in the Acts of Thomas, the 3rd century New Testament apocrypha.

10. Angkor Wat, Cambodia. Angkor is derived from Nagar. A temple complex built by King Suryavarman II in 12th Century, now it functions as a Therveda Budhdhist temple. It is designed to represent Mount Meru, home of the devas in Hindu mythology. It is cultural symbol of Cambodia and appears on its national flag. Cambodians are so attached to it that in 2003 riots started in Phnom Penh when a false rumor circulated that a Thai soap opera actress had claimed that Angkor Wat belonged to Thailand.

11. X= Bhasa, Y= Swapnabasavadutta, He was also known for certain tragic plays such as Urubhanga, a sympathetic tale of Duryodhan.

12. OM in Balinese, Tamil Grantham and Tibetian scripts.

13. Vikram Samvat(started 56 BC) and Saka Samvat(also known as Shalivahan Samvat and started 78 AD). Vikrama Samvat was founded by the emperor Vikramaditya of Ujjain[1] following his victory over the Sakas and the Satavahana king Shalivahana is credited with the initiation Saka to celebrate his victory against the Sakas in the year 78 CE. Vikaram samvat is official calendar of Nepal and Saka of India.

14. X= Amoghavarsha, Y= Rashtrakuta. Certain travelers of those times considered him to be the fourth greatest monarch in the world after the Roman
Emperor in Constantinople, The Chinese Emperor and the Khalifa of Baghdad.

15. Had to ask an Assam related question and this was it. Din’t expect too many cracks and in fact it goes uncracked. My intention was to shed some light to the matter as it is largely unknown and neglected.
P= Prithu
Q= Bakhtiya Khilji, the conqueror of Bengal.
R= Kanai boroxi boa xil (The rock where Lord Krishna fished)… The rock-inscription found in north Guwahati records the defeat of the Turuska or the Turks in the hands of the local ruler of Kamrupa on March 27 in 1206 AD.
S= Minhaj-i-Siraj
T= Tabaqat-i-Nasiri
Some more info can be found here. Start with Page 133.

Thanks for playing. The scores will be counted after the second volume next weekend.

________________________

Scores after the first volume:
(I’ve been lenient unlike most of the teachers and professors I’ve endured)

Total Marks: 26

Daktar Vinay 10
Nikhil Kulkarni 4
Harsha VS 9
Kapinjal Choudhury 7
Mit Choudhury 1
Shekhar Shengar 5
Vedanuj Goswami 14
Anadi Mishra 1
Ritwik K 8
Arindam Phukan 12

medals

Cinephilia Quiz Cycle 1: Scores and Winners

Hi,

After five rounds of quizzing, here are the cumulative scores. I have rounded up some of the scores for convenience but I don’t think it will affect the standings anyways.

I have decided to give away two prizes instead of one to increase the probability of winning. I understand that the amount is small but that is what I can afford now. Will try to keep three prizes next cycle onwards.

As one can see, the most consistent participant is more likely to win. There were some great individual performances in a few quizzes but unfortunately they could not participate in all of them. Hope to see more consistent participation next time.

So, the winners are,
Roerich Bansal
Vedanuj Goswami

Winners please put your mail IDs as comments here so that I can send the voucher code.

Prizes: Flipkart e-vouchers worth INR 300 & 200 only.

Reason for using this Flipkart Voucher:
1. It saves my work like collecting address or account numbers of people to send such miniscule amounts.
2. Winners don’t have to spend sleepless nights under constant threat of getting their account hacked after providing the details to me.
3. Vouchers remain valid for 1 year and you can wait to gather a few more vouchers so that you can use them together for a more substantial purchase.

Thanks for playing
Jitaditya

2

Cinephilia Quiz 5: Doordarshan

Hi all,

Today’s quiz dedicated to the nostalgic memories of Doordarshan. Have faced a hard time finding pictures and information due to traditional systematic apathy of the organization towards its own heritage. It’s been created in collaboration with Vikas Tripathi.

Rules:

Put your answers as comments.

They are being moderated and will be published only after the deadline.

You can make multiple attempts and in case of conflicts your last answer will be taken as final.

Every question is worth 10 points irrespective of difficulty level (for ease of calculation).

Prizes:

I have decided to finish this cycle with this quiz. For this cycle, due to extreme poverty, I will give only one prize worth Rs 500 to the cumulative winner. More plans are on regarding the next phases and hope we’ll be able to dole out more prizes next cycle onwards.

Deadline:

24 hours from the moment of publishing.
______________________________

1. A sitter to begin with…. Connect them and give me a classic DD serial.

2. How can you connect this logo with the person below? (Please ignore the third finger, it is purely coincidental)

3. Identify this Maharashtrian politician who started his career with the newly found Socialist party at one point of time but later on changed his allegiance. Also explain why he is in this quiz.

4. This guy is related to these three films but he is more famous for his exploits in the field under discussion here. Who’s he?

5. A recent ad that is a throwback to the golden age of DD. Identify the advertiser and also identify the two personalities.

6. Connect and give me the personality.

7. Identify the people being interviewed here and also the interviewer. What distinction does the interviewer hold?

8. X did something in the year Sholay released. Popularity of X’s act was so much that an encore was done after 10 years. Who is X? What am I talking about?

9. Connect

10. Connect (not exhaustive)

__________________________

Answers:

Here are the answers:

Maximum number of page visits for this quiz but miniscule participation. Only 7 unique entries is disappointing.

I will update cumulative scores later on.

1.Buniyaad: The writer Manohar Shyam Joshi and directors Ramesh Sippy & Jyoti Sarup
2.Jungle Book: Logo of Nippon Animation which adapted Jungle book into an anime version. It was later dubbed in hindi by doordarshan where Nana Patekar voiced for Sher Khan.
3.Vasant Sathe: As Union Minister of Information and Broadcasting he initiated the process which led to Indian television(DD) moving into colour broadcasting for the Asian Games 1984 and Hum Log the first colour Indian soap-opera.
4.Master Manjunath acted as a child artist in these films but he was more famous as Swami of Malgudi Days. He did not pursue an acting career later on.
5.Ads by Ebay: Features 80s popular hosts Dr Narrotam Puri and Komal GB Singh as themselves.
6.Bhisham Sahni: Acted in Mohan Joshi Hazir Ho!, Tamas and Little Buddha and in fact Tamas was based on his novel of teh smae name.
7.Pratima Puri(First newsreader on Doordarshan) interviewing Yuri gagarin in 1965.
8.The iconic LIRIL Ad featuring Karen Lunel, an airhostess with Indian Airlines in lime green bikini.It was first shot in 1975 and then again in 1985 considering its enduring popularity.
9.Surabhi: The Amul ad with clips from Manthan featuring Smita Patil was especially made for Surabhi. The competition postcards were also introduced for Surabhi as its weekly quizzes became too popular.
10. I wanted a specific answer for this one. Characters played by Om Puri in Bharat Ek Khoj. Ashoka, Rajaraja Chola, Krishna Devraya, Aurangzeb. He played some more but I could not verify all of them due to lack of online resources on the topic.

9

Cinephilia Quiz 4: The Cricket Quiz

Hi all,

Today’s quiz is about Cricket. Yes, I am deviating from my usual stuff to celebrate the beginning of this new test series. The questions have been mainly contributed by Vikas Tripathi with minor contributions from my side.

Rules:

Put your answers as comments.

They are being moderated and will be published only after the deadline.

You can make multiple attempts and in case of conflicts your last answer will be taken as final.

Every question is worth 10 points irrespective of difficulty level (for ease of calculation).

Prizes:

After a three month cycle, the top three cumulative score holders will be given certain prizes. The nature of prizes are still being decided. (Please moderate your expectations, my resources are limited!!!)

Deadline:

24 hours from the moment of publishing.
____________________________________________________________________________________

Questions:

1. Sitter to start with… Identify the historic occasion…

2. Who’s record is this? He is mostly remembered for being the victim in a famous incident. The assailant in that incident is otherwise known for his benevolence rather than his ferocity.

3. Identify this person who is involved in one of the first recorded instance of its kind that occurred during an India tour in the 1970s.

4. These three cricketers have practiced a certain art in test cricket. Name the art and the fourth member of this club.

5. Identify the cricketers and explain the rare distinction they hold. No points for identifying the left bottom guy.

6. He was a member of the Indian national team but that did not save him from poverty. He used to borrow equipments from a Parsi gentleman to practice and eventually he died penniless. To help his family, his employers organized a titillating show to raise money after all the appeals from cricket organizations for public donations had failed.

7. Born in a country that was the cradle of an ancient civilization, he made his first debut in early 70s and his second debut in the early 90s. Name him.

8. In what first class record are they involved?

9. This painter, author and musician who opted out of the history books of Indian cricket for uncertain reasons. Identify him.

10. This Kanpur born cricketer registered the best bowling analysis by any player in test matches against England. Incidentally, it was the 100th test match. Name the cricketer (Please move out of the proverbial box).
______________________________________

Answers:


1. The 2nd ever tied test. Maninder Singh is given out LBW and the scores between Australia and India are tied.
2. Tilak Raj, who was hit by Ravi Shastri for six 6s in an over.
3. John Lever, who was involved in the Vaseline controversy and doctoring the ball.
4. Mankading: Bill Brown was run out by Vinoo Mankad… as pointed out by a couple of you, one of the pic should include the bowler instead of the batsman… hope it din’t cost anyone..
5. Parthiv Patel, Budhi Kunderan, Vivek Razdan: They made their first class debut in a test match… i.e. even before playing Ranji.
6. Dattaram Hindlekar. He died early and his employers arranged a cabaret show to raise Rs 7000 for his family. Incidentally Vijay Manjerekar was his nephew who rose to prominence afterwards.
7. John Traicos, SA & Zimbabwe
8. Pakistan Railways beat Dera Ismail Khan by an innings and 851 runs. Greatest winning margin in first calss cricket.
9. Maharaja of Porbandar who gave up an opportunity to captain India and let C.K.Nayudu become the first Indian test captain.
10. Neetu David. While almost all quizzers are males, it’s good to see that not all of them are male chauvinists. Kudos to the ones who got it.

Good performances overall. Thanks for participation.
Manish and Ritwik top score with perfect 10s.

2

Cinephilia Quiz 3: Bollywood Inspirations and Adaptations

Hi all,

Today’s quiz is about Bollywood “inspirations”. ’nuff said!

Rules:

Put your answers as comments.

They are being moderated and will be published only after the deadline.

You can make multiple attempts and in case of conflicts your last answer will be taken as final.

Every question is worth 10 points irrespective of difficulty level (for ease of calculation).

Prizes:

After a three month cycle, the top three cumulative score holders will be given certain prizes. The nature of prizes are still being decided. (Please moderate your expectations, my resources are limited!!!)

Deadline:

24 hours from the moment of publishing.

____________________________________________________________________________________

Questions:

1. This 2009 British coming of age film is based on autobiographical accounts of a journalist. A winner and nominee of multiple awards, it tells the story of a young London girl in the 1960s who falls in love with an older man. While it is yet to “inspire” a complete Bollywood film, its poster shown below has already been ripped off by a 2010 Bollywood film. Name both the films.

2. This 1963 Hitchcockian thriller was not directed by Hitchcock. It was directed by a person better known for musical comedies. It stars two of the biggest stars of Hollywood and is noted for multiple twists and turns. It was ripped off by Bollywood in an 2003 film that starred two star kids, who unfortunately never turned out to be stars themselves. The director of this version is also better known as the brother of a more illustrious technician and director. It also featured a raunchy item song that compared love to chili pepper. Name both the films.

3. Ghajini’s “inspiration” is well known. But it has also paid tribute to a much acclaimed 2001 film in a scene where the female lead escorts a blind man through the street while offering him a vivid description of the people around him. Identify this film.

4. This 2004 French action film is basically a showcase for a certain form of extreme sport that involves acrobatic ways of moving from one place to another through urban landscapes. Most of its stunts including the climax were ripped off in a 2006 Indian film. Identify both.

5. This 2007 Hindi comedy film was a remake of a 1998 French film adapted from a play of the same name. It also received an official Hollywood remake in 2010. The makers of the Bollywood film also released a sequel a few weeks ago, buoyed by the success of the first installment. Identify the films.

6. This 1961 action adventure war film was based on a best selling novel by an author who himself had seen action in WWII. It has a notable climactic action sequence where some of the characters climb a steep cliff to outflank the enemies. Now, a 2004 Bollywood film has a strikingly similar climax. Name both the films.

7. This 1988 film is based on certain real events in a Southern US state in the 1960s. A 2010 Bollywood film is based on some burning issues faced by India and directed by someone known more for his comedies. However the plot of this film is identical to the Hollywood film. Identify both.

8. This cult thriller of 1990s is mainly noted for its twist ending as well as a memorable performance by one of the actors who went on to win an Oscar for the role. A 2005 Bollywood film that claimed itself to be “The most powerful film of the year” for some obscure reasons, ripped off the entire plot. It only changed the name of a Japanese character to the name of an acclaimed film and also moved the setting to London. The only good thing it did was to introduce a female character who prefers to get wet and croon in skimpy attires in the dreaded cold of December. Identify both films.

9. Although it deals with the themes of infidelity, this 1960s film turns out to be a feel good drama with its delectable lead pair. It was also the last film of its kind to achieve a certain feat at the Academy Awards. It contributed a major portion of the plot in a 2007 Bollywood film that sought to attract overseas audiences owing to one of its stars who achieved fame in UK for totally uncinematic reasons. Identify both the films.

10. Identify this classic 1930s film that has at least two versions in Bollywood, one released in the 1950s and one in the 1990s.

____________________________________________________________________________________

Answers:

1. An Education & Anjana Anjani

2. Charade & Chura Liya Hai Tumne
Bonus Clip

3. Amelie

4. Banlieue 13…. 2006 Indian film was Pokiri, which of course was remade into Wanted…

5. Bheja Fry and Le Diner de Cons…

6. Guns of Navarone & Lakshya

7. Mississipi Burning & Aakrosh

8. The Usual suspect & Chocolate
Bonus Clips…

9. The Apartment & Life in a Metro

10. It Happened One Night, Chori Chori & Dil Hai Ki Manta Nahi.

DD: Ray, Kurosawa, Antonioni, Kazan

Zindagi Na Milegi Dobara and Doordarshan: A tasteless remembrance of the golden age and some nostalgia

Just came across the above promo from Zindagi Na Milegi Dobara that makes fun of Doordarshan, posted by a friend in Facebook. He was disgusted, so was I and it compelled me to write this post. But going by the comments below this video, people are finding it amusing & “LOL”worthy. One may accuse me of making a mountain out of a molehill, but it disturbs me as it strengthens certain stereotypical thought processes that ail the society and reminds me of certain other issues related to preservation of our cultural heritage. It is not particularly a critique of this one off incident but of the bigger phenomenon that it alludes to.

Typical Indian mindset: Stereotypes and more Stereotypes


It disturbs me because adjectives like classic, antique, historical or vintage make no sense to us. They are thanklessly bracketed with old, outdated, banal and boring. However I don’t think it is a recent phenomenon. It has been the case with us all the time. I am sure people in the 70’s too made fun of KL Saigal. So it is only poetic justice that they now deserve Action Replayys and OSOs as throwbacks to their times. Most of us Indians have no sense of history and have no interest in preservation of important cultural landmarks. That is exactly why I have been able to watch Birth of a Nation and Cabinet of Dr. Caligari but have no clue about Raja Harishchandra & I know for sure that Alam Ara is lost forever, except for a few photographs.

Doordarshan: A few memories


In the late 80’s and early 90’s, Doordarshan came up with some world-class programs. My personal favourite was Dr. Chandraprakash Dwivedi’s Chanakya, one of the most well researched pieces of celluloid to have ever come out of India, notwithstanding the criticism from some quarters with vested interests. For me, it is still the epitome of period detailing and research, backed by excellent performances and dialogues.

Although I must mention here that I was never fond of Ramanand Sagar’s mythologicals despite their huge popularity. Their low production values led to hilarious and cheap aesthetics, not to mention the lack of research and detailing. But their success set up the assembly line of mythological serials to cater the most “religious” and “spiritual” society on earth. However, BR Chopra’s Mahabharata stood out in terms of high production values as well as excellent casting, which made later adaptations of the epic unwatchable (such as that of Ekta Kapoor’s).

I think the main reason this sudden burst of quality asynchronous to its times can be attributed to the involvement of capable directors, writers and producers from the film world such as BR Chopra (Mahabharata), Sippy (Buniad), Benegal (Bharat Ek Khoj), Gulzar (Mirza Ghalib), Nihalani (Tamas), Basu Chatterjee (Byomkesh Bakshi), Dr Rahi Masoom Raza (Neem Ka Ped), Sanjay Khan (Tipu Sultan, Great Maratha) among others. Quality actors like Om Puri, Naseeruddin Shah and Irrfan were also regularly visible on Doordarshan at those times. Besides, most of them choose to draw from epics and classic literature. The boom of “cool”, pulp, Indian English fiction was still a more than a decade away.

But even comparatively better filmmakers of today like the Akhtars remember nothing about that period except for the signature tune that they find hilarious. What do they think about the present state of Indian television? What about un-dead and evergreen matrons without a single grey hair? What about random biker chicks who cannot name the president, swayambar of drug addict divorcees and schizophrenic item girls, logically dead historicals, gambling shows masquerading as quizzes, a jumble of urban and rural legends masquerading as news channels, reality shows to detect who is cheating on one’s BFs or GFs???

Doordarshan Now:


But this is not to say that DD is doing well right now. It has now reached a phase of worthlessness and irrelevance. It no longer has the talent pool that created that golden age. More importantly, it is only trying to emulate the garbage created by private channels with lower budgets and cheaper aesthetics. The result? Only those who have no other options watch DD.

DD: Ray, Kurosawa, Antonioni, Kazan

Image Courtesy: http://8ate.blogspot.com/2009/08/amita-malik-and-lost-archives.html

Another alarming trend is its own lack of respect for their glorious past. Serendipitously, today I also came across the photograph pasted above. Just have a look at the people involved. I had no idea that these maestros attended a discussion in DD and I still can’t believe that they no longer have this tape. They have either lost it due to incompetence or deleted it themselves due to apathy, ignorance and tastelessness. One may also read this post by Amita Malik to get a better idea of this uniquely Indian phenomenon.

Satan save India, the Gods have failed!

Siddiq Barmak's Opium War

Opium War: Comedy of Decadence

Siddiq Barmak's Opium War

Today’s Recco is Siddiq Barmak’s Opium War.

Two Afghan warriors crash land in the Afghan Desert, lose track of their base and finally realizes that an eccentric family of Opium farmers is the only human existence in the vicinity. The family head is an one legged warrior, weather beaten and exhausted with his war ravaged nation. He has multiple wives and scores of children and they all live inside an abandoned Russian tank. Initially, the stranded soldiers observe them from a distance but they cannot remain hidden for long. Also, they realize the “value” of what is being grown around them and use it as a solution to all their miseries and anxieties. Soon, in a classic about turn of authority, they find themselves working as laborers in those poppy fields. But with time, both sides get accustomed to each other and wait for their fate.

With the plot mentioned above, one can see the deliberate plotting to play with diverse genres and issues. It deliberately covers the sad turn of events in the war torn nation with dark humor but while doing so, it never loses track of the social turmoil that Afghanistan has been going through. It has been shot in Afghanistan with mostly unknown cast except Marina Golbahari who starred in the director’s seminal work, Osama. But a more interesting piece of trivia here is that the director managed to convince post Taliban government to allow him to cultivate poppy just for shooting this film.

Opium War is a film laden with deep sarcasm. After tragic and hard hitting Osama, Barmak decides to explore humor in this film and does it successfully by juggling elements of stoner flicks as well as socio-political satire. At the same time, he makes sure that he makes his real point, that of the decadence of his society. While black humor coveys most of his anguish and desperation, it becomes much more emotional when we hear the soliloquy of the disillusioned Afghan man striving to get back a respectable life. Opium war does not hit one hard like Osama. But it makes critical commentary of its society in an amusing manner. However, what is more heartening is that people like Barmak are not only bringing Afghan cinema back from extinction, but also making quality contributions to world cinema without getting affected by circumstances.

7

Cinephilia Quiz 2: Tintin

Hi all,

Today’s quiz is not really about Cinema but about Tintin. As a matter of fact Tintin’s adventures are no less than any blockbuster action adventure flick and secondly Spielberg is coming up with his Tintin film very soon. So, I think it is the right time to dedicate a set of questions to arguably the greatest comic book ever created.

Rules:

Put your answers as comments.

They are being moderated and will be published only after the deadline.

You can make multiple attempts and in case of conflicts your last answer will be taken as final.

Every question is worth 10 points irrespective of difficulty level (for ease of calculation).

Prizes:

After a three month cycle, the top three cumulative score holders will be given certain prizes. The nature of prizes are still being decided. (Please moderate your expectations, my resources are limited!!!)

Deadline:

24 hours from the moment of publishing.

____________________________________________________________________________________

Questions:

1. Connect these two pictures.
Clue1: It has nothing to do with the official canon of Tintin.
Clue2: Don’t let Budweiser lead you to other alcoholic beverages, especially Loch Lomond and Johnny Walker.

2. Connect again. The lady in the first image is directly related. Rest are completely symbolic and this list is not exhaustive.

3. P is a journalist turned author who became popular during early 20th century for his work in horror and detective genres. Arguably his most famous work is Q, that has seen multiple film and stage adaptations over the years. He has also been called the Conan Doyle of his country due to his contribution towards detective fiction. But what is relevant here is a lesser known novel R written by him in 1915 which was the basis of a Tintin book S, so much so that both have a character named T with somewhat similar roles. Identify P-T.

4. Sitter of the day, what is this and what product produced from it gives us the name of a Tintin character?

5. George Orwell once wrote,
A particularly interesting detail is that out of the 100,000 tons allotted to the Stationery Office, the War Office gets no less than 25,000 tons, or more than the whole of the book trade put together. […] At the same time paper for books is so short that even the most hackneyed “classic” is liable to be out of print, many schools are short of textbooks, new writers get no chance to start and even established writers have to expect a gap of a year or two years between finishing a book and seeing it published.

How did the events referred to in the above paragraph affect Tintin publications OR what distinguishable characteristics of the Tintin books did it lead to? (The question may look vague but it is easily guessable)

6. The following transition occurred in two different editions of a single Tintin Adventure owing to the changing socio-political scenario of the world. Some other changes include the alteration of the name of an important character and complete removal of two particular characters. Identify the particular Tintin adventure for half marks and explain these changes for full marks.

7. Another sitter: His connection to Tintin is merely coincidental. Nevertheless, identify this officer of Royal Navy who participated in the Anglo Dutch wars and also became an Admiral later on.

8. What is the occasion?

9. The person on the right is believed to have inspired something in literature, which in turn inspired the person on the left to create something. Use the bottom pic as a clue and connect them to a Tintin character.

10. Arthur, Benedict, John, Joseph, Peter, Alfred… some common English names. Connect them to a single Tintin character who appeared only once.
________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

Answers:


1. Tintin in Thailand, is an unauthorized copy of Tintin. It is created by someone with a pseudonym Bud E Weyser which is again a play on Budweiser. Herge foundation is fighting a legal battle against it.

2. Snowy’s name in various languages. The lady is believed to be Herge’s first girlfriend who was called Milou, which was Snowy’s original name. Rest are symbolic.
Terry Giliam: It is called Terry in various languages.
A band called Mi Lu Bing: It is scalled Mi Lu in Vietnamese (Which is again derived from Milou).
Milo: It is also called Milo in some other languages.

3. P – Gaston Leroux
Q – The Phantom of the Opera
R – Bride of the sun
S – Prisoners of the sun
T – Huascar

4. Cassava roots. Tapioca is prepared from it. General Tapioca.

5. Orwell was referring to the papaer shortage which was common during and after WW-II. This also affected Herge and he was forced by his pubisher to use smaller frames and limit number of pages which led to the standard 62 page format for all books that we are now familiar with.

6. “The Shooting Star”. Published during the Nazi regime, the original version had American Villains. Later on it was changed to a fictional country called Sao Rico. The main financier of Tintin’s adversaries was named Blumenstein which sounded too Jewish. It was later changed to Bohlwinkel although that also sounds Jewish. Two Jewish characters were removed completely. The stereotypical Jewish men were seen hoping that the disaster will save them from to pay off their creditors. Some references to the God were also removed to avoid offending the church.

7. Sir Richard Haddock. Although, it is claimed that Herge became aware of him only after creating the character of Sir Francis Haddock.

8. Presenting the “Light of Truth” award in 2006 to Bishop Desmond Tutu and Herge Foundation. Tintin is the only fictional character to have received it, obviously for his exploits in Tibet.

9. Bianca Castafiore’s favourite song, the Jewel Song from Faust, an opera by Charles Gounod (pic 1) which was inspired in Goethe’s Faust which in turn was apparently inspired by the life of Doctor Johannes Faust (pic 2). Pic 3: Marguerite’s garden in the original production, where the Jewel Song is sung.

10. The English names, when converted to Italian, gives us Arturo Benedetto Giovanni Giuseppe Pietro Arcangelo Alfredo Cartoffoli da Milano, the Milanese driver in “The Calculus Affair”, who appeared only once in a memorable chase sequence.

4

Cinephilia Quiz 1: Asian Cinema

Hi all,

This is the first of a series of quizzes about various genres of cinema. Today’s topic is Asian cinema (Indian films included). I intend to make it a weekly event but it will depend on various external factors.

Rules:

Put your answers as comments.

They are being moderated and will be published only after the deadline.

You can make multiple attempts and in case of conflicts your last answer will be taken as final.

Every question is worth 10 points irrespective of dificulty level (for ease of calculation).

Prizes:

After a three month cycle, the top three cumulative scoreholders will be given certain prizes. The nature of prizes are still being decided. (Please moderate your expectations, my resources are limited!!!)

Deadline:

24 hours from the moment of publishing.

____________________________________________________________________________________

Questions:

1. Identify this Chinese film released in 2000 and the Indian film released in 2009 and explain what is common between them. (No points for only identification)

Clue: There is a reason why this question is at the beginning.

2. The following is the cover of a Russian book from 1920s which was made into a film in 1961. But a more famous version was made by X, who is not a Russian, but a well konown master of the art. Identify the book/films and X.

3. Guessable and Googlable: Five Deadly Venoms is a popular 1978 Hong Kong cult martial arts film directed by Chang Cheh. The five deadly venoms are The Centipede, The Snake, The Scorpion, The Lizard and The Toad. The film was listed at number 11 on Entertainment Weekly’s Top 50 Cult Films list. It is well known that in Kill Bill The five assassins of the Deadly Viper Assassination Squad are a reference to the Five Deadly Venoms. But another popular 2008 film also claims to have based 5 of its major supporting characters on the five venoms. Which film?

4. A sitter. Identify the person on the right side.

5. Set in the deserts of Manchuria, this film tells the story of an ironic goldrush involving Imperial Japanese Army, Korean Gunslingers and Manchurian Bandits. But actually it is a rehash of a cult film of 1960s, so much so that only one word differs the titles of both the films. Identify the film and its original.

6. The film A is the first English film by much acclaimed Asian Director B. It stars C in the leading role. Now, C is not really known for acting but for singing. C’s father D composed music for another film E, in the 1950’s. E is considered to be one of the pioneers of neorealism in its own country. Identify A-E.

7. The film here shares its name with a person quite well known for various reasons. While this similarity can mislead people, actually the film has nothing to do with that person. One of the rare films to have come out of its country in recent times, this film has achieved much international acclaim. Identify the film

8. Give me the cult movie that is somehow related to these images. It also has multiple remakes and spinoffs.

9. X is often known as the Y of his country. X’s film Z won the second ever Oscar in a certain category. While Y is the pioneer of this genre, X is one of the last living exponents of traditional techniques perfected by early masters like Y because modern technology has significantly altered the production processes in this genre. Identify X, Y, Z.

10. P is considered to be one of the greatest Indian filmmakers. But he hardly witnessed any commercial success during his lifetime. His biggest commercial success came as a screenwriter of an influential film Q that has led to multiple remakes and adaptations, mostly in pop commercial format unimaginable by the standards of its original makers. Director of Q was R, who earlier made the film S, another landmark film in all respects, a cannes triumph and the pioneer of later neo realist films. Identify P-S.

___________________________________________________________________________________

OK here are the answers, only 4 entries this time. Hope the numbers will improve in the future contests.

1. Chinese film Shadow Magic and the Indian (Marathi) film Harishchandrachi Factory deal with the pioneers of cinema in both the countries, Dadasaheb Phalke in India and Liu jinglun in China.

2. Dersu Uzala. X is Akira Kurosawa who made 1975 film titled Dersu uzala that won the Oscar as the Best Foreign Language Film.

3. Kung Fu Panda. The Forbidden Kingdom is not being accepted here. It does haev reference to the Venom Group but I asked for something more specific. Kung Fu Panda has the Furious Five (Crane, Tigress, Mantis, Monkey, and Viper), five specific characters designed after the five in the original film.

4. Jackie Chan

5. Korean film “The Good, the Bad, the Weird” adapted from the Sergio Leone masterpiece “The Good, the Bad and the Ugly”

6. A – My Blueberry nights, B – Wong Kar Wai C – Norah Jones D – Ravi Shankar E – Pather Panchali

7. OSAMA, by Siddiq Barmak

8. Godzilla (1954). Godzilla is also originally called Gojira in Japanese, a combination of two Japanese words: gorira (“gorilla”), and kujira (“whale”). Directed by Ishiro Honda.

9. Hayao Miyazaki is often called the Disney of Asia although he himself does not like it. His film Spirited Away won the second ever Oscar for Best Animation film after Shrek. Miyazaki still prefers traditional hand drawn animation techniques instead of CGI.

10. P – Rithwik Ghatak, who wrote the screenplay for Q – Madhumati that inspired Karz, Karzzz etc. R – Bimal Roy and S – Do Bigha Zameen.

PS: Some of the questions may look vague… but at this age of Google I tend to be very paranoid.

PPS: Scores will be calculated after a few quizzes.

KINATAY Screenshot

Kinatay: Butchered Beyond Redemption

Today’s recco is Brillante Mendoza’s Kinatay (Butchered… literally!), a film that won Prix de la Mise en Scene for the director but was also trashed by Roger Ebert for reasons somewhat beyond my comprehension.

When one’s only previous experience with Filipino cinema is exploitation softcores made in the 80’s, it is easy to have misdirected expectations. But at the same time, Kinatay’s Cannes triumph led to conflicting expectations on my part. For a film that deals with familiar themes of corruption, poverty and crime, it had to offer something more to impress and thankfully Mendoza’s dark, gritty, minimalist and overwhelming realism achieves that objective effectively.

Kinatay shows a day in the life of a police academy student. He desperately needs money to marry his girlfriend and hence accepts a lucrative assignment for good money. As the night progresses he gradually discovers the actual motive of that assignmnet that involves abduction, rape and eventual murder of a prostitute (Please don’t consider it as a spoiler, there is more to this film).

KINATAY Screenshot

Maria Isabel Lopez in Kinatay

To be honest, Kinatay does test the patience of its viewers. A lot of people walked out during the screening. First due to slow and tedious progress and extremely dark lighting and later on due to sex and violence which was considered explicit by some. I personally did not find them explicit but build up was definitely tiresome to an extent. Besides, the lighting, or the lack of it, can get into your nerves although no one can deny its realism.

In any case, Kinatay is a bold attempt simply because it does not compromise with its stark and bleak vision. There are no heroics and no preaching, just pure helplessness of a common man in a decadent system. Also, since I started by mentioning 80’s Pinay sexploitation films, here is a random piece of trivia, actress Marial Isabel Lopez, who plays the pivotal role here, was one of the major stars of that genre in the 80’s. You can check out Silip to see more of her along with one more favourite of mine, Sarsi Emmanuelle.