Walks on YouTube

Once you watch anything on YouTube, your friend, “Algorithm” will present you more of the similar kinds. Probably the “Algo” also gauges the “tone and texture” of the viewer, and throws up suggestions to widen the viewing curve. Maybe this got me a unique show; a show where people walk the streets with a camera and then upload their recordings. Later I found, this “walking with cam show” actually proliferates the Tube.

The first for me was – Keezi Walks, and I was hooked when I saw this gentleman, probably from New Zealand, walking the lanes and by-lanes of Varanasi (Banaras, Uttar Pradesh, India). An hour-long walk presents assorted views, sounds, colors and culture. Here is the link of the Varanasi Walk (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EX-zkkB7Y3M). Actually, “Mr. Keezi” walks all over the world.

Then there is this lady who walks in Sweden, Stockholm. She walks at Eleven in the night in bright sunshine. The view is absolutely surreal for me. Here is her link – https://www.youtube.com/c/StockholmWalks The good thing about this lady’s walks is, she gives some historical perspective too when necessary. And her walk lengths have variety–some are for just 10 mins and some for an hour. Which is easy as one can choose as per his time and mood. She cycles too.

And then there is this Japanese Gentleman who walks around Tokyo, suburbs and surroundings. We starkly noticed one thing in his walks–Japan has no population. I’ve seen him walk for half an hour, and in several videos, without a soul on the streets. (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mGb1R_vIqPE)

In contrast, to the Japanese walk, there is an Iranian–who walks the street of Tehran which is like walking any streets in India. (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ln194SF0DUE)

Also popular is London Walks/Moscow Walks/Seoul Walks/US walks/Berlin Walks. Choose your own favourite walks.

Watching people on the streets and other lives making their living off it, one gets the feel for the uniformity of all our lives anywhere on earth. Same hurry, same gait, same sound, and same “mobile mania.”

But there is a difference, particularly in walks in western countries. And also Japan. Not only the streets look clean but one can see the use of colours; like street paintings and flowers on the sidewalks and on windows and also on the railings of bridges. And those flowers maintained. Besides, one can feel the order and symmetry in the houses and buildings. It’s pure pleasure. My reference point is the StockholmWalks.

Japan is pristine. And their back gardens are like the epitome of perfection. Such neatness and order speaks a lot about their culture and thought.

I compliment those who make these shows. It may seem just carrying a camera and walking around but I see a consistency in these posts which shows that they enjoy what they do and also want us, the watchers, to enjoy the same wonderful experience. Thank you all, “Cam Walkers” for bringing the vibrancy of life to every home around the world.

Everywhere is within walking distance if you have the time. ~Steven Wright, stand-up comedian.

The Gold Rush, YouTube.

There are many things which one claims to knows without really knowing it. We know famous books, famous places, and famous movies. In this list, one can also include famous people, but knowing famous people is not a privilege readily available, and not even desirable due privacy concerns. But books, places and movies are readily available, and within these three, famous books and famous movies, classics so to say, can be accessed free of charge, except, Internet charges will apply.

So, in search of variety, I chanced upon this Movie “The Gold Rush” on YouTube. (https://youtu.be/Deu7xcKy-jc) Seems to be a very clear print of a 1925 movie. Now, I know, and you too know about the movie – The Gold Rush – but have “we” seen it. I, frankly, no.

Charlie Chaplin’s short movies are huge on YouTube but there are limits to how much one can expose oneself to such incessant comic-madness and not get immune. Cake-Throwing, Kicking, Hitting, Falling, of course, the famous Charlie Chaplin’s Running entertain you but only to an extent. Finally, one craves for good old story. The Gold Rush is exactly that – a good story decently shown.

The Gold Rush – is different primarily because there are no extended and exaggerated slapsticks. These are toned down considerably.

And since overt motions are restrained, more attention is spent on capturing subtleties of expressions and one can see and guess what’s being said between characters. This means, most scenes have steadiness and poise.

There are many clever devices through which the emotion of the scenes are highlighted. Particularly the “Shoe Eating” scene. A shoe is boiled and its leather is eaten with relish, with Iron nails of the shoe picked and nibbled as if it is a Fish-Bone.

The story is less about the Gold Rush and more about predicaments of few characters in the context of Gold. The primary pursuit is for love and relationships, with winning the Gold as an add-on gift. It’s a rags to riches to winning love story.

The story is such that it got to have a happy ending, otherwise, there was no point in the Rush.

If Chaplin said that The Gold Rush was the film for which he most wanted to be remembered, then it’s an apt choice.

Babel, Lionsgate, Apple TV

The movie “Babel” is eclectic. It moves back and forth between four families in four corners of the world all interconnected through incidents and human drama.

This movie was earlier on Amazon Prime with English Subtitles. But it’s missing there now. On “Loinsgate” (Apple TV) there are two flip sides for this movie.

One, the absence of English subtitles. Apart from English, Babel has other Languages – Arabic, Spanish and Japanese. The absence of subtitles will greatly disadvantage the first time viewers. Although, when the scene moves to Japan, dialogue is not primary. You’ll know when you watch it.

The second problem is that – on “Loinsgate” an important scene is brutally cut. There is a scene where Kate Blanchett, badly injured, has to shit in a pan, helped by Brad Pitt. The unedited version has a period of shot where it captures the distress of the couple having to go thru the act. In my opinion, this was the brilliance of the moment in the movie, the celebration of acting and the actors. Sadly, that has gone missing.

Nevertheless, viewers can avail free “Loinsgate” subscription on Apple TV for two weeks. Just subscribe and binge free for two weeks. Though one may not get the full impact of this movie without English subtitles, still, mutely, this movie has a charm.

The Japanese Girl has blown the screen. You won’t need words to understand her. She is mute.

Incendies, Movie, Amazon Prime

When watching any movie I try not to pre-read any reviews on it and also not know the full story. A small blurb is just right for me. The rest I try to gather as the movie progresses. I have a bias towards the rhythm of the unfolding plot and I “challenge” the movie to tether my attention, if it can. Or else, I move on.

This habit has made me reject many movies at the first dissonance. I hate labor in watching and reading. (Also doing anything!) I’m more for ease, patience, and mind-stuff. You see, I like things which I am not.

This habit of choosiness, particularly in my watchings and readings, has sometimes surprised me.

And this movie, “Incendies” has actually blown my mind.

The fact for which my mind is blown – I won’t reveal here. And if you want your mind to be blown, you would do what I did. Jump into the viewing right away and stay with it through thick and thin. I guarantee you absolute satisfaction – that you will come out of the movie with your brain in your hands.

This is a Canadian movie in mostly French and some Arabic and little English. Subtitles in English are there.

The backdrop of the movie has harsh terrain, religious violence, and bigotry. One can’t help observe and comment that human nature are same everywhere.

The main actresses’, the mother and the daughter, have performed and made the movie what it is, though other supporting casts are equally accomplished. When the movie is good, the sum is always greater than the parts.

Refer Wiki only if you don’t understand it till the end. You’ll discover “One Plus One is indeed One.”

Salt, Movie, Sony Liv

I had watched “Salt” before, in 2010, in theaters when the world was good. At that time I had found the movie pretty trashy. Good for one dekho.

But, recently, while browsing the “Sony Liv” I found “Salt” under heading “Oscar Winner” and lined up alongside some greats as “Spotlight,” “Erin Brockovich,” “1917” etc. I wondered “what the hell this trash win.” Wikipedia says – it was nominated for Oscars for best sound mixing but lost to “Inception.” Thank God.

Nevertheless, I gave it a second dekho.

The movie is definitely better than most of the new trashes on the streaming platforms. The Movie has all the ingredients of a racy and spicy fix, innumerable illogical jumps, and flights of fancies, primed and tuned for an uninterrupted watch.

In 2010, when this movie was released, this “Cold War” subject was old and stale. Spy thrillers between US and USSR is not exciting when the young population does not even remember what was USSR. Besides, old population like me also don’t care for we had enough of that. Variety is the spice of life. More potent and virile enemies have arisen since the debacle of USSR in 1990. Iran, China, Afghanistan or “state supported non-state actors” against the big brother US, would have made better and relevant movie subject.

The movie seems like a “Tom Cruise Reject” so the producers may have got slim and sexy Angelina Jolie who won’t disappoint. She had done these before (Lara Croft). Besides, she is watchable.

If you want to be thrilled. Only.

Few thoughts on China

China and United States do one thing very similar. Their governments invest heavily in Science and Technology.

We, Indians, think, rather erroneously, that in United States, it’s the private firms and private enterprise invest in Science and Technology. But it is not so. Right from Atomic Energy to the Moon landing, to Challenger missions and International Space Stations and any thing in between and thence, has all been the money of the US government.

China has copied this US method of supporting and subsidising science and technology. The flip side for China is – they have not copied the US politics. China is mono-party as US is multiparty, rather duo-party. This puts China in a very vulnerable position. How can they see some Techs which they have supported and subsidized go independent and list in the US stock market and start earning their own currency. Besides, any tech which comes in control of the western market can then be used as a handle to influence Chinese Politics and Policies.

Also, this narrative that China is “against online school systems” and apps, does not seem to be too believable. China is actually against “profit or use offshore vehicles” to fund Chinese Techs. China today has achieved a huge mileages in tech not because of some “Baiju” of China. They have got this through their own state school system. One child or three child, their school system will always have the heft to provide knowledge workers of the future.