Monday, December 26, 2005

Drop by drop

I am reading Kurosawa Akira's autobiography these days. The most remarkable thing about this book is its simplicity. It does not boast of any literary qualities as such, neither out of the world metaphors, yet it has its own charm. Autobiographies are all about personal experiences and the hero's take on it. How the Hero learnt from them, or how he landed into interesting situations. I guess, all that can be achieved even without using high profile words and expressions.

It's precisely what Kurosawa does in this book.

Since I saw "Throne of Blood", and adaptation of Macbeth set up against the samurai age backdrop, I have become a huge fan of his. His place on my all time favorite directors was sealed after I saw "Seven Samurai", hailed as one of the best movies ever made.

When I watch his movies, I look out for the human relations especially. As an example, in Seven Samurai, the way the villagers interact with the hired samurai, or the Chief Samurai's rich experience in life shows in his dialogues and posture, yeah, and the immature Samurai called Thirteen has his own qualities, the kids in the village who gather to watch the training of the villagers to defend against the bandits - all are moments filmed to cherish. I wonder what greatness he would have achieved had he been equipped with today's technology. But if I think about that, it's not about the technology after all. It's about making the most of the available one. I surely would prefer the black and white Seven Samurai over a billion colour version of the same with dynamic sound etc. The reason is that the script does not demand any of this technology, the simple village and its inhabitants are really very simple in reality, why make all that gaudy by unnecessary colours?

I am looking out for Rashomon. I should get hold of a DVD/VCD real soon.

In one of his lessons in film making, he recollects how his teacher Yama-san used to make him write scripts with most amusing and apparently simple topics, such as heat or even water. I thought that was a wonderful idea. Why not try out one myself? And what topic should I choose? Of course I do not want to write a script as such, but let's say just a paragraph would do for starters.

Here it goes:

Drop by drop. On the mountaintop. At a tiny spot. Drop by drop. Day in and day out. Drip and fall. Let go. Drop by drop. Fall deep down the valley. Into the green. Keeping it green. Drop by drop. Another one. There, yet another one joins. Drop by drop. The stream is visible now. Cool and clear. Polishing the pebbles at the bottom. Picks up more streams along the way. Breaks into a song. More streams. Stronger streams. Flowing together to far far away. Sweet water from the hills. Every drop of it knows where it started from. But knows not where it is headed. All of them decide that together. Take a sharp turn. Fall on the rocks below - break into more drops. Rejoin. The journey continues. The water is big now as another river joins. Together they decide where to take a turn. The water at front eventually realises that it is time. It is time to surrender to an entity that is bigger than it is. Yet constituted by itself. With a great force the river merges into the sea. Huge water. Water water. Everywhere. The river slowly loses its identity. It has grown so big over time and space. For ages it has continued to grow. And continues to grow for ever.

But it remembers, how it all started - drop by drop.

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