Sunday September 15, 2019
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Greenlandic anorak not hoodie: What we can learn from Kielsen about preserving cultural heritage

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By Ishan Kukreti

Culture is the bedrock of human psychological makeup. Apart from forming attitudes, beliefs and even preferences, culture gives a person an identity, a sense of belonging. Humans as social beings have culture as their default settings as they explore the world and try to make sense of it.

One of the biggest price paid for globalization, perhaps bigger even than the financial price, is the erosion of culture and a sense of inferiority. This issue has been raised time and again with the advent of globalization and opening up of economies and has been best surmised by MacBride report of UNESCO, called Many Voices, One World.

The problem of cultural erosion is global. The world is suffering from it. Recently when Greenland’s Prime Minister Kim Kielsen, attended a landmark ceremony in Brussels wearing the nation’s traditional outfit, the Greenlandic anorak, many thought that he was dressed in a ‘hoodie’ and many took offence. Many even poked fun at the wardrobe disaster of Prime Minister. In India, wearing a ‘Kurta’ undoubtedly makes one a ‘Revolutionary’ ‘ Poet’ ‘Politician’ or all.

The shift in people’s preferences is not just a social phenomenon. It has deep economic reverberations too. The indigenous industries not only suffer because of this but are trapped in a hopeless struggle to beat the west ( read US) at its own game. They face the choice between churning out cheap rip-offs of western products or shutting shop.

An aping of the foreign culture has strong implications for the man on  people too. For example, the rootless, clueless protagonists of the Indian authors abroad like Jhumpa Lahiri are not just figments of their creator’s imagination but as flesh and bone as the Tuesday-Thursday vegetarian buffs of Hollywood and McDonald’s.

The amount of western culture an average urban Indian young adult consumes in the form of movies, clothes, literature, even food is more than the amount ever consumed by his/her predecessors. Given the situation, it is no surprise that today’s India is divided right in two. One ready to bust out of the closet, kissing, smooching, merry making on the roads and the other ready to beat them back into the very closets they came out from, invoking gods of various attributes.

Blindly aping things has never been the way to develop or self actualize. Global exchange of ideas is a mutual process. As the French philosopher, Albert Camus has said, “Don’t walk behind me; I may not lead. Don’t walk in front of me; I may not follow. Just walk beside me and be my friend.” the world today needs to understand cooperation.

As long as the global village has just one western voice, there will not be equality and prosperity for all. The two hemispheres of the planet have to work in collaboration like the two hemispheres of the brain to keep the body of humanity working just fine.

 

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Alexandre Aja’s Love for Horror Lead to Great Success

Meet Hollywood's master of blood, gore, kills & chills

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Aja says that he just wants to keep growing, and spread chills and thrills. Pixabay

Alexandre Aja’s love for horror made him dive deep into the genre and create hits like “The Hills Have Eyes”, “Piranha 3D” and “Mirrors”. The filmmaker says he initially thought that he would get over the genre, but is glad that his obsession with the genre is intact. The director says he just wants to keep growing, and spread chills and thrills.

“I have been watching horror movies since I was a young kid. I loved them and I thought that at some point by making them, I will, kind of, get used to them and not be in it anymore, but I am still into it,” Aja told IANS in an exclusive sit-down interview.

“Every week I go and see a new horror movie and enjoy it and love it. I love to be scared. I love to be in the room with the audience. I love to share that feeling. I want to keep growing,” added the director. Aja feels it is a great time for horror as a genre.

“Today, there are so many opportunities. These movies are so successful in theatres and I think it is very important to see them on big screen. It is very important to feel on the big screen,” he pointed out.

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Aja feels it is a great time for horror as a genre. Pixabay

Aja’s cinema is known for blood, gore, wince-worthy kills and for building suspense with music. He got his break in 2003 with “Haute Tension” (“High Tension”) — which turned out to be his ticket to Hollywood, where he made “The Hills Have Eyes”, “Mirrors”, “Piranha 3D” and “Horns”. He will be back with a disaster horror movie “Crawl”. Aja has returned to water to narrate a suspenseful tale of a daughter trying to save her father from an alligator-infested house amid a hurricane.

“Crawl” chronicles the struggle of a swimmer Haley Keller (played by Kaya Scodelario) as she tries to save herself and her father (Barry Pepper) from alligators amidst a Florida hurricane. The horror thriller will open in India on August 23. The movie will be distributed in India by Viacom18 Motion Pictures. It is written by Michael Rasmussen and Shawn Rasmussen, and produced by Craig Flores, Sam Raimi and Aja. The story is simple, and that is what drew Aja in.

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“I wanted people to have a wide, scary and intense suspense film experience. I remember when I got the script for the first time, what got me in and made me fall in love with the story was the log line. The simple idea of this young woman who has to go and save her dad during hurricane category five in Florida in a place infested with alligators –That was all I needed,” he said.

After “Crawl”, it is being reported that Aja is prepping to bring an interactive haunted house horror experience to the big screen. The movie will reportedly allow audience members to influence the storyline through an app on their phones. They will be able to decide how the story will go and end. An official confirmation and details about the project is awaited. (IANS)