T5E is on vacation too and just in case you are missing some of the better things in life then here’s each one of us suggesting a movie, a book, a band and a team to support this summer.
Also, the present team is about to give way to the new team (IPs for selections shall be out soon) and wishes to thank everyone who helped T5E grow to what it is now in its first year itself. We had lots of fun doing this and hope you enjoyed the blog too. We also wish best of the luck to the future TFE/T5E teams as well.
Amrita V. Nair
Roman Holiday (1953)
The movie starred Audrey Hepburn in her first major role and the iconic Gregory Peck.
Hepburn won the Academy Award for the Best Actress for her role as a young European princess who runs away from her hectic royal duties while in Rome and falls in love with a suave (and incredibly nice) American reporter played by Gregory Peck.
This bittersweet love story which is one of the best-loved movies of all time is everything that was wonderful about the Golden Age of Hollywood.
Atonement – Ian McEwan (2001)
Atonement is a story about many things – love, war, the writer’s struggle to give form to the world around her, the quest for forgiveness – all of this and more come alive with incredible vitality under the masterful pen of Booker-winner Ian McEwan.
His use of unique metaphors and his talent for fleshing out the characters flawlessly makes this one of the best-written books I’ve read so far.
The gut-wrenchingly tragic story of how a little girl’s lie alters the very course of several other lives is brilliantly imaginative and yet,
fraught with a frightening aura of possibility.
This book, which was nominated for the Booker was also made into a critically acclaimed blockbuster starring James McAvoy and Keira Knightley.
The Magic Numbers
If you like indie rock, you’ll love The Magic Numbers.
This English band’s first release was an eponymous album that garnered rave reviews from critics all over the world.
Their second album “Those the Brokes” was released in 2006.
The band which comprises two pairs of brothers and sisters is known for their poetic lyrics and brilliantly melodious songs.
Their best songs are “I See You, You See Me”, “Love’s a Game”, “Love Me Like You” and “Forever Lost”.
I’ve tried my best to choose between the three – but it seems pretty impossible.
Saranya “Sooper” Kapur
Shutter Island (2010)
This film sees Scorsese doing what he does best, with a psychological thriller about the deliciously creepy Ashcliff Hospital for the criminally insane. Complete with strange dreams, psychotic episodes, spooky psychological experiments and an eerie lighthouse, Shutter Island keeps one on the edge of one’s seat, until the final, shocking denouement, Scorses style. Brilliant performances by Leonardo Di Caprio, Ben Kingsley and Mark Ruffalo make this movie a must-watch.
The Return of Depression Economics (2008) by Paul Krugman
Originally published in 1998, Krugman revisits his ideas on global crises in his 2008 book, expanding it to include the current recession. Krugman analyses past, present and future recessionary trends, explaining why economies fail even when their basic fundamentals may be good, and the causes for the recent ‘Great Moderation’. Unlike most academics, Krugman uses an eloquent style, shunning technical jargon in favour of simplicity, which makes this book readably by even complete economics novices. He explain complex economic ideas using the simple, micro model of a baby-sitting co-op in Washington and intersperses his analysis with flashes of wit and humour, which make this book a fun and enjoyable read.
Two years ago, this eccentric indie band from New York made their debut and were either passionately loved or passionately criticized. Their new album, Contra, sees them taking it one step further with their trademark eccentric lyrics and a variety of multicultural influences, from American synth-pop to reggae, ska, calypso and Afro-pop. Contra is tighter, yet weirder than their first album, and the songs “Giving Up the Gun” and “Diplomat’s Son” (featuring M.I.A) are well worth a listen.
Aditya “DAS” Kothari
The School of Rock:
It’s wannabeish, it’s cliched, it’s exaggerated. Still. With all its background scores, did-you-see-that musical references, acting and Jack Black it remains one of my favourite movies. Watch out for the blackboard and the part where “Blitzkrieg Bop” plays in the background and the kids shed their noob status.
The Devil’s Alternative by Frederick Forsyth:
Lots of things going on in the world in this book with a Ukrainian betrayed by the KGB, an oil tanker with a Norweigan captain, hijackings, a poisoned Soviet wheat crop and a spy love story in the background too. This book is very well written and with good factual details it keeps the reader gripped cover to cover (with is a fairly large distance but if i remember correct the font is well spaced out so…) and is very unlike Dan Brown (sigh of relief)
The Fathers of Hard Rock with their wide and varied sounds and heavy experimenting all throughout, they were are and shall remain the greatest band to walk the earth. All you children need to stop listening to trash and go back to where it all started.
With a better manager and a much better gelling team, they could finally pull it off. With Rooney and Gerrard and Lampard and the rest they have enough scorers but they still have playing goalkeeper and that’s the weak link.
Kaushik “KS” Mohan
The Secret of Kells:
Beautifully drawn and refreshingly calm, The Secret of Kells takes you back to animation’s golden age with an enchanting tale inspired by Irish mythology accompanied by captivating soundtracks. This 2010 Oscar nominated movie is one of the best non-Disney/Pixar animated movies ever!!
Rama Series by Arthur C Clarke:
This 4 part series is written by one of the greatest Science Fiction writers of all time. Starting with Rendezvous with Rama, which gives us a glimpse into the Raman Spaceship followed by Rama II, a sci-fi thriller with initial interactions between the humans and the Ramans ending with 3 humans trapped in the Raman Spaceship. The 3rd Installment, Garden of Rama takes us on an adventure to the Raman node and back to the earth to pick up more humans. The series ends with Rama Revealed in which as the title suggests, the whole world of Ramans is revealed. It is a must read for all sci-fi fans.
Psychedelic! Pink Floyd is known for their deep lyrics, sonic experimentation and weirdly awesome album art. Pink Floyd were the pioneers of live music experience producing the greatest stage shows ever!
With an experienced defense, strong midfield and super talented forwards; Spain has the Squad, Spirit and Consistency to win their maiden World Cup Title. Torres, if fully fit has all it takes to win the Golden Boot.
Vinay “Slicer” Sridhar
Burn After Reading
It’s dark. It’s hilarious. It’s the Coen Brothers. Ethan and Joel stick to their realm of dark comedy in Burn After Reading. Malkovich sizzles (in a completely non-sexual way), playing a paranoid CIA analyst. Brad Pitt plays the numb skulled jock with ease. Clooney remains the womanizer we all know him to be. This one’s a must watch.
A New York Times best seller, Gregory David Roberts’ roman a clef is one of the best books I’ve read in a long time. Set in contemporary India, the book focuses on Roberts’ myriad experiences as an escaped convict. This book will enthrall you with Roberts’ unique description of Mumbai. With a sequel coming up this September, make sure you get your hands on a copy, NOW!
The Allman Brothers Band
Duane Allman is God. An American Classic Rock band in the 70s, they made music that was a combination of Blues, Jazz and Rock. Duane was known for his incredible improvisational skill, which is how most of their music was made. As a start, check out ‘At Fillmore East’. Clapton was a fan, you’ll become one too.
They have one of the best midfield line ups this World Cup, with the Roo as a forward. With Fabio Capello instilling some (much needed) discipline to John Terry the English squad, they’re set to make it big in South Africa. Rio’s out, but we’ve got our philandering ex-captain to plug that hole. They shalt win in 2010, the English. Rule Brittania.
Nishanth “Vales” Muthusamy
The Red Dragon
The least famous of the movies based on Thomas Harris’ books revolving around the infamous Dr.Hannibal Lecter. This book details events preceding ‘The Silence of the Lambs’. It opens with the capture of celebrated psychiatrist Lecter by FBI Agent Will Graham (Edward Norton). The main plot revolves around Graham (who is forced to return form retirement) and his hunt for the ‘Tooth Fairy’ a serial killer who worships Lecter aided, ironically, by Lecter. With the same eerie feel as “Silence…”, an engaging, well paced plot line, the thoughtful insights into the psyche of the characters and the subdued acting of Norton combined with the icy intellect and calm insanity of Anthony Hopkins as Dr.Lecter, this movie makes for a thrilling watch.
The Bartimaeus Trilogy by Johnathan Stroud
If fantasy is a genre you appreciate, the Bartimaeus trilogy is a must read. Released post Harry Potter but with a narrative that appeals to a wider age group of audiences, this book has amassed a quite following of its own. The story is set in an alternate history in modern London where magicians run the government. Their ‘magic’ is a product of their ability to summon and control magical spirits most of which loathe to do the bidding of humans. The story revolves around a young magician’s apprentice who summons a witty and powerful djinn, Bartimaeus, to help meddle in the affairs of a powerful magician. With its narrative from shifting viewpoints (watch out for the hilarious footnotes when Bartimaeus narrates the book), well fleshed out characters, a solid plotline and a myriad of magical spirits this book will keep you hooked. The trilogy consists of “The Amulet of Samarkand”, “The Golem’s Eye” and “Ptolemy’s Gate”.
This American Rock band are relatively new entrants to the scene. However with each new album they seem to get better and better. With their use of several non conventional instruments, their tight sound and the genius of Jose Pasillas II on his improvised drum kit(s) their sound is hard to classify except under the rather broad heading of ‘Alternative Rock’. Their albums usually include a mixture of both hard rock and subdued tracks. “A Crow left of the Murder…” is a must.
(I kind of took liberty with the sport.) The top ranked test team in the world, boasting the best batting line up in the world and a captain whose unorthodox yet calm style has earned him much praise, India is looking good. Unlike India of the past decades, apart from the batting, the bowling and the fielding is also looking up to scratch with some mature heads and young guns all putting their hands up to be counted. However a poor patch of form seems to have afflicted the Indians in recent times and their last few performances in ICC tournaments have involved quite unceremonious exits. Will their strength on paper translate to performance on the big stage? I certainly hope so.
Sharanya “Cat” Haridas
The Virgin Suicides
“Doctor: What are you doing here, honey? You’re not even old enough to know how bad life gets.
Cecilia: Obviously, Doctor, you’ve never been a 13-year-old girl.”
This dialogue immediately after Cecilia’s failed suicide attempt captures the essence of The Virgin Suicides, a 1999 film about five teenaged sisters who kill themselves to escape their oppressively sheltered life in 70s suburbia. Narrated from the viewpoint of the neighbourhood boys who pine after them from a distance, the film has been described as “mesmerizingly atmospheric” and features a haunting soundtrack by French band AIR.
Iacocca: An Autobiography by Lee Iacocca
“Iacocca: An Autobiography” is the autobiography of the legendary Lee Iacocca, former CEO of Chrysler Corporation. Best known for revival of Chrysler in the 80’s, the book gives us a glimpse of the man behind the businessman- his childhood, his years at Ford (including a colourful portrait of Henry Ford), his work and leadership ethic and the ups and downs of his career. A must read for every aspiring professional.
Bitter:Sweet is a highly underrated L.A. based indie electronic/trip-hop duo composed of Shana Halligan and Kiran Shahani. They’ve released three albums till date- The Mating Game (2006) ,The Remix Game (2007) and Drama (2008) and the most apt word I can think of to describe them is… yes, that.
K “PDF” Pramod
The movie, to describe in plain words, is Guy Ritchie’s work of art. the film features an ensemble cast, starring Jason Stratham, Brad Pitt, Vinnie Jones and Alan Ford among others.
The plot revolves around… well nothing… to be specific. There’s an underground boxing mafia, then there’s a 87-carat diamond, which leaves a trail of dead bodies or body parts as it changes hands, there are some gypsies and a hell lot of other people. All in all, a circular plot with several ironic twists, at gripping pace.
It is dark, it is brawn and most importantly, it is hilarious.
The brilliant soundtrack is the soul of the movie and the keeps the plot together as it traverses different characters with colourful names like Bullet-tooth Tony, Frankie Four-Fingers, Brick Top, Turkish etc.
A cult classic immortalized by some classic in-your-face dialogues and a distinctive style and direction, that only Guy Ritchie can pull off! If you haven’t watched it, you’re missing something in life!
The Hitchhiker’s Guide To The Galaxy aka H2G2
What new can be said about it, that has not been said already! Douglas Adams masterpiece will surely make you laugh your guts out.
The series oozes sarcasm, having been described as “a trilogy in five parts”!
The plot basically circles around the “Ends of The Earth”, with Arthur dent, an average Englishman, who is rescued by his friend Ford Prefect, who turns out to be an alien in disguise, researching for the eponymous guidebook, and their adventures across the universe.
It is science fiction of a rare breed which packs in humour and substance in the right amounts. Read this cult classic if you seek the answer to life, the universe and everything – the ultimate question.
Warning: People who’ve read it, face a high risk of suffering from a certain, “42-syndrome”! But Don’t Panic!
It is certainly, one of the greatest heavy metal bands of all times. If you’ve just begun to listen to metal or are planning to do so in the near future, then, this should be your first pick.
It was founded in 1975 by Steve Harris, having its name derived from a medieval torture device of the same name. They’ve released 15 albums till now, with their next album, The Final Frontier slated for release, this year!
Hallowed Be Thy Name, Dance of Death and For The Greater Good of God are some of their noteworthy classics. Perhaps, it’s one of the only heavy metal bands whose music woos both metal and “non-metal” fans alike!
The road to the World Cup may not have been fairy tale in itself, but La Albiceleste may just have the right ingredients to strike gold! With a coach like Diego Maradona at its helm, and the likes of Messi, Tevez and Milito on the field, the soccer crazy nation is sure packed on its way to glory!! Watch it!! Things are going to get really MESS(I)…. after all Argentina’s been placed in the magical “Hands of God”!! m/ >.< m/