Feb 4, 2006

Me and Movies

I was an average movie watcher in my childhood. That changed a bit in late 80's, when we bought a VCP. I became an avid movie-watcher.. and, added to that, the video parlour near our home had a scheme that, for Rs. 100 per month, we can rent one movie per day.. Plus, since we were the only ones having a VCP, two of our neighbours made a deal of bringing a video cassette of their own choice and allowing them to watch at our home. Thus, my summer vacations in late 80s and early 90's were largely spent on movies and movies.. Once I watched close to 100 movies in 2 months..!! (old, new, repetitive, Tamil, Hindi, English all put together).

When I was in class 10, on one crazy evening, I decided to write down all the movies that I had watched till then.. I took a chalk piece and started to write it down in a room.. Then I got the idea of writing them in a document, so I picked up a new diary and began entering all the movies I had seen, from my reasonably good memory. To seggregate, I divided them based on the actors (MGR, Sivaji, Kamal, Rajini, Vijayakanth, Satyaraj, Prabhu, Karthik and Others), English, Hindi and other languages.

Within a week, the project was complete and when I added them up, I realized that, in less than 15 years of my life (or, to be precise, 10 years of movie watching), I had watched over 1000 movies. Impressive, huh? I decided to continue that practice (not the frenetic movie-watching, but the writing down part). Then, I added all the movie halls I had visited. After my school, I started collecting my movie tickets and stored them in the same diary, on the appropriate date.

It was too good to last. I kept up with the documentation for over 8 years.. and then it stopped, along with my diary-writing habit of 13 years. Now, some of you know how and why I have become the TMDB.. When I counted it last time (late 90's), my movie-count had reached about 1500. With the flurry of movies that I have watched since then (esp. in the past year-and-half,) I am sure it would be touching 2K now.. :-)


mitr_bayarea said...

2K movies-a? Even though, the statistics are a bit alarming, i guess, if one keeps track of the movies they've watched over a span of 10-15 years, it makes sense.

I guess the writing down part must have been a unique process by itself, how did you manage to keep track of movies that you watched more than once?

Anand said...

so on an avg U have watched 1 movie per day for 5.5 years


250 days (8 months) continues movie with avg movie running time of 3 hrs

way to go pal. keep it up. long like movie industry !!!

Pleasure reading your blogs.

Balaji said...

so thats the kadhai behind u being a tmdb! impressive :)

Raju said...

Mitr, LOL on 'alarming statistics'.. Things are well in control.. This is the number after 25 years.. so only over 80 per year..

Yeah, I enjoyed the writing part immensely.. I dont know why I lost interest in that (must be my entry of love in my life).. When there is a movie I have watched more than once, I just put the total # within parantheses.. e.g. Mouna Ragam (5). And then, in the last page, I had a count on all the movies by just summing up under each heading, and another count on the 'repetitive' watches. Adding the two gave me the total # of movies.. :-)
Anand, 2K means 1 movie per year for nearly 6 years.. though I have lost count for the last 8-9 years, I can say that it is over 2K now..

LOL on the 250 days-count.. thats amazing, isnt it? In another decade, it would have swollen to nearly a year of movies, which means, 1 year in a life of 40 for movies.. that is 2.5% lifetime on movies.. or, discounting 8 h of sleep,it would be close to 4% of day time.. :-)
Balaji, yep... that is indeed..

You have written reviews for over 600 movies, if I count ur bbreviews+English+Hindi+Malayalam, right? In addition, your 'Chills and Thrills' kinds of reviews and unwritten ones would easily add up to 1000 movies in the last 7-8 years, since you started writing reviews.. am I correct? :-)

Raju said...

I realize that blogger has got a bug for sometime since last evening.. I can see more comments in my e-mail but none seem to be here.. I would reply to them, anyway..
Deepa wrote: "Bravo!"

The talkative man wrote: " hey, by any chance have on posted on tfmpage quoting nadodi thendral's release date to be apr 13 1992 using the nick 'ipcgp'?? "

" first-timer here, nice info GP, esp the insights on cricket n cinema. "

Naikutti wrote: "guruve... engeyo poitinga :-)... 2K movies a... cinema world lives because of people like u :-)... u have (had?) enuf patience and time to write down each and every one of them!!!!... man, u r something"

Veda wrote: " hi,
better check it out whether u have set a guiness record."

Paurna wrote: " scientists and movies.interesting combination. "

Deepa, :-)
The talkative man, yes.. ipcgp is me.. I forgot on what context I posted it.. BTW, how did you remember? amazing, man!!
And, welcome here.. plz do keep visiting.. I do write on cricket quite a bit.. :-)
Karthik, LOL.. Tamilian and movies are unseparable, right? Got a heavy dose of movies from childhood.. quite a bit of time has been spent in thinking/analyzing movies.. I enjoyed listing the movies I watched.. To make up for the loss, I created WORD files and started entering the movies sometime last year.. Havent got time to complete it, though.. Once it is complete, I would write about the entire list..:-)
Veda, Guinness records? LOL.. Ennai vida periya jaambavaangal niraiya irukkaanga.. A simple guess would be movie operators all over India.. :-)
Paurna, scientist or not, i am a normal Indian citizen.. So, I have done what everyone has done.. thats all.. Infact between 1995-2001, my movie watching came down dramatically, after joining IISc.. Had I been doing something else, I would have continued on my 'form'.. :-)

Anu said...

First of all.. kudos to you..how do u even rememmber the names... n btw does these include movies seen on tv,,


Ram.C said...

I had this habit of writing down movies with dates for nearly 5 years. (during my school & college days).

Then, suddenly I stopped it. And the graph has also started sliding downwards.. I mean, the no. of movies which I watch during the years.

visithra said...

i used to collect movie stubs - until my purse couldnt take it anymore ;)

Yours Truly said...

I've heard that the general movie watching pattern is like an AC sinusoid. Touches positive max at times and goes down to negative peak at the other times.
Yours looks like a DC straight line maintaining itz positive max always :)

Me too said...

Wow!! The "hard work" behind the 'tmdb' award!! If only I had your (and Balaji's) example during my younger days, I could have fought with those people who said "movies and studies don't go together!!!"! LOL!

Ah! The VCP days!! One of our neighbour had a VCP and we used to watch movies during weekend evenings(open theatre for a fare of Rs. 10 divided by the no. of families who watch it!!)

manyan said...

By and large,many floated or still floating the same how you floated seeing so much of movies. It cannot
be rated as a happy achievement.

On a fair re-apprraisal,(time will never be regained)I can say that one may,perhaps, realise that those times could have been put to a better, creative or profitable use! There are lot of good, better, best ways!!!


Nitin said...

Hey Raju, hows it goin? See any new tamil movies? How come no posts on cricket, the first odi was sad for India, good effort by sachin, pathan, and dhoni though.

TamilPonnu said...

dAyum!!! raju.. 2k yaaa.. impressive, indeed!

Raju said...

Anu, I remembered the movies according to the actors/actresses/directors and tried to list them.. And, yeah, it involved movies watched in TVs too. I had one policy though.. If I miss over 15 min. (10%) of any movie, I wouldnt include it in my list..
Ram, movies with dates? mm.. I should have guessed.. :-) After my BSc, until I came here, the number of movies came down dramatically for me too..
Vis, u too? Interesting.. So, you walked around all the time with movie stubs in ur purse? :-)
Yours truly, nice comparison.. It would be a 'rectified sinusoid-wave'.. :-) As I mentioned above, for almost 10 years, there was a lull time for me too.

Raju said...

Aparna, LOL.. it was unintentional.. FYI, in IISc, I was called by my circle as TMDB, girls' DB, and my memory in science too was well-known in my group. The thing is, my brain is, I realized, like a black-hole.. most things stay there and very little escape. All the information is stored there. Of course, like everyone else, I too get absent-minded at times and sometimes I forget even trivial things.. My DB thing has something to do with lots of thinking process I indulge in, knowingly and unknowingly.

Movies and studies CAN of course go together. I know of a very brilliant guy in the class, who went for a second show movie the night before a Class 10 exam. And, the VCP thing - yeah I know of many others who did many a clever 'VCP-Pooling'.. :-)
Manian, I wasnt boasting of watching the movies or something.. I just wrote on how movies had a role in my life. What can you tell of a class 10 kid maintaining a database of movies.. Thats the way sometimes the influence is. To me, movie is a source of entertainment/recreation and take it just that. One can say, 'you can do other things like play some game/drawing/penning stories/fiddle around with electrical items/crafts, etc.'; but, the interests of each individual can be different, right? As a middle-class child, the cheapest way of recreation was movies and it got stuck for a while, with studies being the main thing to do in life, as preached.
Nitin, doing good, man.. how r u? long time.. busy, huh? After the pongal releases, I didnt watch any movie..

I didnt think we would lose the first one-dayer... I followed the game till the Indian innings, and thought that it is bit too high for Pak.. superb innings by Sachin, Irfan, Dhoni and Yuvraj.. Once Sachin fell, it was sad to see the team crumble and give away the advantage, similar to the way they did when he scored his hundred last year.. With power-play, flat tracks and super-sub, it has become easier to hunt down targets of 300+ easily nowadays.. Twice India has lost after scoring 320+ against Pak in a period of 10 months.. incredible batting by the Pakis.. esp. Salman and Shoaib Malik.
Priya, adhu enna 'dAyum'? puriyale.. 'Dhayam' - #1 in 'chozhi' game?

kuttichuvaru said...

hmm..... lotsa movies, huh?? actually i am a movie buff too.... but there is a difference, i dont mind even watchin the same movies again :-)

The Talkative Man said...

I think you posted in nov 1st week 2002 on tfmpage, there was some discussion on Nadodi Thendral as a period film. BTW, for precise and accurate filmography, http://www.cinesouth.com/films is a very good link.

I havent seen much cricket for about a decade, though I followed it keenly for a decade before that. You can guess the reason - tons of chaps these days having 50+ avgs and not too many great bowlers around.

Raju said...

Kay Gee, that seems to be lots, from the comments I get here.. I also dont mind watching the same movies.. there are some movies like Anjali, Mouna Ragam, Thevar Magan, etc. which I have watched 5 times and of course Nayakan 6 times.. :-)
The talkative man, mm.. that is pretty sharp memory, Kudos to you!! I couldnt locate the discussion myself..

The cinesouth link that you provided seems to be lacking the accuracy in the recent years; e.g., it lists only 13 movies for 2005, and 24 movies for 2004. Impressive old collection, though.. If I take a one quick glance and update my movie list, it could be pretty much complete as far as tamil movies are concerned.. :-)

From a quick glance of your cricket blog, I could understand that you are missing the good old days.. I agree with you that not many great bowlers are around.. esp. our team now badly needs ONE, who can perform consistently all over the world..

The Talkative Man said...

I have been looking for a nice statistical site on tamil movies for long time, apart from cinesouth you can check out http://www.intamm.com/movies/movielist/movielist.htm this has a nice list but the spellings have absolutely no consistency.

I followed cricket from 1983-1991, then from 1995-1998 when ESPN arrived..after that very very selective. Love reading about pre-70s cricket.

The Talkative Man said...

here's the link to your post, one simple google query did it ;)

Raju said...

The talkative man, thanks for both the links.. The intamm website is stored in my bookmarks.. That was tremendously helpful to me when I was looking for the old movies I saw thanks to DD.. Man, the 'Santha Sakhubai' days.. LOL..

I am following cricket ever since the world cup '87.. sometime the morale sags when India loses, as it happened recently but, the memory being short, vigour is up for the next match.. :-)

I noticed that you had mentioned about Raju Bharatan and Prem Panicker's quitting from rediff in your blog.. Prem hasnt quit, as you might have realized. And, somehow I started hating Raju Bharatan since 1998. He seemed to be living in his old days and never paid due respect to Sachin in the form of his life. He would always compare it with Viv or Vishy or Sunny and screw the article up. IMHO, he reached his height of hypocrisy during the Aus tour in 2001. Sachin had just scored a 100 played a good part in the Indian win at Chennai. Sachin said he felt he did OK in the series, having accumulated over 300 runs in 6 innings with 1 hundred and 2 fifties.. Raju Bharatan, in Hindu, went berserk asking how Sachin can claim so, and started comparing him with what Bradman would have said, blah blah.. Few days later, after the one-dayer at Indore in which VVS was run-out, he wrote a column in Hindu saying that Sachin was afraid of being overshadowed by VVS and thus there was this run-out.. That was it.. Like me, several fans were infuriated and there were many letters to the editor, and since then, I havent seen Raju Bharatan.. Thank god..

We all know how bad VVS is in running b/w wickets.. If you look at the Ind vs Aus match in Sharjah , 1998, (the famous 143 of Sachin amidst sandstorms), Sachin can be seen literally yelling at VVS for poor running.. That was a time VVS was a nobody in Indian cricket.. He hasnt improved much in this aspect still, which is one of the reasons that cost him a place in the ODI side.

The Talkative Man said...

Dear GP,
Prem quit Rediff officially after the Ind-Aus series 2001. He has made a return recently.

Raju is known for raising some gossip, he often alleges enmity between the Vijays, Hazare and Merchant although both were popularly known as true gentlemen. Not to be taken seriously at all. Sometimes he is very opinionated. He is also a staunch fan of Asha/RDB while many Bollywood music aficionados differ with his views.
If you look at his recent piece, he has been fair to SRT held against SMG:

Laxman is good on his day but that's few and far in between and IMHO he is a notch below Sehwag.

Raju said...

The talkative man, India Abroad is Rediff's sister company; so I wouldnt say he quit Rediff completely.. as a follower of his blog from day 1, I know that he has his roots over there in rediff, despite working for India Abroad in NYC.

Raju's gossips, IMHO, have been in bad taste. Even the article you have linked to, (thanks for that) has some irritating things to say when comparing sachin with Sunny.. So what if Sunny played without helmet and Sachin always plays with it? I find it real sick.. To be true, this is the first article of Raju Bharathan's for me in nearly 5 years; I think I would never read him any more.. I tend to get unusually quite angry reading him; the other person who irritates equally and even more, is Sanjay Jha of cricketnext. Since the Saurav-Chappell spat, his articles have been atrocious...

Like every batsman, Laxman too has his own weak areas.

The Talkative Man said...

Dear GP,
Not to take anything away from SRT but SMG was definitely God's gift against top class pace bowling. Comparisons are odious and I will avoid them.

The same Lloyd who hit an 82-ball 100 in WC75 final found a different Thommo in 75-76 in Oz. 'Even God can't play Thommo', Lloyd said. Thommo crushed Eng in 74-75 and WI in 75-76(Dennis Amiss who hit a few double hundreds in WI in 73-74 had pincode figures).

SMG took 3 hundreds off Thommo in Aus 77-78. Few months later Thommo went to WI and knocked 20w off them. Countless were the times SMG came back with 80* after 90 overs on Day 1 and carrying on to 150+ on Day 2. Check SMG's highquality tons in WI 75-76, Pak 78-79 & 82-83. Consistently had 400+ series aggregates vs raw pace.

One of the reasons why Raju rates SMG very highly.

BTW, Thommo videos here:

Raju said...

The talkative man, I agree with you about SMG.. not only vs Thommo, but against the WI pacers, he did an unbelievable job. IMHO, this kind of comparison is like, say, AR Rahman vs Ilayaraja. We know both are extremely good; and both had their limitations. So, instead of comparing them, we should enjoy them as long as their show lasts.

Thanks for the videos.. I enjoyed watching them.. esp. the first one in which the batsmen had almost no clue on what was coming..

randramble said...

Very interesting + informative post and discussion. In fact, many of your posts are very interesting.

Raju: I would like to work with you. I couldn't get hold of your e-mail address. So, please drop in a line at randrambleATgmailDOTcom.

Raju said...

Randramble, thanks.. Glad we could make it work soon..