by Luv Mehta
For a blog that started off as a general media blog, where most of my articles used to be about movies and TV shows, a lot of people noticed that all my recent articles seemed to be about video games, and asked me why that was.
Was I disillusioned with the state of franchise cinema? (Yes, but there's plenty of other movies.)
Did I think video games were somehow better at accomplishing their artistic goals than movies? (God no, they're basically the same but I'm not the kind to go on screeds about Gaming As Art.)
Was I mentally burnt out because of the pandemic and my personal life and general loneliness and anhedonia, undergoing a general film and show and book slump as a result? (Uh... Yeah, that's basically it, but could you not be this specific in this article?)
Anyway, I was part of a chat group with people who choose and watch movies from Mubi™️ (the streaming service, not sponsoring this article) and discussing them at the end of the week. It had been a while since I joined, and it took some time before I actually started watching movies along with them. Once I did, though, I actually ended up enjoying the experience - Mubi™️ has a lot of movies from around the world, and many movies from other states in India as well, most of whose film canon I had no idea about.
So basically, I went from watching two movies in the span of eleven months (August 2020 - May 2021) to twenty-six movies (not all of them from Mubi™️) in the span of the next seven months (June-December 2021). And now that 2021 is coming to a close, I've got a lot of movies I watched that I want to write about, even if I don't think I can write a full fledged article on any of them.
So, here's a list of all the movies I watched on Mubi™️ this year.
by Luv Mehta
In 1995, Neon Genesis Evangelion, a Japanese animated show based on an original script and running for 26 episodes, represented a seismic shift in the form and format of storytelling not just in anime, but in multiple forms of media all over the world, to the extent that even modern US animated shows have multiple references to its imagery.
In 2021, the final Evangelion movie, Evangelion 3.0+1.0 Thrice Upon A Time, was released theatrically as the final piece of Evangelion storytelling. While it's possible that the studio might make spinoffs of varying quality and scope in the future, this is the final end of Evangelion (funnily enough) as a story told by a singular vision.
In 2010, I watched Neon Genesis Evangelion for the first time and felt five emotions all at once upon finishing it - disappointment, wonder, catharsis, anger and confusion - and all those intensified upon watching its followup theatrical movie, The End Of Evangelion. Since then, Eva has had a tight grip on my psyche and tastes, being the one piece of media I've always called my eternal obsession.
Over twenty-two years later, I've watched the final Eva movie and I have a lot of thoughts, and I'm struggling to put all of them into words. But let's try anyway.
(Heavy spoilers for all of Evangelion follow here)
by Luv Mehta
Welcome to State of Media Consumption: January + February edition! I missed out on writing the January edition last month because there were a lot of things going on and I had other articles I had wanted to write, and February was mostly spent playing a single game.
Just in case you're new to this series, I generally write an article every month recording the new (and old) stuff I’m watching, playing or listening to, and I’m doing it in a series of monthly articles. I’ll write some quick notes about the old stuff I went back to in the first section (Repeat Value), before getting into the new stuff (...The New Stuff).
Because a lot of it ends up being games, I think I'll split the article by medium from now on, to avoid direct comparisons through ranking.
by Luv Mehta
Welcome to State of Media Consumption: September edition!
This series of articles has been really good for me as a writer - with most of the rest of the days being spent at work, this series gives me some good incentive to try out new stuff in my free time. It’s been especially great this month - nearly everything I went through was fantastic, and I found another all-timer of an experience, like I had with Outer Wilds two months ago.
This was also a fun month because I subscribed to Xbox Game Pass, which has insane value for money. It’s basically a Netflix for games you can directly install and try, and it has a whole bunch of new and old games that keep coming and going. To give you an idea of the value, every new game on this list is from Xbox Game Pass, which I spent a hundred rupees on, and if I had bought them on Steam it would set me back by around three thousand.
(Xbox Game Pass is not sponsoring this article)
(but if they want to, I accept all currencies)
by Luv Mehta
Welcome to August.
I’m not quite sure about the title for these series of articles. They’re supposed to have a mix of various types of media for consumption, so I can’t really say “here’s a list of things played/read/listened to”, but “consumption” isn’t a word I’m that comfortable with.
Either way, let’s see if I find a new title or stick with this one. If you’ve noticed, I’m not great at names - this blog is named “The Amateur Media Blog” because I only thought about making the most literal name for the website.
Anyway, here’s a ranked list of all the things I consoomed this month.
State of Media Consumption - July
by Luv Mehta
Two months have gone by since that last post! Work’s become even harder, this pandemic-stricken world has no change in its new status quo, and I’ve had a lot of trouble writing anything about any of the stories I’ve seen/played through.
But work’s winding down, and I finally have some time. I haven’t written anything but code in a very long while, so I wrote all of this in a span of two hours.
So here’s a bunch of impressions of some media I’ve consumed, ranked in order of least to most enjoyed.
AAP KA SUROOR - A Serious Thematic Analysis Of The SUROOR CINEMATIC UNIVERSE (Pt. 1)
The year is 2007. Unbeknownst to the world, cinema will be changed forever.
The year is 2007. Himesh Reshammiya is a superstar. He's everywhere - from music channels to reality shows (back when they were distinct), he's embedded in the public consciousness, a fountain of songs and memes (back before we called them memes). He possesses the most famous cap in India, in addition to the most famous nose.
And all that is before he gifts the world with a decade-long career as a movie star.
I've always wondered - why did he suddenly decide to become a movie star? What drove him to acting? Did he need more fame? Did he require more adulation? Was he simply full of money and willing to spend it on vanity projects?
The answer to that can be found in the very first entry in the Suroor Cinematic Universe - Aap Ka Suroor - set in the picturesque location of Somewhere In Germany.
by Luv Mehta
Guru is a Mani Ratnam movie, released in 2007, starring Abhishek Bachchan and Aishwarya Rai. While Abhishek Bachchan isn’t always considered to be a great actor (something I occasionally disagree with), very few people dispute that his performance in Guru is fantastic, one that holds up even today.
This is a fairly popular movie. It’s also a movie I had a lot of conflicted feelings about, back when I saw it twelve years ago. Because of some recent circumstances, I recently sat down and watched it, to see if all those problems of mine would resurface.
They did. But not in a way I was expecting.