Today IMDb Top 250 project will be completed :) First project finale :)

I am watching the last film from the list: Seven Samurai by Kurosawa. I left one of the best ones to the end as a nice closure 🙂

Kurosawa and Miyazaki are by far my top heroes among all other great directors. Their talent in storytelling surpassed my expectations in many ways.

Movies, like books, are about storytelling. They use less words so it is not very easy when compared to books. Any subject, if told really good, can become a masterpiece.

That’s what I learned the best from the bests among IMDb Top 250. I will definitely use this in my future short films for my Filmmaking project.

NEW YEAR, NEW RECIPES W/ NYE LEFTOVERS :)

These next few days, you will open the fridge and find leftovers from the New Year’s Eve.

They are not enough for a meal by themselves and they give the “I am eating the leftovers” feeling if you try to eat them from the tiny plastic cups 🙂

So get them all out and create a masterpiece with them…

  • If you have any kind of meat pick the red meat (beef,lamb etc). If there is fish left, do not use it.
  • Poultry? Smell it first. If it is good, you can use it the next day.
  • Beef/lamb, if you immediately put the leftovers in the freezer, you can use it for the next 2 days.
  • Look out for the cooked or raw vegetables. If you did not put lemon/vinegar in them last night, you can use them for 2 days.
  • Potatoes/potato salad etc. is not recommended to be eaten as a leftover. Mashed potatoes, if you used cream or milk in it, should not be eaten either.
  • So, pick a kind of meat from the leftovers (you can use lamb/beef or paultry, but not together) and heat them a little with the leftover veggies. If you have fresh salad left (and without vinegar/lemon from previous day) you can add the salad to the plate after heating. Do not heat the salad 🙂
  • Lastly, you will need a nice and healthy sauce

That will be very easy. I do not recommend using leftover sauces as they mostly include vinegar/lemon/mayonnaise etc which should be eaten right away. Always prepare sauces fresh!

Instead, use one or more of my recipes, which go well with both white and red meat.

Very healthy sauce recipes for New Year’s Eve leftovers (based on 1 plate of meal)

1. Yellow sauce of Alex

An acidic sauce which goes well with veggies & fresh green salads

1 tablespoon of

  • Apple Cider Vinegar
  • Black cumin oil
  • Fresh Lemon juice

1 teaspoon of

  • Basil (fresh or dried)
  • Turmeric powder

2. White sauce of Alex

Goes well with carbs like pasta, rice etc (Unless you have leaky-gut)

Goes well with veggies and poultry either.

2 tablespoons of

  • yoghurt

1 tablespoon of

  • Black cumin oil or olive oil
  • Mint (dried)

3. Red sauce of Alex 

Goes really good with red meat

1 tablespoon of

  • Black cumin oil or olive oil
  • Pomegranate mollases

1 teaspoon of

  • Apple Cider Vinegar
  • Basil (dried)
  • Ginger (powder or freshly mashed)

4. Black sauce of Alex

Goes well with red meat and fresh green salad

1 tablespoon of

  • Black cumin oil or olive oil
  • Pomegranate mollases
  • Black cumin (powder)

1 teaspoon of

  • Apple Cider Vinegar
  • Basil (dried)

5. Sweet fruity sauce of Alex 

Goes well with leftover deserts. Gives creamy taste and removes dryness of leftover cakes.

1 or 2 tablespoons of:

  • Yoghurt
  • Red/blue berries, cherries, mashed pumpkins, sliced or mashed bananas etc. (If you have leaky gut, use very little fruit). You can boil them with little water in a small pot or use direcly. If you cook them with little water they will have more taste.

1 teaspoon of

  • Mint leaves (dried)
  • Lemon juice (fresh)
  • Coconut oil

Important tips & notes:

  • No milk, cream, mayonaisse, ketchup, mustard, cheese should be included. If you want to add cheese, add little and use goat cheese.
  • Do not use diet or low-fat yoghurt. They taste like nothing and the fat in yoghurt is not bad fat. Eat it 🙂
  • Use black cumin oil with turmeric or curry to replace mustard for red meat
  • Use yoghurt with black cumin oil to replace cream/mayonnaise
  • Use ginger instead of hot pepper
  • You can add 1 tablespoon of water in the sauces if you are using them on fresh green salad.
  • You can add your favorite seasonings
  • If you must (I don’t use any), you can add salt (maximum 1 teaspoon)
  • Use coconut oil for deserts and black cumin or olive oil for meals/salads. No other is accepted…
  • If you can, use probiotic yoghurt
  • You can use more of yoghurt but not more of oil 🙂

Do not waste the leftovers, with little effort you can make a nice meal with them today 🙂

Alex

Best Indian Movies to watch – Compact critiques by Alex

In IMBD top 250, there are several Indian movies, a.k.a. Bollywood, and each of them won or nominated for many awards including BAFTA and Oscars. I watched all of them and here are my compact critiques:

3 idiots (2009) One of the funniest movies I have ever seen. Criticizes the harsh and competitive educational system in India and gives good insight about career choice issues in India. A must see as it is really different in Europe or USA. There are many students who commit suicide every year in India because of the pressure of failing in the class. If possible, watch it with your children. Aamir Khan shows one of his best performances.

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What I learned:

1. “Being an idiot is not being stupid.”

2. “Do what you like the most and you are already best at. And do it perfectly. Success will follow”

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A funny scene from 3 idiots

***

Slumdog Millionaire  (2008) A must watch, not only an Oscar winner but also a masterpiece in both script and directing.

images (1) - CopyFor the casting of the adult actors/actresses, I cannot praise that much though.

As the script and directing is too good, the mediocrity of the cast is eliminated. Too long but bearable. This was the only one I watched at the movie theatre and at some moments I got sleepy 🙂

Very important note that the children acting in the movie depicting the toddler years were extremely successful. Their acting is far much better than the adults in the movie.

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What I learned:

1. “A good movie is not about casting, it is about script, directing and cinematography.” (It is no surprise that it won 8 Oscars including script, directing, cinematography, music and best movie.)

2. “Notice everything. It will help you some way.”

***

Taare Zameen Par : Like stars on earth (2007) Another too long movie but the messages are too important so I recommend this one too. It is about a boy with dyslexia suffer from living an ordinary school life failing over and over until a ttaarezameenpar (1) - Copyeacher (Aamir Khan of course) gives him a chance to show his great talent in illustration. A life changing movie with many educational quotes for families with young children and teachers in competitive schools. The best scenes are the ones that show how different a dyslexic child’s brain works from “normal” ones.

What I learned:

1. “Normal is neither creative, nor perfect.”

2. “How a dyslexic mind works”

***

Rang De Basanti (2006) How I missed this masterpiece? I cannot believe myself! If you loved V for Vendetta, you will adore Rang de Basanti! Cast is perfect, Aamir Khan shines again. The story by Kamlesh Pandey could not be told better. Screenplay (Renzil D’Silva) and directing (Rakeysh Omprakash Mehra) is beyond perfect.

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This movie is about how things “do not change” in time and revolution will always be there as far as a handful of innocent, honest young students exist. Differing from V for Vendetta, this movie is not about revenge. It is purely about justice. So, it is far better than V, which is also one of my favorites.

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Rang De Basanti shows gradual transformation of university students from being politically apathetic to antigovernment rebels. After the death of their friend, who is in the army as a pilot, Defence Minister blames the pilot for the crash although it is because of the Minister who was bribed and purchased the plane parts which should not be used.

The students organize a peaceful candlelight at the India Gate, but the police severely and the rest of the film shows the dramatic results of this violence.

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10 out of 10 from me… In terms of script, directing and casting.

What I learned:

1. “No country is perfect. You’ve got to make it perfect.”

2. Thanks to Rakeysh Omprakash Mehra I learned a lot about directing. The yellow bus passing in the background when we see the past and present is one of the best scenes of simple symbolism along with the song Rang de Basanti, which means “color me saffron(yellow)” (80 yrs ago some firebrand young indian nationalists were singing this song in all parts of India and trying to fight colonialism.)

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3. “There are 3 kinds of people. The ones who go to death screaming, the ones who go to death silent (like Vendetta) and the ones who go to death “Laughing”. Those are the ones who believe in others will take the torch and they did not die for nothing.”

***

Dil Chahta Hai (2001) I will be honest. I did not like it. Too too long and very very boring. It is about love and finding love etc etc. I don’t really know why this one is on IMDB top 250.

What I learned:

“You can be a man who falls in love easily or never falls in love at all. It does not matter. When it comes to a relatinship, you should first be a good friend to her. It takes time and effort.” (Spice Girls said this one earlier, so… 🙂

“Conversation is the key”

“You cannot choose who to love, it just happens.” What a clichĂ© 🙂

These messages are in most of the movies so it becomes boring seeing them again and again. I simply do not recommend this one even Aamir Khan cannot save this movie 🙂

***

To sum up:

The only bad side that all of those movies share is the length. They are too long to capture my attention as they are nearly 3 hr movies. I cannot imagine myself watching them in a movie theatre. At home, I watch them while doing other things including texting or tweeting. Sorry but especially the songs and dances are too too long with an exception of Slumdog Millionaire. It has no songs or dance until end credits; however, still too long…

If you want to start, start with Slumdog Millionarie. Then watch 3 idiots. You will love them I promise 🙂

If you liked V for Vendetta, watch Rang de Basanti in the first place.

Believe me, these Indian movies will give you a realistic perspective in Indian Culture like My Sassy Girl (2001 – original) gives about Korean culture. I strongly recommend that one too.

As a last word. Please do not waste time on remakes. When they are remade by Hollywood they are not successful because of the cultural differences. Hollywood should continue to do Hollywood and stop doing the remakes of international blockbusters.

Alex