Saturday, December 31, 2011

the journey of a fulfilled dream: 2011 in retrospect

Perched in New York City, studying film at the New York Film Academy... a bustling, glowing city of skyscrapers and filled with art and artists on every street... studying the one thing i've loved all my life... its a dream come true. I can't help but feel an ocean of emotions churning inside me. and yet, beneath this ocean of waves, i feel a calm sense of serenity. and it flashes as an undisturbed smile on my face at all times. a calm i cannot explain with a few words. a calm that comes with knowing that i've listened to my head and chased my dreams and yet, kept my heart in the right place. always.

The realization of this dream is no doubt important to me, but what i've come to realize that to me, even more important is how it came about.
Living through this one year, has been chaos. Some of the deepest lows of my life... and some of the most memorable highs. (yes pun intended, if you insist). And yet, now when i look back, it all falls into place like an artwork of planned chaos.

The year began with a decision that broke me to pieces. A decision that was the 'right' thing to do - as much ever as my heart may not want it. for once, i listened to my head so that one day my heart wouldn't hate me. Following which i gathered my pieces and traveled across the country. Wondering to myself if ever the pieces would be whole again. In some of those pieces were memories worth cherishing for a lifetime. and in one of them, words: "i'm waiting for you to rise from the ashes you've burned yourself down to." i will. i promised.

Having traveled like vagabond across the country, sleeping on stations and forests, biking though multiple sunburns and treating my mind to hundreds of new experiences and sights, i came back home to another major decision. Changing cities. Leaving the city i love the most. a city i feel for, the city i grew up in.

Within the next week i had six job offers from different cities. and i chose one that was paying me no more than what i was already earning. Anyone with common career sense wouldn't do that. But i did. And it was the first high of that year. The reason i picked the job i did, was Indira Das - who would be my boss for the year. and the best boss i have had till date.
The first time i met her, i had already decided to take up the job irrespective of what salary i'm offered. because unlike most people in the advertising industry, she didn't come across as someone running the rat race. we didn't have an interview, we had a chat. and i had already decided to move cities. so if i had to, i might as well do so working with a truly genuine person. no matter how precious, money is still just paper at the end of the day. and as time proved across the year, it was the right thing to do. i still love her as a friend and as the best boss and mentor i've ever had. (and indu, i'm publishing this because you have already quit. or i wouldn't have. just the way i haven't published my farewell letter to you yet - which i still haven't given you either)

Having moved to a new city where i had just one friend, and still hurting memories swimming in my heart it was like being in rehab. and it is then that i realized what difference even just one good friend can make. not that i did not know it, but to feel it when you need it the most is an experience in itself. especially when emotional breakdowns start manifesting themselves physically. my welcome to bangalore was being admitted to the hospital. but overtime, things got better again. and mansi, thanks for being there all this time. for once the kid was taking care of the dad :) and i don't know how i would have gotten through without you.
Not to mention that in this time mansi started dating my dear friend sriram, and soon she left bangalore for mumbai to be closer to him.

Some more time passed by and i was alone in bangalore. slowly and steadily making new friends, living new adventures - some of which i better not mention here. And that's when i met mukta. a person i hardly knew but was such a gem of a person that i couldn't help feeling genuinely happy with. Soon she got booted out of her apartment and i had a new roomie by default. but every single day with her as my roomie was a ton of fun. it made the loneliness of bangalore and its lack of intellectual stimulation a thing of the past. I had found a new friend worth keeping for life. and as fate would have it, it was time for her to move to mumbai. (again) to be with her boyfriend and pursue a real career.

All this while i was drowning myself into work and more work and yet more work all the time. utilizing any free time i had for working out to keep my mind off from wandering into thoughts i didn't want to spend too much time on. With the passage of time, things got better. Well, they didn't really have an option - i had my rocks by me always - no matter how far i maybe - Poorabie (the white side of my soul), Ketak & Sanjeev (my 2 brothers from different mothers) and the one person who only keeps getting closer to my heart with every passing year of ridiculing each other, Reema. No matter how far i am or in how much pain, i know all i need to do is to share my heart out to them, and i'm smiling again. These, by the way, are people i can love from across continents and still feel the love.

As they say, things have a way of happening when you least expect them to. Towards the end of the year three bombs drop on me:
1. my boss tells me she is quitting (which leaves me no logical reason to continue with my job at the given salary, away from friends and loved ones, away from the mainstream film industry and in a city that provides minimal intellectual stimulation)
2. and at the same time i find out a new course at New York Film Academy has begun admissions (to which i immediately applied to and the rest is history)
3. and the most important....
i started falling in love with someone
A happy creature with an open mind. a non-judgemental individual, with the heart of a child, the soul of a free bird and the most caring hands ever. and the more time i spend with her i sense a feeling of calm within me. a feeling i haven't really known for a long long time.
in midst of all this flux in my life, when i'm with her, i'm calm again. but its not just calm. its different. its a calm filled with love. love that's unquestioning of all the million visible cracks in my soul. and its not momentary or just created by her presence. its a feeling she leaves in me. a feeling that i feel even now. miles away from her. in New York City. or wherever that life could take me.
but having this feeling also makes me realize one other thing - no matter how many dreams i achieve and what heights i reach - they would all be empty without the love i've been blessed to receive. they would all be empty if it were not for the love we share.
and its a feeling and a realization i cherish.

So finally, as i say goodbye to year full of lessons in unconditional love and care, i just want to thank all those who make my dreams, dreams worth achieving. And promise myself to be as deserving of the love you all have bestowed upon me as i can possibly be. and this includes people i haven't mentioned here today.

Love you, always.
Pushkaraj Shirke

PS: I Love You

Monday, December 26, 2011

the girl with the dragon tattoo

monkeyrating: 7/10
i would have given it an 8 but i cancelled one star for the movie being a serving bitch to commercialist shit like mc donalds and marlboro.

waddabout: a sharp but recently defamed journalist invstigates a murder that took place 20 years ago with the help of a talented but psychologically disturbed assistant.

isay: people need to stop cmparing a book to a movie - they are 2 different mediums. this movie is awesome and a must watch. yes, it has sneaked in advertisments that go against the nature of the characters in the book, but hey, its a movie. just watch it.
if you still want to insist on saying that the book is great and the movie sucks - you know what? go stick to reading and dont watch movies.

monkeyrespect to: STEIG LARSON, for a briliant book and incredible characters!
ROONEY MARA - the girl kicks asss in her performance! i could have never imagined her to fit this role - but she did - and HOW!
TRENT REZNOR - there's a reason why fincher always works with him - THE MAN, AND HIS MUSIC, IS AWESOME. you can feel him behind the scenes whispering to you what the feel of the scene is! its his beats that have to gripped to every scene in the movie.
and of course - master DAVID FINCHER - the man is incredible. i have seen the swedish version of the film - and it seems like a documentary compared to this one. fincher's touch is sheer adrenaline! he always only remakes books into movies, but that's his niche and he's got it bang on!

watch the trailer: 
actualy, the first trailer - coz it is perfect - dosent tell you the story, but gives you the mood to be in -

all views expressed belong to an opinionated dickhead called Pushkaraj Shirke. If you have differing views, feel free to share them or visit

Wednesday, November 23, 2011


TRUE STRENGTH is associated with Optimum Nutrition and as a brand one of their core values is acknowledgement and support for individuals who possess TRUE STRENGTH. And in 2011, for the FIRST TIME EVER Neulife took the initiative to conduct the TRUE STRENGTH awards in INDIA on behalf of Optimum Nutrition.

The TRUE STRENGTH Awards are a recognition to those individuals who have demonstrated outstanding will power and determination to achieve their fitness and/or athletic goals despite great hardship or natural obstacles.

These films were made to celebrate the spirit of the three men from across the country who were awarded this year. Hopefully, they will inspire many pf those who see them:





If these films and these incredible individuals inspire you, do leave a comment.
Pushkaraj Shirke

Monday, November 21, 2011

The Ides Of March

monkeyrating: 8/10

waddabout: a film adaptation of the play Farragut North. The story of an idealistic employee of a new presidential candidate and his crash course in dirty, back stabbing politics during the campaign.

isay: the movie is a MUST WATCH. Very few movies manage to be slow, not action packed and yet be gripping. THIS, is ONE of those RARE ones! its a crash course in screenplay, the beauty of play-writing and in the use of music for drama.

#i admit: i have a thing for playa converted to movies - coz being a theatre actor, i love plays, and being me, i love movies! this movie had the best of both worlds, just like 12 angry men. 

monkeyrespect to: GEORGE CLOONEY. The man has made a masterpiece! he made a good decision by not hogging the screen himself and directing ryan and silence to do most of the talking in the movie. Great call! the man is going to bag awards by the dozen for this one!
RYAN GOSLING. the guy is growing into a really fine actor! subtle facial expressions, no over acting and perfect pauses. he's really a guy to look out for!
ALEXANDRE DESPLAT. the man behind the music of this film - i hope for an OSCAR for this dude! every scene has music that foretells the future... the entire MOOD fo the film is created by the music and the silence between dialogues. simply brilliant!

watch the trailer: 

Thursday, November 17, 2011

Designing a Logo

A friend asked me to deign a logo for his brand: DANCE UNDERGROUND. Its a label that deals with musicians and DJs and underground music events across the country.
So i started off with a few scrawls to get the feel of the intended communication.

Unlike most digital artists, i like to actually hand-draw my concepts and icons onto paper even before i go onto the machine. i use as little technology as possible - coz somehow, i find it adds more character and personality to the things i create. ofcourse there are people who directly kick ass on coreldraw and photoshop alone. but hey, this is me. so off i got to drawing little icons and cues that suggested what the brand needed to communicate and what the brand stood for. after a paper full of these, i picked out the best ones, and singled them out into recognizable logo units.

Once i had created a logo unit using the cues i wanted, i scanned the basic sketch and on came photoshop.
Which brought me to choosing the font. i LOVE hand-drawn fonts, but the kind of cleanness the preset fonts have is kinda irreplaceable. so picked a font i liked. out came the brushes and the layers and poof!
The final 2D logo for DANCE UNDERGROUND was ready:
Then came the task of adding dimension and texture to the elements. Since this is a unit that is mostly for the web and visual mediums, a 3D rendered logo made sense. So i got on to that task.
A little steel, a little leather, a little neon and a few sprays and liquids - and we were done.
The final logo of DANCE UNDERGROUND was created:
(to be uploaded once release permission is acquired)

and that's the way the cookie crumbles. and a logo is designed. from concept - to final design.
Pushkaraj Shirke

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Saturday, November 12, 2011

The Adventures of Tintin: The Secret of the Unicorn

Monkeyrating: 9/10
(i'm a hardcore tintin fan, so i admit my bias towards the movie. I have given it a rating of one point higher than what i would have otherwise given. also below, is my take on the synopsis.)

Waddabout: a mix of Herge's Tintin and the Crab with the Golden claws and Tintin and the secret of the unicorn.

isay: WATCH IT IN 3D! after AVATAR, KP2 and ALICE IN WONDERLAND, i think only this movie does true justice to 3D! besides, its awesome visually, storywise and action wise! Go watch it!!!! worth buying the DVD too!
PS: i have ALL the tintin books - so the DVD is a definite addition!

Monkeyrespect to: The man  who never dissapoints: STEVEN SPIELBERG! to work a much loved classic is one thing - to actually bring it to life without compromising on any of its awesomeness, is entirely another! and he's done it!!! absolutely brilliant!
Peter Jackson's influence is visible in the grandiosity of the landscapes and the cretion of world almost so real in its attention to detail. also in the picking of the cast. i bet he's the one who got Andy Serkis aboard!
The animation team on this one, PREPARE FOR THE OSCARS  BITCHES! you'll are winning it! HANDS DOWN!
oh just one more: ANDY SERKIS as the voice of HADDOCK - love the man!!!! just PERFECT!

Watch the Trailer:

The original book Covers:

Monday, October 24, 2011

Paranormal Activity 3

monkeyrating: 7/10

genre: horror

waddabout: set in 1988, the movie explores the origins of a haunting that continues for 3 decades. (prequel to part 1 and 2)

isay: though part 1 was a GREAT student/indie film but yet boring. part two just sucked and was a total waste - an absolute commercialised horror flick that lost its essence.
this was my review of PARANORMAL ACTIVITY 1&2. BUT: part 3 comes and delivers with a BANG! THIS is a HORROR film!

#note: despite the end not living up to the INTELLIGENT HORROR of the film, it is definitely one of my recommended must watch horror films to watch! intelligent, thought through, well made and scary.

monkeyrespect to: the writers and the director of this film! brilliant shit! especially OREN PELI - the man who has been holding this movie together since its inception in part 1. simple, effective film-making and a gripping story works its wonders here!
the child actress,chole csengery, is definitely a little bundle of talent to watch out for.

watch the trailer: though most of what you see in the trailer aint there in the film, it'll give you a soft preview of what to watch out for. but if you want to save the scares for later, i suggest you skip the trailer ;)

all views expressed belong to an opinionated dickhead called Pushkaraj Shirke. If you have differing views, feel free to share them or visit

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Illustration: The War of the World

Title: The War of the World
Style: Illustration
Medium: Pen on paper

why? well, if i have to live through the end of the world, it might as well be entertaining!

- Pushkaraj Shirke

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

The Six Girls You Date in College

as they say, the funniest humour is that which strikes you with its honest insight!!!! this one just blows my mind with its simple execution and honest brutal VO! :D

all views expressed belong to an opinionated dickhead called Pushkaraj Shirke. If you have differing views, feel free to share them or visit

Monday, October 17, 2011

The True Origins of Pizza

This is hilarious!

the humour is in its seriousness of its documentary style - really well made and subtly spoofy.

i think this one kicks ass as a viral! 

From Brooklyn to Seoul, we left no stone unturned as we searched for an answer to the age-old question -- was pizza really invented in Korea? See further evidence at

check it out: 

all views expressed belong to an opinionated dickhead called Pushkaraj Shirke. If you have differing views, feel free to share them or visit

The NEULIFE film: The Anatomy of Achievement

Team Neulife Athlete: Mr. neulife: Ankur Sharma
The man is a monster by body and a humble man by heart. it's humbling to even meet him face to face.  Every  scene he did, he did for real - no dummy weight - pure iron and pure muscle! The images have not been touched up as in other commercials - this is what PURE MUSCLE is all about. Sheer Belief. Sheer Grit. Sheer Power!

Team Neulife Athlete: Khushnoor Jijina
Mixed martial arts champion, commonwealth champion in karate and the undefeated FCC champion of India.

Team Neulife Model, Boxer and Athlete: Sudev Nair

 it is so difficult to not disclose anything about my first commercial film as an independent director.Especially when it looks so bloody darn amazing! all i can share for now is my thanks to the team that made it possible:
DOP: Anuj Samtani
Line producers: Rohon Nag and Saket Iyer

Editor: Amit Shetty

Writer - Director: Pushkaraj Shirke (self)

to know more about the brand that is bringing international nutritional advantages to India for the past 10 years, supporting true athletes and making such films possible, check out: 

Look forward to this space for more details, more stills, the making of and More!

- Pushkaraj Shirke

PS: and my personal thanks go out to my friend and the creator of Neulife, Samit Gupta, for giving me the opportunity to create this piece of work for him. 

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Little Scraps of Paper: must watch short films for creative people

Little Scraps of Paper is a series created in 2010 by director Tomas Leach, 
assisted by Nicolas Cambier and Daniel Diego Lincoln.

Tomas Leach
Tomas Leach is a London based commercials and documentaries director. 
Repped by in the UK
Visit his website

Nicolas Cambier
Nicolas Cambier is a London based video maker and graphic designer.
Visit his website 

Daniel Diego Linclon
Daniel Diego Lincoln is a London based graphic designer.
Visit his website

all views expressed belong to an opinionated dickhead called Pushkaraj Shirke. If you have differing views, feel free to share them or visit

Real Steel

though there is a commercial poster of the film, i like this limited edition poster. im a sucker for retro art.

monkeyrating: 7/10

genre: drama action sci-fi

waddabout: In a future where robot boxing has taken over real boxing, a down-n-out ex-boxer who is on a losing streak finds out that he has a 11-yr-old as adamant as him - and ends up undertaking a journey he never expected.

isay: its an entertainer. the emotional scenes are quite boring - but the action and the comedy - is goddamn steel and gravy! a complete fun watch!

monkeyrespect to: Shawn Levy has finally made it from gimmicky films to not so gimmicky films - much more importantly, he's made a commercial 'concept', into a good movie - the screenplay is standard textbook screenplay (though a little slow at the beginning) + he managed to merge rocky with transformers and give us an amazing film yet + he's made the robots quite human and yet steely - a tough task to achieve!

i think we should look out for Dakota Goyo - the boy is good at his act and you actually look forward to his expressions and antics - a real pointer to a good actor in the future. look out for him.
and of course - i'm biased towards Hugh Jackman - the man's plain awesome charisma on screen as far as i'm concerned - though in this movie, his acting skills are grossly under utilized.

Watch the trailer:

the commercial poster: 

all views expressed belong to an opinionated dickhead called Pushkaraj Shirke. If you have differing views, feel free to share them or visit

Monday, October 10, 2011

50 things about me you already know... or not.

here i go - tagged again. and feeling too stressed out to think or work for the moment. so filling out a tag sheet - of 50 things about me. damn this slef indulgent waste of time. neways, here goes:

1. i LOVE films.
2. the only things that makes me angry easily is the sight of people hitting animals.
3. i'm dyslexic. and proud of it.
4. i love acting and have won plenty of stuff for it - but i would never make it my profession.
5. forget smoking, alcohol and drugs - i've realised that being truthful is more injurious to health and life than them all. and yet i wont quit it. atleast i haven't as yet.
6. i had set fire to my building terrace as a kid.
7. my first crush was my nursery teacher. i cried when she got married.
8. i'm extremely resistant to cold - i've swum in every water body in kashmir.
9. i'm working on and want to build a self sustainable habitat/living system before i die.
10. i love dancing. and martial arts. and working out. i think i love all physio-kinetic arts.

11. i never take autographs. i believe if you admire someone, take that inspiration and rise to their level as equals and meet them rather than run around them with a pen and paper.
12. i hate taking favours. even if its from my own family.
13. i've never cried out for help. and i don't expect anyone to be there for me when i'm in need.
14. i have biked all over the country, but i never drive.
15. singing is my achilles heel. its the one thing i cannot do. and the one thing that makes any woman 10X more attractive in my eyes.
16. most of my closest friends are people who've hated me initially.
17. to me the opposite of love is not hate. its indifference.
18. i can never unlove someone i love. the intensity though, may change.
19. different people mean different emotions to me. and also i see most people as animals.
20. being loved without ever having to lie is my ideal of unconditional love.

21. i don't like my birthday.
22. my first job was selling phenyl, bags and socks from door to door. and i used to skip lunch to save some money.
23. i've had 13 fractures. now i have a severe neck complication since i was 18.
24. i'm manic depressive. and some of my best works of art and prose are rooted in that.
25. being a stunt director, a barber, a naval pilot, a vet or a scientist were my childhood ambitions.
26. 'modesty' is not my cup of tea. i find it to be the most commonly used farce by those most immodest.
27. Japanese culture interests me. so does animal behaviour.
28. black is my fav colour. but when i'm painting, purple flows naturally through me.
29. I admire Leonardo Da Vinci, Clint Eastwood and Julian Assange.
30. I used to be a scaredy kid! but now,  hardly anything ever scares me. except free falling upside down from heights.

31. i love chocolate with almonds and nuts.
32. my mom is my mom. my dad is my best friend. and all my relationships are so simple that they seem complicated to people accustomed to live in institutions.
33. my concepts of god, death and love are experiential derivations, not pre-learned concepts of fiction.
34. i'm a trivia and knowledge hound. wikipedia was a dream come true for me.
35. i love clicking people. its a biography at view.
36. to me, the law ain't the same as justice. i support capital punishment. euthanesia. castration and amputative punishment.
37. i don't have even a single pair of formal clothes.
38. i talk to absolute strangers just out of curiosity. also to people i find interesting or inspiring. i study them.
39. i love reading excerpts of Kahlil Gibran.
40. i believe sex is to a relationship what money is to a job.

41. i want to win an oscar.
42. i love advertising, but i don't chase advertising awards. i'm happy making advertising that actually works.
43. i prefer making love to making coffee every morning. its a better way to wake up.
44. I never really liked reading novels. graphic novels and comics were more my palate.
45. I believe in learning. not in education.
46. i love letting the people i love know how much they are loved in any way i can, everytime i can... coz i believe that's the only regret death can leave me with. of not having loved them enough.
47. i also want to be fighting fit and completely independant till i die. i intend to take hermitage someday.
48. i want to travel the world.
49. i loathe commercialism. i want to live away from 'too much civillization'.
50. i want to live a life that no one else can. and i will.

if you've read this, you're tagged. and you need to write this note. funny thing is, it actually helps find yourself a little bit :)

- Pushkaraj Shirke

Twinnings - gets you back to you

beautiful animation. great soundtrack. and a simple, connectable concept. magic in a minute:

all views expressed belong to an opinionated dickhead called Pushkaraj Shirke. If you have differing views, feel free to share them or visit

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

The POLE UP YOUR ASS theory.

This is a theory i came up with through my observations of people everywhere. I've shared it with many people and some of them asked me to put it down for sharing. so here it is.

Every individual is born free - with an anus as unclogged and free as can be. nothing up their ass.
no prenotions. no prejudice. no bias. no ideas. no concepts of good or bad, right and wrong. in fact, no concepts at all. in short, no poles up their ass.

and then begins their 'humanization'.
they learn from their parents and surroundings the good and the bad, the to do and the not to do, the beautiful and the ugly, the strong and the meek... and lots and lots of different words to classify the world around them. initially to better understand it. and slowly and steadily, towards differentiating within it.
That, my dear, is the first formation of a little pole up your ass. its not too big. its small, and very allowing. you are still quite free.

Then you grow a little more. and so do your experiences within the cocoons of your immediate society. the cultural concepts around you, the small talk, the 'praised' ideals and concepts begin to nurture that pole up your ass. and without you really knowing it - its growing bigger and bigger everyday.
Now you are idealistic - on ideas that YOU perceive as worthy without knowing that YOU perceive them worthy cause that's the most common notion you have been opened to.
You differentiate good and bad, and beautiful and ugly, and right and wrong, race and religion, sexual and biological, social and anti-social - based not on introspective thought, but on accumulated learnings from other's filters of life.
The pole up you ass, by the time you are through your teens is about 10 foot long!
you think you are above others because of what you believe is greater than what they believe - may it be your ways of life, your choice of food, the people you are sexually available to, the gods you pray to or the education you choose. Your 'concepts' have still not met the real world. the real world, where you realise that textbooks and fables don't teach what's true, but only that whats as entertaining as it is acceptable by the society as a whole.

Now with that 10 foot pole up your ass, you step into the real world. You feel you are TALLER than everyone else. And that is where the pruning begins. Now, i'm not suggesting that the minute you are past your teens and into the working world is a timelined bench mark. some people live with their pole in their cocoon for as far as 30 years - some, even for life. a life of sweet cocooned delusion. but that's a rough estimate.
As you experience the world on your own terms. see the real world as against the one in texts and stories. travel. explore. meet people. experience your own life. read. watch. listen. and feel the world around you as far and wide as possible... you realize that the pole up your ass is getting smaller. it's being pruned by the world. and by your own TRUE experiences.

The thing is, by now, the pole has been up your ass so long, that it has started to become your SPINE.
That pole is now your CHARACTER. or what defines you. if not to the world, at least to your own self. and to your sense of self-identity. The pole keeps growing or reducing with time and age and circumstances.
And it is pretty much up to each individual to decide how much he/she lets the world and their experiences prune their pole.
some people let time and age take their pole away completely, ending up as 'spineless' individuals who've given up to life and are just living with whatever life serves them. some, accept  the pole as their spine and live with it symbiotically - creating a balance between what's acceptable to them and what is not. Even if they might change with the time to come.

people who let the pole be completely reduced and decide not to judge anything at all ever and for whatever reason, become spineless. they no longer have a pole up their ass, but they don't have a spine either. they don't stand up for anything - anything at all.

people who refuse to let their pole be pruned at all by their circumstances and experiences, rare as that may be, end up living delusional lives. often cocooned into institutions, cults, escapism and many a times - dead at their own hands. oh you also find a few who nurture the pole further up their ass. i'm sure you'd meet a few in this lifetime.

and then there are people who let their life experiences and circumstances prune the pole up their ass in such a way that enough spine remains up there to be their back. to take a stand. have an opinion. and yet not be too rigid or demeaningly judgmental towards others. (demeaningly judgmental is not the same as judgmental). more importantly, it is often amongst such people that you find people that are not too stuck up, treat everyone with equality and are as humanly flawed and accepting of it as possible.

In my view - that's pretty much the place to be in. Where there's no 'pole' up your ass, but a well adjusted, adequate sized spine. A backbone that you stand on and live your life with.

But hey, that's my view. the pole up your ass may be a different story all together.

Pushkaraj Shirke

Monday, October 3, 2011


monkeyrating: 7/10

genre: Drama Action Crime

waddabout: a hollywood stunt driver who also takes up TRANSPORT jobs for thugs and criminals finds himself on a mafia hit-list after he gets involved in a complicated heist.

isay: if you watch it expecting an action movie, you will be dissapointed. the movie is an incredibly well directed, tricklingly slow DRAMA - a character piece - and a marvel at that. watch it for that, and you'll be spellbound. its extremely 'real' and seeps into your skin.

monkeyrespect to: the director Nicolas Winding Refn. honestly, before this movie, i dint even know his name! But the way he has made this movie a slow-warm-burning piece of character drama, he deserves an applause. But an oscar? maybe not. Not yet.

#this song from the movie soundtrack is stuck in my head: A REAL HERO

watch the trailer:

all views expressed belong to an opinionated dickhead called Pushkaraj Shirke. If you have differing views, feel free to share them or visit

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

What's Virgin Mean?

one of my favourite short films for obvious reasons:

all views expressed belong to an opinionated dickhead called Pushkaraj Shirke. If you have differing views, feel free to share them or visit


monkeyrating: 8/10
i actually wanted to give it a 9 coz:

1. i love MMA (i practice MMA myself)
2. director gavin o connor is the man who gave us MIRACLE
3. i love MMA!

waddabout: two estranged brothers with their own emotional strugges find themselves fighting for a better life in a MMA championship.

isay: watch it. not for the fights, but for the emotions. this is a modern day Rocky. a movie that's set in a world of violence but focuses more on the human within. masterpiece!
Especially the way its treated relationships between grown men - the bond between brothers and the father-son relationship

monkeyrespect to: Gavin O Connor for resisting the temtation to get swayed away by the action in MMA and stick to the soul of the movie. and all the 3 actors! what a smashing performance! Tom Hardy, Nick Nolte and Joel Edgarton... hats off!

TOM HARDY, is a man to watch out for! he is Brilliant beyond words.

all views expressed belong to an opinionated dickhead called Pushkaraj Shirke. If you have differing views, feel free to share them or visit

Tuesday, September 27, 2011


This one is the best of the 3 film series.3 guys, 44 days, 11 countries, 18 flights, 38 thousand miles, an exploding volcano, 2 cameras and almost a terabyte of footage... all to turn 3 ambitious linear concepts based on movement, learning and food into 3 beautiful and hopefully compelling short films = a trip of a lifetime: move, eat, learn.
Rick Mereki : Director, producer, additional camera and editing
Tim White : DOP, producer, primary editing, sound
Andrew Lees : Actor, mover, groover
These films were commissioned by STA Travel Australia: ENJOY!

all views expressed belong to an opinionated dickhead called Pushkaraj Shirke. If you have differing views, feel free to share them or visit

Friday, September 16, 2011

Weekend Photoshoot: Casual Portraits

about Shivani: i do not try to sum up in words a person too beautiful for words. that's her.

- Pushkaraj Shirke

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Joel Fonseca: the 'product-shot' man

The best part of my job is meeting really interesting and really talented people. And the kind of people i love meeting most, are people who REALLY know their job. people of sheer skill and natural or cultivated talent. One unique individual of many such people that I've met, is Joel sir. The man most of the advertising industry in india would call as the 'product-shot' man. the man is the 'A-team' of product shots!

At first glance - he's a very simple guy. a common man. with a nice big happy paunch, an easily-mistaken-for-goan personality complete with the typical mouchtache and most often wearing his unofficial uniform - a hat with an overflowing cloth, a polo tee, shorts and boots. Once you watch him work - you know that attire is not some fashion statement - its sheer hardworking functionality. He'll crack the funnies, laugh with you, take your suggestions, help you out, listen to directors, help them out, keep working with the same high level of enthusiasm through all the countless takes - but when he knows exactly the scene he wants, he most often gets it right within 3 takes or less. that's an attribute which comes from his experience (to which i shall come later).
the best part is, he does all of this, without once seeming 'all-knowing' or 'overbearing'. which once you know him work - you know that he easily could be.

What's most brilliant is the fact that he has no 'formal' or 'institutionalized' educataion on the job he does. All that he has behind him, is years of hardworking on-the-job experience - and one thing that comes naturally to him: improvisation. Which is what brings him from being a spot-boy on the sets of some big directors to being the one man the industry calls to when in need of a great product/ingredient shot.
FOR THOSE WHO DO NOT KNOW: Ingredient/product shots are those tempting little scenes within ads which make you feel the product - whether its temptation, lust, freshness, warmth or even the coolnees of a product. The fresh, cool splash of pepsi, the ooozing chocolate, the showering zestfulness of liril, the chunky wheatgrains in your biscuits - if you've ever felt these on Indian TV, you've most probably felt the work of 'Joel Fonseca'. 
It's amazing to see how at ease he is with all the equipment and gadgets in his 'lab'. Equally interesting is to watch how he knows what material will have what viscosity, will look how on screen, will blend with what colour and will need how fast a frame rate to be best captured - WITHOUT AN ADVANCED DEGREE IN PHYSICS - Which i'm pretty sure you will think such a function needs if you know the demands involved.

"joel sir, we want this to splash and cross on screen"
says a reputed director.
the director has the shot in his mind, but doesn't know how it will happen.
all Joel says is "ho jaayega sir." with his perpetually cool confidence.
15 mins of lots of mixing liquids and a few fountains later - poof - its done!
and it dosent stop there: "color change?" "ho jayega" "more splashy?" "ho jayega" "extra twirl in the liquid?" "ho jayega".... from my experiences with the man, i think even if you ask him to bend the very laws of physics, he'll say "ho jayega"... and get it done too! While somewhere Newton would be twirling in his grave.

His 'lab' pretty much holds the secret of his success. When you enter it there are three things that will almost always catch your eye: Joel working hard at his task, the non-flashy but extremely well equipped workplace AND a wall full of the most important ingredient in this, or any business - people.
The wall of photos of Joel at work with the various crews he's worked with are quite a walk down memory lane. Even today he continues his customary 'photo at the end of the shoot' tradition - capturing all the people he amazes with his adorable nature and hardworking presence.

By all means, truly a man worth meeting. A true gem of a person - Joel Fonseca; the 'Product-Shot' man.

-Pushkaraj Shirke
Discussing a scene with Joel during a shoot.

At the product shoot of the Sunfeast Dark Fantasy ChocoFills ad.
L to R: Zap, Me, Joel, Archana, Gemma, Pooja and Anuj.

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Going Solo (advice for entrepreneurs)

a real interesting self promo - stopmotion animation film created for a festival by STUDIO BOTES.

thoughtful and inspiring - and at the same time - very simple and neat.

Going Solo. from Studio Botes on Vimeo.

It is a stop frame animation created for the Toffie Festival 2011. It shares advice from local (South African) and international designers on starting your own business.

all views expressed belong to an opinionated dickhead called Pushkaraj Shirke. If you have differing views, feel free to share them or visit

Wednesday, September 7, 2011


this ad captures an emotion that i bet every aspirational film-maker will come across. esp in this industry which is nothing but rampant nepotism and incestuously corrupt. it hits the nail on the head!

all views expressed belong to an opinionated dickhead called Pushkaraj Shirke. If you have differing views, feel free to share them or visit

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

12 Angry Men

monkeyrating: 9/10

genre: drama

waddabout: a single man with a differing perspective about a boy on trial for murder debates in support of his view with the rest of the jury - who are convinced on pronouncing the boy 'guilty'.

isay: if drama ever was as good as sex - this would be the sheer example of it! of course the movie is a great play that is perfect in classic theatre - but the movie itself is a crash course in character development, script writing, and ofcourse dialogue writing! add to that the awesomeness of the fact that its all set in a single room - kabooooom! film genius!

monkeyrespect to: Director Sidney Lumet and writer Reginald Rose - both couldnt have done it without each other. the words and the essense of the story is woven into a drama that is captured in every sense perfectly. Sidney has brought forth even the underlying issues of the characters to the screen is sheer genius at work!

trivia note: as the shooting progressed, the director purposely switched to lenses of longer focal lengths to create a sense of claustrophobia in the room!

watch trailer: 

all views expressed belong to an opinionated dickhead called Pushkaraj Shirke. If you have differing views, feel free to share them or visit

Tuesday, August 30, 2011


036, de Juan Fernando Andrés Parrilla y Esteban Roel García Vázquez
reminds me of my war for my passport. it took me 4.2 YEARS to get my passport!!! bloody Government Office drone and their love for 'paperwork'!
 amazing film!!!

all views expressed belong to an opinionated dickhead called Pushkaraj Shirke. If you have differing views, feel free to share them or visit

Monday, August 22, 2011

City of God (Citade de Deus)

monkeyrating: 9/10 

 drama crime

waddabout: a tale of the circle of life through the lives of the youths living in the very violent, crime soaked slums of CITADE DE DEUS. And its based on a true story!

isay: if i ever make a movie - this is how it will be! the movie ain't just a movie - its a story of life. a tale worth being told and a visual experience worth being experienced! absolutely timeless!

monkeyrespect to: 
Director Fernando Meirellesgets all the monkey respect monkey can give - the movie is god-fucking-fantabulous! the way the story is told is just brilliant in every way. this movie is a storyteller's dream!

The cinematography will have you gripped in the first 10 minutes itself - and what's more is that it dosent slack all through the movie. so definite monkeyrespect and the well deserved oscar to
 César Charlone. The camera movements and techniques put CG to shame! 
The editing by 
Daniel Rezende is so slick!!!! not at one point do you feel that any part of the story's fabric is ruptured! despite being such a long and complicated!!! almost as if the editing is invisible! that's the true art of a master tailor - a dress that stupefies you, but without a single hem or stitch ever being visible! 

trivia note: All of the amateur actors were recruited from favelas (slums) in Rio de Janeiro, and a couple of them - eg. Buscapé/Rocket actually lived in the Cidade de Deus
Watch the trailer: 

all views expressed belong to an opinionated dickhead called Pushkaraj Shirke. If you have differing views, feel free to share them or visit

Monday, August 8, 2011

one flew over the cuckoo's nest (1975)

monkeyrating: 9/10
 (i seriously considered giving this movie a 10/10)


A free spirited man cons his way into a mental institution in lieu of prison, and rallies the patients together to rebel against an opressive nurse (ratched) whose only joy in life seems to be opressing these patients.

isay: one of the few movies that will haunt you for life with its meaning and unbiased view of the world. must must must watch!

monkeyrespect to:
 Jack Nicholson is THE MAN to watch out for!!!

Best Actor in a Leading Role
Jack Nicholson
Best Actress in a Leading Role
Louise Fletcher
Best Director
Milos Forman
Best Picture
Saul Zaentz
Michael Douglas
'One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest' became the first film in 41 years to sweep the major categories of best picture, director, actor, actress and screenplay.
Best Writing, Screenplay Adapted From Other Material
Lawrence Hauben
Bo Goldman 
Watch the trailer: 

all views expressed belong to an opinionated dickhead called Pushkaraj Shirke. If you have differing views, feel free to share them or visit

Rise of the Planet of the apes

pandarating: 8/10
monkeyrating: 7/10
(applies for non hard core P.O.T.A fans)

genre: Action drama Sci-fi

makers: Director: Rupert Wyatt
Writers: Pierre Boulle, Rick Jaffa, and 1 more credit »Stars: James Franco, Andy Serkis and Freida Pinto

waddabout: A genetically enhanced chimp who displays near human intelligence is raised up by a geneticist.

isay: The movie is well written and well executed. At 97 minutes the runtime might feel a tad short for this kind of drama/action movie but it holds the viewers attention and gets it point across. atleast extremely well for the first half.
The movie is full of small homage's to the first movie - so hardcore POTA fans gotta love it!

pandarespect to: The studio and the makers for attempting a reboot after 2001's weird Goth Planet of the apes with a twist in the end which made ZERO sense. This movie is a prequel of sorts to 1968's Planet movie and might spin off into its own franchise.
The biggest selling and potentially stumbling point of the movie is the CGI, all the apes are computer generated and one can only imagine how much work went into making them look this real. Other than super expressive eyes, the apes looked completely real, and better than Navi's in 2009's Avatar for the simple reason that these apes are in real world San Francisco and not a new planet. Some people might say the CGI is obvious, but its only obvious because we know them to be CGI, to a layman they look and act real.

trivia note: "Get your filthy hands off me you damn dirty ape" makes a big comeback with a very surprising Theater gasping word spoken at the end of that dialog. SEE the movie to find out what was said and by whom. SHOCKER IT IS!!!!!

View the trailer: 

for the review of the ORIGINAL  - PLANET OF THE APES:

all views expressed belong to an arrogant self-obsessive maniac called Rohon Nag. If you have differing views, feel free to share them or visit

Friday, August 5, 2011

13 assasins (2010)

monkeyrating: 8/10 

 drama action adventure history

A group of men of honor come together to assassinate an evil shogun.

isay: this movie will make you want to go beserk with a katana all over the yard!!!! insanely awesome!!! 

monkeyrespect to: Takashi Miike - This director has acommplished a task almost impossible - REMADE an incredible classic in a way that's not just TRUE to its epicness, story and soul, but also remarkably a more well shot film! An entertainer with its sense and sensibilities intact!

The action choreographer and the cinematographer have done a brilliant job! They've made the camera literally sway with the action. I'm pretty keen on action scenes and yet i found it almost impossible to find any wedge between the flawlessly choreographed scenes - WHICH ALSO POINTS ANOTHER ACT OF BRILLIANCE - SEAMLESS EDITING!
The sound is brilliant too - explosive and cutting. but the music doesn't stay in you head. it just leaves you wishing it would.

Watch the trailer: 

all views expressed belong to an opinionated dickhead called Pushkaraj Shirke. If you have differing views, feel free to share them or visit

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