Amazon mini-TV’s latest offering, a short film titled “Recommended For You,” shows us the dark side of bingeing, hacking, and surveillance. In their earlier release titled “1800 Life,” a depressed comedian on the brink of committing suicide receives a random call that develops into a meaningful conversation that helps change his outlook on life. ‘1800 Life’ served as a reminder that in the present day and age, we are never really alone or off the grid and technology has invaded itself into almost all aspects of our lives—for better or worse. ‘Recommended For You’ takes the idea to the next level; this time most definitely for the worse.
The plot follows a young man named Pranav (brilliantly essayed by Ayush Mehra) who has a twisted psyche and takes sadistic pleasure in watching online videos of mishaps. It’s like his oxygen. He just can’t get enough of it. While casually watching online videos at home, he suddenly clicks on a mysterious video in the recommended videos section and begins to binge-watch its content. His life turns upside down in a shocking series of events as he unexpectedly becomes a central part of the narrative.It is all about the dark side of technology, which is often hidden in plain sight. In recent times, a lot of shows have tried to explore this realm. Now, both in terms of concept and execution, ‘Recommended For You’ is nothing exceptional, especially given what we have already seen in shows such as ‘Black Mirror,’ ‘Electric Dreams,’ ‘Solos,’ ‘The Twilight Zone,’ and ‘Love Death + Robots.’
Take, for example, the case of the episode ‘The Entire History of You’ from ‘Black Mirror.’ The episode is set in a world where a “grain” technology records people’s audiovisual senses, allowing a person to re-watch their memories. When an insecure husband attends a dinner party with his wife, he becomes suspicious after seeing her zealously interact with a friend of hers. This leads him to scrutinise the friend’s memories as well as his wife’s about the nature of their relationship with the friend. Creepy, isn’t it?
In another episode titled “Nosedive,” people can rate each other from one to five stars for every interaction they have, which can impact their socioeconomic status. When a young woman overly obsessed with her ratings finds an opportunity to elevate her ratings greatly and move into a more luxurious residence after being chosen by her popular childhood friend as the maid of honour for her wedding, several mishaps cause people to rate her negatively, dropping her rating so much that her flight is cancelled and she cannot buy a seat on another flight. Things just keep on getting worse from there on out. Isn’t it terrifying?
However, not many Indian offerings can claim to have truly world-class special effects because, more often than not, budgetary constraints are at work. And so, good writing can really come in handy. While ‘Recommended For You’ is about bingeing, hacking, and surveillance, it is also about loss of privacy and the insatiable lust of capitalism. In that sense, the short film does have some similarities to the popular South Korean show ‘Squid Game’ as well.
Amazon miniTV is an interesting video streaming service available on Amazon’s shopping app for free, and although “Recommended For You” isn’t exceptional, it is nonetheless an interesting addition to the short film segment on the platform.
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Five famous photographers around the world
“Photography is an austere and blazing poetry of the real.”– Ansel Adams.
Photography is no more a business, it has become a passion for many people. Many have chosen to leave their high-profile paid jobs to pursue their dreams and passion. We’ve put together a list of the top five photographers in the world who have inspired you to do photography and their images, messages, and creativity live on.
Jimmy Nelson is a famous photographer from the UK and has been taking amazing and beautiful photographs since 1987. Jimmy is working on a series ‘Before they Pass Away’ through which he had traveled extensively to places like Vietnam, Tibet, Africa, and so on. Jimmy is known for clicking amazing pictures of tribal and indigenous people. He has taken these pictures of tribal and indigenous people in more than 16 countries. This part of this series has won many international awards and has been exhibited in many international museums and art galleries. Currently, Jimmy is working on part two series.
Rehahn who is quite popular for his photographs of India (Rajasthan), Vietnam, and Cuba is a French photographer who is currently settled in Vietnam. In 2014 Rehahn published his first book – Vietnam, Mosaic of Contrasts, which focuses on the large diversity of cultures. The book consists of more than 150 photographs. According to his biography, “By capturing images of these exceptionally contrasting cultures, and collecting their traditional costumes and precious artifacts, he has built up the Precious Heritage Collection, which is now the core of the eponymous Gallery Museum.” He is also known for capturing the soul of his model while he is clicking pictures. Earlier in 2014 Rehahn was ranked fourth of the top 10 best travel photographers in the world.
Joe MacNally is an American photographer who has won many awards and international recognition. McNally is one of the tops technically excellent photographers of his generation. Meanwhile, he has won awards for World Press Photo. McNally is very much famous for his Faces of Ground Zero series. It is a collection of 246 giant Polaroid portraits which is shot in the Moby C Studio near Ground Zero. Moreover, for many years MacNally has contributed to National Geographic magazine.
Erik Almas a well-known photographer from Norway was given a camera at the age of 12 and since then he has explored many places for his photography. Almas pursued his education at the Academy of Art University and was mentored by the best tutors. Almas has received numerous awards for his photos which have been featured in some of the top fashion magazines. Almas has worked with international clients like American Airlines, Absolut, Ritz Carlton, Credit Suisse, Genentech, Union Pacific, Toyota, Hyatt, Puma, Pfizer, Microsoft, Nike, and many others.
Mario Testino a Peruvian fashion and portrait photographer is one of fashion’s most sought-after snappers. Peruvian photographers’ work has been featured in top magazines such as Vogue and Vanity Fair. In today’s time, Testino is one of the highly polished photographers who had also shot Madonna for Versace, the late Diana, Princess of Wales for her famous Vanity Fair cover. Besides photographing he has also worked as a creative director, guest editor, museum founder, art collector and collaborator, and entrepreneur. Moreover, Testino created images for Gucci, Burberry, Versace, Michael Kors, Chanel, Stuart Weitzman, Carolina Herrera, and Estée Lauder.
FIVE POPULAR MOVIES TO WATCH TO LEARN ABOUT MONEY
Who says learning about money can’t be fun? It can now be accomplished with the same ease as viewing a movie. In fact, that is what you must do. You can learn so much about budgeting, debt, and the keys to a successful financial life by viewing films about characters who cope with their finances. We’ve compiled a list of five films that will teach you priceless financial skills that should have been taught in school but weren’t.
THE WOLF OF WALL STREET (2013)
You are missing out on some of Leonardo DiCaprio and Jonah Hill’s best performances if you haven’t seen this Scorsese-directed movie tracing the rise and fall of a well-known stock scammer, Jordan Belfort.
“The Wolf of Wall Street” is based on actual events that took place around the infamous Stratton Oakmont, an over-the-counter brokerage firm, and a pump-and-dump scheme that assisted the IPO of several significant public companies in the late 1980s and 1990s (again, with significant dramatic license).
MARGIN CALL (2011)
The 24-hour day in the life of a Wall Street corporation on the verge of collapse is shown in “Margin Call,” maybe the most financially realistic film on the list (modeled closely after some of the large bulge brackets).
Margin Call tries little to hide its disdain for some of the biggest banks’ careless risk-taking in the years leading up to the 2008 financial crisis, including trading complicated derivative contracts that they themselves hardly comprehended. Two of the film’s main characters are discussing the imminent disaster that will soon befall their bank and the unprepared financial landscape in a sequence that is immensely heartbreaking. A janitor is standing between them and is utterly unaware of what is happening.
THE BIG SHORT (2015)
The Big Short is an American biographical drama movie that won an Oscar in 2015. It has a strong ensemble cast. Adam McKay is the director and the film’s cast includes Christian Bale, Steve Carell, Ryan Gosling, Brad Pitt, Melissa Leo, and others. It is based on a 2010 book that describes how the US housing bubble contributed to the 2008 financial catastrophe. The movie discusses how important it is to weigh all the advantages and disadvantages before making a market investment and how one shouldn’t follow blindly without conducting their research. It is a plus if the wall street conditions have been thoroughly researched and analyzed. Additionally, in “The Big Short,” celebrities like Selena Gomez and Margot Robbie make financial terminologies more understandable for the audience.
WALL STREET (1987)
“Wall Street”, an Oliver Stone 1987 American drama movie starring Michael Douglas, Charlie Sheen, and Daryl Hannah, has gained cult status. Sheen plays a young, inexperienced stockbroker who works with veteran stockbroker Gordon Gekko, played by Douglas, who is rich yet astute. We all know that greed is bad and only leads to wanting more than is necessary, thus the movie’s subtitle, “Greed Is Good,” is a lesson in and of itself.
However, it is excellent to be greedy in areas of unrelenting passion, in the form of knowledge and a desire to study, as a means of continuously improving and achieving more important life goals. And the film brilliantly conveys that point while also illuminating how the stock market operates.
GLENGARRY GLEN ROSS (1992)
“Glengarry Glen Ross”, written by David Mamet, is a film that is well worth seeing merely for the iconic Alec Baldwin monologue and is full of insightful, sophisticated dialogue. The focus of the entire film is a struggling Chicago real estate office. We witness the lengths people will go to in order to obtain a large sum of money as each salesman is under intense pressure to clinch deals or risk losing their jobs.
Despite the fact that these particular working men are crooks, this movie is about the struggles of the average working man. The tagline is: “Lie. Cheat. Steal. All in a day’s work.”
BEFRIENDING THE EX
What we are taught and what must be the best way forward in dealing with complex situations is very individual. Yet, to see the happy picture of a man with his exes is abnormal for many.
Staying in touch with an ex and considering the lost or ended relationship as a strong pillar in one’s life requires a tremendous amount of respect for one another. It is a continual test of the understanding of personal boundaries and also self-realisation. The recent photograph of film director Anurag Kashyap with his two ex-wives flanked on both sides, both smiling, actually beaming, and Kashyap candidly calling them both his pillars, is straight out of a Hollywood film by Woody Allen called Vicky Christina Barcelona.
That film had me wondering about Penelope Cruz, Javier Bardem’s invincible bond with Cruz and his wandering desire for Scarlett Johansson. This was a typical Woody Allen film.
His great body of work with the quintessential Woody films urged us to face our inner dark desires, embrace them, and be able to stand against what is acceptable in the eyes of society. His characters were crazy; they were dreamers who questioned the absurdity of life’s laid-out rules.
This photo of Kashyap also makes us question the pillars on which relationships have been held till today. It is a duality of right versus wrong. What we are taught and what must be the best way forward in dealing with complex situations is very individual. Yet, to see the happy picture of a man with his exes and not two warring women is abnormal for many.
Women have been projected as the step-sisters of Cinderella, fighting and constantly bickering to get the main man’s attention. It is a phenomenal way to brainwash and divide the sisterhood.
Anurag Kashyap, almost like Woody Allen, is an equally talented director. His films are a reflection of his sensibilities. It is his unique ability to mix an artsy, kitschy canvas of characters into a mass-commercial film that both the elite and the masses would enjoy. Kalki Koechlin too has proved her mettle equally in commercial and art house cinema. One doesn’t hear much of Arati Bajaj much.
With the recent happenings on the internet with Ranveer Singh posing nude, Alia Bhatt’s pregnancy before her marriage, they are making headlines in a changing society. Finally, the status quo is being challenged.
In the earlier days, actors, directors, and musicians were never seen wearing their sleeves on their hearts. Their private lives were only speculation. The gossip magazines were the only source that managed to feed the appetite of a star-struck nation with rumours and stories galore. The greatest Hindi film star cum icon, Amitabh Bachchan, was forever found guilty of loving Rekha and being married to Jaya Bachchan. It was always pegged as duty versus desire.
Today, with so much change, one does wonder about the theories of evolution and marriage as an institution. We do notice that increasingly people are opting to live in with their partners instead of getting married and hitched forever, without an exit plan. As more women are beginning to become economically independent, they are no longer accepting the societal chains that thwart freedom.
According to Anupama, “While it is true that fewer women (very few) flaunt their multiple relations because of societal judgement, permission, etc., the fact remains that women have to be willing to take the power back. Why do we need permission in the first place? One of the key ground rules of freedom is that it has to come from within and it is not comparative. It is not rooted in conflict.”
Highlighting further on how women need to take their freedom into their own hands, she said, “The ladies in question, for instance, are also flaunting the man in the picture, despite being in their current relationships with other men. But more importantly, they are also flaunting a sense of sisterhood and familial bond with the so-called ‘other’ woman. Perhaps it would suffice to say that while the limitations and chains are real, the desire to break them has to be that of a woman’s own. As some of us start doing it, we hope we will leave a better, healthier, freer world for our daughters to come. “
But the truth remains that equality is still skewed towards men. We won’t ever find a Deepika Padukone posing nude for any international magazine and Ranveer Singh being okay with it.
Also, if tables were turned and a woman who was married for the second time in a country like India, would she not be lynched and trolled if she shared a photograph with her ex and her current partner?
Let’s imagine the same photograph of a woman director posing with both her ex-husbands or boyfriends. In such a case, would the husband have the courage to firstly meet the other man with respect and, secondly, to pose with the woman they both loved earlier or presently.
One can’t ignore the gap in India, which is glaringly high on gender and sexuality issues. Queer is just recently been legalised. Among the heterosexual couples, most still live within the confines of the rules. Also, the rules are mostly applicable to women. Men can still get away with being caught cheating in marriages, unlike a woman who could lose everything if she ever dared.
Speaking to Simran, an upcoming model in Bangalore, she said, “The modelling industry has more women than men. But one still finds that the girls in the glamour world must be appealing to the masses to get commercially viable work. This requires the girls to look virginal, coy, and not feisty. “
At the end, in unconventional relationships, one must have tremendous courage and talent to find happiness in a given situation, where the woman is still at the lower end of the pecking order. The man always gets to choose.
For the majority, it is still the husband, the wife, and the mistress. But we hope that it won’t be too far away when economically successful women choose partners or husbands who won’t lead but walk along. We hope that women of the future will also have an equal voice in remaining friends with their ex inspite of a disapproving current partner. That would be another step towards equal freedom that would be the norm in all relationships. The man will respect a woman’s past as beautifully as she would for a better, more secure future.
Mohua Chinappa is an author and a podcaster of a show called The Mohua Show.
CHOCOLATES WORTH RS 17 LAKH STOLEN IN LUCKNOW, POLICE FILE CASE
After Cadbury chocolate bars worth Rs 17 lakh were stolen from a godown in the Chinhat area near Lucknow, the Uttar Pradesh police have registered a First Information Report in connection with the theft.
The incident occurred on the intervening night of Monday and Tuesday and the sweets were stolen from a house that was being used as a godown of a chocolate manufacturer under the limits of Chinhut police station.
“We have filed an FIR in the Chinhat police station. If anyone has any input, please come forward” Rajendra Singh Sidhu, the chocolate distributor said.
The Chinhut Police Station has registered the case under Section 380 of the Indian Penal Code. In the FIR, Sidhu said that he was using the house as a godown for storing the chocolates and received a call from his neighbour on Tuesday informing him that the door to the house was broken.
The distributor said that thieves had emptied the godown and taken away digital video recorder (DVR) and other appliances of the CCTV security cameras.
Police have begun an investigation and are scanning footage from other CCTV cameras installed in the area for clues.
CALMING THE NERVES!
There are days when you wake up to a sombre morning feeling disheartened and uncertain. It gets difficult to deal with incomprehensible situations and the difficulties of life, consequently leading to a bleak aura. The cynical approach and the proclivity to belittle our existence result in emotional instability. We often have to deal with situations where life takes a bizarre turn, which is the exact opposite of what we expected or something strong enough to affect us emotionally.
Is there any ideal way to deal with the minor stresses that one experiences on a daily basis? What is the way to resolve discontent?
While it may not be ideal to reach out to medicine every time we experience bouts of low energy and mood, a perspective shift could certainly help. A small shift from a tangled thought process to a positive perspective can bring a considerable change into our lives.
In the words of Robert Browning, “Fail I alone, in words and deeds? Why, all men strive and who succeeds? “ We tend to measure our capabilities and achievements on the pretext of the conventional standards we have been fed since childhood, but why can’t it be different? The aforesaid lines of the poet are to teach us to look beyond the social directions and to understand that the path of success can be different for every individual.
Dealing with anxiety often seems far-fetched, but there are solutions to it. A good workout is a perfect way to combat indolence and be productive. Physical activity produces endorphins and dopamine, also called happy hormones, and is a perfect antidote to stress.
When Paulo Coelho said, “And, when you want something, the entire universe conspires to help you achieve it,” he was talking about manifestation. This might sound spurious, but a belief in the process and in oneself are magical.
SOCIAL MEDIA DETOX
Oscillating in the virtual world full of validation builds an alarming pressure to push us to fit into the trends. Be it peer pressure or be it FOMO, is paralysing our sense to reason things resulting in restlessness. The thirst of those in the race needs to be controlled.
Meditation is an apt path for attaining peace of mind and serenity. Being purposeful, disciplined, and positive is synonymous with meditation.
When things get tough, we must tell ourselves, “this is just a bend, and the end.
5 UNHEARD PROFESSIONS THAT WILL MAKE YOU QUESTION YOUR CAREER PATH
As kids, we’ve always been asked this question by someone “Beta bade hoke kya banoge?” Everyone knows what it means to be a nurse, doctor, engineer, police officer, etc., but there are plenty of other jobs you have never heard of. There are jobs that are not only offbeat but completely out of the box. From being a candy taster to professional sleeper, the professions are sure to pick a nerve in your brain and make you question your career path.
Here’s a list of 5 exotic jobs across the globe that you will not believe exist.
The job of a candy taster is to taste different flavours of chocolates and candies and then get paid for it. Nowadays, it is one of the emerging ones. Interestingly, Candy Funhouse in Canada is looking for a Chief Candy Officer with a salary of up to Rs 60 lakh per year. “Imagine your best memories around candy, and having that every day at work,” Chief Executive Officer Jamil Hejazi said. It might be time for candy lovers to quit their jobs and divert their attention.
Just shell out some cash and you get a rental boyfriend. Yes, you heard it right. In Tokyo, if you have the money, finding a boyfriend is as easy. The concept of a rental boyfriend started when many strong, independent Japanese working ladies found it difficult to maintain a relationship because of work. The Rent-a-Boyfriend comes in three models- Fresh ($40/hour), Regular ($48/hour), and Special ($56/hour). These include activities like shopping, hugs, and hand-holding. Earlier in 2018, a 29-year-old named Kaushal Prakash from Mumbai launched Rent a Boy Friend (RABF) app. The app claimed to provide users with ‘friends’ on an hourly paid service. As per the founder, the app is meant to help people with mental health issues.
A worm picker is a person who gathers worms, and they usually work at night. These jobs fall under the broader career category of farm, ranch, and aquaculture animals. These worms are either sold directly to fishermen to use as bait or sold to universities and other institutions that use the worms for teaching and research purposes. In the US, the median salary for worm pickers ranges from $17,510 to $38,630, with a median salary of $23,750. Talking about qualifications, no as such qualifications are required to become a worm picker. All one needs are some skills and commitment to make a living from this job.
Do you often get a remark about being sleepy? Do you find it hard to get out of bed even after sleeping for hours? Then, it’s time to sleep and get paid for it. A professional sleeper is a person who is paid to sleep while scientists research sleep disorders. While the human body is asleep, doctors study the brain and other activities. If we talk about the salaries of professional sleepers, the top earners earn $107,000, and the average pay scale is $60,024. Earlier in 2016, NASA (National Aeronautics and Space Administration) offered someone the chance to stay in bed for 70 days for a salary of £11,000.
WATER SLIDE TESTER
A water slide tester job is one of the most enviable jobs out there. The job of a water slide tester is to check if the water slides in hotels, water parks, and theme parks are both fun and safe. After testing the slides, the tester has to provide a report outlining any safety and performance issues. If one is interested in applying for this job, the ideal age is 18 or above. The basic skills one needs to enter this profession are- one should have good observation, a stable and calm mind, and most importantly, the ability to ride all types of rides. As a water slide tester, one can earn between $30,000 – $34,000 annually.
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