Saturday, August 30, 2008

A Guide to using your computer as a video player

Many people ask me many questions regarding playing video files on the computer. Some queries are about the media, some are about media players, some about subtitles, and some about hardware and projection systems.

I have prepared a succinct, distilled guide to the perplexed where I cover most of the ground. I have composed it in LaTeX, since I don't like MS Word, google page creator etc. much. The downside is that it is therefore available in PDF. (HTML output doesn't do justice to the images).

A Guide to Using your Computer as a Video Player

Thursday, August 28, 2008

L'Emploi du temps (Time Out) by Laurent Cantet

There have been very few films about the bleakness and corruption of corporate life. If Michael Clayton was a tour de force depicting a crisis of conscience in two men whose jobs were to defend the corrupt, Cantet's Time Out is a haunting and oblique meditation on the utter meaninglessness and the soul-sucking quality of white collar jobs.

Time Out has echoes of L'Adversaire (The Adversary), though it eschews the latter's "thrilling" aspects to tell a more sober tale. The performances of George Clooney in Michael Clayton, Daniel Auteuil in The Adversary, and of Aurélien Recoing in Time Out are all marvelous and painstakingly real. Especially the final long shot of Michael Clayton and the final sequence in Time Out bring to mind something I read a while back: It takes great effort to portray the natural in art.

Inspired from actual events, and open-ended in its conclusions, Time Out paints a time-line in the life of Vincent, a just-fired consultant at a top firm, where he had been working for more than a decade. Vincent inexplicably hides the news of his firing from his family, and does not want to get hired again.

He loiters around office buildings, playgrounds, markets, visits a UN office in Switzerland, memorizes some passages from a promotional flyer and almost effortlessly starts taking money from his friends to invest in a fake venture.

He takes money from his father, gives a large gift to his son, concocts fanciful tales of his working for the upliftment of Africa, and slides further and further into an abyss, like a dead body. Not having intimacy with anyone in his life, he hesitatingly meets a failing musician friend whose very spontaneity and tenderness is congruent with his failure in life.

In the only glimmer of redemption, he meets a smuggler of fake goods (Jean-Michel), becomes his partner, and is genuinely surprised at Michel's openness and his disregard for what other people, including Michel's own family, think of him.

Vincent on the other hand, is so closed from his wife (Muriel) that even his vulnerability towards her is fake. Trying to explain his suffering, he instead tells her about the stresses at his non-existent workplace. Muriel's sympathies are not entirely clear. Is she a caring wife, or a subtly manipulative one? Similarly, his father! Is he the reason for Vincent's life of pretense, where he dare not be himself and risk being judged harshly?

In an amazing take on the abstract nature of modern managerial work, Vincent's smuggling of fake but tangible goods, versus the dead existence of his earlier life, brings a hint of joy in his life. But he is again torn apart when his wife disapproves of him. He gives up the only thing that seemingly brought him happiness, through which he could step outside the world of rules and manners.

The film also comments on the hollowness of international aid, the predatory nature of globalization and the greed-driven investments in "Emerging Markets".

Muriel exposes him to everybody. I don't think she was asking for help. The way the children react towards their father is a scathing indictment of what their mother must have told them about Vincent. Everybody gangs up against him and in a harrowing sequence of images, he is humiliated by his own children, runs away from his family into a frightening void of darkness.

At the end of the film, he appears as a dutiful, corrected version of himself, applying once again for a mind-numbing management job, a job which will require his "personal" involvement (as the recruiter says). The final sequence is so calm and reserved that its utter darkness and sense of hellish tragedy is depicted nowhere but in the cheerfully dead eyes of Vincent, and in his singular acceptance of all the conditions of his fate.

Vincent may not be scared of what lies ahead, but we are.

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Depiction of Women in Sikh scriptures, some selections

Sikhism is often considered a progressive religion, in that its founders shunned the caste-hierarchy and ritualism prevalent in Hinduism and Islam at that time. However, only its socio-cultural aspects can be considered moderately progressive; its spirituality is strictly orthodox and congruent with major Hindu beliefs in reincarnation, Maya, the timeless God, etc.

This article is a collection of some verses from the Adi Granth, the holy book of the Sikhs. These verses are either about women, or use revealing female metaphors to illustrate a point. Some of these metaphors betray the viewpoint that the writer of the verse held towards women.

First, a review of the book The Better Half of Sikh History. It is an important work written by a scholar under the supervision of a oft-maligned Sikh scholar, Harjot Oberoi.

From the article:
'The Ultimate' in Sikh scripture was most often conceived in masculine terms, as Akal Purakh, Karta Purakh' (p. 11). Moreover, 'numerous passages in the scripture associate woman with 'maya,' that which is sensual as opposed to spiritual (p. 11; Guru Granth, pp. 41, 796) [and] women are exalted when obedient and subservient as wives to their divine husbands and men are ridiculed when they are not dominant' (p. 12; Guru Granth, p. 304).

Now, the verses themselves:

Page 1352, concerning a man following a woman:
Mānas ko janam līn simran nah nimakẖ kīn.
Ḏārā sukẖ bẖa­i­o ḏīn pagahu parī bėrī.

You obtained this human life, but you have not remembered the Lord in meditation, even for an instant.

For the sake of pleasure, you have become subservient to your woman, and now your feet are bound.
Page 304, concerning a man following a woman:
Jorā ḏā ākẖi­ā purakẖ kamāvḏė sė apviṯ amėḏẖ kẖalā.
Kām vi­āpė kusuḏẖ nar sė jorā pucẖẖ cẖalā.

Those men who act according to the orders of women are impure, filthy and foolish.

Those impure men are engrossed in sexual desire; they consult their women and walk accordingly.
Page 871, regarding widow remarriage:
Kẖasam marai ṯa­o nār na rovai.
Us rakẖvārā a­uro hovai.
Rakẖvārė kā ho­ė binās.
Āgai narak īhā bẖog bilās.

When her husband dies, the woman does not cry.
Someone else becomes her protector.
When this protector dies,
he falls into the world of hell hereafter, for the sexual pleasures he enjoyed in this world.
Page 874, regarding being born as a woman:
Mahā mā­ī kī pūjā karai.
Nar sai nār ho­ė a­uṯarai.

One who worships the Great Goddess Maya
will be reincarnated as a woman, and not a man.
Page 303, regarding the status of an "abandoned woman":
Oh gẖar gẖar handẖai ji­o rann ḏohāgaṇ os nāl muhu joṛė os bẖī lacẖẖaṇ lā­i­ā.

He wanders from house to house like an abandoned woman; whoever associates with him is stained by the mark of evil as well.
Page 581, regarding the character of a husband-less woman:
Ha­o muṯẖ­ṛī ḏẖanḏẖai ḏẖāvaṇī­ā pir cẖẖodi­aṛī viḏẖaṇkārė.

I too have been defrauded, chasing after worldly entanglements; my Husband Lord has forsaken me - I practice the evil deeds of a wife without a spouse.
Page 651, regarding the status of a "wicked, forsaken woman":
Har jī­o ṯin kā ḏarsan nā karahu pāpisat haṯi­ārī.
Ohi gẖar gẖar fireh kusuḏẖ man ji­o ḏẖarkat nārī.

O Dear Lord, let me not even see them; they are the worst sinners and murderers.

They wander from house to house, with impure minds, like wicked, forsaken women.
Page 472, regarding the menstrual cycle:
Ji­o jorū sirnāvaṇī āvai vāro vār.
Jūṯẖė jūṯẖā mukẖ vasai niṯ niṯ ho­ė kẖu­ār.

As a woman has her periods, month after month,

so does falsehood dwell in the mouth of the false; they suffer forever, again and again.
Page 526, concerning thoughts about a woman:
Anṯ kāl jo isṯarī simrai aisī cẖinṯā meh jė marai.
Bėsvā jon val val a­uṯarai.

At the very last moment, he who thinks of women, and dies in such thoughts,

shall be reincarnated over and over again as a prostitute.
Page 1243, concerning a woman acting wise:
Rannā ho­ī­ā boḏẖī­ā puras ho­ė sa­ī­āḏ.
Sīl sanjam sucẖ bẖannī kẖāṇā kẖāj ahāj.

Women have become advisors, and men have become hunters.

Humility, self-control and purity have run away; people eat the uneatable, forbidden food.
Page 556, regarding one's progeny and wife:
Kalī anḏar nānkā jinnāʼn ḏā a­uṯār.
Puṯ jinūrā ḏẖī­a jinnūrī jorū jinna ḏā sikḏār.

In this Dark Age of Kali Yuga, O Nanak, the demons have taken birth.

The son is a demon, and the daughter is a demon; the wife is the chief of the demons.

Saturday, August 23, 2008

The Fervor of One's Likes

Have you noticed that you can usually forgive someone who likes something that you don't like, but that it is much harder to accept someone's criticism of what you really like?

Throughout the internet, and especially since the advent of blogs, one finds people airing their evaluations, likes, dislikes, opinions on every imaginable ideology, religion, sect, artifact, artist, film, song, piece of music, ban, band, brand, ...

I claim that identification with an object or opinion (whatever it may be), and getting excited about it to the extent of hating anyone who doesn't like it as much as you do, is a pernicious facet of the human condition. It is not very different from killing for one's God or religion, and from wanting to become an evangelist for something that has touched one's core.

Many years back, when I was reading about the Robert Bresson film Au Hasard Balthazar, I came across an extremely weird (to me at that time) comment by a critic (mind you, a critic, not a fan):
Whoever didn't weep at the end of Au Hasard Balthazar should be hit with a Mack truck outside the theater. (Gary Indiana)
Now the irony is, Balthazar is an elegy moaning the lack of regard for one's fellow living beings.

Similar sentiments, less vehemently expressed, can be found in the vast majority of human beings who identify with particular pieces of culture. This identification is extremely strong when the artifact is of one's own creation. I have seen artists hurl ugly invectives at their critics, while discussing a sublime song that they had composed. I have heard of painters and sculptors acting extremely weird when someone dares to point out a flaw in their work.

And since religious feeling is the most personal creation of all, and the relationship with one's deity the most hallowed, criticizing that is considered the ultimate in bad manners.

Since long, I have wondered about a dichotomy: Every religion preaches universal brotherhood, but the followers of that religion are willing to kill those who disagree with their beliefs. But now I understand that the universal brotherhood is a very faint secondary aspect of religion, the primary aspect is that of a personal (psychological) aggrandizement.

It is the inner self which feels attacked when that aggrandizement is vilified. No wonder the critics are seen as forces of evil who must be destroyed to uphold righteousness. This righteousness is nothing but one's own feelings of being good, right, a believer in the truth, etc.

And as I see it, this malady is spread far and wide in humanity, not just amongst the religious fundamentalists. We all identify with certain objects and things and art-instances which make us feel better about ourselves, and anyone who weakens the "purity" of that feeling becomes the object of our dislike or derision. What gets attacked in these milder cases is the pride in, and identification with, one's tastes and choices.

As the communication arena explodes with accessibility, this problem is going to get worse. There are no sacred cows anymore, everything is being criticized by at least some people on the internet. This does introduce a certain dread in a normal human being who dares to type in the name of his favorite film, or of his hallowed saint, in Google's search box. God knows what abominable words, what attacks on his cherished identity might be there in the first few results! I observed long ago, when internet was in its infancy, that the World Wide Web will provide like-minded people with a platform to huddle together and echo each other's prejudices. That it will lead to a narrowing of one's horizon, not a widening of it, because one will have the choice to interact only with those who agree with oneself. Contrast this with a live association, where you cannot politely ignore a contrarian viewpoint. You have to respond to it or risk being called a snob.


I am an avid watcher of films and I like to read about films that I have liked or disliked.

An extremely interesting website for film buffs is the Rotten Tomatoes index of film reviews. It categorizes reviews as favorable and unfavorable. I have noticed how I overlook with disdain the negative reviews for a film I like, and how I appreciatively smile when a reviewer gives 4 stars to a film I have liked.

And it is not something that I am guilty of for being an amateur. One of my favorite critics on the net, a seasoned professional, has this to say on the front page of his website:
Karina Longworth loves both Silent Light and Sleeping Dogs Lie. I may have to swoon.
This facet of liking people who like our choices, and disliking those who don't, is getting accentuated by the plethora of choices that we have in today's world. More and more, our choices are defining us in today's world of wide availability. If someone criticizes our fond choices in today's flood of options, it hurts a lot more than if our choices were restricted.

Barry Schwartz describes it nicely in his book, The Paradox of Choice, when he talks about choosing films to screen for his family and friends:
Choosing a movie for others is not my favorite activity. There is pressure to choose a film that will surprise and delight people. And in my circle, it had become something of a parlor game to make fun of a bad selection and the person responsible for it. On the other hand, the critics back home were only kidding. And more important, even if they were serious, they were fully aware that the options at the local video store were profoundly impoverished. So, back in Swarthmore, nobody had high expectations, and nobody seriously faulted the chooser for whatever he came home with.

Then I moved to the heart of downtown Philadelphia. Three blocks from my house is a video store that has everything. Movies from every era, every genre, every country. So now what's at stake when I go to rent a video for the group? Now whose fault will it be if I bring back something that people regard as a waste of time? Now it is no longer a reflection of the quality of the store. Now it's a reflection of the quality of my taste. So the availability of many attractive options means that there is no longer any excuse for failure. The blame for a bad choie will rest squarely with me, and the stakes involved in my video choice have escalated.

Even decisions as trivial as renting a video become important if we believe that these decisions are revealing something significant about ourselves.
I posit that this pressure is not just due to a belief, but due to an actual fact of identification with our likes and dislikes. And the more obscure our likes, the more vehemence we display in their defense. After all, we can't really blame advertising or peer pressure when we choose something obscure to love.

Now back to where we started: It is easier to accept (rather tolerate) someone liking what you don't like because it doesn't attack your sense of identity directly. You may even silently gloat, and feel superior at the inferior choice of the other person. However, if your choice is directly criticized or shown to be inferior, then the pain is palpable.

And this proclivity to hold one's beliefs and opinions strongly to one's chest is reinforced in no uncertain terms in our culture:
"A man who won't die for something is not fit to live. " (Martin Luther King)

"Those who stand for nothing fall for anything." (Alexander Hamilton)
Opinions and aesthetic choices and responses make for richness in humanity, it is the vehemence and affective reactions to opinions that I question.

Friday, August 22, 2008

Un coeur en hiver (A Heart in Winter) by Claude Sautet

Emotional Glaciation, which Michael Haneke illustrates with clinical precision in his films, finds an almost motherly treatment in this beautiful 1992 film by Claude Sautet. I came to this film through the recommendation of one of my favorite critics: Mike D'Angelo, who writes for the Las Vegas Weekly.

There are films which show love as a romantic abstraction, and which become blockbusters. And then there are films like Blue, Scenes from a Marriage, Five Easy Pieces, Remains of the Day, and A Heart in Winter, which are treasured by those who come to see their own tussles with love mirrored in them.

Camille is a musician, whose life is nothing if not the expression of her self. Stephane is a craftsman, whose life is the pursuit of flawlessness in mechanisms and who remains aloof from the mire of "relationships". They fall in love, despite themselves, as if pulled towards each other by a something palpable yet undefinable. And just as Stephane is in danger of losing his nourishing certainties, he withdraws again into his shell, almost shell-shocked and surprised at himself.

Why he does that, and how he struggles against it, is the theme of the film. Stephane, played by Daniel Auteuil, conveys to perfection a blend of vulnerability, innocence, opacity, warmth, coldness, aloofness, sensitivity and inner turmoil. And Camille, played by Emmanuelle Béart, is resplendent in the portrayal of emotions and the seasons of love with her face and her eyes.

Whether Stephane feels inadequate, or undeserving of Camille, whether he has experienced pain in the past that he doesn't wish to experience again, whether he, the perfectionist, wants to find an impossibly flawless love in the real world, whether he is attracted to women at all, whether he scorns marriage and commitment, whether he is a sociopath or just a closeted ego, ..., the viewer is forced to ponder all these hues of him. He may be complicated, but it is not difficult to observe his complexity.

Portraying all this in a mere 100 minutes of an exquisite montage of images is no small feat. Claude Sautet made only a handful of films in his career, and this film is his crown.

The film also raises deep questions about abandonment and reserve. Camille is heedless in her passions, Stephane is almost too heedful. One loses her self in love, the other loses love to save his self. And towards the end, when Camille says in a harrowing moment: "Now I am the empty one", one comes to witness how the experience of pain may make us "mature", but also, more devoid of the spontaneity of life.

Stephane is self-aware, he is extremely observant, but it is only when he hurts the people closest to him (and when he realizes that sometimes love expresses itself in strange ways), does his glacier start melting.

As Krishnamurti once said in words to the effect: Life is a stream, some of us form a puddle on the bank to protect ourselves from the constant change, and that stagnating puddle is our death. We want to live, but want to live safely. But is that life?

To choose life, with the pains it offers? Or Death, with the so-called serenity it promises?

To choose life is to proclaim that one wants to grow beyond pain, that happiness is possible in life. To choose isolation and seclusion is to admit defeat, and is an escape into oneself.

Thursday, August 21, 2008

Sources of Noise and Cognitive Pollution

Some notable pollutants (some of them lesser-known) in urban areas:
  1. Car security alarms. They are really loud. In India, honking on roads or reverse-gear alarms in residential areas take the cake as well.

  2. Cell phone ring tones: both the incoming call ring tones (some are really bizarre), and the "hello tunes". The "hello tune" is a song or music piece or the voice of your child which you hear when you call someone, instead of the usual canonical ring-ring, ring-ring.

  3. Music in malls, public spaces, LCD screens in restaurants and public transport terminals.

  4. Billboards by the side of the road, hoardings, small-sized billboards on every street light, small posters in trains, buses, backs of buses, sides of buses, taxis, etc.

  5. Advertising in newspapers, magazines, pay channels on TV, and so on.

  6. People talking loudly on their cellphones in public spaces.

  7. Heavy bass music being showed off by car owners cruising on a busy street.

  8. Loud motorcycles (some with modified exhausts), and in India: auto-rickshaws.

  9. Loudspeakers at places of worship, during religious ceremonies at home and at wedding celebrations. They are illegal in big cities, but not in small-town India, where protesting against them is considered anti-social.

  10. Advertisements which take your time and which you cannot avoid, e.g. at the beginning of a film in a theater, trailers at the beginning of a DVD, the front page of a newspaper having a full-page ad, etc.
How many of these do you protest against? Or is moving to a rural or sparsely-populated setting the only alternative which can promise a respite to this aural and cognitive overload?

Monday, August 18, 2008

Responsibility for a phishing fraud

Recently, an elderly friend ('A') of mine got the following email in his Yahoo inbox:

Dear Valued Member,

Due to the congestion in all Yahoo users and removal of all unused Yahoo Accounts,Yahoo would be shutting down all unused accounts,You will have to confirm your E-mail by filling out your Login Info below after clicking the reply botton, or your account will be suspended within 24 hours for security reasons.

Date Of Birth:
Country Or Territory:
After Following the instructions in the sheet,your account will not be interrupted and will continue as normal.Thanks for your attention to this request.We apologize for any inconvinience.

The friend being not very hep with computers, naively replied to the email with the "requested" information.

The scammer took over the Yahoo account, and sent the following email to all in his address book:

Did you get my previous email, I sent you an email some hours ago, I am in a hurry writing this, i had travelled to Nigeria for official purposes, Unfortunately for me all my money was stolen at the hotel where i lodged, I am so confused right now, I dont know what to do or where to go,I didnt bring my phone here, i have access to only emails, please can you send me $2500 today so i can return home, as soon as i get home i would refund it immediately, you can send it to me through western union as i dont have an account here, this are the informations to send it. Mr A ,Address/location: 30 cole street,lagos, Nigeria,23401, use this text question when sedning it: what is my date of birth, text answer:19xx

Please as soon as its sent scan and send me the receipt of the transfer or just write out the money transfer no and the senders informations, i realy dont have time to write much now, would be waiting. thank you.

He is a globe trotter, and many of his friends (who were themselves very naive and hadn't heard of Nigerian scams) were genuinely concerned. One of his very caring friends (let's call her B) sent GBP 1500 via Western Union. The scammer sent back his gratitude and asked for another USD 1000. She got suspicious and made a few calls and came to realize her mistake.

By this time, I was able to intervene and get back the Yahoo account for my friend. I immediately noticed that the scammer was corresponding with many of his contacts and some of them were close to sending him money. Of course, I immediately sent a FRAUD WARNING message to all in the address book.

Now, A and myself were discussing the financial responsibility of the lost GBP 1500. He was inclined to compensate B the full amount. However, I was of the opinion that both A and B had exhibited gullibility and stupidity, and the loss should be shared. I suggested that he compensate B for 25% of the amount. He finally agreed to pay her 33%. I don't know how B will take the suggestion once it is communicated to her. It should be kept in mind that B might get very offended due to the public loss of face, and A's offer of only 33% may add injury to insult, leading to a breakdown of the relationship.

Here's the problem in semi-formal terms:
  1. A and B have emotional ties (which for the purposes of this discussion, is worth amount R).
  2. A loses his identity to S due to ignorance.
  3. S asks B for money, posing as A.
  4. B is conned and responds with X amount of money.
  5. A and B discover what has happened.
  6. A wants to make an offer of settlement (Y) to B for her loss.
  7. A is apprehensive that B might get offended and
What should be the amount of Y? How should A go about negotiating? What about the cases when R is less than X? What about "fairness" and "culpability"?

Sunday, August 03, 2008

The Name of the Ruse

Bollywood producers have embraced a curious practice of naming their films in accordance with numerological tenets, astrological advice and tarot readings.

The names of films and soaps in India have added letters to make sure the Goddess of Wealth, Laxmi, is happy with the result. Forget the viewers, please the Gods!

It is extremely silly. Let's observe the names of some recent films and soaps:

Singh Is Kinng
Heyy Babyy
Kahaani Ghar Ghar Kii
Kasautii Zindagii Kay
Kasamh Se

In the past, films and serials used to have the image of a deity and some chantings before the titles, complete with the fresh incense sticks and proper lighting.

Didn't help. Most of them still flopped.

The Dark Knight by Christopher Nolan

The Dark Knight is the second Batman film directed by Christopher Nolan. The first was the entertaining but average Batman Begins.

The film has garnered immense and superlative praise from a large number of critics. It is currently at #1 on the IMDB Top 250 films of all time, and has a rating of 9.3/10 with close to 200,000 votes.

I have seen the film twice in theater, and there are certainly some great moments in the film. However, I don't think it is the "best film ever made" or anything like that. This is not a great film, just an enjoyable one, because it is not content with whatever subtlety it has (which in itself is debatable) but wants to indulge in crowd-pleasing tricks.

Cinematically the film has some great moments: the images of the Batman cruising on his motorcycle, the lonely Batman perched at the top of a building at night, the feverish acting of Heath Ledger, the sound design (the static hum when Joker enters the frame, the action sequences, and especially the ending). The editing and the sound design in the end sequence of the film (The creation of the Dark Knight) is superlative.

But the techniques of the film can also be faulted for a number of reasons. The narrative is slightly disjointed (though well-paced). Some crucial scenes have been edited in less than satisfactory ways. The bank heist, the chase, the Joker's jail-room antics, the final showdown with the SWAT teams had the potential to become cinematic milestones. Instead, the editor juggles too much, as if he's not too sure of himself.

Also, some narrative elements are not fully formed. The film seems episodic rather than fluid. Some smarty-pants bits of dialogue ("Cuz I'm not wearing Hockey Pants") cheapen the tone of the film.

Coming to the serious thematic issues raised by the film, here is my take on them:

Anarchy versus Planning: The Joker claims he does not plan, but actually he plans to a fault. Sometimes his plans don't work, but there is definitely a method in his so-called madness. If anything, it seems like he has planned every step of the film leading to the final showdown.

The Dark Side of a man: To an audience nourished on black and white characters, it would probably seem deep to see the creation of Two-Face. But is there anything new in saying that men can be corrupted and pushed over the edge?

Rules: The Joker wants to defeat the Batman who plays by certain rules. And the film tries to show that rules are limiting when fighting with a madman. This is one of the most serious issues raised by this film, and one which does tend to make one think.

Surveillance: A deus ex machina defense of an Orwellian device. See The Conversation for a far more interesting take on this theme. I have written more about it here.

US as the Dark Knight: The parallels are unmistakable. But what dilutes the whole treatment is the inexplicable motives of Joker. To equate terrorism with madness is unfair, and only (falsely) affirms that US was not culpable in a number of international crimes, and that the escalation is completely the fault of those criminals and terrorists. It is just not true.

The Good People: I didn't buy the final response of the people on the ferries for one minute. In the real world, there would have been riots. And it is grossly misleading to boot. In fact, preemptive strikes has long been a major part of US foreign policy. The US has bombed and destroyed faraway regions faced with far less provocation than shown in this film.

I thoroughly enjoyed the film, and recommend it to everybody as a cinematic experience. But don't take it too seriously (as the Joker would say)!