Friday, February 02, 2007

An Open Letter to Murali K. Thalluri, Part II


Thank you for replying to my earlier letter.

It was slightly better than your previous attempts - emphasise the word slightly. You obviously made an attempt to show signs of rudimentary compromise, by conceding a few preliminary points, despite refusing to budge on their corollaries.

Even so, your reply was filled with the same sort of fallacious, inconsistent arguments I've long become accustomed to. Some of your errors include misleading vividness, special pleading, a continued disingenuous framing of several points (intentional or otherwise), a strategic omission of at least one point from my letter that pre-emptively responded to your reply, and numerous appeals to emotion. I will address all of these in suitable detail another time.

For now, though, let me address a single point from your blog entry Rants and Raves:
I wish I never used my life story to promote this film. The fact is I talked about it in one interview, and after that it was all that reporters wanted to talk about, I foolishly obliged.

Murali K. Thalluri, 1/14/2007
I reflected on this when I initially read it. This seemed to come from a Murali I'd rarely seen before: humbler, candid, regretful. It was in line with an earlier plea:
I would really appreciate it if you can stop all of this, and allow the public to focus on my film, and not me. I don't want the focus on me, I want it on my film.

Murali K. Thalluri, 29/5/2006
In congruence with this statement, you later claimed "everything else I have to say is in the film". You also criticised the film Apocalypse Now for requiring the making-of documentary Hearts of Darkness to further appreciate it.

So, to summarise, the position you present is:
  • One's appreciation of a film should be confined to its contents - the film should "speak for itself".

  • Conversely, external material about a film is superfluous to its appreciation.

  • You don't want the public to focus on your personal story.

  • You in fact regret using your personal story to promote your film.
However, it turns out it was only a matter of time before this stance was ultimately botched.

Case in point:

You recently published The 2:37 Story, a vivid and very personal account of the events behind the making of 2:37, placing it prominently on your site. Despite the points above you appeared to argue for in earnest, you have gone to notable efforts to tell "those who don't know anything about [you]" about your "incredible journey".

Your distaste for using external material to heighten appreciation of a piece apparently disappears when you can employ it for your benefit.

Your claimed regret about using your personal story for promotional purposes has evidently been jettisoned.

This, frankly, is blatant hypocrisy. You, sir, are incorrigible.

Until next time,


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