Oh dear! What have we here? This is a Bollywood science fiction (and I use that term very lightly!) film that was apparently made in 1967, though it looks more 1950s to me. It was directed by one T.P. Sundaram. It is ostensibly about an astronaut who gets kidnapped to the moon and then has to fight for the moon princess and her kingdom when martians try to invade. The movie is a roaring low-fi spectacle with songs, fights and cheesy cardboard special effects. Spaceship controls are actually steering wheels. If you want some good advice, skip through to the 2 hour 15 minute mark and just watch the glorious action sequence that closes the film. You will see grown men fighting with giant sparklers aboard a crash-landing spaceship. You’ll see robots, a Cyclops, and two men engaged in a lunar surface wrestling match that makes Captain Kirk look like Bruce Lee’s star pupil. You will then see a rhinoceros. If you are not laughing hard enough to burst a vessel of some sort, then I don’t think anything can be done for you!
All UFO sightings and reports of them are works of science fiction and should be judged on their artistic merits. Some are simply genius. The whole Area 51 alien ship landing story in the U.S. is terrific science fiction and fascinates me every time I read about it. This little video from India is extremely good science fiction. It has a cheerfulness sorely lacking in most sci-fi produced in the U.S. Our sci-fi has become big, self-important, thumping, overbearing and deadly dull. This video shows a tiny glimpse of the future of science fiction as I see it. The best science fiction will be made on a cell phone. Trust me, if it’s got Will Smith, it ain’t science fiction.
Animator Nina Paley, who single-handedly made the feature film, Sita Sings the Blues, has released all of the Flash animation source files (.fla files) that make up the entire film. She’s giving away the building-blocks of the entire film! That’s like a traditional animator giving you all the drawings. Paley has given the files a Creative Commons License which means animators can use her art and animation techniques in full or in pieces for their own projects as long as she is credited.
translated and illustrated by Vaibhav Kodikal (Mumbai, India)
This illustrated story is one of the most wonderful things we ever received at Candlelight Stories. It was sent to us back in 1997 by a young man named Vaibhav Kodikal from Mumbai, India. This was one of his first illustration projects, finished while he was still in school. The Times of India did an article about how he made this story and published it on Candlelight Stories. He was and remains one of our very favorite artists. We hope he is doing very well indeed today.
The Panchatantra – The Brahmin’s Tale is from the oldest extant collection of fables in Sanskrit literature. Dating from the 4th century AD, it is based on still earlier collections of folk tales. The Panchatantra is sometimes attributed to an Indian sage, Bidpai (flourished about 300 A.D.). The tales, primarily about animals, are organized into five books on such topics as winning friends, losing property and waging war. They were originally intended to instruct a young prince in the conduct that would ensure his worldly success.
The Tale Begins
Long, long ago there was a poor Brahmin named Krishnan. He could not find enough work to do. Sometimes, he and his family had to go without food.