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by Amrit Gangar
My comments My class notes
Summary from the Program
Hindi cinema produced in Bombay, now superficially well known as Bollywood is essentially a generic cinema that pervades India. But of late the products of Mollywood (Madras) have quite markedly influenced its aesthetic strategies while Tollywood (Tollygunge, Calcutta) has been constructing its popular idiom following Bollywood. Hindi cinema is also considered as an "all-India formula film" [critic Chidananda Das Gupta]. However, one has to be cautious not to generalize Hindi cinema as such. As it is well known India produces a massive number of feature films in many different languages, including several dialects. In 1999, the total number of films produced, in as many as 35 official languages and dialects, was 601 - up to October but one could add about 30 - 40 feature films to this number up to end December, 1999. The production figure has been steadily declining since 1990 when India produced little less than a thousand films a year. The debate, however, keeps going whether it's cinema that influences society or vice versa. Most of the dominant formula films get their narrative base, in one way or another, from the two Indian epics Mahabharata and Ramayana. The dream merchants seem to be knowing this fact well to extract an impact as wide as possible for a box-office success. This holds true of the generic Bollywood, including television. The reality that obtains in southern India (especially in Tamilnadu and Andhra Pradesh) is substantially different from that in northern India. The cinema politics nexus in Tamilnadu, for instance, is quite interesting. All five chief ministers who have governed Tamilnadu since 1967 have been associated with cinema. "The
tell characters on screen what to do . My Notes Indian Cinema .doyens of Tamil and Telugu cinema respectively . but in postcolonial India it has acquired moralistic overtones. All said and done. in Bombay. In a nutshell. I'll touch upon some recent examples in this realm. Theodore Baskaran] Superstars MGR and NTR .Amrit Gangar . The social impact of the cinema in India is also seen in the nationwide popularity of film-based programs on various television channels. was mainly political in nature.audiences "interact" with films. film censorship. police controlled. the local. The cinema's social impact is reflected in the way censorship operates in India.immense popularity of film as an entertainment form and its emergence in Tamilnadu as a major cultural preoccupation underscores the significance of the role of audiovisual communication in Tamil society. my presentation will take up some concrete examples of what impact the cinema has on Indian society by and large .in Gujarat cinemas are Ministry of Finance (usually culture) . Popular films have even been changing people's dress and hair styles. the cinema hasn't yet shed its mystical hallow in India. I think it's the state that constantly finds itself insecure vis-avis society at large and artists in particular. In colonial India.including how the classical villain eventually turned into a hero or how social values underwent a certain change. Popular film song has gone very deep into the Indian collective memory and conscience.were quite active in regional and national politics. It's mostly the young generation that has been caught up by the film-song programs. I remember even shoes would be branded after a box-office hit film." [S.
" she said after presenting the 57th National Film Awards here this evening. Veteran film producer D Ramanaidu received the prestigious Dada Saheb Phalke Award for his lifetime conribution cinema at the ceremony. a national committee would be constituted consisting of eminent film persons and other stakeholders to suggest a comprehensive plan for making it a truly memorable event for cine lovers." she said. has been chosen for the Best Feature Film Award. "This will take your work to a wider audience. India's firstfeature film "Raja Harshchandra" was released in 1913. being affordable. Ananya Chatterjee got the Best Actress Award for Abohoman (Bengali) which also won for Rituparno Ghosh the Best Direction Award. which also saw Bollywood megastar Amitabh Bachchan being given a standing ovation as he received the Best Actor Award for his role in the Hindi film Paa. Bacchan played the role of a boy suffering from progeria. a rare congenital abnormality characterised by premature and rapid aging in the highly acclaimed film. She said technologies like the digital format. "Therefore. . thus. all involved in the film industry should consider themselves as social leaders and as stakeholders in the welfare of people. provided an opportunity for young and budding filmmamers to experiment with the medium. they also needed to keep in mind the content of the films they were producing. Malayalam movie Kuttysrank. has a stake in the stability. She appealed to the industry that. Ms Soni said the celebrations would also offer an opportunity to applaud the young iconic members of the film industry for their contribution. "Cinema operates within the context of a socialscenario and. while experimenting with the format. Mr Ramanaidu was chosen for the Phalke Award for 2009 for his outstanding contribution to Indian cinema during a long career of nearly half a century in which he has made scores of entertaining films and been involved with all aspects of the industry." she said. directed by Shaji N Karun and starring superstar Mammootty in the lead role. Striking a balance between entertainment and social relevance is an essential call for the industry and the response will define its role in society.President Pratibha Patil today said cinema was a very potent modium for conveying a message and had bcome an important factor in influencing social norms. while at the same time positioning India as a "soft power" at the global level. She said that. The President said she was glad that films continued to generate interest and attract talent. for this purpose. Minister of Information & Broadcasting Ambika Soni said 2013 would be celebrated as a centenary milestone to showcase the cinematic heritage of the Indian film industry in the last 100 years. prosperity and progress of society.
Cameraperson Anjuli Shukla won the Best Cinematography Award for Kuttysrank. it would also ensure accessibility to the people in digital format. Rupam Islam got the Best Male Playback Singer Award for Mahanagar@Kolkata (Bengali) and Neelanjana Sarkar the Best Female Playback Singer Award for Houseful. The Nargis Dutt Award for Best Feature Film on National Integration was given to Delhi 6 produced and directed by Rakeysh Omprakash Mehra.President Pratibha Patil presenting the Best Actor Award toAmitabh Bachchan at the 57th National Film Awards function in New Delhi on October 22. Well Done Abba. Farooque Shaikh was chosen the Best Supporting Actor for Lahore and Arundhati Naag the Best Supporting Actress for Paa. 2010. another Bengali film. She said that it was her endeavour to complete three institutional mechanisms to mark the occasion. starring Aamir Khan. The National Archival Heritage Mission would not only safeguard the rich archival wealth. was chosen the Best Film on Social Issues. The winner of the Best Film Award. produced by Reliance Big Pictures and directed by Shyam Benegal. who each experience a different Kuttysrank. got the award for Best Popular Film Providing Wholesome Entertainment. Both were produced by the Children's Film Society of India. Another Hindi film. Bollywood blockbuster 3 Idiots. It is told from the perspectives of three women after the death of the protagonist. Putaani Party was directed by Ramchandra P N and Keshu by Sivan. . The Indira Gandhi Award for Best Debut Film of a Director went to Lahore (Hindi) directed by Sanjay Puran Singh Chauhan and produced by Vivek Khatkar. tells the story of a mariner who operates a cargo vessel between the port towns of Kerala. Putaani Party in Kannada and Keshu in Malayalam were chosen for the Best Children's Film Award. which means a boat captain in Malayalam. These included the Museum of Indian Cinema in Mumbai. Kuttysrank. the National Centre of Excellence for Animation. Minister for Information andBroadcasting Ambika Soni is also seen. Gaming and Visual Effects in Pune and the National Archival Heritage Mission to cover the country¶s rich archival wealth by 2013.
Producer: National Film Development Corporation. Arghyakamal Mitra Best Production Design: Delhi 6. Producer: Basanta Kumar Patil. Music Director (Background Score): Ilayaraja Best Lyrics: 3 Idiots: Swanand Kirkire. Producer: A M Gopalan. Director: Laxmikant Shetgaonkar Malayalam: Kerala Varma Pazhassi Raja. Producer. Director: R Balakrishnan Kannada: Kanasemba Kudureyaneri. Samir Chanda Best Costume Designer: Kuttysrank.The following are the other awards presented today: Best Screenplay: Kuttysrank. Screenplaywriter original: P F Mathews and Harikrishna : Kanasemba Kudureyaneri (Kannada): Screenplay writer (adapted) : Pasanga (Tamil): Dialogues: Pandiraj Best Audiography: Kaminey (Hindi): Location Sound Recordist: Subash Sahoo : Kerala Varma Pazassi Raja (Malayalam): Sound Desinger: Resool Pookutty : 3 Idiots: Re-recordist of the final mixed track: Anup Dev Best Editing: Abohomaan. Director: Girish Kasaravalli Konkani: Palatadcho Munis. Director: T Hariharan . Kerala Varma Pazhassi Raja (both Malayalam) Best Special Effects: Magadheera (Telugu). K Siva Shankar Best Feature Film in Languagues in Schedule VIII of the Constitution: Assamese: Basundhara. Jayakumar Best Make-up Artist: Paa. Director: Hiren Bora Bengali: Abohomaan: Producer: Reliance Big Pictures. R Kamal Kannan Best Choreography: Magadheera. Director: Rituparno Ghosh Hindi: Paa. Kuttysrank. Producer: AB Corp Ltd. Christein Tinsley and Dominie Till Best Music Direction: Dev D (Hindi): Music Director (Songs): Amit Trivedi : Kerala Varma Pazhassi Raja. "Behti Hawa Sa Tha Woh" Special Jury Award: Kaminey (Hindi).
Producer. and Rituparno Ghosh Eti Kaktaliyo Golpo. Producer. Director Brahmanand Singh Best Environment Film. Producer: Zee Entertainment Enterprises Ltd. including Agriculture: In for Motion. Laboratory : Adlabs Best Audiography: Gaarud. Director: Pandiraj Special Mention: Padmapriya (certificate only) NON-FEATURE FILMS: Best Film: The Postman. Puttaswamy Special Mention: Eka Studioche Atmavrutta. Producer: Amlan Dutta Director: Anirban Dutta Best Film on Social Issues: Mr India. Producer: M. Director : Ravindra Harishchandra Jadhav Tamil: Pasanga. Sasikumar. K. Producer: K Hariharan. Producer.S. Director: Tathagata Singha Best Compilation Film: Pancham Unmixed. Editor: Tarun Bhartiya Best Narration/Voiceover: In Camera. Best Voiceover : Ranjan Palit Special Mention: Vilay: Cinematographer: Nitika Bhagat (certificate only) BEST WRITING ON CINEMA: Best Book on Cinema: Cinema Yaana (Kannada). Venkiteswaran (Malayalam) NNN . Director: Abhishek Pathak Best Cinematography: Gaarud. Re-recordist (final mixed track) : Lipika Singh Darai Best Editing: In Camera. Child artiste: Aasna Aslam Short Fiction Film: Boond. Director: B Manohar and Bilal. Producer: Kumar Mangat. Publisher Hasiru Prakashana Author: Dr. Prabhakar Pendharkar (Certificate) Best Film Critic: C. Director: Sourav Sarangi Best Debut Film of a Director: Vaishnav Jan Toh. Producer: FTII. Cameraman: Deepu S.Marathi: Natarang. Director: Haobam Paban Kumar Special Jury Award: Kelkkunnundo. Unni.. Producer: FTII. Director: Kaushal Oza.
Focus no comments The social reality gets invariably reflected in the cracked mirror of Indian cinema.V. 2010 5:28 pm Culture. a virtual breakdown of democratic institutions. declaration of Emergency during which civil liberties and personal freedoms were extinguished. systemic rot. and emergence of the first coalition government in Delhi. But under the glamour of realism. It was a period of unprecedented changes. This was heightened by yet another war with Pakistan resulting in the birth of Bangladesh. the electoral defeat of the ruling Congress party at the Centre for the first time since Independence. the harsh facts of life invariably peep out. it cannot remain unaffected by political and social mileu. some times realistically and some times elliptically. The decade of 1970 thus saw two distinct trends in Indian cinema. G. Karanth. Girish Karnand.SOCIAL ROOTS OF INDIAN CINEMA ± Raghunath Raina y y y September 24. All this got reflected in the parallel cinema and resulted in some outstanding films by Mrinal Sen and Budhadeb Das Gupta in West Bengal. An overview of last thirty years shows how Indian cinema has come to terms with the fast changing political-economic scene of India. Arvindan and Adoor Gopalkrishnan in Kerala. This is so because however. B. Shyam Benegal. Basu . escapist or realistic cinema may be. the growing disenchantment of the people with the prevailing system. self-serving political class. Girish Kasarvalti in Karnataka. although both reflected directly or otherwise. Basu Chatterjee. sharpening of disparities and rise of a non-ideological.
The Malyalam film-maker Shaji Karan¶s filmPiravi. The flickering fortunes of the Congress party put an end to an ideology. In Mumbai. Sathyu. film time was devoted to extenuating circumstances that cause the hero to embark upon the path of revenge. a contemporary section and a complete retrospective of Ray¶s films. This was rationalised by advocating that evil can be dispensed only with evil. Mahesh Bhatt came on the scene by producing sophisticated commercial films. Such films made an impact in foreign film festivals. Bachchan represented the ³angry youngman´ who single-handealy fought evils of the society. these and other films in this genre glorified the cult of violence. Regional. A package of about 50 Indian films was shown in eight cities of the United States. popular films made the persona of Amitabh Bachchan the vehicle for portraying a dysfunctional system.Bhattacharya and Avtar Kaul in Mumbai. They were soon followed by M. Jabbar Patel. The fall of Amitabh Bachchan in the 80¶s coincided with a major shift in politico-economic agenda of the country. Kumar Sahni. thus trying to retain a sense of µjustice¶ in the moral universe created. The dominant features of such films were dances with songs and sensual body movements presented by a voyeuristic camera. The film is about the agony of the father who tries to trace his son. the Bachchan movies held that the solution to social maladies lay outside the democratic process. to an organisation and to an ethos. direction-less phase aggravated the social and economic contradiction. This got reflected in diverse ways mostly in the regional cinema. His Arth (1983) proved a great success. Another first was a retrospective of Ritwik Ghatak¶s films at the London Film Festival. became a modern classic by its cinematic values and its theme echoing a real event during the Emergency when a young man disappeared after he was picked up by the police. This chaotic. Govind Nihalani. Mani Kaul. They justified villainy.S. These included a historical section. Although it dealt with the perennial lover triangle. They exposed the exploitative power structure and focussed on increasing bush fires of social discontent. These film makers departed from song and dance formula films. These films were exceptions because Bollywood now plumped for the techniques and ethos of western television music channels. This gave a boost to Sen¶s films which were taken by foreign film distributors. This was the first Indian film to contest for the coveted awards. its cinematic values set it apart. Mrinal Sen¶sFamine. Film after film. a theme seldom attempted by Hindi films. Biplab Roy Choudhury and Ketan Mehta. Saeed Mirza. Even more importantly. On the other side of the cinematic divide. brought out the failure of the developmental process by depicting the unchanged conditions of the peasantry. The new sexuality of these films was . the film ended by asserting the Indian woman¶s independence. Expectedly. brought out the rich variety of Indian experience and growing existential problems of the people. The protagonist. On the one hand it produced Govind Nihalani¶s film Ardh Satya about nexus between crime and politics. the 80s marked the dichotomy of Indian cinema. Mrinal Sen¶s film figured in the competition section of the Cannes International Film Festival. a conscientious police officer. communal and caste-based formations came to the fore. takes law into his own hands after being frustrated by politicians to nab a mafia don.
with the help of 14 engrossing songs. have entered into legislature. as a result. theatre. journalism. advertising. Gulzar (Maachis). With the process of globalisation in the 90s the whole scenario changed. architecture. music. The new wave films resorted to sharper critique of commodification of culture while the popular ones escaped into traditionalism.became highly popular. This was successfully emulated by young Indian actresses. . sprawling bungalows and opulent interiors. clan or community. Previously. it was again left to a film actor to restore ³self pride´ to the Telugus.modelled upon the pattern perfected by Madonna. The trend was set by Sooraj Barjatia¶s Hum Apke Hain Kaunwhich. film makers like Mani Ratnam (Roja). made films which had individuality. Ironically. respect for elders and an overwhelming desire to belong to the fold. both in States and at the Centre.expanding business. fashion and even the profiles of goddesses on calenders and in Puja pandals. Other films like Dil Wale Dulhaniya Le Jayenge. film actors. family values. Its influence has spilled into practical politics also. explored new themes and imparted freshness to the film scene. now they are convincing us that the real is imaginary. These films gave the audiences a false sense of security and. But is it hazardous to make generalisations about Hindi cinema. All this shows the vigour and vibrancy of the Indian cinema and its tremendous capacity to keep abreast of changes. they celebrated love.(PIB FEATURES) . Kaazad Gustad (Bombay Boys) Nagesh Kukynoor (Hyderabad Blues) and Deepa Mehta (Fire). In the new millennium globalisation of information technology has changed the whole scene. foreign television channels and displacement of indigenous industries under the onslaught of multinational companies. Elsewhere. In Andhra. the mass media convinced us that the imaginary was real. including that of Indian cinema. friendship and commitment and the need to internalise conflicts. modernity is permissible but only in material terms. Or. During the same period. on the basis of their popularity. This poses a tremendous challenge to Indian cinema. sanctity of relationship ± in fact all those aspects of social life which came under threat as a result of marketisation. created the illusion of happy joint families by glorifying wedding rituals. Tamil Nadu has been ruled by film personalities for decades and film clubs have become vote banks. new modes of information technology. in Barjatia¶s celluloid family. Dil To Pagal Hai and Kuch Kuch Hota Hai also pleaded for a behavioural code sanctified by tradition and custom like obedience to the patriarchal law. But going by its record it is bound to surmount the challenge. It is these qualities which have made Indian cinema a dominant urban culture influencing all other art forms : television.
Rajangam said that cinema was not the same as it was some two decades back." Priya Dutt being a part of Parliament assured the dire an issue against piracy in the parliament. He also mentioned about the easy availability of DVDs and CDs of cinemas across the globe and how it turned to be the raw material for most of the films. Priya Dutt appreciated Bhupinder Gupta for making a film like UNNS which deals with the sanctity o and said "the importance of a healthy marriage life seems to fade away and it is necessary to come message of social importance in the movies. Mr. Rarely is it seen that stars from the Bollywood and Politicians had come together. Priya Dutt was in the launch party of music release of "UNNS" which was released under the banner of "Buneesha Films". Priya Dutt didn¶t chose her carrier in the Bollywood Industry. Though she is least interested i but still she was seen in launch party as she says that "mere papa ki bhaut yaadein jhudi hain is film ke saath". Pr proud to be a part of Sunil Dutt¶s family and was not ready to answer any personal question. It had entered an era of mediated images. and had become an inevitable part of everyday life. . Being a part of parliament she really wants to children rights and child education."Movie with a social message is important for the young generation" : Priya Dutt Monday. April 10. The movie UNNS is dedicated to Sunil D Dutt a proud Daughter of Sunil Dutt and also the chief guest of the event was there in the party to compensate the presence of Sunil Dutt. 2006 Being blessed in the family of Late Sunil Dutt and Nargis Dutt. Sunil Dutt was present in the mahurat of the movie and also the first shot was done by Sunil Dutt. Talking about Sanjay Dutt case she said that "It has been 13yrs to Sanjay¶s issue and if we really wa our power to stop this case my father would have done earlier : but we don¶t use power like this". being circulated widely. Busy Bee of politi says that though she is not interested in getting into Bollywood movies but still she loves to be a par world. shares very good relations with director Bhupinder Gupta and had personal obligations which made her presence in the party.
Art & Culture . Mr.M. Rajan Krishnan stated that cinema was a theoretically challenging subject. he said. ³We have produced more than 5. be it martial or south. Images depicting luxurious bungalows. luscious surroundings and sumptuous meals formed the part of the films because the theatres were the only space where the subaltern could view those extravaganzas.´ Citing an example of the West's contribution to film theory and literature. Theodore Baskaran. Do market forces have any influences? This needs to be studied. Mr. He also talked about the various aspects of filmmaking of yesteryears and how certain descriptions were pre-eminently present like that of a huge dining table and a dressing table scene where the protagonist would be having food or the heroine chooses her sari from a wardrobe. MSS Pandian and Venkatesh Chakravarthy and promised that the journal would be looking at various aspects of cinema using major tools of criticism from popular culture and social sciences. Jeyamohan talked about the anxieties of being a dialogue writer and how commercial aspects influenced a writer irrespective of whether the film was a big budget one or even a documentary. Karthigesu Sivathamby. and even if it is there. Subagunarajan is the editor of the journal and Venkatesh Chakravarthy. Kaali's article on Vadivel's comedy. he talked about how Italian neorealism films.000 films but there has been a lack of proper criticism of those films.S. it is in a nascent stage. Kaali also talked about the evolution of Indian film research scenario and reminded about the contributions of major social scientists such as Ashis Nandy. He also talked about the significance of looking at caste and cinema from a different perspective and questioned why most of the films highlighted or portrayed a particular dominant caste and its practices to a state of normalisation by relating it with an identity. he explained how certain idioms and social markers of caste supremacy got inverted in his genre of comedy. ³There is a crisis of academic criticism as we do not have separate disciplines such as cultural studies or film studies as in the West. which has been put forward for an intensive reading. he said.Highlighting Mr. MSS Pandian and Stephen Hughes are on the editorial board. V.´ Ideological content of the films needed to be analysed and the journal would fill the gap. Ravi Vasudevan. a very complex area of study which needed to be explored more. which though hardly about a dozen could generate close to 400 books dealing about the various theoretical and technical aspects.
they ventured into Malayalam Cinema. costumes and other cultural artifacts were made and sent to Madras for the studio work. Also. The possess high insight in distinguishing reality from fiction in the themes of experimentalism. was made. dance-drama. Adoor Gopalakrishnan.who also played the key role. In spite of these limitations. Shaji. the first major film studio. It has the elements of different art forms including architecture and sculpture in it.Mohanan. P A Bakkar. casted by the then leading artists like Sathyan and Miss Kumari. are the contributors of Malayalam to the world Cinema. Unlike the other linguistic films which have started off taking themes from the Puranas. Malayalam films showed an interest in dealing with social issues right from the very first film itself (Balan). Bharathan. One of the biggest box office hits of the 50s was "Jeevitha Nauka" (Boat of Life. Cinema was seen as a mixture of various traditional art forms like music. The all time geniuses like Aravindan. In the first few years. Uroob. That year. K. Padmarajan. more Keralites entered this field. Most of the actors hailed from Kerala (at that time a novelty) and they performed in front of authentically constructed sets with all the manners and mannerisms of Malayali characters.Pareekutty..Ramdas. K. 1951). The first silent movie in Malayalam "Vigatha Kumaran" was screened in 1930. M. when movies abroad has already begun to 'talk' and by 1931 sound films were also made in India. Ramu Karriat. this film deals with the subject of untouchability. P. Chandran. Despite these facts now one can make a novel study of current cinema only in connection with the social life here. John Abraham. they were bent on recreating authentic Kerala setting for the story. T. It was the teamwork of a number of film enthusiasts who took time off their professions to live near the banks of the Periyar river in Central Kerala discussing the script and other details of the film. Karun. the film was a big hit with the public.V.Vasudevan Nair. directed by P.G.Cinema Cinema is the popular art form which has been a good entertainer and a strong means of mass communication in Kerala from the previous century itself. Jayaraj. Whenever they suffered loss in Tamil films.N. produced by T. "Marthanda Varma". When Hindi and Tamil cinema started off with mythological themes. Even the lyrics were derived from local folk traditions. household articles.N. based on a well-known historical novel by C. Udaya was established in Kerala and by the early 50s. Scripted by a well-known novelist.Bhaskaran .George. Props. dance. Malayalam cinema had to wait till 1938 to present its first sound film. as the investment requirements were comparatively lower.Raman Pillai.R.. Melodramatic in style and filled with songs and dances. P. The film owed its structure more to the village festivals of Kerala than anything else. studio facility was limited in Kerala. In 1947. Kerala has a very rich art and cultural background. The viewers in Kerala enjoy the films comprehending the reality in it.T. Connecting these various disparate elements was a storyline which often showed the triumph of the good over the evil. Although sound films were produced in Hindi and Tamil regularly. It made use of new actors and tried to portray realistically the travails of an . Malayalam films were virtually dominated by Tamil producers. the second Malayalam film. mimicry and so on. "Balan". This was at a time when Malayalam cinema had not established its cultural identity and was hardly distinguishable from the Tamil films of the time except for the spoken language. Kumaran. Malayalam films have taken relevant social issues as its theme from the beginning.V. Malayalam Cinema has contributed much to the creative and critical analysis sectors of Malayalam literature. Menon.K. The film contained all the ingredients that were to form the basis for future commercial productions. Its films are unique in several aspects. It was in 1954 that Malayalam cinema got national attention by winning the President's silver medal for Neelakuyil. Another significant effort was Newspaper Boy (1955) made by a group of college students lead by enthusiastic N. K. There was difficulty in location shooting at that time.
and there was no need for Malayalam film makers to think of communicating through visual means. All these contributed immensely to the overall technical quality of the film. The general standard of production went up. Storyline did not seem to be important. A. When one looks at these early developments. Much of the difficulty in providing a realistic touch in a film like Neelakuyil arose from its studio-bound interior shots. Its director. gravel paths and paddy fields. camera work by Marcus Bartely.orphaned boy. Much of the visual expression in international cinema was possible because silent film had enough time to germinate and mature by itself. Its high caliber publicity greatly aided by the gold medal secured before its commercial release and its technical flourish made a great impact on the audience. although story was of primary importance. the ultimate product ended up as photographed dramas staged within studio sets. the film had screenplay by S. Though still theatrical and melodramatic. Novels were preferred to other literary sources. There were parallel streams of storyline going on. The tendency to borrow literary material for film making was at its peak in the later sixties and early seventies. 'Murappennu' had the advantage of being shot extensively on location and had a strong visual quality. Sixties: Collective cinema 1965 marked the entry of short story writer and novelist. The ultimate in collaborative work happened in 'Chemmeen' (Prawn) in 1966 which won the President's gold medal for the first time for a South Indian film. Based on Thakazhy Sivasankara Pillai's well-known novel of the same name. Another aspect that needs to be mentioned here is the lack of exposure to international cinema.T. Since many of the literary materials were area-specific. No matter. This was understandable especially when cinema was seeking to displace the pastimes of an agrarian society and the best way to do it was by maintaining a close equation to village fairs and festivals. while attempting to entertain. editing by Hrishikesh Mukherji and music by Salil Chaudhury. It appears that there was not much pressure from the audience for a tight narrative. mostly serialized in literary journals. there used to be less number of cuts and less number of camera movements. MT was exposed to cinema when he began scripting.Vincent in making 'Murappennu' (Cousin/fiancee) in 1965. they came out with an acting style freed from the theatricality inherent in studio-filming. M. MT collaborated with cameraman-turned director. Different episodes were self-contained and they made social comments. But in the case of Malayalam film. how sincere and competent the script writer and director were. all established names in the Indian film industry. sometimes obliquely. Films based on his screenplays had a visual quality unmatched in the rest of the Malayalam films of the time. This film stands out from the rest. got national attention with this effort. An unhurried. matriarchal family-abodes. The literary connections The practice of utilizing literary materials of repute as raw material for film scripts became more frequent in 1960s. sometimes directly. films had to be shot on actual locations. one finds that Malayalam cinema had time to evolve on its own from its silent days.L.Puram. All these traits could be found in Neelakuyil. This was something that was unheard of at least in Malayalam Cinema a decade before. In the early sound films. Everything could be spelt out through dialogues. The combined effort of writers and directors had its impact on Malayalam film. When actors were placed in real locations like river banks. . sound arrived rather suddenly. it automatically introduced lot of cultural elements which were absent in the Malayalam films of the 50s. When well-known stories and novels. were made into film. because for the first time it dispensed with all the elements of the so called box office formula. leisurely pace was acceptable for the viewers who enjoyed individual moments of the film more than a satisfying whole. Ramu Kariat who had a few memorable films to his credit. Vasudevan Nair (affectionately called MT in Kerala) whose writings by nature had a visual orientation.
another graduate. That was also the first authentic statement of the way of life of Malabar Muslims. serves as an important link to the new decade in Malayalam cinema. 1973). G.T.Aravindan who had established himself as the most intellectual cartoonist working in Malayalam them with his serial. It launched a major film maker in Malayalam. Technically superb. 'Nirmalyam' (Remains.Abdul Aseez's 'Aval' (She). Vincent).S. 'Swayamvaram' (One's own choice) in 1972 with Kulathoor Bhaskaran Nair as Executive Producer and Adoor Gopalakrishnan as Director. John Sankaramangalam made 'Janmabhoomi' (Home land) with financial support from the Film Finance Corporation. Much of his pre-occupation with family relationships found earlier in his screenplays was evident here too.A major landmark in Malayalam cinema was to come in the next year with 'Iruttinde Atmavu' (Soul of Darkness. however. By the end of the sixties. most of them based on reputed literary works by authors like Vaikom Muhammed Basheer. In 1974. This happened strangely after the success of Chemmeen. the film told with immense visual appeal the story of an innocent Muslim girl of Malabar. Thakazhy. the film was much ahead of all Malayalam films in its cinematic qualities. Another significant effort was C. Aravindan had no formal training in film making but his cartoon serial would have given him an opportunity to play with composition. was hesitant to shed all the existing conventions but all the same produced a brilliant first work. Kadalpalam and Ara Nazhika Neram (all directed by K. K. 1967).Muhammed. P. Sethumadhavan): Mudiyanaya Puthran and Chemmeen (by Ramu Kariat): Iruttinde Atmavu (by P. As an offshoot of this society came the Chitralekha Film Co-operative. the traditional Malayalam cinema had produced a number of good works. the film won a Presidential award for its theme of religious co-existence.Radhakrishnan's "Agni". a pristine location for film making.M. It conducted seminars and discussions on films apart from screening international classics. Two years later. Asuravithu and Nagarame Nandi (all by A. Although still coming to grips with the medium. "Cheriyamanushyanum valiya lokavum" ("Small Men and Big World") in a Weekly.Kesava Dev and Thoppil Bhasi. However. The next year MT Vasudevan Nair came up with his own directorial venture. he was sure of his characters and their relationships. the first of its kind in the country formed by a group of trained technicians with the intention of making artistic films. 'Utharayanam' (Throne of Capricon).Bhaskaran): and Bhargavi Nilayam. made his first film. The films include Odayil Ninnu. the first of its kind in the State. Malayattoor Ramakrishnan. the big budget multi star-cast film that got technical assistance from an all -India crew! 1967 also witnessed the first Malayalam film of a graduate of the film Institute. the film told with immense visual appeal the story of an innocent Muslim girl of Malabar. Towards more visual expression Reminiscent of the Italian neo-realist films in its stark realism. Although build on a weak narrative. M. A group of film enthusiasts had already formed a film society in Trivandrum. Parappurath. Shot in Wayanad on the Western Ghats. the film dispensed with the clichè of traditional cinema particularly with songs till then considered an essential ingredient in feature film. After a period of practice through documentary film making. Yakshi. the film's reluctance to part with conventions like songs and melodrama made it miss the mark of excellence. Pune: P. P. choice of location and art direction. Thulabharam. His cartoon serial looked more like a story-board for a film! Aravindan demonstrated an extraordinary sense of visual expression and . Reminiscent of the Italian neo-realist films in its stark realism. 'Olavum Theeravum'. It was remarkable for its accuracy of Muslim dialect. In the 70s efforts were to create conditions conducive to the survival of artistic cinema in Kerala. It encouraged the formation of other film societies throughout the state. the Cooperative attempted their first feature.Bhaskaran could make one of the best films of his career and also provide Malayalam cinema with a new direction. that of the low budget film. With a screenplay by MT.T.
Aided by the subsidy scheme of the government and the inflow of 'gulf money' into film making. The presentation of every day life and its problems itself became the goal of many film makers. M. K. Lenin Rajendran has created some remarkable film like 'Venal'.Chandran in his directing career are 'Alicinte Anweshanam'. Pune and other like Bharathan. The audience also seemed to be content with such banality. Namboodiri. K. Adoor made significant films like 'Swaymvaram'. more films began to be made in Kerala. More local artists. The state today boasts of the highest number of film societies in any state (about 75). Swam and Vanaprastham. Some of the noted Malayalam works of T. 'Mukhamukham'. 'Susanna' and 'Danny'. He was greatly aided by contributions from cameraman M. mythological. 'Mankamma'. continued in the same vein in his Malayalam Films. in many of these films with a realistic exterior. 'Vasthuhara' and 'Marattom'.composition like his predecessor. Abraham could be credited with demystifying cinema's long evolved conventions and he succeeded really well in blending the theme and form with a dry humour (Cheriyachantae krurakrithhyangal and Ammayariyan). comedies. more at a subliminal level. Location shooting became more popular and the emphasis on realism even in commercial productions was evident. A number of such films set in the middle class families which cleverly mixed melodrama and violence succeeded well at the box office. K. historical. 'Janani' is considered to be one of the best films of Rajivnath who has been adjudged as the Best Director in the national level. Jayaraj whose films have got entry in many International Film Festivals. Late seventies witnessed an emphasis on sex in Malayalam Film. Sarath.P. 'Anantharam'.Sukumaran Nair also could prove his directorial excellence in his film like 'Aparahnam'. 'Pokkuveyil'. infrastructure facilities for film making in the state were augmented with the establishment of the state sponsored Chitranjali Studios. Lohitha Das is considered to be one of best screenplay writers of Malayalam Cinema. 'Kazhakam' and 'Sayanam'. 'Oridath'. Mankada Ravi Varma and Pavithran. 'Karunam' and 'Santham'. During the last decade. Right from the early days. wild life adventure and so on but the most favoured one was socials.Panicker. Shaji Karun also could enjoy international acclaim with the help of his haunting films-Piravi. The money . has directed some immortal films like 'Desadanam'.P. 'Thampu'. His unexpected demise in 87 caused a setback to the kind of film making that John propounded. 'Kanchana Sita'. Adoor Gopalakrishnan.Kumaran.George. Sex encouraged begun to be treated a more open way which encouraged distributors to promote such films outside the state as soft-porn films. 'Ponthenmada'. the traditional Malayalam Cinema had different genres like socials. 80s saw a boom in pulp literature in the state and films made out of serialized stories of these journals found a ready market. Piravi is the first Malayalam film which got entry in the Canne Film Festival. 'Chidambaram'. 'Elippathayam'. judging from the popularity of such films. 'Kummatty'. technicians and writers contributed to the distinct Malayali flavour of many films.Backer. Sex which began to be treated more openly in the 70s came to be handled more indirectly. Padmarajan. films which dealt with diverse themes in a variety of styles. 'Mathilukal'. 'Kodiyettom'. Aravindan made films like 'Utharayanam'. 'Elippathayam' won the British Film Institute Award for the year 1982.G. Other prominent film makers who made promising films include John Abraham. But he has also proved his mettle directing some excellent films like 'Bhoothakkannadi'.V. John Abraham who set himself the untouched path of subversive cinema in his first Tamil Film. promising director. P. all alumni of the Film and TV Institute of India.R. In the 60s a number of films dealing with the labour movements were made absorbing the political ferment of the time. Adoor Gopalakrishnan and Aravindan consolidated their positions in not only Malayalam Cinema but in Indian Cinema as well. whose first film 'Sayahnam' has got seven State Awards. In the 70s. 'Vidheyan' and 'Kadhapurushan'. 'Chillu' and 'Meenamasathile Sooryan'.Mohanan and G. 'Esthappan'. The 70s saw the sprouting of many film societies spread across the state in moffusil towns and district headquarters which showed international film classics to a semi-urban audience. Jayaraj started his career directing mainstream films and later slipped consciously or unconsciously into the arena of art films.Ravi Varma and the art director. Argaharthil Kazhuthai.S.A. Along with Adoor and Aravindan.
National recognition has been achieved in areas like cinematography and sound. The spurt in the area of documentaries have been facilitated by the subsidy scheme. Chitralekha's early efforts have been followed up by people like Adoor and Aravindan in their personal capacities and also by others. Every year Malayalam films win national awards and occasionally international awards too. Telecasting of Malayalam film on the national television network also suffers due to the discriminatory policies towards regional films. A novel and somewhat idealistic method of film making and distribution was attempted in 1986 by a collective of young film enthusiasts. . even though television and video have made inroads into urban and rural areas. the technical quality of the average Malayalam film also improved considerably. Retrospectives of Malayalam film makers have been held at India's International film festivals and abroad. Odessa movies under the leadership of John Abraham. gulf migration. In taking Indian film to the international front the contributions of P.T. Unlike the Kannada cinema of the 70s and the Bengali cinema of the eighties. a few of them have explored alternative subjects like tribal life. permanent and semi permanent cinema houses have mushroomed throughout the length and breadth of the State. controlled and manipulated by businessmen with no interest in the art and craft of film except for the money that it brings. performing arts. Only recently the corporation started supporting a few projects in Malayalam. biography. subsidy and package scheme. Movie going has become more frequent due to the increased wages prevailing in villages and the proximity of theaters. Although very few commendable efforts have been made in the area of children's film documentaries have received increasing attention from both established film makes and new comers. Although a sizeable majority of films deal with predictable themes. women's issues and film making itself.K. With the absorption of more and more trained technicians. Pune. Monopolistic tendencies began to be felt in production and distribution and with huge investments without regard to returns made the commercial viability of an average Malayalam film at stake. Malayalam Cinema does not seem to be very favourable to younger generation of film makers.accumulated in investment companies began to be diverted for film-making of this nature. Both are prolific in their output. The National Film Development Corporation engaged in financing and promoting films of promise does not fully sponsor regional film although it produces a number of Hindi films which are more expensive to make and tougher to exhibit. tax exemption. mental hospital and the like. all of which have contributed to the growth of film making in the State. pollution. Odessa also screens film classics and arranges discussions in unexplored areas like fishermen's colonies. But such idealist efforts have to coexist and even compete with an industry financed. On the other side of the commercial spectrum. He single handedly build up the prestigious Pune Film Archive of India. While the commercial producers are surprisingly willing to take chances by financing younger and inexperienced directors. thanks to the Gulf remittance. Biographical seem to be a favourite pre-occupation of the documentary film makers. The growing recognition that Malayalam film is getting in recent years is evident from the number of Malayalam film featuring in the Indian Panorama section of our International Film Festivals. mainly from the FTII. Their first feature 'Amma Ariyan' (86) was made with contributions from the general public and the film screened on a non-commercial basis through out the State. The State Government with the limited resources at its disposal introduced a few well meaning schemes like the annual film awards. A film maker like Ravi of General Pictures who financed a number of Aravindan's early film and continues to make Adoor's films is an exceptional a group movement like Odessa. The duo of Padmarajan and Bharathan seem to be the most decisive during eighties in the commercial success of Malayalam film. finance for the emerging film makers with some competence seems unavailable. film makers who were making sex and violence-oriented films in the 70s changed their course by making family dramas often dealing with a distant past and most often based on screenplays by Padmarajan and M.Nair is worth mentioning. In the exhibition sector. that too on language basis. Films based on their screenplays and direction they maintained a certain standard which is well above that of the commercial productions in the rest of the country. Enterprising producers have attempted wide screen and three dimension processes with tremendous success.
film makers have become more at ease in creating native forms of cinema. Narrative methods of Kathakali have been skillfully adapted in 'Kodiyettam'. can gain wide acceptance by the public even if they are bombarded with crude Hollywood imitations and cheap melodrama churned out from popular serial stores.Although efforts to imbibe regional cultural in Malayalam film were there right from the 50s. 'Kodiyettam' has proved that such films. . attempts to evolve indigenous narration and expression became more vigorous in the seventies and eighties. With the reassurance of such acceptance. for example. Films like 'Kodiyettam' and Thumb point to the possibility of a native visual language for Malayalam Cinema. Coming to terms with a technological medium imported from the West by continuous practice and by absorbing the rich performing art tradition of the State. one may hope that the energies of our film makers will be directed at uncovering local truths and thus universal truth in the manner of a Ray. if made absorbingly and true to the soil.