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Thread: Which Malayalam film did you watch recently ?

  1. #11
    Senior Member Diamond Hubber madhu's Avatar
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    pranayavarnangal...

    TV-la sariyA pakkala.. so oru DVD kidaichadhu..

    nice movie.. :P

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  3. #12
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    Bhramaram got released here is it worth a watch ? anyone please confirm

  4. #13
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    Saravana,

    You can watch Bhramaram solely for Mohanlal. He had given out a splendid performance. [Ofcourse, that's what I heard. I have not seen myself].

    Regards

    PS: You tell me one info! The film Josh - starring Nagarajuna's son [Naga Chaithanya] and Radha's daughter [Krithika], how was it? Is it a hit?

  5. #14
    Senior Member Senior Hubber complicateur's Avatar
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    Two great posts on writing, the differences between Thamizh and Malayalam cinema (or at least what Malayalam cinema used to be) and the literary nature of a screenplay in Jeyamohan's posthumously published interview of A.K.Lohithadas. I am translating it to English because I believe a wider audience needs to read it.
    "Fiction is not the enemy of reality. On the contrary fiction reaches another level of the same reality" - Jean Claude Carriere.
    Music

  6. #15
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    Thanks Deepak. It was a good read. Lohi is one of my favourite screenplay writers and this was a good introspection.

    Regards

    PS: Pleasantly surprised to see my letter still there in his blog. Earlier the entire thing [Sivaji -MGR kindal] had been removed.

  7. #16
    Moderator Platinum Hubber P_R's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by complicateur
    Two great posts on writing, the differences between Thamizh and Malayalam cinema (or at least what Malayalam cinema used to be) and the literary nature of a screenplay in Jeyamohan's posthumously published interview of A.K.Lohithadas.
    Oh yeah. I was just mentioning it in the other thread.

    As he mentions in his second post, it was apparently published in 2003 itself in a journal edited by documentary filmmaker Leena Manimekalai. He republishing it in his blog.
    மூவா? முதல்வா! இனியெம்மைச் சோரேலே

  8. #17
    Senior Member Senior Hubber complicateur's Avatar
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    Murali Sir,

    You are welcome.

    P_R,
    I think in the post-Padmarajan/Bharathan era, Lohithadas written films were the last bastion before Malayalam cinema fell into complete disarray. It seemed that he was losing his touch slightly since SoothradhAran (Jeyamohan indicated possible reasons in his obit).
    As artists Lohi and Bharathan are incredibly close to my heart. Which is ironic because we could not be from more dissimilar backgrounds. I am if anything, quintessential middle class, while they were salt of the earth people. And yet I understand nearly every sentiment of theirs. I was so into every word of that interview I translated most of part 1 and posted it on the google groups created for those who attended the workshop. I felt it is sort of essential reading. But as aapiser Panneerrrrselvam might say "Response-E sariyilla" !
    Anyway these are movies I would recommend in Lohi's filmography:
    1.ThaniyAvarthanam
    2.Kireedom
    3.Jathakam (unmentioned usually but I think it is a lovely small film)
    4.Mudra
    5.His Highness Abdulla (there is a lot of comedy here and I am not sure if subtitles can do it justice - I have the VCD).
    6.Bharatham
    7.Amaram
    8.Venkalam
    9.BhoothakkaNNAdi (directed by him)
    10.Kanmadam (directed by him)
    That is 10 films. How many filmmakers can you say that about in India?
    "Fiction is not the enemy of reality. On the contrary fiction reaches another level of the same reality" - Jean Claude Carriere.
    Music

  9. #18
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    compli, link to your translation please

  10. #19
    Senior Member Senior Hubber complicateur's Avatar
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    Plum,
    It isnt posted anywhere you can read it immediately... So I will post the part I am done translating here. P_R, Murali Sir and others may correct any mistakes. If there are enough requests I will continue translating the whole thing.

    Jeyamohan (JM): Why did you choose cinema as your medium? What kindled your interest?
    A.K.Lohithadas (AKL): Cinema became my medium much later. My first medium was literature. My first introduction to the written word was at a young age. To be honest, I think writing came to me well before reading.
    Every child looks to express itself, to justify its existence. It finds an outlet based on its own character, talents and surroundings. Music, sports, studies etc… Writing was something that reached me in this manner. From a very young age, I found indescribable strength in giving my worries and tears words. I felt untouchable … as if I was beating my worries…

    JM: Your youth was quite sorrow-filled.
    AKL: Yes. My father abandoned us when I was young. I grew up a hungry orphan. Lived in many of m relative’s homes. The written word was my greatest companion. I am a littérateur at heart. Cinema is the medium for my literature.

    At the same time, words were insufficient. I needed acting as well. I would always act out what I wrote in my mind. I started writing in a manner that engendered acting and these became suitable for theatre. By 22 I was a recognized theatre writer, my first play “The Sindhu flows peacefully”.

    In 1985 my first movie ‘ThaniyAvarthanam’ was released, directed by Sibi Malayil. That was a play I had originally conceived. I believe theatre is a basic art form. Acting is older than literature, maybe even language…

    JM: Yes. In “The Gods must be crazy” the Bushmen act out their hunting experiences. Their language is still a very basic sound…

    AKL: Everyone is an actor. Every second that we speak with our mouth, we speak with our body as well. As we grow older we grow extremely conscious of our bodies. That self-consciousness becomes a barrier to ac. It is harder to make an intelligent person act than it is a slightly developmentally challenged person. Youngsters are usually very willing actors. Teenagers are especially melodramatic…

    JM: What is the relationship between theatre and literature?
    AKL: Literature that can be acted out is theatre. At some point in history they should have been one and the same.

    JM: In Meera Kathiravan’s thamizh translation of P.Padmarajan’s screenplay of Peruvazhiyambalam, Balu Mahendra insists that “screenplay is not literature, it cannot be read”. It is just a note for a director… (Translators Note: He said as much at the workshop on the last day)
    AKL: That is a perspective. I do not want to argue. My perspective is a reflection of my reading and influences. A screenplay is definitely literature. If screenplay is not literature neither is playwriting. Shakespeare did not write to be read, he wrote to be acted. Keerthanai’s were written to be sung, yet they are literature too…

    JM: Ingmar Bergman is a favorite director of mine. His Seventh Seal is unrelated to language. It is a scenic description, but reading it felt like reading literature. In our the reality of our imaginations is a greater cinema than he intended…
    AKL: Theatre is considered literature only because the reader is able to visualize and act within oneself. People enter and exit our viewfinders. Screenplay is the same…

    JM: But a screenplay will always be restricted by the requirements of film. Is that not a handicap?
    AKL: Does theatre not have space constraints? Does it not need to fit in a cube? But the great playwrights turned this into the strength of the medium (Translators note: I remember reading how Sujatha created a play rehearsal as a play because his actors did not have time to learn the lines. This way they could carry their dialogs on stage…). They make all of life’s inequities and conflicts meet at a central point. There is a phrase called “Nadakaantham kaviththuvam”.
    A screenplay is similar to that. It has to SHOW everything. It cannot meditate or think. It has to SHOW. That is its strength. Screenwriters have SHOWED life’s greatest tragedies, questions and happiness. That is how a screenplay becomes literature. Because when we read it everything comes to life in our imagination.

    JM: Since the beginning in Malayalam writers have written screenplays.. Uruf wrote for ‘Neelakkuyil’, Thakazhi Sivasankarap Pillai, Vaikkom Muhammad Basheer, S.K.Petracott, Paarappuraththu Maththai, S.Suseendran so on and so forth. Malayalam cinema was shaped by great writers…
    AKL: Pay attention though... these writers did not bring towards language (Translators note:I believe this might be a point against what happened in Thamizh where the sing-song nature gave way to verbosity, which was novel for its time, but does not seem relevant now). They built it as a visual art. Thoppil Bhasi, S.L.Puram Sadanandan, M.T.Vasudevan Nair (writer of the upcoming historical Pazhassi Raja), P.Padmarajan … the list goes on. They all wrote visual screenplays. Vice-versa today’s literature has been significantly affected by cinema.

    JM: What is the beginning of a story?
    AKL: The same way a short story or novel or painting begins. It is never planned. It is a lightning urge. That is all I can say as that is my experience. It is like full cloud waiting to burst in rain. It looks like it will happen now. But it might never deliver. One can never say when, where and why. It starts instantaneously. First as drops then as a downpour.

    JM: I have heard that a character is the start of a screenplay.
    AKL: Yes that is certainly important. A drama or a screenplay is a portion of life. Whose life? The question springs immediately. Hence a character is an important starting point. But a conflict or a basic question can serve as the start. My ‘Padheyam’ and ‘EzhuthAppurangaL’ were begun with the central conflict. ‘ThaniyAvarthanam’ and ‘Kireedam’ (Translators Note: My personal favorites in his work) were begun with a central character.

    JM: Has a philosophy or idea been a starting point?
    AKL: Rarely. Of my screenplays only ‘Jathagam’ (Translators note: another lovely small movie) was started this way. It is an observation of the belief in astrology. A screenplay’s seed is planted in the recesses of our mind well before it begins to be written. The unrest or lack of peace in you is the beginning.

    For example my first directorial venture ‘BhoothakkaNNAdi’, came from a story of sexual exploitation of underage girls. It created great unrest within me, particularly a photograph of the schoolbag of one such girl. I could only view that through the eyes of a father!

    VidhyAdharan was born from that unrest. He is very nervous about everyday life in the current social scenario. But he doesn’t say or do anything because he is a middle-class coward. And so his mind slips. I viewed my problem through his eyes.

    JM: When I write a novel I write with a head full of steam. Then I discuss it with my editors. But here screenplays are discussed at the concept stage.
    AKL: My screenplays are written like your novels. I never discuss the idea. Only after writing it completely do I discuss it with the director or actor. Discussing the central conceit will make the story seem contrived.

    JM: Have you ever discussed?
    AKL: Once. A story called ‘VisAraNai’ got stuck and did not gain momentum. That is the problem with a story discussion. Each person has a perspective and the central idea gets pulled in different directions. It is like fighting blindfolded. I can only make my point if I let it unfold completely as a screenplay. I can only debate certain technical aspects of screenplay writing with others.

    JM: But in thamizh the norm is still to discuss.
    AKL: Here cinema is a form of entertainment that tries to bring together multiple other forms of entertainment. That can always be discussed and brought into existence. A certain format or template has even been reached for this. But the soul of a story cannot be arrived at through discussion. There will be no unity in a ‘discussed’ story.

    This much for today……. The rest at a later date.

    "Fiction is not the enemy of reality. On the contrary fiction reaches another level of the same reality" - Jean Claude Carriere.
    Music

  11. #20
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    Deepak,

    Really great translation.You have done it without the soul of his views getting harmed. Kudos to you! Please continue.

    Also a good list of Lohi's movies. Though I would include Dasaratham and Vatsalyam. Yes, a bit melodramatic but the central protagonist did make a deep impact inside. May be they having a shade of NT on them must have made it more attractive for me.

    Regards

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