Wednesday, October 11, 2006

intl film festival of india in goa; g aravindan retrospective

oct 11th, 2006

this is scheduled around the 23rd of november.

there will be a retrospective of g aravindan's films including some of my favorites:

uttarayanam (tropic of capricorn)
thampu (the circus tent)
vaastuhara (the dispossessed)
kanchana sita (the golden sita)

in my personal, biased opinion, he was the best film-maker ever in malayalam, a true genius of the cinema. a mystic, a poet, one who took risks and occasionally made turkeys (like oridath). his films are not tidy and perfect like his rival adoor gopalakrishnan's, but by god, when they work, they soar like eagles!

uttarayanam was my favorite malayalam film of all time, better than chemmeen, olavum theeravum, swayamvaram, etc., but then came chidambaram, piravi (by shaji), anantaram (by adoor), etc. and now i dont know. maybe chidambaram is the one that i loved best, although piravi is the one that spoke to me. (incidentally, aravindan composed the music for piravi, and shaji had been his cinematographer in his best films).

also, his early work is hard to understand. i remember seeing kanchana sita at a film festival and being totally blown away. but on a second and third viewing it made so much sense! it is a classic.

aravindan died in 1991, and that was the end of the golden age of malayalam cinema. nothing world-class has come out of kerala since.

how i wish i were still as enthralled by art films as i once was! my old friend KKR and i used to cut classes and go see films whenever we could: eisenstein, ray, bunuel, antonioni.

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