Wednesday, December 19, 2012



Friday, December 7, 2012


Drama 'Scope'

Malayalam cinema regains vigour

Malayalam cinema regains vigour
Rose Mary John
Neethu S Kumar
Remya P P

 The last few years have seen a dynamic change in the Malayalam movie industry. Despite the cold war among various associations in the industry, it produced a number of good films and witnessed the entry of new directors and actors.

 The ‘Malayalam Cinema Today’ section of the 17th IFFK showcases this new spring in Malayalam Cinema through seven movies which portray lives realistically. The films listed in this section are ‘Ozhimuri’, ‘Chayilliam’, ‘Askashathinte Niram’(colour of sky),’ Friday’, ‘Indian Rupee’, ‘Ee Adutha Kaalath’(In recent times), ‘Ithramatram’.

 ‘Ithramatram’, directed by K.Gopinath is the cinematic adaptation of Kalpatta Narayana Menon’s novel of the same name. It depicts suddenness of death and how it impacts people through the story of Sumitra(Sweta Menon). The brilliant acting of Biju Menon and Sidique enrich the background score by Thomas Kottukappally. K.G.Jayan’s hypnotic cinematography ensures that the chill of the Wayanad air is infused into the ambience of the film.

 Director Madhupal’s film ‘Ozhimuri’ penned by Jaya Mohan dwells on divorce in the matrilineal system that prevailed in the Nair community in Southern Travancore. Lal, Asif Ali, Bhavan, and Mallika enact the central characters. The cinematography of Azhakappan lends depth to the visual effect of the film.

 Dr.Biju’s ‘Akashathinte Niram’, India’s only entry in the competition section of the recently concluded Shanghai International Film Festival explores man’s mysterious bond with his habitat and its elements. The film narrates a young burglar’s unexpected journey to a pristine isolated island. Indrajith excels as the protagonist while Nedumudi Venu and Pritviraj play catalytic roles.

 Set against the backdrop of the backwaters of Alappuzha, Lijin Jose’s debut film ‘Friday’ talks of birth, death, and life on a Friday. The film has Fahad Fazil, Ann Augustine, and Tiny Tom in lead roles.
 ‘Ee Adutha Kalath’ (In recent times) is a black comedy film written by Murali Gopi and directed by Arun Kumar Aravind. Kerala State Award winning cinematographer Shehnad Jalal handled the camera. It shows the life of six different people living in a city.
 Renjith’s film ‘Indian Rupee’ is a satirical take on today’s youth who are constantly on the lookout for means to make quick money. Pritviraj, Tini Tom, Thilakan, Jagathy Sreekumar, and Rima Kallingal lend life to the characters.
Manoj Kana’s ‘Chayillyam’, a movie that explores the ‘Shades of Red’ that make up the feminine psyche has also found a place in this section.   



Festival that unites - Editorial

Festival that unites 


      As the 17th International Film Festival of Kerala opens today there is no doubt regarding the benefits it has done both to the film makers and film lovers of the state, over the years. The festival has been a platform for all film enthusiasts to get together, watch films, discuss and appreciate them. It inspired our young film makers; for a film lover it offered novelty, variety, and class. If our critics waited for the festival with academic interest, the movie goers awaited it for entertainment and fun.

 With over two hundred films to be screened in over a dozen categories, this year’s festival, too, promises to be a grand treat. The hosts could be proud this time as two of the fourteen pictures in the competition section are in Malayalam. Last year none of our films could make it to the competition section.

 To the credit of the organizers three theatres-Kairali, Sree, Kalabhavan- have been renovated. Kairali theatre has been revamped to form a new mini theatre Nila. With this the number of government owned theatres hosting the festival has risen to four.  State of the art audio facilities have been installed, offering multiplex like experience.  The care taken to renovate the washroom facilities at the theatres also deserves appreciation.

 It is unfortunate, however, that year after year the delegate registration remains a concern. This year, the newly introduced exclusive online registration has drawn much criticism. This system, many people think, is complicated as it requires several follow ups. The decision to restrict the number of delegates, and to discard open forum, an interactive session with the film makers and the public have also caused much furore.

 The film festival is neither an exclusive stage for the film critics and serious film makers nor an event solely for public entertainment. A right mix of both these has been the highlight of the festival for years. In that sense, it is no good to take any steps that may alienate the spectators, waning the much acclaimed public participation.

'The Ring' will start it off this time

'The Ring' will start it off this time 
Ashiqha Sultana

 Alfred Hitchcock’s silent movie ‘The Ring’ is set to be the opening film at this year’s International Film Festival of Kerala. The 108-minute film will be screened at the Nishaghandhi open air auditorium with a live Orchestra playing the music and background scores instead of the regular Dolby digital surrounding system.
 ‘The Ring’ is Hitchcock’s one and only original screenplay which is first released in 1927 that have been restored by the British Film Institute along with Hitchcock’s nine surviving silent films.
 The story is a love triangle melodrama set in the world of boxing, a milieu that fascinated Hitchcock. The title of the film refers not just the boxing ring, but to the wedding ring that unites up-and-coming contender Jack “One Round” Sander (Carl Brisson) and his girlfriend Mabel (Lillian Hall Davis), and to the threat to their relationship symbolized by an arm bracelet given to Mabel by Jack’s rival, Australian boxing champion Bob Corby (Ian Hunter), which eventually becomes a symbol of the love triangle at the centre of the film. The cast of the film includes Carl Brisson, Lillian Hall-Davis.
 The plot of the film not that thrilling, but what is exciting to watch is Hitchcock’s growing confidence in the medium; the tension cranks up powerfully at key moments, especially towards and during the final fight sequence. But mainly this is a film to be enjoyed for its details. The symbolism of the various “rings” in the film, the unusual framing and the nascent special effects.   It is clearly influenced by German Expressionism and also it influenced later fight films.
 Boxing is a sport which has been the plot for several great films. This must be because boxing works so well as a metaphor for many other “fights” faced in life.

IFFK: Action begins today

IFFK: Action begins today

The city of Thiruvananthapuram is all set to welcome the week long fiesta organized by Kerala State Chalachitra Academy on behalf of the Department of Cultural Affairs, Government of Kerala. For each and every soul who shares a genuine passion for film, the 17th edition of International Film Festival of Kerala will screen about 200 films from various parts of the world. The festival will take about 7000 delegates through the undefined, but spectacular path of cinema in the coming week.
 Chief Minister Ommen Chandy will inaugurate the festival at Nishagandhi open air auditorium at 6pm. Actor Mohanlal will be the chief guest. Union Minister Shri Shasi Tharoor, Health Minister V.S. Shivakumar, Mayor K Chandrika, K Muraleedharan MLA and V.Shivankutty MLA will also be present for the ceremony.
 ‘The Ring’ directed by Alfred Hitchcock is the opening movie of this year. This 1960 horror classic will be accompanied by the live background scores by Peter Conway management, London.
This year the films are categorized in sections such as Australian Indigenous films, Vietnam films, Srilankan package, Adolescent films, Competition films, Top angle Indian cinema, Indian cinema today, Malayalam cinema today, Homage section and Retrospective.
Eminent Australian filmmaker Paul Cox is the Chairperson of the International Jury to adjudge Suvarna Chakoram and Rajatha Chakoram awards. The members are Burkinabe film director Pierre Yamaego, Anne demi Geroe, Govind Nihlani and Dang Minh Nhat. The Netpac Jury includes Park Sung Ho, Tina Lokk and Jayantha Chandrasiri. Gyorgy Karpati, Narjes Torchani and Subrahmanyan Viswanath are the members of FIPRESCI Jury.
 In the retrospective section films of Paul Cox, Pierre Yamaego, Alain Resnais, Akira Kurasowa and Brazilian actress Helena Ignes and Sathyan will be screened. The 17th IFFK will pay homage to famous film personalities including Tilakan, Appachan, Vindhyan, T Damodaran, Jose Prakash, C P Padma Kumar, Asok Mehta, Chris Marker and Kaneto Shindo. 14 films are on the race for the Suvarna Chakoram out of which two is Malayalam.

IFFK Newsletter 'Spotlight' PDF Version

Download PDF HQ Version of IFFK 2012 'SpotLight'


Front Page

Wednesday, May 2, 2012

Seasonal mangoes- fresh n’ tasty

Seasonal mangoes- fresh n’ tasty

Another golden mango season has arrived at Kanakakkunnu. Organized by the State Horticulture Mission, the Mango Fest will display the best mango varieties grown across the country. This ten-day affair will begin from on May 18.

 Not just the mangoes the different mango-dishes also would tickle the taste buds of the visitors. Keralites have always had  a special love for mangoes, the most significant seasonal fruit of the state. There are different varieties of mangoes - Malgova, Kilichundan, Kottukkonam Moovandan and the list is pretty long.

 “This king of the fruits is nutritionally rich and has unique flavor, fragrance, taste, and health promoting qualities. These qualities make it a common ingredient in new functional foods often called “super fruits”. Mango is one of the delicious tropical seasonal fruits and believed to have originated in the sub-Himalayan plains of Indian subcontinent. In fact, it is the national fruit of India, Pakistan and Philippines.

 Most of the mangoes that we get in the market now are artificially ripened. They may seem yellowish and delicious on the outside but are not that tasty or sweet. Ethylene Oxide, a chemical popularly used by doctors for sterilizing surgical instruments is often used as a ripening agent. This improves the 'color' and hastens the ripened look of the mangoes; tbut makes them toxic. The organic mangoes may not seem so attractive but are really delicious and has the perfect sweet taste and aroma. The Chemically treated mangoes are sold at higher price as the buyers are attracted by their perfect exterior.

 This year Mango Fest-2012 is expected to be a big success. This year there has been a bumper yield of mangoes nationwide which will contribute to the enthusiastic participation of the mango growers. Very soon  Kanakakkunnu palace compound  will be filled with the aroma of fresh ripened mangoes lending sweetness to  the capital city.

Wikipedia should adopt open University: Pillai

KOLLAM: “Knowledge is a public treasure and denial of knowledge is a crime”, said Dr .V .N. Rajasekharan Pillai Vice chairman of the Kerala State Council for Science, Technology and Environment. He was inaugurating the 4th Annual Congress of Malayalam Wikipedia-in Kollam on April 28. The two-day event was organised by the Wikipedians. Wikipedia was started on Dec 21st, 2002 to popularise Malayalam language. Expatriate Keralites have contributed much to the enrichment of Wikipedia. Now wikipedia has 250 language editions and 14 of them are Indic.
Regional language plays a vital role in the growth of global language. Wikipedia is required to popularises regional languages. It is good for global knowledge dissemination and it enriches regional language, and makes the language efficient   to handle new technological developments said Rajasekharan Pillai. Wikipedia should adopt Open University approach as it is open to ideas, strategy, people and place, he added.

The conference was chaired by N. Jayadevan, chairman of Wikipedia Malayalam community. Chief global development officer, Wikipedia foundation Barry Newstead and Wikipedia Indian Chapter president Arjun Rao Chawla also spoke.     

Monday, April 23, 2012

Summer Vacation classes are in vogue

Summer vacation classes are in vogue

         With the onset of summer vacation, vacation classes are mushrooming in Kerala. These classes, which once focused only on extracurricular activities such as music, dance and drawing, have become a profitable business today.

 Many parents especially government employees consider vacation classes as a blessing. “It is quite risky to leave my 10 year old daughter alone at home as we both go for work during day time. Vacation classes provide a safe shelter to her”, says Pavithran, a govt employee.  “A student can opt for three or four different courses at reduced rates’, says Premaja, a high school teacher. Computer classes and spoken English classes are still in demand along with personality development classes. And if you want your little one to challenge computer speed, you can even easily find an institution offering special training in arithmetic calculations.
         In the modern times, vacation classes are not only meant for children. The Continuing Education Sub-Centre of Government College for Women offers 130 different courses for women of all ages, this summer. Courses include those on beauty therapy, fashion designing, embroidery, paper carry bag making and soft toy making . Private schools and nurseries aren’t staying idle, as they too have jumped into the bandwagon by conducting summer camps and organizing leisure trips.

         It is certainly better than sitting at home watching television programmes  and surfing on the internet, all through the day.

Friday, April 13, 2012

It’s time for Vishubusters

It’s time for Vishubusters

The month of April is considered to be the  time most suited for release of films in Kerala as it is vacation time for the kids and large number of families go to theaters to watch films. Populary known  as ‘Vishu season’, in filmy parlance, most producers the directors try to cash in on the holiday mood of the film buffs.

This year, there are many films which are gearing up for release in this season and the most prominent ones are ‘Cobra’, directed by Lal with  Mammotty in the lead role, ‘Mayamohini’ by Jose Thomas, M Padmakumar’s ‘Thiruvambady Thampan’ and ‘Aashiq Abu’s22 Female Kottayam’,   Grandmaster,  UTV’s only production in Malayalam , directed by B Unnikrishnan featuring  Mohanlal in the main role, ‘Hero’ directed by Dipan, Mallu Singh by Vyshakh, ‘Ustad Hotel’ by Anwar Rasheed and quite  number of  other  films are  to hit the screens within the next few weeks. The dates of release of some of the films would be decided depending on the acceptance of the ones that are already released. The IPL season beginning on 4th April has come up as a big challenge for most filmmakers as they are not sure about the effect it will have on the collections.Noone can predict which of the films are going to make the most of this season. and to know the As the tension mounts let us keep our fingers crossed.

Friday, April 6, 2012

Santhigiri fest begins

Santhigiri fest begins


            ‘Santhigiri Fest-2012’ organized by  Santhigiri Ashram in connection with Nava Oli Jyothir Dhinam was launched on 12th of this month at the premises of the Ashram, near Pothencode. The 50 day long fest will help the common man experience the mysticism of Indian culture and heritage The fest includes various exhibitions, seminars , food fest  and cultural programmes.
            The education expo at the fest is a cultural and knowledge fete featuring science and medical exhibitions, interactive sessions with scientists, soft-skill training, career guidance counseling, environment seminar and various cultural programmes. Competition sincluding science-ecology quiz, painting, elocution (malayalam), recitation, light music, group song and clay modeling are organised for college and school students across South India.

 A major highlight at the fest is the exhibition of vintage cars. Vintage models like 1955 Chevrolet Bel Air, 1939 Chevrolet Master Deluxe, 1947 Ford Super Deluxe, 1961 Volkswagen Beetle are the major attraction at  the pavilion.

 Vismayanauk’, a 3D mini theatre and pavilion is one of the biggest crowd-pullers at the expo. Built in the shape of a life-sized boat, it is an initiative of Santhimahima, the youth wing of the Santhigiri Arts and Cultural Department. The 3D theatre showcases documentaries on socially-relevant themes. It also has demonstration of 3D technology, sale and exhibition of 3D gadgets, 3D books, and 3D cameras. An adjacent artificial lake and a lighthouse, combines to create an illusion of being on board a real ship which makes a stunning impression on the visitors.

 Santhigiri Healthcare and Research Organisation set up the Health Fair and the healthcare pavilion. It disseminates the message of spiritualityand the need to preserve and propagate the traditional systems of medicine such as Ayurveda and Siddha. Medicare kiosks, stalls representing every system of medicine, seminars and awareness classes on a variety of medical issues, special camps for uncommon ailments, health-related quiz and counselling centres are the other highlights at this pavilion.

 ‘Krishi Mela,' the agriculture fair is being organised in collaboration with State Department of Agriculture and State Horticultural Mission. The mela aims at helping the farmers acquaint themselves with modern mechanized farming techniques.

 'Samskarikothsavam', the art and handicraft gallery at the expo, features several stalls including the TRIBES India by TRIFED and 'Kalatheertham'. Exotic vegetarian dishes from diverse cuisines are also available at the Fest. The fest will conclude on May 31st.