April 12, 2007

Talking (Kannada) Movies

Cine Maatu, a Bangalore forum of film enthusiasts, plans on screening a series of award-winning Kannada movies that are hard to find in the theatres/TV. As the forum convenor, Mr B R Gopinath, told The Hindu reporter Bageshree, the best of our films are less accessible to viewers than the works of international masters.

Among the movies the forum has lined up for showing, on the second weekend of every month, are Beru, Phaniyamma, Kanneshwara Rama, and a host of others accessed from Girish Kasaravalli’s personal library. His own movie, Nayi Neralu, is expected to be shown at the inaugural of Cine Maatu. The film maker has thrown open his vast collection for the benefit of film enthusiasts. It is an idea worth emulating by others with a personal video library.

Apart from bringing in quality movies for interested viewers, the Bangalore film enthusiast forum would arrange interaction of film makers with audience following every screening. Such interaction would be of interest to a far wider audience, if only the forum convenor could arrange to put out typescript of the proceedings on the web. The forum members could create an e-group or a website, to archive interaction with makers of award-winning films.

Films such as Beru, themed on degradation of values in the bureaucratic system and corruption in the administration, have relevance. One would like to hear from its director P Sheshadri about how he came to choose the theme and the hassles he had, if any, filming/distributing it. Sadly enough, the film has not got the kind of exposure it deserves. I recall journalist Krishna Prasad once wrote in his Deccan Herald column that at a special screening in Shimoga the award-winner Beru drew an audience of two. Yes, there was a turnout of just two persons for the show.

This must be an all-time record. Can’t wait to see how many Beru draws at the Cine Maatu screening (due April 15). Convenor’s contact number – 9242523523.

Title of this post has been copied from BBC World, with my apologies to programme producer Tom Brook.

3 comments:

Guru said...

"Films such as Beru, themed on degradation of values in the bureaucratic system and corruption in the administration, have relevance. One would like to hear from its director P Sheshadri about how he came to choose the theme and the hassles he had, if any, filming/distributing it. Sadly enough, the film has not got the kind of exposure it deserves. I recall journalist Krishna Prasad once wrote in his Deccan Herald column that at a special screening in Shimoga the award-winner Beru drew an audience of two. Yes, there was a turnout of just two persons for the show."

"Degradation of values in the officialdom and society" have been discussed since late 1950s just 10 years after India's independence! Because of the unique position of the then Mysore State after reorganisation, the rot was set rather slowly in Mysore. Now the rot is so deeply and completely set in the Indian society that people are well sanitized by corruption, nepotism and dishonesty, and have grown to be cynics. What is alarming is that these maladies are taking roots in Indian ventures large and small around the globe and are affecting Indian diaspora in their chosen countries of residence.

Not surprised about the number of audience at all. One should not discount the power of globalisation exemplified by the Internet and the technologies that it provides. The French arguably the most nationalistic when it comes to language and culture are so profoudly afftected by media and culture of Anglo Saxons that they are seriously trying to erect proverbial walls aeound them, and this seems to be a losing battle.

The issue would be in a few years down the line would be how to keep Cine Maatu’s confined to the laudable cultural and linguistic agenda, and not fan narrow linguistic fanaticism which is so familiar. Once the British Raj ended, the linguistic fanaticism in India lurking not far below the surface raised its ugly head as Potti Sriramulu exemplified and the reorganisation of Indian states on linguistic lines have demonstrated. The hysteria and the violence witnessed in the aftermath of the death of a Kannada actor an year go ( and of MG Ramachandran
a few years ago) are examples of the ugly face of narrow regional and linguistic exuberance. When one reads a sister blog, one is aware of the vitriol pouring out of those who call themselves Kannadigas and who are residents in North America and who are braying for N R Narayanmurthy’s head for employing not enough Kannadigas in Inforsys, and not hearing kannada spoken in the precincts of Infosys!
What an irony this is!

Neela said...

The idea of discussion over the web is good.It can then initiate dialogue even among people who are far away yet have their hearts in Kannada and Karnataka.

Guru said...

Hearts in Kannada and Karnataka may not be a problem {though the English speaking whites ( in some cases black)Americans say is precisely the problem with Latinos. The French have similar view as they fear looser assimilation], but heads in Kannada and Karnataka from a distance become
an issue. As an Indian- Australian (I hate this hyphenated usage)said in a sister blog recently, that for the descendants of the first generation Indians (Kannadigas) kannada and Karanatak are mere concepts until some NRI outfit or organisations like Kannada Koota targets them to have a closer link as they have agendas of their own.

The Hindi or Malayalam -speaking Infosys employee in Mysore have as much right to have their hearts in Hindi and in Bhopal or in Malayalam and in Kerala. Every Tamil Nadu born from CV Raman to RK Narayan to my father who made their homes in Bangalore/ Mysore and contributed to the cities in their own ways were criticised for having their hearts in Tamil and in Madras. It is as if Kannada and Karnataka should be unique in someways!!!