G.Aravindan has left his imprint on the imagination of a whole generation of Malayalis, as a cartoonist and a film maker. His brand of cartooning was not caricature, nor was his movie in the nature of mere story-telling. The films, much like his cartoons, reflected his take on the goings-on in the amoral society, its hypocrisy and double standards.
His brand of cartooning was not caricature, nor was his movie in the nature of mere story-telling.
The films, much like his cartoons, reflected his take on the goings-on in the amoral society, its hypocrisy and double standards.
For those who grew up on his anecdotal series of delectable and thought-provoking cartoons titled ‘Small Men and the Big World’ identified with the protagonist Ramu….. and who can forget Guruji, the philosopher who many considered a proxy of his creator himself? The rectangular frames of the cartoon were but precursors to the frames of his cinematic technique. The leitmotif of his films was the sedate and unhurried progression of episodes. In Kanchana Sita, his retelling of the epic Ramayana, Sita is not shown once, but the viewer is reminded constantly of her presence by the moods of the nature. The impermanence of relationships is the theme highlighted by Thampu through itinerant entertainers who leave before one can strike a friendly chord with an artiste. Esthappan, Pokkuveyil and Chidambaram are, in a sense, about the human mind – where the dividing line between fantasy and reality blur and the two merge, seamlessly as it were. Each of his films – be it Maraattam, Oridathu or Vastuhaara or any of the others mentioned before – were diverse skeins of creativity, humanism, and the ever flowing outpouring of a composite intellect that ploughed a lonely furrow.
Aravindan Memorial Lecture 2017
AparnaSen is a renowned name in Indian cinema. She has excelled both as an actor in film and theatre and as director. Her first film appearance happened in Satyajit Ray’s Teen Kanya (1961) when she was sixteen. AparnaSen enacted the nuances of femininity of Bengali middle class under the direction of Satyajit Ray and Mrinal Sen. 1981 was a decisive year in the Sen’s career when she switched to filmmaking with the film 36 Chowringhee Lane amidst the acting commitments. Being a multifaceted film personality, Sen defied all the conventions and categorizations in filmmaking with her sharp, but the subtle depiction of female protagonists and their life as human entities. Her characters travel and experience the religious intolerance, rigid moral codes, labyrinths of man-woman relationships, choked by the memories, disappear into a futuristic mystery land without a warning, and radiate a characteristic empathy. In terms of directorial style, she is the perfect amalgam of the visual and the verbal. There are dome directors whom one will love for the impeccable incisive dialogues, and some for their stupendous visual imagery but for AparnaSen, the two are enmeshed to make cinema. Her widely acclaimed works include Parama (1984), Sati(1989), Yugant(1995), ParomitarEk Din(2000), Mr. and Mrs.Iyer(2002), ItiMrinalini(2011), Chotushkone(2014) etc. She is the winner of three National Film Awards and nine international film festival awards for direction. She was honoured by the government of India with the fourth highest civilian award Padma shri in 1987.