Arts & Culture

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    Poetry Vending Machine: A Collection of Unpretentious Poems


    Of late, often have I been asking myself why it’s that works of Indian writers in English don’t stir and shake the depths of my being? What’s lacking in their work? I realize that they don’t allow their work to speak for itself. In an attempt to “show off," “to…

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    Remembering the Celestial Story Teller


    The 1984 movie `My Dear Kuttichathan’ is a watershed event in Indian cinema, not just for being India’s first 3-D film but also because it combined technology and myth in a superlatively packaged children’s film. As a school-going kid, I was treated to this…

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    Alinganam: More Than Just a Sizzler of 70s


    The 70s marked a period of sizzlers in popular Malayalam cinema, so the gossip went. This may sound a bit sacrilegious to cine bhakts who see the period as the golden age of radicalism in politics and culture, of experiments in form, and of committed explorations into the cinematic medium by masters…

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    The Lost Festivals


    They came in hundreds. Each “kara” pulling their chariot mounted with gargantuan forms of bulls, the draught animals they depended on to tear open their fertile loams and sow their seeds of hope and prosperity. Hundreds of sweating bodies, unmindful of the sweltering heat of the sun at…

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    A Mega Show and Some Related Musings


    During this Easter Lent season, I had the great fortune to watch a memorable event conceptualized by noted cultural activist Soorya Krishnamoorthy. An engineer, philanthropist and founder of Soorya Stage and Film Society, Krishnamoorthy has been penning and staging plays for many years. This time…

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    The Scent of Nostalgia


    The jasmines have started to declare their presence everywhere; some loudly and others quietly but incisively. The loud ones look like tacky women, their straggling vines devoid of leaves but clothed in those white blooms, spilling out their heavenly scent. The quiet ones beckon you to seek them…

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    Abhayam: A Lost Gem



    Seen movies may be memorable, but unseen movies may leave you inquisitive and pining for ever. After a brief hiatus, when I sit down again to unlock my reminiscences of a favourite film from the past, I feel desperately drawn to a film I’ve been searching for years. I’ve…

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    Rahasyangalude Pusthakam: The Secret Life of Artist Gopikrishna 


    Imagine a scenario where we could get into the minds of creative people. The result could be frightening, if not fascinating. That’s what we experience when we read a collection of short stories written by artist

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    Kallan Pavithran: For Some Kafkaesque Thrill & Chill


    They aren’t so feted in actual life, but they’ve always played a vital role in our imaginary lives. Our fictional worlds in all genres across the world bear colorful testimonies to our fascination with them. I’m referring to a social category called thieves, who are…

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    Kakkothikkavile Appooppanthadikal: The Magic of Malayalee Folklore


    It’s a film I enjoy with unmitigated glee every time I watch it. It’s a film I look forward to watching with a renewed curiosity. There’s a celebration of irreverence and innocent subversion at the heart of its pleasure centre. And it makes you wonder…

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    The Art of Mathai KT: A Prayer for the Wounded Land


    When Indian contemporary art was going big and the spaces in and around Kochi were being acquired by land as well as art ‘developers’ during the first decade of the new millennium, a few artists in the city were turning their attention to the silent cries of the nature.

    They had…

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    Remembering Tathri While Reading Coelho’s Mata Hari 


    It took me three hours to finish reading ‘The Spy,’ Paulo Coelho’s latest novel. Not really a page turner, but the 180 pages of fiction based on the true story of Mata Hari, the spy who was executed on 14th October 1916, is a sympathetic retake on the woman’s life. Marguerite…

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    Changatham: The Violent Tale of an Unsung Heroine


    Does anyone remember Annie from our chequered history of female roles in Malayalam cinema? That pious, simple, charming Christian girl with bewitching eyes who is pitilessly mauled by life? Did director Bhadran conceive her a little too before her time had come? Were she to arrive today, she would…

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    Standing for Good Cinema


    For M.F. Thomas, the defining moment in life came inside a cinema in Thrissur some 50 years back.

    As he watched Apu crying near his mother’s grave in the film Aparajito, Thomas too broke down. “That movie wrecked me. May be because I’d lost my mother when I was one-and-a-half-years…

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    What Pulimurugan Fails to Fight


    A good consumer is a strong fanatic. Despite his/her willingness to test and taste new products in the market, internally he/she remains loyal to the products that one had grown up with. While new products create a snobbish satisfaction for consumers, good old products confirm their belief systems…

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    Yusuf Arakkal: Common Man’s Modernist


    I was amidst a slide presentation by an artist when somebody’s status feed in Facebook informed that Yusuf Arakkal is no more. Suddenly I remembered a verandah of some building, way back in 1995. It was a national artist camp initiated by the Kerala Chitrakala Parishath commemorating T. V.…

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    Vasthuhara – a Lament & a Celebration 


    When Rita Hemrajani made her engaging documentary titled Train Within 24 Frames in 2013, garnering a fair share of praise from film lovers and train enthusiasts alike, she might not have known that there have been images of trains far more resonant, arresting and disturbing beyond the ken of her…

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    The Girl on a Swing and the Art of A. Ramachandran


    “This is a girl on a swing,” says artist A. Ramachandran with a mischievous smile. The 81-year-old tall and charismatic artist stands before his latest work that is in its initial stages. The image is decipherable in his favourite ochre color.

    In corduroy trousers and a yellow…