Arts & Culture

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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…

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    Utharam: The Curse of Remembrance 


    Every so often certain momentous events, social and personal, jog our cinematic memories, nudging us to revisit our favorite flicks with a sense of deja vu. The shock and trauma of Jisha murder case might’ve shamelessly ebbed, but our despicable anxiety to lay the guilt at a migrant laborer’s…

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    Kaalinaatakam: More Than a Fine Play


    Kaalinaatakam (The Play of Kaali) is a political statement, more than a brilliantly executed play.

    Considering the content of the play, which is heavily loaded with gender and caste politics, it’s surprising that it went on to impress the audience that gathered at the courtyard of Pepper…

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    Tradition & Transformation: Time for a Tearful Smile


    I would like to begin with an off-beat observation. Writers of history of literature often overlook writing per se and delineate the activities of a few reputed writers, their groups or schools, just as world historians concentrate on dynasties and empires as against populations and changes in their…

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    Return of O.V.Vijayan: Artists’ Works in Progress 


    When artist Rejeesh Sarovar left for Jaipur in early July this year in a huff, he had forgotten to pick up a novel that he wanted to read during the long train journey. It was the book that had been haunting him for long, and he was planning to paint the scenes from the same. Rejeesh felt exactly…

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    Sankhupushpam: Deft Portrayal of Collapsing Mind


    Shades of insanity have held a special fascination for Malayalam cinema. From the 60s on, we see in our films a distinct leaning toward scripts plumbing into human mind’s grim depths. Iruttinte Atmavu, Yakshi and Vazhve Mayam have become crucial reference points in our reel journeys. While…