Arts & Culture

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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…

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    On the Comeback Trail


    The walls of his opulent home tell the tale of a life harnessed in glory and yet one that stopped short of a wholesome outcome. Filmmaker Priyadarshan has had it all and yet nothing. Broken by circumstances, he valiantly tries to pick up fragments of his life and bring them together because togetherness…

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    Rajinikanth’s Kerala Connection


    Finally, Kabali has hit the theatres all over the world. The build-up has been so meticulous and strong that the countdown toward the release date itself was celebrated as some sort of a daily spectacle in the social media. In Kerala, Kabali has hit around 300 screens at one go. Initial reports indicate…

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    Thiruvannamalai: Malayalee Artists’ Tamil Sojourn


    Thiruvannamalai, famous for the Ramana Ashram, the seat of sage Ramana, doesn’t look like a lucrative abode for artists. Spiritualists of different kinds from both India and abroad sit in silence in prayer halls of the ashram. Some of them stand still, contemplating on the lives of…

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    The Mega Star's Mighty Fall


    ' Rajamanikyam ', released in 2005, was a watershed film in Mammootty’s career. Still charming with his chiselled looks, the then 54-year-old ‘Mega Star’ of Malayalam cinema adopted Thiruvananthapuram slang for the movie that went on to become one of his biggest hits. The film…

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    Kerala’s Renaissance Man


    Kavalam Narayana Panicker is no more. In his hay days, the arrival and departure of death would've been with the evocative chanting of folk rhythms. When he died yesterday at the age of 88, nothing of that sort happened. In northern India, it had come a week before, taking one of the finest theatre…

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    Living an Art


    Margi Sathi's autobiography Rangasree poignantly blends the life of an artist, snuffed in her prime, with the life of a dying art form. A riveting autobiography that assumes a humble tone, but describes many heart wrenching moments of what it means to be a woman artist, and a Koodiyattom…

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    Rugmini: A Stolen Childhood


    She was a bard of stolen childhood, of orphaned toys and betrayed schools. Rugmini, the eponymous heroine of the film *Rugmini,* epitomizes Kamala Suraiyya's vision of a girl child’s world; a girl who wants to play till she drops asleep, but doesn't want to be 'played' with by the predatory…

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    Ozhivu Divasathe Kali: A Brutal Show on Malayalees' Unanchored Life


    Circa 1970. Location: a local reading room in Kerala. Five young men sit around a table and discuss Kafka, Camus, Freud, Marx, and politics. They argue vehemently on the merit of the recently published 'Legend of Khasak' (*Khasakkinte Ithihasam*) by O.V.Vijayan. Two boys strike at the carom board…

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    Recreating a Legend


    It was a rain-soaked evening. Around 7 p.m., a crowd, drenched in the downpour, was heading toward a huge tent erected at the Kozhikode Medical College ground. Inside the tent, there is a stage surrounded by gallery from three sides and a projection screen on the fourth. Aliyar's tea stall was on…

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    Performance Art or Protesting Act?


    Blackening her face for 125 days was a new aesthetical mode that artist P.S. Jayamol adopted to create a social critique on the discriminated 'living' experiences of the Dalit communities. But it seems to have almost backfired on the face of the artist herself. The onus is now on Jayamol to defend…

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    Gopikrishna's World of Painful Paintings


    Through the large windows, the foliage and tree top freshly washed by mid-summer rains, I see three owls calmly sleeping. The artist smiles at me. "Look, what do they need?" I remain silent. I want the artist to speak. He continues: "They just need a place to sit and sleep. At night they fly away…

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    The Accordion Man


    When K.S. Chithra walked up to the microphone on stage, she was a bit overwhelmed by the crowd. She started singing, as perfect as ever, but kept glancing at the accordion player standing next to her. The man would nod approvingly, reassuring the singer she hadn’t slipped on the pitch and was…

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    Kathakali: Ultimate in Fusion, Unparalleled in Grandeur


    There is no other theater form which imposes a world of illusion the way Kathakali does. Grandeur unparalleled, befittingly non-worldly, stylization ultimate, drama evocative and magically surrealistic, Kathakali is the wonder of theater. Often designated as total theater, Kathakali offers more than…