Cinema for a cause
The article M. Karunanidhi wrote for the Frontline issue dated October 18, 2013, commemorating 100 years of Indian cinema.
THE TOPIC “TAMIL CINEMA IN THE PAST 100 years” takes me back 70 years to an era of transition from “silent films” to “talkies”. The “silent films”, in which actors did not have any spoken dialogue, had moved to the next level, where a person delivered the dialogue, with the help of a microphone, in synchronisation with the scene that was being screened. What kind of scenes were they? [They were mostly like that of the sage] Narada with “tambura” in hand, pacing about in the presence of danseuses in the king’s durbar. Narada would pair up Velan (Karthikeya) with Valli. He would create a misunderstanding between Siva and Parvathi and then mediate between them to solve it.
Or, the scene would be of a heartbroken Chandramathi [the legendary king Harischandra’s wife] wailing, or a Draupadi, being disrobed, rolling on the floor in
SEPTEMBER 27, 1998: At a function in recognition of his 52 years of service to the industry, representatives of the South Indian film industry presenting M. Karunanidhi a life-size silver statue and a 52-sovereign gold chain. Karnataka Chief Minister J.H. Patel, Pondicherry Chief Minister R.V. Janakiraman and Tamil film thespian Sivaji Ganesan look on.