Cin­ema for a cause

The ar­ti­cle M. Karunanidhi wrote for the Front­line is­sue dated Oc­to­ber 18, 2013, com­mem­o­rat­ing 100 years of In­dian cin­ema.

FrontLine - - COVER STORY -

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.

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