August 24, 2008


A High Wind in Jamaica
1965/103 min/ English, French, Spanish
Directed by Alexander Mackendrick
Written by Stanley Mann,Ronald Harwood,Denis Cannan
Music by Larry Adler
Cinematography Douglas Slocombe
Cast:Anthony Quinn,James Coburn - Zac ,Dennis ,Lila Kedrova ,Nigel Davenport ,Isabel Dean ,Kenneth J. Warren ,Ben Carruthers ….
A High Wind in Jamaica is a 1965 film, based on the novel of the same name written by Richard Hughes, and directed by Alexander Mackendrick for the 20th Century-Fox studio. It starred Anthony Quinn and James Coburn as the pirates who capture the children (an interesting note: one of the child actors is the author Martin Amis). Other cast members include Deborah Baxter, Nigel Davenport, Isabel Dean, Lila Kedrova, Kenneth J. Warren, and Gert Frobe.
The film is regarded highly today because of Mackendrick's direction and Anthony Quinn's lead performance as the pirate captain whose relationship with the children betokens a subtle change in his character, finally leading to his downfall and the pirates' end.
Mackendrick (1912-1993) was best known as a director of the Ealing comedies The Man in the White Suit (1951) and The Ladykillers (1955). The material in A High Wind in Jamaica afforded the director an opportunity to combine a light touch with serious drama. Essentially, what makes the film fascinating is the theme of children growing up and their contact with a world of adults (the pirates) who act as if they are grown-up children.



1968/ 45 min/France/Italy French/English

Directed by: Roger Vadim

Music by: Jean Prodromidès
Cinematography: Claude Renoir
Editing by: Hélène Plemiannikov

Histoires extraordinaires (Spirits of the Dead) is a 1968 "omnibus" film comprising three segments.American International Pictures distributed this horror anthology film featuring three stories by Edgar Allan Poe directed by European directors Roger Vadim, Louis Malle and Federico Fellini. Jane Fonda, Alain Delon, Peter Fonda, Brigitte Bardot, and Terence Stamp are among the stars.

All three segments are based on stories written by Edgar Allan Poe. The original stories were "Metzengerstein", "William Wilson" and "Never Bet the Devil Your Head".
"Metzengerstein" segment:
At the age of 22, Countess Federica inherits the Metzengerstein estate and lives a life of promiscuity and debauchery. While in the forest, her leg is caught in a trap and she is freed by her neighbor Baron Wilhelm, whom she has never met because of a long-standing family feud. She becomes enamored with Wilhelm, but he rejects her for her wicked ways. His rejection infuriates Federica and she sets his stables on fire -- Wilhelm is killed attempting to save his prized horses.

One black horse somehow escapes and makes its way to the Metzengerstein castle. The horse is very wild and Federica takes it upon herself to tame it. She notices at one point that a damaged tapestry depicts a horse eerily similar to the one that she has just taken in. Become obsessed with it, she orders its repair. During a thunderstorm, Federica is carried off by the spooked horse into a fire caused by lightning that has struck.

Roger Vadim
Roger Vadim, born Roger Vladimir Plemiannikov (January 26, 1928 – February 11, 2000) was a French journalist, author, actor, screenwriter, director, and producer who launched Brigitte Bardot's career in the film And God Created Woman. The scene of Bardot dancing barefoot on a table remains one of the most erotic scenes in French cinema.
Vadim was born in Paris, France. His Belarusian father, Igor Plemiannikov, had immigrated from Ukraine and become a naturalized French citizen, and was a vice consul of France to Egypt.

Vadim became a stage actor at the age of 16. In 1947 he became assistant writer to film director Marc Allégret.

As well as his movie achievements, Roger Vadim was celebrated for his romances/marriages to such beautiful women as actresses Brigitte Bardot and Jane Fonda. He also lived with Catherine Deneuve, with whom he had a child Christian Vadim, prior to his marriage to Fonda. The transsexual Warhol Superstar Candy Darling wrote of an alleged affair with Vadim in her diaries, My Face for the World to See. She claims that the relationship took place during his marriage to Jane Fonda. In addition to his theater and movie work, he wrote several books including his autobiography D'une étoile à l'autre (From One Star to the Next).

Vadim also painted and sculpted. Some of his artwork was sold In the Modern Master Art Gallery on Beverly Blvd. In 1981 Los Angelos, California. The gallery was owned by his life long friend Jacques M. Harvey also a painter, chef, author from Paris France. They met while working together as a part-time journalist at Paris Match Magazine.
Vadim died at age 72 of lymphoma and is buried in the St. Tropez Cemetery, Saint Tropez, France. He was survived by his wife, French actress Marie-Christine Barrault, and four children: Vanessa, born to Fonda; Christian with Deneuve; Nathalie, born to actress Annette Stroyberg; and Vania, his child with heiress Catherine Schneider
• The Naked Heart (1950)
• Blackmailed (1951)
• En Effeuillant la Marguerite / Mademoiselle Striptease (1956)
• And God Created Woman (1956) starring Brigitte Bardot
• Sait-on jamais ? / Does One Ever Know (1957) starring Brigitte Bardot
• Sois belle et tais-toi / Be Beautiful but Shut up (1957) starring Brigitte Bardot
• Les Bijoutiers du Clair de Lune / The Night Heaven Fell (1958) starring Brigitte Bardot
• Les liaisons dangereuses / Dangerous Liaisons (1959)
• Blood and Roses (1960)
• La Bride sur le cou / Please Not Now! (1961)
• Les Sept péchés capitaux / Seven Capital Sins (1962)
• Les Parisiennes / Beds and Broads aka Tales of Paris (1962)
• Le repos du guerrier / Love on a Pillow (1962)
• Un château en Suède / Castle in Sweden (1963)
• Sweet and Sour / Dragées au Poivre (1963)
• Le vice et la vertu / Vice and Virtue (1963)
• La Ronde / Circle of Love (1964)
• La curée / The Game is Over (1966)
• Spirits of the Dead/"Metzengerstein" segment (1968)
• Barbarella, Queen of the Galaxy (1968)
• Pretty Maids All in a Row (1971)
• Hellé (1972)
• Don Juan 73 (1973)
• La jeune fille Assassinée / The Murdered Young Girl (1974)
• Une femme fidèle / Game of Seduction (1976)
• Jeux de Nuit / Night Games (1980)
• Hot Touch (1981)
• Surprise Party (1983)
• Faerie Tale Theatre (1984 TV, segment "Beauty and the Beast")
• The Hitchhiker (1986 TV, segment "Dead Man's Curve")
• And God Created Woman (1988)
• Safari (1991 TV movie)
• Amour fou (1993, TV movie)
• La Nouvelle tribu (1996, TV mini-series)
• Mon père avait raison (1996, TV movie)
• Un coup de baguette magique (1997, TV movie)

On Baiju Chandran

ബൈജു ചന്ദ്രന്‍
1961ല്‍ ജനിച്ചു. പത്രപ്രവര്‍ത്തനത്തില്‍ ബിരുദാനന്തര ബിരുദം(MCJ). 1984ല്‍ ന്യൂസ് &കറന്റ് അഫയേര്‍സ്പരിപാടിയുടെ പ്രൊഡ്യൂസറായി ദൂരദര്‍ശനില്‍ ചേര്‍ന്നു.അഹമ്മദാബാദിലെ സ്പേസ് ആപ്ലിക്കേഷന്‍ സെന്ററിലെഡവലപ്പ് മെന്റല്‍ & എജുക്കേഷണല്‍ കമ്മ്യൂണിക്കേഷന്‍ യൂണിറ്റില്‍ വെച്ച് ടെലിവിഷന്‍ പ്രൊഡക്ഷനില്‍ പരിശിലനം നേടി.1984മുതല്‍ 1999വരെ തിരുവനന്തപുരം ദൂരദര്‍ശനില്‍ വാര്‍ത്തയുടെയും വാ‍ര്‍ത്താധിഷ്ടിതപരിപാടികളുടെയുംചുമതലയുള്ള പ്രൊഡ്യൂസറായി ജോലി ചെയ്തു. 1000ത്തിലധികം വര്‍ത്താ ബുള്ളറ്റിനുകളും 200ല്‍പ്പരം വ്യത്യസ്തപരിപാടികളും നിര്‍മ്മിച്ചു/സംവിധാനം ചെയ്തു. ലൈവ് ഷോകള്‍,സംവാദ പരിപാടികള്‍, ഡൊക്യുമെന്ററികള്‍ക്വിസ്പരിപാടികള്‍, ടെലിഫിലിം തുടങ്ങി വിവിധ തരം പരിപാടികള്‍ സംവിധാനം ചെയ്തു. 1988ല്‍ മാവൂര്‍ ഗ്വാളിയോര്‍ റയോണ്‍സിലെ തൊഴിലാളി സമരത്തെ അധികരിച്ചു ചെയ്ത‘മാവൂര്‍‌‌‌‌‌‌‌‌‌- മനുഷ്യ മന:സാക്ഷിയുടെ മുന്‍പില്‍ ഒരു ചോദ്യചിഹ്നം’, ജനപ്രിയ സാഹിത്യം വിഷയമായ‘പൈങ്കിളിയുടെലോകത്തില്‍’ വാര്‍ത്താധിഷ്ടിത പരിപാടിയായ ‘വാര്‍ത്തകള്‍ക്കുപിന്നില്‍’തകഴി,ബഷീര്‍,ആര്‍ട്ടിസ്റ്റ്നമ്പൂതിരി,ദേവന്‍,കുഞ്ഞുണ്ണിമാഷ്,ഒ.വി.വിജയന്‍,എം.മുകുന്ദന്‍,പ്രേംനസീര്‍,അമിതാഭ്ബച്ചന്‍,കെ.പി.എ.സി.സുലോചന തുടങ്ങിനിരവധി വ്യക്തികളെക്കുറിച്ച് പോര്‍ട്രേറ്റ് ഡോക്യുമെന്ററികള്‍ ചെയ്തു. അടൂര്‍ ഗോപാലകൃഷ്ണനെക്കുറിച്ചുള്ള‘അടൂരിന്റെ സര്‍ഗ്ഗപ്രപഞ്ചം’ ചലച്ചിത്ര അക്കാദമി നിര്‍മ്മിച്ചപൊങ്കുന്നം വര്‍ക്കിയെക്കുറിച്ചുള്ള‘കാലം കെടുത്താത്ത കനല്‍’തുടങ്ങിയവയാണ് മറ്റു പ്രധാന സൃഷ്ടികള്‍. കേരളാ രാഷ്ട്രീയ ചരിത്രത്തിലെ നക്സലേറ്റ് കാലഘട്ടത്തെ ആസ്പദമാക്കിയുള്ള‘നിണച്ചാലൊഴുകിയ നാള്‍വഴികള്‍’ 1998ല്‍ ഫ്രാന്‍സിലെസിയാറിറ്റ്സില്‍ നടന്ന അന്താരാഷ്ട്ര ചലച്ചിത്രോത്സവത്തില്‍ മത്സര വിഭാഗത്തിലും മുംബൈ ഇന്റെര്‍നാഷണല്‍ ഫിലിംഫെസ്റ്റിവെലിലും പ്രദര്‍ശിപ്പിച്ചു. കോവിലന്റെ പ്രശസ്ത കഥയെ ആസ്പദമാക്കിയുള്ള ‘ശകുനം’ എന്ന ടെലി ഫിലിംമികച്ച ചിത്രത്തിനുള്ള സ്വരലയ പുരസ്ക്കരം നേടി. 1999ല്‍ കൊഹീമ ദൂരദര്‍ശന്‍ കേന്ദ്രത്തില്‍ അസിസ്റ്റന്റ് സ്റ്റേഷന്‍ ഡയറക്ടറായി ചേര്‍ന്നു. 2000-2002ല്‍കേരള സംസ്ഥാന ചലച്ചിത്ര വികസന കോര്‍പ്പറേഷനില്‍ ഫിലിം ഓഫിസറായി ഡെപ്യൂട്ടേഷനില്‍ പ്രവര്‍ത്തിച്ചു.2002-2004ല്‍ ഗുവാഹത്തി പ്രോഗ്രാം പ്രൊഡക്ഷന്‍ സെന്ററില്‍ അസിസ്റ്റന്റ് സ്റ്റേഷന്‍ ഡയറക്ടര്‍.2004 മുതല്‍തിരുവനന്ത പുരം ദൂരദര്‍ശന്‍
കേന്ദ്രത്തില്‍ അതേ തസ്തികയില്‍ തുടരുന്നു.
ഭാര്യ:എഴുത്തുകാരിയും ആകാശവാണി ന്യൂസ് എഡിറ്ററുമായ കെ.എ.ബീന
മകന്‍:ചലച്ചിത്രത്തില്‍ ബിരുദ വിദ്യാര്‍ത്ഥിയായ ഋത്വിക്

'Vaasantha Raavinte...'

23-09-2008 6.05 PM
(Mal/doc/55 min)
Dir: Baiju Chandran

Santha P. Nair once reigned as the melody queen of Malayalam., passed away on 26 july 2008 at the age of 79. Santha P. Nair immortalised many film songs with her mellifluous voice in a career spanning from 1951 to 1967. She was equally proficient in Carnatic music and held many concerts, which she used to end with light music. She is survived by her daughter, Latha Raju, who is now Deputy Director of AIR in Chennai.

“Vasantha Ravinte Vvathil Thurannu” is a 53 minutes documentary, directed by Baiju Chandran, assistant director, Doordarshan, throws light on her contributions to the music industry. this biographical documentary highlights the life and times of this talented singer.

Born into the famous Ambady family in Thrissur, as one of the five children of Vasudeva Poduval and Lakshmi, Santha Poduval showed her potential at a very young age.

In a nostalgic mood, Santha.p.nair, throws light on her early upbringing, and education in Queen Mary's College in Chennai. She recalls with pride how thrilled she was when she got an opportunity to sing `Vande Mataram' before Pandit Jawaharlal Nehru.

"Although she was the queen of melody at one time, she quietly left the scene and most people seem to have forgotten her." Says Baiju.

In fact, as an announcer of All India Radio, Kozhikode, she, along with Abdul Khader began the trend of `Lalithasangeetha ganam' or light music.

Her days in Kozhikode have been aesthetically depicted through sepia tinted scenes and old photographs. She left AIR after her marriage to writer and broadcaster Padmanabhan Nair. She recounts her association with Dakshinamoorthy, P. Devarajan, Brother Lakshman and K.J. Jesudas.

Shanta's tryst with the film industry began when she sang for the film 'Thiramala.'

Interspersed with songs and film clippings, the film takes you down memory lane. Her mellifluous voice immortalised songs like 'Unarunaru Unnikanna...' ('Neelakuyil'), 'Nazhiyurippalukondu naadake kalyanam...' ('Rarichanenna Pouran'), 'Poove nalla poove...' ('Palattu Koman') and so on. She even composed a song for 'Ezhu Rathrikal,' on the lines of a `mappila pattu.'

She remembers that she sang a "comedy song with Jesudas, who was a very polite young chap when I met him." Her duet 'Kadavathu thoniyaduthappol penninte...,' with S. Janaki ('Murappennu') was a super hit. But little did her fans realise that this song would be her swan song.

"I plan to make a series of biographical documentaries on the lives of the stalwarts who shaped the cultural landscape of Kerala. The first one is on Shanta P. Nair. My aim was to make a portrait documentary that not only depicts the person, but also the surroundings and the period," says the director.

(Courtesy: The Hindu )

'Clean City'

23-09-2008 6 PM


(The short film produced as a project of the Script Writing Workshop, organized jointly by Cochin Film Society and English Dept. of St. Teresa's College.)
Script: Laya, Manju, Aswathy, Ann and Surya.
Direction: Jeena
Cast: Remya, Farah.
Synopsis:During a campaign to make Kochi a clean city, a woman social worker speaks spiritedly against wanton and irresponsible garbage disposal. She exhorts the citizens to put garbage only in the bins provided by the Corporation. A school girl, who has just littered a chocolate wrapper carelessly on the road, happens to listen to the speech. At night, after a hectic day's work, the social worker enters her kitchen, collects garbage and instinctively opens a window of her apartment and throws garbage out.The next morning, the school girl happens to pass by and notices the garbage bag. Remembering the message about garbage disposal she had listened to the previous day, she picks it up and puts it promptly in a garbage can.

6 pm
Cochin media school
Near south overbridge, ernakulam

The Merchant of Four Seasons (1971 West Germany 89 mins)

Dir, Scr: Rainer Werner Fassbinder
Phot: Dietrich Lohmann
Ed: Thea Eymèsz
Art Dir: Kurt Raab
Mus: Rocco Granata (uncredited)
Cast: Irm Hermann, Hans Hirschmüller, Hanna Schygulla, Klaus Löwitsch,

Karl Scheydt, Andrea Schober
Fassbinder's famous career and infamous life both came to an end in 1982 when he was 37 years old. By then, his films were seen as clearly belonging to two distinct periods – before and after the year 1971, when he made The Merchant of Four Seasons. The crucial turning point came that year when he encountered a retrospective of Douglas Sirk films in Munich, an event that was to transform both Fassbinder's thinking about cinema and the nature of his films.
Sirk's films wrapped their stinging social critique in a veil of melodrama and visual opulence to reach what Fassbinder envied and longed for – a mass audience. Inspired by Sirk, he envisioned a 'German-Hollywood' cinema, simultaneously socially purposeful and capable of appealing to the viewing population at large. As he put it,
The best thing I can think of would be to create a union between something as beautiful and wonderful as Hollywood films and a criticism of the status quo… That's my dream, to make such a German film – beautiful and extravagant and fantastic, and nevertheless able to go against the existing order.
Fassbinder's intention was to use the vehicle of the melodrama in order to make personal films. According to him, “Every decent director has only one subject, and makes the same film over and over again. My subject is the exploitability of feelings.”
In The Merchant of Four Seasons, Hans the fruit-vendor and “marchand de quatre saisons” (the French expression that is the source of the film's title) is a tragic figure, despised or unloved by those closest to him, and unable to find fulfillment in a world built on materialistic imperatives. Hans' mother scarcely conceals her contempt for his chosen profession (which “dirties his hands”), his brother-in-law treats him with the condescension reserved for an unredeemable loser, and Hans's wife Irmgard shows nothing more than a loveless and cold duty toward him. There being no innocent angels (other than the little girl Renate) in this story, Hans continues the chain of exploitation by brutally beating his wife, who in turn takes a lover and then successfully plots to have the lover fired after he is hired by her husband.
Hans' sister Anna precisely dissects the family's attitudes, behaviors and hypocrisies, which may position her as the closest thing to Fassbinder's alter ego in the film. However, she is not an entirely sympathetic character, since she may have unintentionally catalyzed Hans' suicide by stoking the fires of the family dinner-table discussion that seems to push him over the edge. Moreover, when Hans arrives at Anna's apartment near the close of the film, she is too busy, buried in her manuscript with her back to him, to offer anything but indifference to his plight.
The world of The Merchant of Four Seasons is held together by the mortar of money. Fassbinder takes delight in rigorously documenting transactions, profit calculations, accounting, haggling, expense lists, and the act of money changing hands. Even Renate's homework problem is based on practical computations, preparing her for life in post-War Germany, a money-go-round society born of the Adenauer economic miracle. Alone on a street at night, when Irmgard is mistaken for a streetwalker, Fassbinder frames her against a shop window showcasing a symbol of middle-class respectability, a posh set of living-room furniture. Oddly enough, this scene echoes two of German émigré director Fritz Lang's Hollywood films (Fury [1936], and You and Me [1938]), both of which begin with scenes of lovers gazing longingly at shop window displays. If Fassbinder uses the device as an ironic remark on bourgeois acquisitiveness and conformism, Lang's scenes are freighted with greater sympathy (not a quality that many accused Lang of possessing), not least because of their Depression-era context.
Though The Merchant Of Four Seasons is among the most accessible of Fassbinder's films, it can hardly be mistaken for conventional melodrama, a genre whose usual emotional extravagance is strongly muted here. In fact, the viewer is both drawn into the tale and yet steadily distanced from it by the stylizations of its telling. Wim Wenders has pointed out that even the speech in the film belongs to an artificial Bavarian dialect fabricated by Fassbinder for the film. Thus, everything that issues from the characters' lips is, as Wenders puts it, “a bit off, a bit strange, a notch distant,” rendering it difficult for the audience to lose itself unreflectively in the narrative.
Of the impassive neutrality of expression with which the characters deliver their lines, Wenders observes that “Fassbinder wasn't interested in showing emotion – he instead wanted to produce emotions in the viewer's mind.”
By encouraging emotional identification with his characters on the one hand (through the use of an established melodramatic 'language') and then by disrupting that identification through various distance-creating mechanisms, Fassbinder is doing no less than showing us how to experience art. We are suspended in the work, held aloft by two opposing forces – emotional and intellectual – which we keep in delicate balance. In Fassbinder's worldview, this is how feeling and thought must combine, ultimately (and ideally) producing action, the highest purpose of art.

August 10, 2008

'Ningalude Viswasthan, John' on Monday

'Nigalude Viswasthan, John'

directed by C.Sarathchandran


Monday, August 11, 2008, 6 p.m.


Gallery OED, Warriam Road, Ernakulam.

Had he been alive today, John Abraham would have turned 71 years old, on Monday, August 2008 ! Can you imagine a John, an old man, a septagenarian ? If you can or can not, John is not with us.

C. Sarathchandran, the documentary film maker, has been working on a film on John since 2001. He has completed the work and 'Ningalude Viswasthan, John,' is ready for screening on this occasion of John's birthday. He is dedicating this video essay as 'a tribute to John and to all those who lived for cinema.'

A 100-minute-long video essay in B & W on the many-faceted life of John Abraham, 'Ningalude Viswasthan, John,' has over 50 of his friends and close associates speak about him and also discuss his films and creative life.

The premier screening of this work will be held on Sunday, 10th August, 2008 at the Kalabhavan Theatre, Thiruvananthapuram under the auspices of the Federation of Film Societies of India (South-West Region). The next day, the documentary will be screened in different centres including Kochi, Ankamaly, Thrissur, Malappuram, Kozhikode and Kasaragode.

Cochin Film Society is proud to present 'Ningalude Viswasthan, John,' at the Gallery OED, Opposite Lotus Club, Warriam Road, Ernakulam at 6 p.m. on Monday, 11th August.
The film screening will be preceded by a theatre performance, 'Theatre Sketches,' presented by Jos Chiramel Smaraka Nataka Samithi, Thrissur, a theatre group which commeorates another soul who lived for theatre.
Both events are being presented by Gallery OED, to correspond with the two on-going exhibitions at the gallery - 'RE-VISIT,' by Rajan Krishnan and 'Letter from An Unknown Girl,' by Koumudi Patil and Poorna Rajpal.