Filmmaker K.G. George, who has to his credit seminal works such as Yavanika, Irakal, and Adaminte Variyellu, is still brimming with creative spirit though he has been bedridden for the past four years.
Even in his present fragile state, the director inspires you with his attitude, just as his movies did many years ago.
“Looking back, I have a contented life. I have done whatever I wanted to in my life. There are no disappointments. Yes, I would have loved to do a few more things. But compared to what I have achieved after starting life as a commoner, they do not matter,” said a weary looking George. Behind him, a cabinet glittering with award statuettes stands testimony to his words.
Yet to recover
He is yet to recover fully from two strokes that curtailed his mobility considerably. He still needs help to move around. Though his speech has improved, his memory is not what it once used to be.
There was a smile on his face when told that fellow filmmaker Adoor Gopalakrishnan has asked the State government to support him. George, who will celebrate his 69th birthday next month, needs not less than Rs.10,000 a month for his treatment.
‘Never expected help’
While his wife Salma was disparaging about the neglect meted out to her husband by the film industry, George was grace personified. “I never expected any help. People from the industry do visit. You cannot blame those who do not visit. It is not intentional as work keeps them held up,” he observed.
He drew attention to one good thing that happened after he suffered the strokes. “My biography Flashback: Enteyum Cinemayudeyum was published and the book is doing well,” he said, beaming with pride.
His time now is split between watching movies on DVD and on television. His daughter Tara has stocked piles of DVDs of acclaimed English movies whereas on television, his favourite is a reality show hosted by actor Suresh Gopi.
George admitted that he was no longer able to follow the Malayalam movie industry as he once used to. At best he goes out for watching previews of movies on invitation. The last preview he watched was that of 22 Female Kottayam at the invitation of its producer.
He sprang back to life when asked to comment on the so-called new generation cinema.
“There is nothing in them to be called new generation. In fact, they are making what we have left behind. I haven’t seen a (new generation) movie which I felt was better than the ones I made,” he said.
Though all his movies were special to him, when asked of his favourite the first one he named was, unsurprisingly, Yavanika.
Recovery a priority
Asked whether he hoped to make films in the future, George said getting well was his priority. “To make films you got to be able to think. Before (the strokes) I used to think about a lot of ideas. Now I am not able to string together those thoughts,” he said.
But he has reasons to smile. To keep his father’s legacy aglow, son Arun has entered the industry and is now assisting director Ranjith in his new movie.