Online edition of India's National Newspaper
Monday, Nov 29, 2004

About Us
Contact Us
Metro Plus Bangalore
Published on Mondays, Tuesdays, Wednesdays, Thursdays & Saturdays

Features: Magazine | Literary Review | Life | Metro Plus | Open Page | Education Plus | Book Review | Business | SciTech | Entertainment | Young World | Property Plus | Quest | Folio |

Metro Plus    Bangalore    Chennai    Coimbatore    Delhi    Hyderabad    Kochi   

Printer Friendly Page Send this Article to a Friend

Off the beaten track

Techie Gireesh Kumar wonders if parallel films are a thing of the past

IT WAS around 15 years back. At a neighbour's house, a crowd watches a movie shown on Doordarshan on a Sunday afternoon. It was a time when Doordarshan was the only channel available and there were few who owned TVs. The language was something we didn't understand, and the actors were unfamiliar. But that didn't deter people from gluing their eyes to the television set. I was one among the crowd.

The movie had stark visuals. A teacher sees a murder on a rainy night and the trauma he undergoes after that. It was not really a celebration of dialogues and actors. But the visual stuck in my head. Even after 15 years, I am able to recall that. That was a Bengali movie.

Those days, Sunday afternoon was the time people came to know about the rest of India. Even though Doordarshan was the only channel available, regional movies had a place in it. Fortunately, many of these Sunday movies were not driven by commercial interest. Parallel filmmakers often made their appearance in it. Now looking back, it seems, it was rather the glorious time of parallel cinema in the visual media.

Now is the era when people browse more than 100 channels and flip from one channel to another and watch more than one movie at a time. When the market started being driven by advertisers and sensibilities came to be measured by TRPs, we often see the same movie across channels, across languages. Watching a Malayalam channel or a Kannada one doesn't make much difference.

The place for parallel cinema is shrinking in our channels. Recently, print media has celebrated 50 years of Pather Panchali that set the path for Indian parallel cinema. Did any channel telecast this movie?

Our newspapers write about the barrage of movies shown in our channels. A close examination reveals that Indian parallel cinema is nowhere in this list. Cine-talks and interviews in channels often revolve around actors and superstars. Worse, we've had filmmakers who swear by making movies for the masses only. In the Seventies and Eighties, there were filmmakers who had the guts to say that cinema is the medium of a director. We now see people who call themselves entertainers. Isn't calling oneself an entertainer denying oneself as an artist?

On the other hand, we've had filmmakers who stood entirely for their medium, struggling to break even. Many of these movies won't even be shown in cinema halls, and even if it is, it will make hardly any money.

Visual media, particularly our channels, can do a commendable job by telecasting and promoting movies made by parallel filmmakers.

Newspapers must bring out write-ups on these movies. Let us not allow that parallel cinema to die because of our insensitivity and eagerness to please all and sundry.

Sound Off! Is your Space. Do you have something worthwhile to say? Something that moved you? Bugged you? Mail us at bangalore Who knows? You just might find yourself features here!

Printer friendly page  
Send this article to Friends by E-Mail

Metro Plus    Bangalore    Chennai    Coimbatore    Delhi    Hyderabad    Kochi   

Features: Magazine | Literary Review | Life | Metro Plus | Open Page | Education Plus | Book Review | Business | SciTech | Entertainment | Young World | Property Plus | Quest | Folio |

The Hindu Group: Home | About Us | Copyright | Archives | Contacts | Subscription
Group Sites: The Hindu | Business Line | The Sportstar | Frontline | The Hindu eBooks | Home |

Comments to :   Copyright 2004, The Hindu
Republication or redissemination of the contents of this screen are expressly prohibited without the written consent of The Hindu