Event Filmtrac packs all the ingredients of an entertainer

Act I of Filmtrac, a quiz on Indian cinema, opens with a clipping of Henna, a Raj Kapoor production. The opening credit of the film features paintings of M.F. Husain, a first in Indian cinema. “Ten points for the right answer,” announces quizmaster M. Rangarajan. The next question is on Time magazine’s citation about Nayagan .

An entertainer

The one-hour quiz, organised by the Rotaract Club of PSG CAS, is an entertainer. Buzzer rounds, voices of famous personalities, film clippings, posters and questions about film songs keep the thrill going. The iconic character of Antony in Amar Akbar Antony is modelled on Goan musician Anthony Gonsalves (who taught musician Laxmikant); Ra. One and Ghajini are films named after the villains; Bengali movie Pankaj Mali is the first to use a composition of Rabindranath Tagore… The eight teams on stage crack all the answers.

We also learn that Ritwik Ghatak’s Titash Ekti Nadi Naam is the only Indian movie to have a Bangladeshi producer and that Quentin Tarantino, inspired by Kamal Haasan’s Aalavandhan, replicated a graphic sequence from the film in his Kill Bill .

A painting of Sivaji Ganesan appears on screen and Rangarajan puts the question — identify the fan who gifted this painting to the actor. “Rajnikanth?” asks a participant. “Rajnikanth paints the town red,” the quiz master jokes. The answer is singer Lata Mangheskar.

Act II begins with questions on filmmakers … Ram Gopal Varma’s zero-budget Telugu movie Dongala Mudda (“It also resulted in zero collections,” quips Rangarajan); the district collector who turned a filmmaker (director Gnanarajasekaran who made Periyar , Bharathi , Mogamul )…

‘Kadalinakkare ponorey’ sings actor Madhu in Chemmeen , a Malayalam classic. Every shot in the film is a visual treat and Rangarajan asks the teams to identify the cinematographer. “Marcus Bartley, an Anglo-Indian,” answers someone from the audience. “When he was 12, director Balu Mahendra cleaned the lens, and assisted this master,” Rangarajan shares a nugget.

The title song from MGR’s film Ithayakkani fills the screen. “It carries a unique credential as the most-played song. When MGR was recovering in a hospital in Brooklyn, all theatres in Tamil Nadu played the song at the beginning of every show for three months to pray for his speedy recovery,” says Rangarajan.

The iconic ‘Roop Tera Mastana’ from Aradhana filmed on Rajesh Khanna and Sharmila Tagore is also the first song filmed in just one shot! And, it is Jayalalithaa who plays the role of Jhumki in Izzat , a film released in 1968.

In anti-climax round, the quiz master asks unconnected questions related to a topic. Questions on Birju Maharaj, Mithun Chakravarty, A.R. Rahman’s Chaiyya chaiyya and the three K’s of Kannada cinema (Karanth, Kasaravalli and Karnad) … the quiz draws to a close. Quizmaster V.V. Ramanan (who conducts The Hindu Young World quiz) and Ramkumar won the first prize in both Filmtrac and Quiztrac, a general quiz that followed.