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‘Television has brought down the cultural level’

Staff Reporter
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Adoor Gopalakrishnan interacts at the 19th Kolkata International Film Festival.— Photo: Sushanta Patronobish
Adoor Gopalakrishnan interacts at the 19th Kolkata International Film Festival.— Photo: Sushanta Patronobish

“Cinema is the ultimate art,” noted filmmaker Adoor Gopalakrishnan said here on Tuesday. Pointing out that there was no easy way to become a filmmaker, he said budding filmmakers had a lot to do, which includes developing their style, music, theatre and also reading.

  “You also have to be a keen observer of life … It is not that you take out a camera shoot and become a filmmaker,” he said at an interactive session at the 19th Kolkata International Film Festival.  

Nine of Mr. Gopalakrishnan’s 11 feature films will be screened at the 19{+t}{+h}Kolkata International Film Festival.

 Commenting on fast-paced films being made in different parts of the world, Mr. Gopalakrishnan said: “One great possibility of cinema was it could be used as a medium of meditation … that possibility is now done away with.”

 “Nothing will remain on screen for more than a fraction of second. You do not get to see the hero or heroine. They are like automations. They [the characters] are like that they have no internal life, only external speed,” he said, referring to such films.

  Quoting Spanish filmmaker Carlos Saura Atares, Mr. Gopalakrishnan said: “It is very easy to make films but it is very difficult to make good films.” The Dadasaheb Phalke winner who, in his illustrious career spanning over five decades, has made 11 feature films and some documentaries, said that with video technology coming in every person was claiming to be a filmmaker.

  Commenting on the introduction of television, he said: “Instead of increasing the taste of the audiences as we all thought, exactly the opposite happened because the programs were dull, drab and obnoxious. It has brought down the cultural level of the country, with all those sitcoms and serials, whatever you call them.”

Mr. Gopalakrishnan, who made his last feature film in 2008, said all these years he did not make films as he did not have a script. Now he was working on one.


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