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A walk down Tamil cinema memory lane

Special Correspondent
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Tales of cinema: Film personalities at the launch of a book on Tamil cinema in Chennai on Wednesday. The author G. Dhananjayan is in the picture.— Photo: R. Shivaji Rao
Tales of cinema: Film personalities at the launch of a book on Tamil cinema in Chennai on Wednesday. The author G. Dhananjayan is in the picture.— Photo: R. Shivaji Rao

Some of the most celebrated actors and technicians were present, when Tamil cinema took centre stage at the launch of ‘The Best of Tamil cinema 1931-2010' authored by G. Dhananjayan.

Brought out by Galatta Media, the book promises to be a comprehensive source of information on the journey of Tamil films from the early thirties till some of the most recent blockbusters last year.

In an interestingly planned evening, organisers screened audio visual presentations on key features of films that were released every decade, interspersing them with observations of actors and directors who have engaged with the medium over the years in styles of their own.

‘Sivaji speak'

Legendary actor Sivaji Ganesan's appearance on screen evoked maximum applause and whistles, particularly for scenes from films such as ‘Veerapandiya Katta Bomman' and ‘Mudal Mariyadai.'

While speakers' reflections on Tamil cinema brought out different and conflicting opinions on the quality of films being made over the years, one aspect that all speakers agreed upon was that documenting the history of Tamil cinema was an invaluable contribution to the industry and those aspiring to be part of it.

Mr. Dhananjayan, who has sought to do just that with this book, received encomiums from artists and technicians.

Incredible contribution

Acknowledging the incredible contribution of chronicler ‘Film news' Anandan and writer Randor Guy in systematically documenting and writing about Tamil cinema, Mr. Dhananjayan said their work served as a valuable repository of information that he could build on.

The book, currently launched in English, would be available in Tamil this summer, he said.

Visuals

The publication includes details of trend-setting films, landmark films, how production and direction changed over the years and even interesting aspects of publicity material used, with relevant visuals and photographs.

Director and cinematographer Balumahendra said that only someone who is passionately interested in Tamil cinema could come up with such a compilation. Director Mahendran said the attempt was unprecedented.

Actors Kamal Haasan, Sivakumar, Sarath Kumar, Parthiban and directors K. Bhagyaraj, Cheran, Mysskin, Vasanth, Sashi, Selvaraghavan, Thangar Bachan and Karu. Pazhaniappan were among others present.

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