`I am not averse to popularity'

THIRUVANANTHAPURAM Jan. 3. The noted director, Adoor Gopalakrishnan, has said that he is not averse to popularity and wants more people to see his films.

Addressing a face-to-face programme organised by the Thiruvananthapuram Press Club here today, Mr.Gopalakrishnan said that the industry should give more support to serious cinema. Distributors may evince interest in serious films but are not willing to take up such films, Mr.Gopalakrishnan said.

All his films are essentially different; he doesn't want to be stereotyped. He is always attempting to make films which excite him and he longs to convey it to the audience. His latest film, `Nizhalkuthu,' was not planned and completed in haste. The script was written well before starting `Kathapurushan.' But he had been reading the screenplay repeatedly in a dispassionate manner and decided to film it only on being convinced about its possibilities. The production cost of the film had been Rs.1 crore, he said.

Mr.Gopalakrishnan said that he had selected Pottalkulam in the Kanyakumari district as the location as it ideally suited the milieu of the theme which dealt with the family of a Tamilian executioner who was made to lead a secluded life from society. The locale also has cemented the historic authenticity of the theme on which Mr.Gopalakrishnan said he had done considerable research.

He said that he had to modify the structure which he has used the house of the executioner, Kaliyappan. Oduvil Unnikrishnan, Sukumari and Murali were selected on the strength of their histrionic skills and also because their body language perfectly suited the characters.

Mr.Oduvil Unnikrishnan even had to expose his body to sunlight to change his complexion.

Mr.Gopalakrishnan said that dialogue was only an element on the soundtrack and music and the sounds of nature, especially the whistling wind of Nanjinadu and the palm on the courtyard of the executioner's house, are characters in the film. Even the chirping of birds have been used in the film. The script was revised to make the wind a character, Mr.Gopalakrishnan said.

`Nizhalkuthu' was made in Cinemascope as it suited the theme. Mr.Gopalakrishnan said that he had been overwhelmed by the beauty of the place and decided to make the film in Cinemascope. He is yet to find a distributor for releasing the film in theatres. The film has already been shown at six festivals.

The Amnesty International has selected `Nizhalkuthu' for the festival to be held in Amsterdam. As many as 10 films have been selected for the festival. It has also been selected for the prestigious U.S. Film Comment Selects to be held at the Lincoln Centre in Washington in February.

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