of KERALA 2010 december 10-17, thiruvananthapuram
for the Department of Cultural Affairs, Affairs, Govt. of Kerala
Organised by Kerala State Chalachitra Academy
High-Noon Films: Taking the Daring Route to Cinema
Cinema is the century’s metaphor. It is more metaphorical than anythingliterary, says Jean Luc Godard the pioneer of French New Wave. The 60s and
70s witnessed such a phenomenon in the cinema world. And the Malayalam
filmdom was not to be left behind. It came out with powerfully portrayed tales
in different themes; something that was totally at odds with what existed. These
films created a slot for screening in mainstream theatres, called Noon shows.
Noon films were not only offbeat but also strikingly absorbed the vagaries of the
The High-Noon package in the 15th International Film Festival of
Kerala is an attempt at remembering and revisiting Malayalam cinema of the
aforementioned period. Featured herein is ‘Utharayanam’ by G. Aravindan,
which has since been a great influence to the parallel movie making of Kerala. The
protagonist Ravi finds the world absurd and it is this critical perspective that leads
him to the search of the eternal truth. This film won the State Film Award for the
P. A Backer’s daring leftist political film ‘Khabani Nadhi Chuvannapol’ is
an eloquent tale of the entanglements of the Emergency period. The narrative
hinges on an affair between a radical political activist and a woman. The atrocities
of the Emergency have been tellingly projected. ‘Swapnadanam’ by K.G. George,
revolving around marital life, also comes under this package. It is not a mere
psycho drama but is rather chivalrous enough to reject the standard format of
popular cinema. ‘Ekakini’ the debut film by G.S. Panicker is a road movie. It casts
a woman who feels repelled when her partner tries to introduce his identity in
her. The repulsion she expressed was never explosive or verbal, but only a mere
quit from his life. ‘Amma Ariyaan’, the first film of the Odessa Collective and the
last by John Abraham is made in a cinema – veritae style, interweaving fact and
fiction. The political history of Kerala is juxtaposed with sentiments, topical visuals
of time and insights of the protagonist.
The High Noon package in the Fest presents a birds ‘- eye view on the fresh
and daring self consciousness that created history during the 60s and the 70s.
The perseverance of these film makers is still remembered and is immortal. It is
a pity that the negatives of most of these films have been lost or destroyed. The
brave attempt of these filmmakers to indulge in lengthy shots, long periods of
silence and even while stoically rejecting song – dance sequence deserve a salute.
Without doubt, these films shall emerge as a thought-provoking experience for
the audiences, especially the younger generation!