Sen Joseph shares the synopsis of “The Pioneer”, his upcoming book on JC Daniel.

JC Daniel - The Father of Malayalam Cinema

{ Sen Joseph shares the synopsis of his upcoming e-book, “The Pioneer” on JC Daniel, alongwith a general introduction and overview of the perspectives and historical annotations being discussed in the book. The final distribution format of the book is yet to be finalized. Also, please note that the views expressed here in the synopsis are those of the author alone, and do not necessarily reflect the opinions or views of the general content nature of this blog, per se. }

The Pioneer’ is a literary work on J.C.Daniel – about his art, cinema, culture and the man. The inspiration for the same was the seven State award-winning feature film called, ‘Celluloid’, made by renowned  film director, Kamaludeen (Kamal), which was  released on February 15th 2013. It includes a critical evaluation of the Malayali psyche, with an analysis of the pioneers and masters in global, Hindi, Tamil and Malayalam cinema.

Man is a social animal, nay, a being created by god with a special status of just a step lower to him. Man is the best creation of God, the most intelligent of all the other creations, with vision and courage to discover, invent and innovate. Historically man evolved through ages of struggle, from the jungle life to the modern civilization. Science has supported this finding and the long march through the dust and smoke of ages set ground for settled social life of the animal called ‘social animal’. Art is a bye-product of this complicated process .It is the fore-runner of culture and civilization. Art can be defined as the depiction of man. It is the sense of beauty historically evolved that gave rise to art.

Cinema is the most powerful art form ever surfaced in history. J.C.Daniel was at last acknowledged by the government of Kerala as the ‘Father of Malayalam Cinema’. His pioneering feat of late 1920s was officially recognized only in 1992. Cinema emerged only in the last decade of 19th century and it reached Indian shores in the starting years of 20th century. The silent movies were followed by the talkies in the third decade of 20th century,’ Jazz Singer’, the first talkie in the entire world (feature film)was released in 1927. Indian talkie followed in 1931 and the Malayalam talkie in 1938.

The work in  ten chapters include :

(1)  Celluloid, celluloid and celluloid

(2)  Cinema ‘kid’ to cinema ‘youth’

(3)  Vigatha Kumaran to Dental surgeon

(4)  P.U.Chinappa, Agastheeswaram, Harris

(5)  Chelangattu Gopalakrishnan

(6)  Lumiere Brothers to JC Daniel

(7)  Caste-ridden mental framework of Kerala

(8)  Masters and pioneers in Malayalam, Tamil and Hindi cinema

(9)  Art, Culture and man in Kerala

(10)  Cinema to Dilemma

The ten chapters, chronologically and to an extent philosophically, carry out treatment of the subject matter. Cinema itself is in a transition. It evolved in 1888, got revolutionised in 1895, with the entry of ‘Cinematograph’. Celluloid is in usage for the past 125 years, which has been the source of projection technology taking audience from silent movies to the talkies. Digital projection has come up slowly replacing celluloid, innovated in the making of ‘Avatar’ in 2009. It has been widely reported that this most modern technology of ‘digital projection’ is going to put an end to the conventional film reels, cinema halls etc. Cinema will be ‘dilemma’by the third decade of 21st century starting up with the change in Hollywood in 2013 end and Europe in 2014 last. Digital method will be replacing the film reels with an electronic copy contained on a storage device, a high capacity hard drive and server. Movies will be telecasted to selected multiplex locations. May the human touch be retained inspite of the influx of all the hi-tech.

The book is meant to create historical insight and an intellectual stamina to create the future. Art, culture and man are inseparably binded together ultimately man, a better man is the goal of all art.


(1)  Cinema – Kalayum Jeevithavum by Thottam Rajasekharan

(2)  A survey of Kerala History by Prof: A. Sreedhara Menon

(3)  Malayala Cinemayile Vanavarum  Veenavarum by Chelangattu Gopalakrishnan

(4)  Nashta Nayika by Vinu Abraham

(5)  J.C Danielinte Jeevitha Katha by Chelangattu Gopalakrishnan

(6)  Script of the movie,”Celluloid” by Kamal

(7)  Textbook of World History, Part-2, Pre-degree Course of Kerala university, published in 1991.

(8)  Wikipedia notes on a variety of cinema related topics.

Projected Release 

It is hoped to have the book released in e-book format by the end of May, 2013.

16 thoughts on “Sen Joseph shares the synopsis of “The Pioneer”, his upcoming book on JC Daniel.

    1. Murugan, in between hectic official duties, I am typing out the chapters from the manuscript, will be sending the full text to CM for sure on coming Wednesday, i.e, on 12th June 2013, earlier I promised to send the same today, but this mentioned deadline will be respected

  1. Cinema has become decadent in content, though technologically it is astonishing and hyper sensitive
    Every community whether oriental or occidental has it’s own cutural faculty and the art forms have to confer to the same historically equipped
    The tragedy as well as curse is that cinema has lost touch with the mentioned
    Malayalam is trying for the same, may discussions happen online as catalyst

  2. It is Thottam not Thottathil, a minor error, no doubt, but he has become a champion for the so-called opposition to the Daniel-Vigatha Kumaran truth

  3. Please wait till June first week, and you will find the same, a humble work uploaded in OMC
    It is social criticism and at the same time a historical literature with glimpses of global cinema, the genesis of the same

  4. Great effort…& Good history for malayalam Movie
    Mr. Sen we are waiting for the book….Inform us the earliest and expecting one copy for the same

  5. Thanks dear CM, the matter for a full fledged e-book will hopefully reach you in the first week of June 2013

    1. eagerly awaiting to read the complete book…
      and Thottam rajasekharan is the BIGGEST critic of Vigathakumaran- he has even disputed the existence of such a movie; and the same doesnt even find a mention in the book CINEMA KALAYUM JEEVITHAVUM

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