8 Oct 2010 | KS Chithra awarded the Nandi Award by the AP Government for 2009

KS Chithra has been awarded the Nandi Award for Best Female Playback Singer instituted by the Government of Andhra Pradesh, for the movie Kalavaramaye Madilo.

The Nandi Awards are presented annually in Andhra Pradesh, India for Telugu cinema by State government. “Nandi” means “bull”, the awards being named after the big granite bull at Lepakshi — a cultural and historical symbol of Andhra Pradesh. Nandi Awards are presented in four categories: Gold, Silver, Bronze, and Copper. A variant, Nandi Natakotsavam Awards is also given every year by the Andhra Pradesh government for social, mythological and poetic Dramas.

Continue reading 8 Oct 2010 | KS Chithra awarded the Nandi Award by the AP Government for 2009

03 October 2010 |Swaralaya-Eenam award for Yesudas, Chitra, MG Radhakrishnan and Raveendran

Eminent singers K J Yesudas, K S Chithra, poet-lyricist O N V Kurup and music director M Jayachandran have been selected for the awards for best talents in Malayalam film music in the last decade by Eenam International, a cultural organisation of non-resident Keralites and Kerala-based ‘Swaralaya.’

The jury that chose the awards was chaired by State Culture Minister M A Baby. Minister M.A. Baby said Mr. Yesudas and Ms. Chitra were selected for their overall contributions to Malayalam film music. ONV, he said, has enriched the world of films through his words and lines.  Mr. Baby said the awards would be given away at a function in Dubai. He announced a posthumous cash prize of Rs.50,000 each for M.G. Radhakrishnan, music director, and Raveendran, composer, for their overall contribution to Malayalam film music.

Continue reading 03 October 2010 |Swaralaya-Eenam award for Yesudas, Chitra, MG Radhakrishnan and Raveendran

Starbursts on the Malayalam Screen | Suparna ‘Vaishali’ Anand

Suparna Anand in Vaishali (1988) Four out of five friends stared blankly when I asked for the actor who played the title role in Bharathan‘s eponymous Vaishali (1988), which is also a telling tale on a starburst which was “ooed and aahed”, and then, got neatly packed away in our cinema’s dusty, moldy archives. MT described the film as one of his “good films, though he felt, Bharathan had over-decorated it a bit, maybe because he was a painter“. Other epithets for Vaishali, the film, includes  the “prettiest film” ever made in  Malayalam and Bharathan’s painting in Celluloid, but, one has to acknowldege, there has never been a film, visually dense, exquisitely textured and sensually glowing as Vaishali (1988).

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S Pavamani | The visionary who gifted MT, Sathyan Anthikkad and KS Chithra to Malayalam Cinema

1934 – 31 August, 2010

S Pavamani - Film ProducerS Pavamani, who passed away on 31 August, 2010 joins the ranks of an illustrious visionary greats from the old school of Malayalam Cinema, who will invariably turn footnotes if they are lucky. He belonged to that rare breed of producers who had an uncanny capability of finding productions or talents that would make them with the right balance of art and money. Though, for most of the times, he was willing to forgo the money part, and went with his convictions.

Else, how we would ever get greats like MT, Sathyan Anthikad and for that matter, our nightingale, KS Chithra become a part of the Malayalam film industry. He started as a distributor in the early 60’s, with getting the Ashok Kumar starrer Jeevan Sathi ( 1957), directed by RS Tara to Kerala, which was the precursor of things to come.I guess Pavamani was the one who made the Malayalis familiar with the then running superhits from up North, even going as far as Calcutta and getting Ray’s films down to Kerala. It is said that he was a great friend of Satayajit Ray, which explains how Debi (1960), Mahanagar(1963) and Charulata (1964) enjoyed their screen time, way down south in Kerala, a place which curiously had absolutely no idea how Bengali sounded like, and I’m sure at great personal risk in the commercial sense !

Continue reading S Pavamani | The visionary who gifted MT, Sathyan Anthikkad and KS Chithra to Malayalam Cinema

Lyrics by ONV Kurup | My 10 Favourites.

Its hard when you have a body of work that is more than 900 plus songs to his credit in Malayalam Cinema, and most of them compete with each other on your favorites’ list. Right from the first composition in Kalam Maarunnu (1955), “Aa Malarpoyikayil”, a duet – sung by KS George and K Sulochana, it becomes a delightful exercise every time I try to compile my favorite 10 songs of ONV. I think ONV had two great associations for the collective number of films collaborated, when it came to making great songs for cinema, G.Devarajan and Salil Choudhari.

Even though, they were so different in their sensibilities and mainly the language, ONV’s genius adapted to both the Maestros, churning out hit after hit, knowing exactly what the “situation” demanded of him, and how it would turn out after the ‘final mix.’ Another one who almost equalled ONV in this dexterity of creativity must have been Girish Puthenchery, who passed away in the prime of his career.

Surprisingly, the ONV-Devarajan combination came together for only around 20-odd films, I guess, and it was around 16 films with Salilda.

Here are my favorites, for the moment.

Continue reading Lyrics by ONV Kurup | My 10 Favourites.

Remembering MG Radhakrishnan and his Songs.

[ This was written on July 3, 2010 on the passing of MG Radhakrishnan, as my own little tribute to this unassuming genius in music as we know it. Today, a year on, the memories and the songs are still afresh, just like they were, new off the composing console.]

I think Providence is in a hurry to take back all the talent that had been powering Malayalam Cinema, and is going about it with its cold and clinical might that is beyond the scope of our mortal capabilities. With the passing of MG Radhakrishnan, Malayalam Cinema loses another school of playback compositions – no more of the new compositions in the exquisitely mellowed  Ahori Raga, or for the matter, the earthy tone of Unni Ganapathiye. Speaking of which, it was just two days back I watched Kalli Chellamma (1969), one of the enduring classics from Shobhana Parameshwaran Nair, and just couldn’t take my eyes and my ears off the folk dance that Adoor Bhasi performed on stage, lip-synching to the voice of the debut of MG Radhakrishnan as a Playback singer.

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Songs from Kakkothi Kaavile Appoppan Thaadikal (1988).

Revathi in Kakkothi kavile Appoppan Thadikal There were three songs in the film, written by Bichu Thirumala and set to music by Ouseppachan.

Continue reading Songs from Kakkothi Kaavile Appoppan Thaadikal (1988).

Onnu Muthal Poojyam Vare (1986) Songs

There were three songs in the movie, well, technically the same tune was repackaged with a different set of intro and delivered pathos style, but the composition of Mohan Sitara, with the lyrics from the legendary O.N.V.Kurup, G.Venugopal literally ‘weighed’ on your heart with his tonal brilliance. The song can be counted as one of those rare classic lullabies in Malayalam films.

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