Monday, October 29, 2007

Here Comes IFFK

The 12th International Film Festival of Kerala (IFFK) will be held in Thiruvananthapuram (which is its permanent venue) from December 7 to 14. Fourteen films have been selected for the competition section from about 450 entries. Two Malayalam films have been selected: Naalu Pennungal (Four Women), directed by Adoor Gopalakrishnan and based on stories by Thakazhi Sivasankara Pillai, and Paradesi, a Mohanlal-starrer, directed by P.T. Kunjhu Mohammed. Lord Let the Devil Steal My Soul, directed by Agnidev Chatterjee, is another Indian film in the competition section. These films will vie with 12 foreign films, whose titles are already catching attention, for the coveted prize, Suvarna Chakoram and a cash prize of Rs. 1,000,000/- . If Teeth of Love (from China) and Sleep-walking Land (from Mozambique) would stand out for the clever wordplay, 10+4 (from Iran) and XXY (from Argentina) would attract the mathematically oriented among the festival-maniacs. But the clincher for the title competition in this IFFK would be the Brazilian film, The Pope’s Toilet [Note: It appears that some technical problems prevented this film from entering IFFK. This film is not in the latest list published by the orgainzers. So Pope's Toilet is shut down for this year's IFFK.] Another attraction of the film festival is a Balkan package (details of the films are not available) and a retrospective of the Czech director Jiří Menzel, who is also the jury chairman.

Meanwhile, the process for delegation registration will start from November 9 at Kalabhavan theatre complex, Vazhuthacaud, Thiruvananthapuram. Delegate pass is available for all for Rs. 200/-. Students need to pay Rs. 150/- only. Officials say that the registration will close on November 25. But if experience of previous IFFKs is anything to go by, one can have the delegate pass until the day before the actual commencement of the festival; maybe even further for the truly smart and the influential. Anyway, don’t take a chance if you are keen on watching the festival. Register early. Please take a stamp-size photograph when you go for registration. Visit for downloading delegate registration form.

Thursday, October 18, 2007

A possible shift in nomenclature of Kerala Congress

Kerala Congress splits like ameba does. They split as they grow and grow as they split (K.M. Mani, somewhere in the eighties). Now with the nomination of Mons Joseph into the Kerala ministry by Kerala Congress (J), allegedly through draw of lots, the stage has set for another future split in Kerala Congress. When, rather than if, that happens what would be the name of the new Kerala Congress led by Mons Joseph? It cannot be Kerala Congress (M) (for Mons) or Kerala Congress (J) (for Joseph), because both forms already exist (K.M. Mani and P.J. Joseph versions). So… It could well be Kerala Congress (L) (L for lottery).

Wednesday, October 03, 2007

A tribute of the inner eye

This one must perhaps be the greatest tribute accorded to K.J. Yesudas, whom most Keralites consider as the greatest singer in the universe. No, I am not talking about what K. Jayakumar, noted lyricist and former IAS officer said (that Yesudas is the personal pride of Keralites that every one of them loves to flaunt to the outside word). No this tribute came long ago from a blind man born in Aligarh. It is from Ravindra Jain, who tuned and wrote many charmingly melodious songs mainly in Hindi. Gori thera gauvu bada pyara, perhaps the best known Hindi song of Yesudas, is created by Ravindra Jain. But this remark even overshadows the song in its stunning originality. He once remarked that if he gets his eye-sight back, the first thing he wants to see is the face of Yesudas.

(Courtesy: information based on wikipedia page for Ravidra Jain and an article by Ravi Menon, Mathrubhoomi weekly, October 3, 2007).