Last Updated on Monday, 20 March 2017 22:38
Recently in an invitational screening of a large gathering I sat at Regal Theatre to see the new creation by Prasanna Vithanage. Internationally known Lankan film director Vithanage has brought in a new genre of film making in Sinhala. My thoughts went back to the 1960s when the New Wave in France exciting us all the enthusiasts of continental cinema.
'Verite ’- The Truth was in fashion then and led to neo-realism and other developments in cinematic history.
Usavia Nihangdai (Silence in the Courts) produced by H D Premasiri & Prasanna Vithanage is a true story enacted in cinematic terms. It sounds like a documentary feature film but in fact the creativity is visible in the deft cinematography and the dialogues and further the story enacted is a humanistic and implicitly suggests an indictment of some of those in our very recent judicial personnel. The artistry in handling violence though only words and a fleeting moment of seminude scene is to be applauded.
With English subtitles provided I could understand the dialogue well and fully appreciate the boldness of the producer and director and the players in the film.
I do not want to retell the story as the visuals speak full well the pathetic state of lawlessness and sexual exploitation of naïve village women.
Actualities of real evidences and the newspaper reference and the natural narration and utterance of Victor Ivan and others amply prove the law violators of the crime and how the Courts ignored the culprits. Graphics, Voice production and intimate faces all account for the pin drop silence observed in the theatre for full 60 minutes of showing, It was a silent approval of the film. One more feather in Prasanna Vithanage’s cap. Congratulations.
Last Updated on Tuesday, 24 January 2017 23:30
I have asked him to arrive punctually at 4.00 P.M. today since I would be free and relaxed after a heavy schedule of consultations. I run a clinic in Colombo- the Lankan capital helping people needing psychiatric treatment. They call me Sarojini, and I am the only woman consultant in Wellawatta, a Zonal region in Colombo. I am 32 years old. I have a teenage brother living with me and my husband.
At two minutes to four, I hear a faint scratching sound-his nails on the door-
“Come in, the door is open”
“Good Evening, Madame- I mean Doctor”
I turn on the soft green overhead lights while observing my young patient, who could be 19 or 20.
He sits on the sofa rather hesitantly but with underlying excitement. He stares blankly at the white walls.
He has not even noticed the glossy Western art - photography magazine featuring fully naked women with statuesque figures that I put out for him. I had wondered if he would react, which would give me a tentative psychiatric diagnosis.
I clear my voice softly.
Noticing him wearing a branded half-sleeve white shirt and dark blue slacks, and trendy black shoes and socks, I thought to myself that in real he is not what appears seemingly naïve. He has come to see me with a purpose to impress me than asking for help for some sort of psychic problem.
Nevertheless I am curious to know what he intends to do at this session.
Last Updated on Tuesday, 11 February 2014 19:54
[ 'பிரேம்ஜி எழுத்துலகில் பொன்னாண்டு நிறைவு' என்னும் நூலினை இலங்கை முற்போக்கு எழுத்தாளர் சங்கம் 1988இல் வெளியிட்டது. இத்தொகுப்பின் பதிப்பாசிரியராகவிருந்தவர் மறைந்த எழுத்தாளர் என்.சோமகாந்தன். இத்தொகுப்புக்காக, தான் பிரேம்ஜி பற்றி எழுதிய கட்டுரையினை எழுத்தாளர் பிரேம்ஜியின் மறைவினையொட்டிப் 'பதிவுகள்' இணைய இதழுக்குத் திறனாய்வாளரும், எழுத்தாளருமான திரு. கே.எஸ்.சிவகுமாரன் அனுப்பியிருந்தார். அதனை இங்கு பிரசுரிக்கின்றோம். - பதிவுகள் ]
1950களின் பிற்பகுதி. எனது 20களுக்குள் பிரவேசம். தமிழ் வெகுஜன ஊடகத்துறையைப் பரிச்சயப் படுத்திக்கொள்ளும் காலம். சுதந்திரன் பத்திரிகையின் வளர்மதிப் பக்கத்தில் பெரியவர் துரைசாமி ம.த. லோரன்ஸ் ஆகியோரின் கணிப்பீனூடாக ஆக்கங்கள் அப்பக்கத்தில் வெளிவரத் தொடங்கின. மூத்த முன்னோடிப் பத்திரிகையாளர் எஸ்.டி.சிவநாயகம் அவர்கள் வழிகாட்டலில் அப்பத்திரிகை வெளிவந்து கொண்டிருந்தது. பிற்காலத்தில், இலங்கை தமிழ் அரசியற்துறையில் முக்கியஸ்தராக விளங்கப்போகும் இரத்தின சபாபதி (இணுவை மாறன்) அங்கு பணிபுரிந்தார். இவர்களுடன் இன்னுமொருவரும் அமைதியாக இருந்து எழுதிக்கொண்டிருப்பார். யார் அவர்? சிரிக்க மாட்டார். பார்வையிலேயே சீரியஸ் ஆன பிரமுகராக இருந்தார். விசாரித்தபொழுது, புதிய பார்வையில் பாரதிதாசனை எடைபோடும் எழுத்தாளர் பிரேம்ஜி ஞானசுந்தரன் என்றார்கள். அப்பொழுதுதான் முதல் அறிமுகம். ஆயினும் அந்நியோன்யம் கிடையாது.
Last Updated on Sunday, 05 May 2013 19:41
It is not a joke. Honestly how many of the younger generation have heard of him. With history books and social studies books written with lot of grammatical and factual errors and even hiding and distorting history, one cannot expect our young people to know about him for the simple reason that this man who has a Thamil name. With enthusiasm all around to establish a Sinhala only state with Buddhists alone and discarding all minorities as aliens as a hidden agenda is pursued in the name of Sinhala Buddhists as opposed to Buddhist Sinhalas, the rest of the sane Sinhalas, Thamilians, Muslims, Malays and other minorities in the country and the outside world watches the scene in awe. Because of the activities of such a minority of people who have influence and patronage shame is brought to the vast majority of the people belonging to the majority community.Even a street named after him in Colombo is taken away and instead some other name has been planted as if to erase all traces of contributions made by many Lankans to build up the nation. This scholar Dr Ananda Coomarawamy was born to a Thamilian father and an English lady. Even then he is considered a full blooded Thamilian by a knavishly ignorant people who are in the forefront of politics discarding all the tenets of what the noble Buddha preached.As a Lankan Thamilian Hindu fond of Buddhism, I find it hard to believe that some members of the clergy behave like common criminals resorting to crime.
Last Updated on Monday, 29 April 2013 19:38
Perhaps students just introduced to the Romantic Poets of England would like to know something about Romanticism and the like which might help them to understand the kind of poetry in a better way. This article gives you the essential points. Romanticism was a term used in Germany and France at the end of the 18th and beginning of 19th century to classify a... new movement in literature, especially in poetry. The Romantic Age in English Literature is supposed to be the work of number of writers between 1790 and 1830, especially the six poets --- William Blake, William Wordsworth, Samuel Taylor Coleridge, Lord Byron, Percy Bysshe Shelley and John Keats.
We must first take note of the fact that there is no strict classification of the Romantic Age. We must next see what is important and interesting in the Romantic Age with particular reference to Blake, Wordsworth, Shelley and Keats, the poets we have to study.
Percy Bysshe Shelley
Harold Bloom has described that English Romanticism saw itself as a renaissance of the English Poetry. This enthusiasm is shared by C M Bowra, when he says: a single characteristic which differentiates the English Romantics from the 18th century poets is the special importance given to the imagination. For the Romantics imagination is fundamental because, because they thin that without it poetry is impossible. In fact if we analyze the poetry of Blake, Wordsworth, Shelley and Keats we find that they were splendidly imaginative. This was part of the belief in the individual self which sought expression or release through the imagination.
Last Updated on Saturday, 16 June 2012 05:55
The Old Guard should give way to the New Young
The Tamil community in Sri Lanka is in a dilemma today because of several factors chief among them is the old-fashioned politics among the leadership, particularly of the so-called Tamil National Alliance (TNA) which has sober people and extreme radicals, who refuse to see realities. Understandably the able Northern leaders decided the fate of the Thamilians in the North and East in the past. But they cannot do that anymore because there are emerging young people taking a realistic stance to ameliorate the problems of the people in that part of Lanka. Even in the heartland of the Northern peninsula signs are that educated young women and men are thinking differently. What had happened to the old guard was that they lacked farsightedness and reigning in an assumption that they are a superior lot compared with the people in the Northern Islands, East and the Hill Country based on caste and education they were blessed with. They openly downgraded others and wanted to reign supreme. But to be fair by the late SJV Chelvanayagam, a Christian, was an exception.
Last Updated on Sunday, 27 November 2011 20:44
Madduvil is a place in the Yaalpaanam (Jaffna) peninsula in the North. A youngster from this area has been writing poems in Tamil for more than 10 years but many had had no opportunity to read them because he had not brought them in book form. However two books have been already published in recent time. This is the third one. This collection is called “Siraku Mulaiththa Theeyaaka…” (Like Fire with a Wing). This poet named Gnanakumaran was away in Germany for a long period of time and has come back to his motherland having qualified in the German language and presently teaches that tongue. He also interests himself in making short films. He has contacts with some of the writers in Tamilnadu. In the collection mentioned there are a number of poems with a few illustrations. Some of the poems are his attempts to write poetry, while a few others underline humanism as his motif. With his present maturity he could shine as a notable poet with a strong sense of a vision and philosophy.
Last Updated on Sunday, 28 August 2011 21:13
One of the notable Lankan writers in Tamil is S Ponnuthurai who is also known as Es Po by his initials. One of his creative writing is a short fiction titled Sadangu. This has been translated into English by Prof Chelva Kanaganayakam of the University of Toronto in Canada. The English title of the book is 'Ritual'. The book is published by The Three Wheeler Press - The Gratiaen Trust, c/o Marga Institute, Jayanthi Mawatha, Etul Kotte, Kotte. Prof Walter Perera, the Chairman of the Trust, the translator, Prof Chelva Kanaganayakm and the writer S Ponnuthurai have given the background regarding the publication. Es Po lives Chennai and alternatively in Sydney. He is a phenomenal figure in contemporary Tamil Literature. He is both a creative writer and a critic. He is deemed a controversial figure in literary circles especially when he takes the role of a critic, but as a creative writer he has shown his talents as an innovative, imaginative and realistic writer with a unique literary style.
Last Updated on Wednesday, 13 July 2011 20:50
Documentary Film Making – how it developed.
This week I want your kind attention on the subject of “Documentary Film Making”. There seems to be some confusion in knowing what is known as a documentary and “Short Film” Let’s listen to a well informed writer and critic, Susan Hayward. Tracing the evolution of Movies, she writes: “The first filmmakers to make what were in essence travelogues and called ‘documentaries’ were the Lumiere brothers in the 1890s. Thirty years later (1910) the British filmmaker and critic John Grierson reappropriated the word to apply to Robert Flaherty’s Moana (1926). Grierson was the founder of the 1930s documentary group in Britain and was one of the theorists influential in determining the nature of documentary.”
Last Updated on Wednesday, 27 April 2011 16:57
Uma Varatharajan is an avant-garde writer in Thamil hailing from the East living in Kalmunai, now in retirement from being the Senior Manager of Singer in that area. He writes at leisure and an aesthete at heart with a natural bent towards humour and a slight mischievousness in sarcasm. There are more than 250 creative writers – poets, dramatists, short story writers and novelists - in Thamil in this country. Among them a few writers write differently meaning writing fiction not confining them exclusively to write about ‘progressive’ themes such as social and political problems concerning caste and class differences, and the ethnic imbroglio. But in the writing of a handful of writers psychological and human condition takes primacy. Among the latter group of writers are Uma Varatharajan, A Saanthan, Somapala Ranjakumar, K Saddanathan, Kokila Mahendran and a few others who began writing such fiction in the1970s. One distinguishable quality in their writing was that they paid equal attention to the craft of the medium. This I found a miss in other social realism stories written by veteran writers though who were faithful in concentrating on the content than the structure and were rather careless about the form.
Last Updated on Saturday, 05 March 2011 17:25
Yours truly now in Melbourne came across a selection of Tamil Short stories translated into English titled being alive compiled by L Murugapoopathy on behalf of the International Tamil Writers Forum Sri Lanka-Australia.. The Forum operates from 3 B, 46th Lane,Colombo 06 and Craigburn, Victoria 3064, Australia. The Stories are translated by Shiyamala Navaratnam of Canada and Edilbert N Rajadurai of Australia. There are 15 stories in this 106 page collection neatly printed by Kumaran Press Private Limited at B3,Ramya Place, Colombo 10. The writers concerned are: S Krishnamoorthy, Ravi, Kallodaikkaran, T Nithyakeerthi, A Chandirahasan, Buvana Rajaratnam, Nadesan, ,Rathi, Aasi Kantharajah, Arun Vijayarani, L Murugapoopathy, Aaliyal, T Gnanasekeran and T Kalaamani. The last two writers are resident in Lanka, but they had lied in Australia previously.Most of these writers are unknown to me and I have not previously read their writings.