Contemporary Malayalam films for 7 days at biennale from Sunday

Contemporary Malayalam films for 7 days at biennale from Sunday

Kochi: Come Sunday, and the Kochi-Muziris Biennale will have a new package reeling out in its Artists’ Cinema segment. Seven Malayalam films curated by critic C S Venkiteswaran will be screened from January 20 at the Pavilion in Fort Kochi’s Cabral Yard that is a key venue of the ongoing 108-day art festival.

Titled 'Young Malayalam Cinema', the week-long series features contemporary films from Kerala addressing new-age issues.

The opening movie will be Aedan by Sanju Surendran. The next evening (Jan 21) will show Bilathikuzhal by Vinu Kolichal, Sleeplessly Yours (Jan 22) by Gautham Soorya and Sudeep Elamon, Eeda (Jan 23) by B Ajithkumar, Ee Ma You (Jan 24) by Lijo Jose Pellissery, Prathibhasam (Jan 25) by Vipin Vijay and S Durga (Jan 26) by Sanalkumar Sasidharan.

The 59-year-old curator, a native of Chalakkudi in Thrissur district, says the seven chosen films come from different milieus and terrains, but invariably despair about the present. "All of them are poignantly contemporary in that sense," adds the scholar, who lives in Thiruvananthapuram.

While Aedan and Bilathikuzhal reflect upon obscure objects of desire, Eeda and S Durga dissect and interrogate the many layers of violence upon which our society is founded," says the author, a winner of the National Film Award for Best Film Critic in 2009. "If Sleeplessly Yours is a love story or a story about the impossibility of love, Prathibhasam is a contemplation upon the boundaries between worlds, states of being and modes of existence. Ee Ma You is a cry of despair, a nightmare of a movie about a pact between a father and son."

Venkiteswaran, also a documentary filmmaker, says he found inspiration in modern-day Italian philosopher Giorgio Agamben. "Addressing the question 'who is the contemporary?' Agamben muses, 'the ones who call themselves contemporary are only those who do not allow themselves to be blinded by the lights of the century, and so manage to get a glimpse of the shadows of those lights, of their intimate obscurity'."

The Kochi Biennale Foundation (KBF), which is organising the 'Artists' Cinema', notes that Malayalam cinema is largely known for realistic representation of society. "Kerala films have a distinct style of capturing the present-day happenings," notes KBF president Bose Krishnamachari, a well-known artist.

A five-day film series curated by Delhi-based journalist-critic Faizal Khan ended on Friday as part of the Artists’ Cinema at the biennale, which is on till March 29. 

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