Archive for March, 2007

“Living Legend” award

Kamal, along with Rekha, was awarded the “Living Legend” award at FICCI FRAMES 2007 on 28 March. Kamal has been a FICCI FRAMES regular and this seems to be further recognition for him.

The news has been widely reported in the media. Behindwoods features photos while IndiaGlitz has a video too.

During this function, Kamal and Rekha were seen warm towards each other. Everyone is aware of Kamal’s close links with her father, Gemini Ganesan. But few know that Rekha was the original choice for the actress’s role in Meendum Kokila, a part that ultimately went to Deepa. Kamal, Sridevi and Rekha — what a treat it would have been!

[Picture courtesy: BehindWoods]

Kamal on Paruthiveeran, Ameer on Marudhanayagam

A couple of weeks ago, Kamal took the time to watch the recently released Paruthiveeran. He appreciated all involved, including Karthi, the hero and Ameer, the director. Check out some photos from IndiaGlitz, which also feature Sivakumar and Surya who were present during the screening.

Meanwhile, in a video interview to the same Web-site, Ameer has spoken about Marudhanayagam — look for it somewhere around the middle of the clip. He has praised Kamal’s efforts and said that he would be thrilled to work as assistant director on that movie.

It is said that Ameer was part of the Kamal fans’ association and he has hinted that even in a sequence of Paruthiveeran.

[With inputs from Bala (Karthik)]

[Picture courtesy: BehindWoods]

Rajni on Dasavatharam sets

Behindwoods, IndiaGlitz and vernacular newspapers have reported that Rajinikanth made a surprise visit to the sets of Dasavatharam. He was completing some patch-work for the Telugu version of Sivaji and decided to check out his reel-world rival. He spent some time with Kamal in private and praised the sets and Kamal’s make-up. It is even reported that they reminisced about the good old days and talked of doing a movie together.

[Picture courtesy: BehindWoods]

Economic Times interview

Kamal’s latest interview has appeared in The Economic Times over the weekend, on the occasion of his FICCI award. It includes his pet peeves about songs in movies, funding, vertical integration and technology. There are a few new things too. Check it out.

Some portions…..

You must allow X-rated films and separate them from family entertainment. Currently, we are mixing it all. Mainstream cinema is being corrupted by this content. Censor board is a body appointed by us and we cannot let them behave like monitoring royalty. The industry must have a say in this issue. Instead of throwing a little bit of the sex into, say almost all, Tamil songs which have lyrics about licking, sucking, tasting and biting…

I am encouraged by good critics and great applause. Awards are the representation of the commotion that has already been created.

Infanticide has been part of our culture, are we going to continue doing that? Human sacrifice has been part of it, as is tonsuring the head of a widow…Even if I play Gandhi, I may have to sing.

What’s happening now is like a child plonking on a piano. But, we have been suffering this child for over 50 years.

As a screen writer, I find songs a nuisance.

Short movie on Chennai police

The short movie made to commemorate the 150 years of Chennai police is out. As predicted earlier, it is like a documentary (remember “Films Division”?), with interludes featuring prominent stars of Tamil industry. Though some messages are useful, it is tacky as expected and has political sycophancy too. Check out Kamal around the 15th minute in this video brought out by KollywoodToday.com.

Dasavatharam: Saravana Subbhaiya & Aksharaa

Recently, Behindwoods reported that Saravana Subbhaiya (who made Citizen with Ajith) is involved in Dasavatharam. We’ll await more details.

Another not-so-believable news is that Aksharaa is having fun with her camcorder on the sets of the movie — home video? Hope to see some of that too.

Asianet, Sun TV interviews

Recently, Kamal’s interviews appeared on Asianet (Malayalam) and Sun TV (Tamil) channels. Many of us weren’t fortunate to catch them live, but watched portions of it later through other means.

The Asianet interview happens in an informal setting on a houseboat, in Malayalam and English. As the houseboat moves through the lake, Kamal and the interviewer are having lunch. Highlights:

  • Right at the end, Kamal calls actors as “specialised tools” used by the maker of the movie. He uses an analogy to Shakespeare and says that only the filmmaker will be remembered ultimately. It’s a bit of a shock when he declares that he’s not very interested in continuing as an actor.
  • Kamal talks about his time in Malayalam cinema — the simple living, the camaraderie — and mentions Soman, IV Sasi and Jayan. He lauds the friendship shared by the industry folks and says that only the current crop in Bollywood (K Jo and gang) come close.
  • He also talks about upliftment of women and proudly says that India is better than even USA.
  • He even sings a Carnatic song.
  • He laments about the current commercial setup of movies.

The interview on Sun TV was done by Gowthami. It even had some interludes from people who have been associated with Kamal. Highlights:

  • Kamal is very confident of Dasavatharam, talking high of the screenplay and Ravikumar’s enthusiasm on hearing the story. KSR and Kamal talk of their experience of working together on the movie.
  • Kamal and Mani Ratnam talk about how Kamal was involved in all aspects of Nayakan. Mani even displays a shade of jealousy while Kamal is thrilled about appreciation from him.
  • He attributes his growth to the people whom he grew up with — family, mentor, etc.
  • He still expresses confidence in the audience regarding support for experimentation in movies.
  • The interview moves onto things other than movies. An amusing digression is Kamal reciting a shloka and using that to bring out his rationalist views. It continues with Illaiyaraaja’s comments.
  • K Balachander recounts an experience during Punnagai Mannan very emotionally.

Behindwoods carries a report on the same programme.

If you get a chance to catch any of these interviews some time, don’t miss them!

Mayyam, Rasi Azhagappan & more

Rasi Azhagappan speaks about Kamal, Mayyam and more. Rasi had worked with Kamal Haasan as an assistant director in Raajkamal films like Apoorva Sagodharargal, Michael Madana Kamarajan, Magalir Mattum, Thevar Magan and Virumaandi. Being part of the Raajkamal ‘circle’, he was also involved in story discussions. Before working as the editor of Mayyam magazine (brought out by Kamal fans’ association), he also served an assistant editor for the Thaai magazine. He has released several poem collections and also directed a movie.

In the article, among other things, he speaks about how Kamal has always wanted his fans to broaden their knowledge and tastes beyong cinema, to literature, politics and general awareness.

Rasi also talks about a couple of poems written by Kamal — the first, shortly after his daughter Shruthi’s birth (a typically hard-hitting one, questioning the dogma of religion and superstition) and the second letter, written at a later period for Shruthi.

Excerpts from the first one:

சுதந்திர(மான) கவிதை

மன்னன் சொல் கேளா
மக்களை வழி திருப்ப
மதம் என்று சொல்லி வைத்த
மார்க்கமெல்லாம் எந்தனுக்கு
பொருந்துமோ அம்மா?

Rasi also reveals that the ’seed’ of Marudhanayagam was planted during the photo session for the cover of one of the issues of Mayyam magazine.

Read on (in Tamil) and enjoy some memorable photos too…

[Editor’s Note: Bala (Karthik) — he prefers to be called by either name — debuts as a contributor to this blog with this post! Please welcome…]

Yet another day, yet another award

Mumbai-based UFO Digital Cinema Company will present the “Contemporary Living Legend of the year 2007 ” award to Kamal on 28 March. Behindwoods puts the count of awards he has received till date at 171 and claims that it’s the highest for any actor worldwide.

Pot-pourri news

[Picture courtesy: BehindWoods]