Tamil cinema, English thoughts

Posted on January 25, 2018


Read the full article on Film Companion, here: http://www.filmcompanion.in/southern-lights-tamil-cinema-english-thoughts/

In which I make a case that there needs to be more writing about non-Hindi cinema in English, if this cinema is to break through ghettos.

I interviewed two authors at this year’s edition of the The Hindu’s Lit for Life. One of them was a writer in the old-fashioned, books sense of the word: Shamya Dasgupta, who’s authored Don’t Disturb the Dead: The Story of the Ramsay Brothers.  The other “writer” was Karan Johar, and the quotation marks aren’t so much to exclude the filmmaker from the literary community as to acknowledge the fact that he isn’t primarily a writer. He’s more of a screenwriter, a column writer, and now, a co-author (with Poonam Saxena) of his memoir, An Unsuitable Boy.

The point I wish to discuss in this column is that both are books about the Hindi film industry, and both books are in English. And the point that makes me want to discuss this is the comments section under my YouTube videos (and, sometimes, on Facebook and Twitter), whenever I conduct an interview with a Tamil-film personality in English. These comments are usually a variation on this sentiment: “This is somebody from the Tamil film industry. Why don’t you talk in Tamil?” (The sentiment isn’t always expressed this politely, but this is the gist.)

Continued at the link above.

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