Happy 76th, Ilayaraja, and yes, just be yourself

Posted on May 29, 2019

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Read the full article on Film Companion, here: https://www.filmcompanion.in/happy-76th-ilaiyaraaja-and-yes-just-be-yourself-interview/

We should really, really stop expecting celebrities to conform to our notions of “good behaviour”.

In the sixteen-plus years I have been writing about cinema, one thing has remained constant. Whenever I have run into (either casually or for the purposes of an interview) someone who’s worked with Ilayaraja, I’ve asked them about the maestro. On record, no one will say much, but “off record”, the beans will start to spill. One director (not the one you are thinking of) told me about the time he took a walk with the composer in the mid-1980s, and he was startled when Ilayaraja sweepingly declared, “Like there was a Bach era and a Mozart era, this will be known as the Ilayaraja era.” The director, who is not usually given to self-praise, said he was startled. “How can someone say something like this?”

Continued at the link above.

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