An amazing film I saw yesterday that made me realize how fake my films are in concepts and treatment. Karna Motcham is an award winning short film about a Theru-Koothu Artist and his one-day life in Chennai. Screenplay written and Directed by S.Murali Manohar, Story, Dialogues by Writer S.Ramakrishnan. This short film have won more than 60 awards including National award by Government of India, Tamilnadu Government Best short film, Best Director etc.
This film reminded me of my all time favourite director till date, Im Kwoen-Tak and his films Sopyonje and Chi Hwa Seon - Painted Fire. His films has volumes on his own land, the people, history, culture, traditions, geography, climatic conditions…etc… While Sopyonje says the story of the life of a performer of Korean traditional folk form Panasori, The Painted Fire is about a traditional Korean Calligrapher Owon. In both the films the passion of the artists are shown through every single property and parameter of cinema.
As the film ‘Chi Hwa Seon’ progresses we see the climate of Korean land changing in every scene. It has wide angles of the nature and the Korean land, it has deep emotions, row and natural people, and it has nearly everything that can possibly act as the cultural ambassador of the Korea. The passion of the artist is shown so deep. The calligrapher once break into a house that is in the control of military to make a small correction in his painting, all his best paintings are done as favour for different people including the wife who cheated him, his teacher and friends. In a frame we see a fleet of sparrows flying high in the sky and the shot dissolves to a long calligraphy by the artist who has all those sparrows sketched with perfection. The film Sopyonje used all the similar metaphors possible to symbolise the art Panasori. I cannot forget that long static scene where the Panasori Master and his children singing ‘Aariraari rang Soori soorirang’ and walking across an original Korean Landscape. The scene starts with all the three as small spots at the extreme end of the path and the frame remains static throughout until they sing and come close to the camera and leave. In the theatre I found audience standing and clapping for this single scene. It is the simplest and effective cinematic representation of passion and the film was thus the blood and flesh of the director representing his passion. In my life no other scenes thrilled me as much as this in theatre.
I have seen both these films only once and they are so haunting that I remember every single frame of it so deep in heart. I have a weird way of judging a cinema, which is obviously not the best or the right way. I consider those films that melt in me so perfectly hesitating to get out of memory as my favourite films. While Chaplin remains the role model as a cinematic brand, it is Im Kwoen-Tak who is my ‘complete director’ and thus a target to reach. Both these men are impossible to reach in perfection or style, but I do treat them with at most respect as the Gurus of cinema.
Talking about Chaplin, Im Kwoen-Tak or any of their films is not that easy. I can talk hours and hours about them, why them? Even a single frame in their film itself! There is so much to explore and study in detail.
Coming back to where I started- Karna Motcham. This could be one such film I have seen after a very long time that conveyed the beauty of the geography, culture, emotion etc of a land so perfectly in its concept and treatment. I was so surprised seeing such a film from Tamil Nadu. So thrilled and excited on the possibility of a revival period for good cinema in Tamil. If people are not reaching good cinema, let us take this pledge to take cinema to the people.
Art was, is or will not be a commodity. It is all about creation, innovation, communication, passion and sharing without expectation. Karna Motcham is one such film that should reach people of Tamil Nadu and the world representing Tamil Nadu.