Having bored of science fiction and action movies, watching Elena was quite different experience. Elena (Елена) directed by Andrey Zvyagintsev is a story of an old couple, Elena and Vladimir, came from different backgrounds. They met at later stage. Vladimir is a rich man and Elena was his nurse when he was admitted in hospital. Both Vladimir and Elena had childrens in their previous relationships. Vladimir has a daughter who was not bothered of her father and Elena’s son was facing problems about his university admissions. Vladimir got admitted into hospital due to heart attack and he realize that his time is limited. He made a will in which his property will inherits to his daughter and Elena will get only monthly pension. Elena has asked for Vladimir’s help for her son’s education but he washed his hand. This has lead Elena to kill skilfully Vladir by poisoning by over-dosage of drugs. It is not fare to share plot of the story, it is worthwhile to watch it. Really, its is one of the best Russian movie.
I am a big fan of Andrey Zvyagintsev. I have also seen his other films, The Return and The Banishment. The common things which I observed for all Zvyagintsev’s movie’s are that, his stories are based on common man’s problems, its simplicity in presentation and most importantly, his camera works. I was really fascinated to see such excellent camera art in movies,especially the sleeping baby in Elena (towards end of the movie).
The movie has bagged several awards such as Special Jury Prize of the Un Certain Regard section at the Cannes Film Festival,Golden Eagle Award for Best Film and Nika Award for Best Actress.
More about this movie..IMDB
It was completely different experience in watching the film “Celluloid”, a movie about FATHER OF MALAYALAM movie. Dr. J.C.Daniel has taken long struggle to materialize Malayalam (Language of Southern state of India). Though, he was a rich man by birth, final days was penury. He has sold majority of his property to make first movie in malayalm, “Vigathakumaran (Lost child”. The movie has created much ruckus among the orthodox community.
I appreciate Kamal’s effort in throwing light into the life of Dr. J.C.Daniel, a forgotten movie maker, who has actualize the first malayalam movie.
Dr. J.C.Daniel Nadar was quite passionate about movies since he was in his school. He has published a English book titled Indian Art of Fencing and Sword Play in 1915 at the age of fifteen. Dr. Daniel has traveled across the country to learn about movie and met several experts including Falke, another pioneer in Indian movie industry. He faced several challenges including opposition from orthodox society and getting female protagonists. His film carrier ended up with his debut attempt itself and unfortunately the print of this movie is not available. The movie was big economic failure and he had change his profession to dental doctor. Last days of Daniel was extreme poverty and was not recognized by film society until 1990.
The Department of Cultural Affairs, Government of Kerala instituted the J. C. Daniel Award in honour of him in 1992, to honour lifetime achievements in outstanding contributions to Malayalam cinema.
To know more about Dr. Daniel wikipedia
This is not fiction, not a story too. A seventh year old kid from Kerala, India completed 25,000 art works. Edmund Thomas Clint, that is his name died of kidney failure on April 15, 1983. At the age of five, he secured first prize in the competition for under 18. Today, if he is alive, he would have been 34. His parents, Joseph and Chinnamma remember about Clint’s last words, “Amma, I might suddenly fall asleep. When you call me, I might not answer you. But don’t be scared. I’ll be sleeping,”.
Clint showed unusual talent at the age of two itself. He used to draw cartoons and festivals. He became subject of research among art community after his demise. Even though, he lived only for few years he has marked his visit to earth through his paintings, which, otherwise it may take years for a normal person to do. Two books were published based on his story. One book came in English (Ammu Nair’s A Brief Hour of Beauty and A biography, Clint – Nirangalude Rajakumaran (Clint – The Prince of Colors) came in Malayalam. In Kochi, there is a street named after Clint.
Following links gives more information about Clint
Some works by Clint
I was having only superficial knowledge about Dr. Verghese Kurien, the person who changed the whole scenario of the milk production in India, until it got influenced through the famous books by Dr. A.P.J. Abdul Kalam, our former president and our missile man (Wings of fire and Ignited Minds). Having educated from prestigious institutes from India and Abroad (USA) Dr. Kurien has employed his whole potential in to the development of the country. Dr. Kuriens contributions to the Indian society is rather innovative and valid in a time when country was rendered in to destitution after the tyrannies of British rule. Moreover, he is distinguished among the contemporary leaders wherein our great leaders of the view that development of the country entirely depending up on American and western countries investments. Dr. Kurien has showed the country has immense potential of development, by thinking quite different from others. He showed the path by establishing and Indian based company Amul India, which has the potential to compete with the companies from Europe. He has developed several methods for the preservations of milk, which where only known to Europeans. Country has duly acknowledge him by honoring civilian awards like Padma Shree and Padma Vibhushan.
Dr. Kurien’s life should be a subject of education for the present and future generations, wherein educations became highly costly and practically unreachable for the many of the middle class society. Dr. Kurien has truly applied the education he obtained for the development of the country rather than working in some prestigious institution.
Dr. Kurien, your are immortal in the hearts of every Indian.
A brief biography of Dr. Kurien (Wiki pedia link)
Famous book by Dr. Kurien: I Too Had a Dream
“I have always spoken of integrity as the most important of values – realizing that integrity, and personal integrity at that, is being honest to yourself. If you are always honest to yourself, it does not take much effort in always being honest with others” – Verghese Kurien.
Mohanlal Vishwanathan Nair
DOB: 21 May 1960
Debut in Thiranottam (1978)
First release Manjil Virinja Pookkal (1980)
1. Mohanlal is regarded as one of the finest actors in Indian cinema and is a cultural icon.
2. He was elected as most popular Keralite in a 2006 online poll conducted by CNN-IBN on the occasion of the 50th anniversary of Kerala’s formation.
3. In 2001, the Government of India honoured him with the Padma Shri, India’s fourth highest civilian honour, for his contributions to Indian cinema.
4. He has won four Indian National Film Awards — two Best Actor Awards, one Special Jury Award for acting, and one Award for Best Film as producer along with six Kerala State Film Awards for Best Actor.
5. In 2009, he became the first actor to be given the honorary rank of Lieutenant Colonel in the Territorial Army of India
6. In 2010 received an honorary doctorate from Sree Sankaracharya University of Sanskrit, Kerala.