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Cinema unlimited

Shakespeare in Love
Shakespeare in Love

While thanking Nipuna Wickramage for his charitable review of my book On Films Seen on January 10, particularly his last paragraph in the review: Once again, it all comes down to individual taste. But that individual taste matters when a seasoned columnist like K S Sivakumaran is at it. Which is exactly why his latest book is worth reading.

As the writer of the book, I need to say more about the content of the book for the benefit of the interested reader. Please let me do it.

This 176-page book published by S. Godage & Brothers (Pvt) Ltd and priced at Rs.650/- is divided into five sections: Understanding the Film, Sinhala Films, Indian Films among World Cinema, A Note on Lankan Tamil Films, Reviews of International Films.

Before I give additional information, I should also mention the pictures displayed on the front and back covers of the book. In the front cover, there are scenes from the following films: Shakespeare in Love, Agantuk with the portrait of Satyajit Ray, Eiffel Tower symbolising the French Cinema, and a scene from the film A Perfect World directed by Clint Eastwood.

In the back cover, there are pictures of Fassbinder, the German filmmaker, a scene from Sankranti, and a scene from Avvai Shanmugam with redoubtable Kamal Haasan in a woman’s role.

Young Lankan filmmakers could benefit by reading the eight articles under the heading Understanding the Film focusing on five Sinhala films seen at International Film Festivals. Also spotlighted are selective 24 critical notes on 24 Indian films and personalities as recorded in the next category. Place is also given to Lankan Tamil Cinema with a simple note. Impressions on 20 films from various countries are discussed in the final section.

This section covers films from Europe, South Africa, Latin America, Asia, South East Asia, South Asia, Australia and North America. Our readers might not have had the opportunity to see such films, but at least we could read about them as seen by the writer.

About 58 films are introduced in this tightly compiled book.

The writer expects the considered views of some of our erstwhile commentators in the calibre of Sir Lester James Peries, Sumithra Peries, Dr Edwin Ariyadasa, Gamini Akmeemena, Lynn Ockersz, Uditha Devapriya and other personalities in the near future.

More than I speak of my book, it is worth reading the views of others whom I respect.

We have lost some fine literary critics in the English Language and others who do not write anymore.

More Some names come to my mind: Regi Siriwardena, Ashley Halpe, A J Gunawardena, Gamini Haththottegama, Philip Cooray, Ajit Samaranayake, Godfrey Goonatileke, Jayanta Dhanapala, Tissa Jayathilaka, Wimal Dissanayake and Carlo Fonseka. A few more names I cannot recollect immediately. I like their style of writing.

I wish that some of them living will buy this book On Films Seen from the Godage Bookshop in Maradana as they are the publishers of this book.


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