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Ballad of Narayama

"The Ballad of Narayama" is a Japanese film of great beauty and elegant artifice, telling a story of startling cruelty. What a space it opens…

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This filmmaker ranks with Welles and Tarkovsky

From Kalyan Chakravarthy Navuduri, Hyderabad, Andhra Pradesh, India:

Ever since I got hold of you ‘Great Movies', there has been no looking back. I respect and admire your analysis of a film and i daresay, share with you the passion of watching movies. Nothing gives me more pleasure than to read your writings on Orson Welles, who happens to one of my three lords. First being K. Viswanath and the third being Andrei Tarkovsky. Although I must say i was disappointed not to find your views on certain films like "The Trial," "The Magnificent Ambersons," "Othello," "The Lady from Shanghai" and all of Tarkovsky's films except Solaris and The sacrifice. I wait eagerly hoping to see them on your ‘Great Movies'.

The reason for writing this letter apart from expressing my joy in writing to you is that i would like to bring to your notice a series of films by a director whom i consider (for myself) The God of Directors, K.Viswanath. Although it sounds naive to everybody who hears me say this, I cannot help but call him that because of the revelation I find in his movies. What good are words when you cannot express what "Citizen Kane" does to you, what a Tarkovskian Image does to you, what high "Barry Lyndon" gives you and many more.

Dr. K. Viswanath is from Andhra Pradesh, India, who after a series of films on social lives of women in traditional India, had moved on to making films on Classical Indian Arts. In 1979, he had made a movie called Shankarabharanam, which opened in one theatre on its first day, ended up running for a year. I watch this movie every week. He had, since then, made a myriad of films on Art not knowing every movie of his would end up becoming a part of it. Although India prides on ‘Unity in Diversity', it has never been the case with films in India. Every state has a distinct film industry of its own and only bollywood gets the recognition (not for its content). Unfortunately the world assumes Bollywood to be the Indian cinema (although very few like you can make the distinction). K. Viswanath has not been given the proper attention and devotion he deserves.

I, sincerely and earnestly, request you to watch his films and kindly express your ingenious, in-depth views. I am beginning to fall short of words here. I am utterly scared of what any word i use might offend you and stop you from watching these gems.

As an avid cinephile, and a huge admirer of your work and passion, all i can offer to you is my sincere request to watch those movies and i would be deeply indebted to you for only you can bring light to those forgotten, unseen great movies in the current scenario of world cinema.

I request you take a look at his work from his first masterpiece Shankarabharanam (1979).

Here is the link on Wikipedia on Dr. K. Viswanath:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kasinadhuni_Viswanath

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