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Govindan Aravindan (21 January 1935 – 15 March 1991), popularly known as G. Aravindan, was a film director, screenwriter, musician, cartoonist and painter from Kerala, India.[1] He was one of the pioneers of Parallel Cinema in Malayalam
Malayalam
and is considered as one of the greatest filmmakers in India.[2] He was known for his unorthodox way of filmmaking; he changed his cinematic forms consistently[3] and experimented in storytelling without regular narrative styles.[4] Before venturing into the film field, he was an established cartoonist. He had also worked with documentaries and theatre. He also occasionally directed music for other filmmakers. The Government of India
India
awarded him the fourth highest civilian award of Padma Shri
Padma Shri
in 1990.[5]

Contents

1 Biography 2 Awards 3 Filmography

3.1 Direction 3.2 Other contributions

4 References 5 External links

Biography[edit] G. Aravindan was the son of famous comedy writer M. N. Govindan Nair.[6] Aravindan started his professional life as a cartoonist for the journal Mathrubhumi. He established himself as a noted cartoonist in the early 1960s with his cartoon series Cheriya Manushyarum Valiya Lokavum[7] which dealt with the adventures of the central characters Ramu and Guruji, mingled with political and social satire.[4] The series was preceded by two more cartoon series, Ramuvinte Sahasika Yathrakal and Guruji, featuring the central characters of Cheriya Manushyarum Valiya Lokavum. He also worked for other journals as a cartoonist. At one point, Aravindan diverted his attention to theatre and music. He played a major role in establishing theatre and music clubs Navarangam and Sopanam. He became associated with eminent theatre figure Kavalam Narayana Panicker
Kavalam Narayana Panicker
which accelerated his activities in the field of professional play. They created several plays like Kaali and Avanavan Kadamba.[6] Aravindan was working as an officer in revenue board when he got associated with artist Devan, playwright Thikkodiyan
Thikkodiyan
and writer Pattathuvila Karunakaran. The early works of Aravindan were influenced by the group; for example, the spiritualism factor which can be seen in his early works can be attributed to satirist Sanjayan and mystic paintings of K. C. S. Paniker.[4] The first film directed by Aravindan, Uttarayanam
Uttarayanam
(1974), came out as a product from this group; the film was produced by Karunakaran and the story was written by Thikkodiyan. The film, which exposes opportunism and hypocrisy set against the backdrop of the Independence struggle, was inspired by Aravindan's own cartoon series Cheriya Lokavum Valiya Manushyarum (Small World and Big People). The film is about Ravi, an unemployed young man, who has to face a series of encounters during his search for a job. Ravi reflects on the past struggles of the anti-British freedom fighters he has learned about from his paralyzed father. He eventually meets Gopalan Muthalaly, a leader of Quit India
India
movement, but now a corrupt contractor.[8] The film garnered wide critical praise and several awards, including five Kerala
Kerala
State Film Awards upon release.[9] Aravindan's second film Kanchana Sita
Kanchana Sita
(1972) was an adaptation of C. N. Sreekantan Nair's play of the same name, which is a reworking of Valmiki's Ramayana. The film is credited with formation of a new stream called independent filmmaking in Malayalam.[6] It interprets a story from the Uttara Kanda of the epic poem, where Rama
Rama
sends his wife, Sita, to the jungle to satisfy his subjects. Director Aravindan interweaves the Samkhya- Yoga
Yoga
philosophical concepts of Prakriti- Purusha bonds throughout the film. The film, told in a feminist perspective, significantly differs from all other adaptations of Ramayana
Ramayana
in the characterisation of the central characters, including Rama
Rama
and Lakshmana. The characters are humanised, contrary to the way divine characters from Indian mythology are usually depicted in visual media. The film was shot in the interior tribal areas of Andhra Pradesh
Andhra Pradesh
and the roles of the epic heroes are played by Rama
Rama
Chenchu
Chenchu
tribal people (or Koyas), who claim lineage to the mythological Rama. Upper-class Hindu groups accused of Aravindan of blasphemy for casting tribals in the role of Hindu epic heroes but Aravindan never heeded saying that the Rama
Rama
Chenchus have classical features and are marvellous actors.[10] While Kanchana Sita
Kanchana Sita
dealt with mythology, Aravindan's next film Thampu (1978) dealt with realism and told the story of suffering in a circus troupe. It was shot in black and white in a direct documentary mode. Aravindan won the award for Best Director at both National Film Awards and Kerala
Kerala
State Film Awards. His 1979 films Kummatty
Kummatty
and Esthappan also ran through different streams. Kummatty
Kummatty
is a Pied Piper-like figment of Malabar’s folklore about a partly mythic and partly real magician called Kummatty (bogeyman) while Esthappan blends together the Biblical story of the deeds of Christ and the way society responded to him, with the life of Esthappan, whose life mystified others. Indefinability of the human mind was the theme of his next film Pokkuveyil
Pokkuveyil
(1981). The music for this film was composed by flautist Hariprasad Chaurasia. The legend is that visuals of this film were composed according to musical notations, without any script. The protagonist of the film is a young artist who lives with his father, a radical friend, a sportsman and a music-loving young woman. His world collapses when his father dies, the radical friend leaves him, the sportsman friend gets injured in an accident and has to give up sports and her family takes the woman away to another city. The lead role was played by poet Balachandran Chullikkadu. His next film Chidambaram came after a gap of four years. The 1985 film was an adaptation of a short story by C. V. Sreeraman
C. V. Sreeraman
and was produced by Aravindan under the banner Suryakanthi. The film explores various aspects of relations between men and women through the lives of three people living in a cattle farm in the hilly areas on the border of Kerala
Kerala
and Tamil Nadu. Themes of guilt and redemption are also dealt with. Unlike earlier films directed by Aravindan, Chidambaram featured a cast consisting of many popular actors: Bharath Gopi, Smita Patil, Sreenivasan and Mohandas play the lead roles. In 1986 Oridathu can be seen as a continuation of Aravindan's earlier film Thampu
Thampu
and his cartoon series Cheriya Manushyarum Valiya Lokavum (The Small Man and the Big World). The story is about the problems faced by the people of a hamlet with no electricity, when electric supply finally reaches them.[11] The film reaches a conclusion that life is better without electricity. Though the film is discussing a serious issue, the treatment of it is very simplistic. Humour and intensity characterise the film that is set in the mid-fifties. The film is different from many of Aravindan's earlier works in that it deals with a broad range of characters and lacks a clear-cut linear story. The theme of Oridathu demanded a caricature treatment so Aravindan made it that way. When asked about this deviation, Aravindan stated, "There is an element of caricature in all the characters. A little exaggeration and lot of humour was consciously introduced to make effective the last sequence, which is the explosion. In fact the whole film moves towards the climax — the clash on the day of the festival and the breaking out of the fire." The film is complex in that it has many characters and many incidents and therefore does not have a single motif. Hence, Aravindan had to use a number of shots in the film. The usual type of music is also absent. Instead, the sounds of the incidents are used to the maximum. In the film, different characters speak different dialects of Malayalam, for example the villagers speak pure Valluvanadan Malayalam
Malayalam
of South Malabar, the overseer uses the Trivandrum Malayalam
Malayalam
the fake Doctor uses Travancore Malayalam
Malayalam
etc.[12] In this period Aravindan did a number of documentaries and short films. He composed music for films like Aaro Oral, Piravi
Piravi
and Ore Thooval Pakshikal. Aravindan's 1989 film Unni had a starcast mainly consisting of foreigners. Aravindan's final project Vasthuhara (1991) about refugees in Bengal
Bengal
was based on C. V. Sreeraman's short story in the same name. The film had Mohanlal
Mohanlal
and Neena Gupta
Neena Gupta
in major roles. Aravindan died on 15 March 1991, before the release of Vasthuhara.[13] Awards[edit]

Civilian Awards

Padma Shri

National Film Awards

1974: Award for the Best Feature Film on the 25th Anniversary of India's Independence – Uttarayanam 1974: Best Feature Film in Malayalam
Malayalam
– Uttarayanam 1978: Best Direction – Kanchana Sita 1979: Best Direction – Thampu 1986: Best Film – Chidambaram 1987: Best Direction – Oridathu 1991: Best Feature Film in Malayalam
Malayalam
– Vasthuhara

Kerala
Kerala
State Film Awards

1974: Best Film – Uttarayanam 1974: Best Director – Uttarayanam 1974: Best Screenplay – Uttarayanam 1978: Second Best Film – Thampu 1978: Best Director – Thampu 1979: Best Film – Esthappan 1979: Best Children's Film – Kummatty 1979: Best Director – Esthappan 1981: Best Director – Pokkuveyil 1985: Best Film – Chidambaram 1985: Best Director – Chidambaram 1985: Best Documentary – The Brown Landscape 1986: Best Film – Oridathu 1986: Best Director – Oridathu 1986: Best Documentary – The Catch 1988: Best Music Director – Ore Thooval Pakshikal 1990: Best Film – Vasthuhara 1990: Best Director – Vasthuhara

Filmography[edit] Direction[edit]

Year Title English Title Writer Type

1974 Uttarayanam Throne of Capricorn Yes Feature film

1977 Kanchana Sita The Golden Substitute

Feature film

1978 Thampu The Circus Tent

Feature film

1979 Kummatty The Bogeyman

Feature film

1980 Esthappan Stephen Yes* Feature film

1981 Pokkuveyil Twilight Yes Feature film

1985 Viti ---

Documentary film

1985 The Seer Who Walks Alone ---

Documentary film

1985 Chidambaram --- Yes Feature film

1985 The Brown Landscape ---

Short film

1986 The Catch ---

Documentary film

1986 Oridathu At a Place Yes Feature film

1987 Contours of Linear Rhythm ---

Documentary film

1988 Marattam Interchange Yes Television film

1988 Anadi-Dhara ---

Documentary film

1988 Unni ---

Feature film

1990 Sahaja Spontaneous

Short film

1991 Vasthuhara The Dispossessed Yes* Feature film

Notes

He also wrote the story of Esthappan and dialogues for Vasthuhara.

Other contributions[edit]

Year Title Director Role

1978 Aaro Oral V. K. Pavithran Composer

1980 Esthappan Himself Composer, editor

1988 Piravi Shaji N. Karun Composer

1989 Ore Thooval Pakshikal[14] K. Ravindran Composer

References[edit]

^ Obituary Variety, 25 March 1991. ^ Srikanth Srinivasan (12 October 2013). "Outtakes: G. Aravindan". The Hindu. Retrieved 21 February 2015. ^ The Hindu: Remembering Aravindan ^ a b c cinemaofmalayalam.net: G. Aravindan profile ^ "Padma Awards" (PDF). Ministry of Home Affairs, Government of India. 2015. Archived from the original (PDF) on 15 November 2014. Retrieved July 21, 2015.  ^ a b c Weblokam profile ^ [1] ^ Directorate of Film Festivals
Directorate of Film Festivals
(1981). The New generation, 1960-1980. Directorate of Film Festivals, Ministry of Information and Broadcasting. p. 48.  access-date= requires url= (help) ^ "G. Aravindan: Uttarayanam". Cinemafmalayalam.net. Retrieved 2011-01-20.  ^ Khalid Mohamed (16 March 1991). "Aravindan, film-maker of poetic vision, dead" (PDF). The Times of India. Retrieved 20 July 2011.  ^ IFFI Aravindan Retrospective ^ Jayaram, S. B. (1992). Aravindan and his films. Chalachitra. pp. 1–36. ^ "Aravindan, film-maker of poetic vision, dead" (PDF). The Times of India. cscsarchive.org. 17 March 1991. Retrieved 15 March 2011.  ^ "Ore Thooval Pakshikal". British Film Institute. Retrieved 21 January 2011. 

External links[edit]

G. Aravindan on IMDb Aravidan (Memoir by Chintha Ravi
Chintha Ravi
published in 1991) (in Malayalam)

v t e

Feature films directed by G. Aravindan

Uttarayanam
Uttarayanam
(1974) Kanchana Sita
Kanchana Sita
(1977) Thampu
Thampu
(1978) Kummatty
Kummatty
(1979) Esthappan (1980) Pokkuveyil
Pokkuveyil
(1981) Chidambaram (1985) Oridathu (1986) Marattam (1988) Unni (1988) Vasthuhara (1991)

v t e

Cartoonists from Kerala

Abu Abraham Ajit Ninan G. Aravindan B. M. Gafoor Gopikrishnan S. Jithesh Kutty Madhu Omalloor Malayattoor Ramakrishnan P. K. Manthri Ravi Shankar K. Shankar Pillai Sukumar Toms E. P. Unny O. V. Vijayan Yesudasan

v t e

National Film Award for Best Direction

1967–1980

Satyajit Ray
Satyajit Ray
(1967) Satyajit Ray
Satyajit Ray
(1968) Mrinal Sen
Mrinal Sen
(1969) Satyajit Ray
Satyajit Ray
(1970) Girish Karnad
Girish Karnad
and B. V. Karanth
B. V. Karanth
(1971) Adoor Gopalakrishnan
Adoor Gopalakrishnan
(1972) Mani Kaul
Mani Kaul
(1973) Satyajit Ray
Satyajit Ray
(1974) Satyajit Ray
Satyajit Ray
(1975) P. Lankesh (1976) G. Aravindan (1977) G. Aravindan (1978) Mrinal Sen
Mrinal Sen
(1979) Mrinal Sen
Mrinal Sen
(1980)

1981–2000

Aparna Sen
Aparna Sen
(1981) Utpalendu Chakrabarty (1982) Mrinal Sen
Mrinal Sen
(1983) Adoor Gopalakrishnan
Adoor Gopalakrishnan
(1984) Shyam Benegal
Shyam Benegal
(1985) G. Aravindan (1986) Adoor Gopalakrishnan
Adoor Gopalakrishnan
(1987) Shaji N. Karun
Shaji N. Karun
(1988) Adoor Gopalakrishnan
Adoor Gopalakrishnan
(1989) Tapan Sinha (1990) Satyajit Ray
Satyajit Ray
(1991) Goutam Ghose
Goutam Ghose
(1992) T. V. Chandran
T. V. Chandran
(1993) Jahnu Barua
Jahnu Barua
(1994) Saeed Akhtar Mirza
Saeed Akhtar Mirza
(1995) Agathiyan
Agathiyan
(1996) Jayaraj (1997) Rajeevnath (1998) Buddhadeb Dasgupta (1999) Rituparno Ghosh
Rituparno Ghosh
(2000)

2001–present

B. Lenin
B. Lenin
(2001) Aparna Sen
Aparna Sen
(2002) Goutam Ghose
Goutam Ghose
(2003) Buddhadeb Dasgupta (2004) Rahul Dholakia
Rahul Dholakia
(2005) Madhur Bhandarkar
Madhur Bhandarkar
(2006) Adoor Gopalakrishnan
Adoor Gopalakrishnan
(2007) Bala (2008) Rituparno Ghosh
Rituparno Ghosh
(2009) Vetrimaaran
Vetrimaaran
(2010) Gurvinder Singh
Gurvinder Singh
(2011) Shivaji Lotan Patil (2012) Hansal Mehta (2013) Srijit Mukherji (2014) Sanjay Leela Bhansali
Sanjay Leela Bhansali
(2015) Rajesh Mapuskar
Rajesh Mapuskar
(2016)

v t e

Padma Award winners of Kerala

Padma Vibhushan

Adoor Gopalakrishnan E. C. George Sudarshan E. Sreedharan G. Madhavan Nair John Mathai K. N. Raj K. R. Ramanathan K. Shankar Pillai Kottayan Katankot Venugopal M. S. Valiathan N. R. Pillai O. N. V. Kurup V. K. Krishna Menon V. R. Krishna Iyer Verghese Kurien K. J. Yesudas

Padma Bhushan
Padma Bhushan
(Male)

A. C. N. Nambiar Ammannur Madhava Chakyar A. Ramachandran A. Sreedhara Menon C. P. Krishnan Nair Chembai E. C. George Sudarshan Eledath Thaikkattu Narayanan Mooss G. Madhavan Nair G. Sankara Kurup Gabriel Chiramel George Joseph (scientist) Guru Kunchu Kurup Jacob Chandy K. G. Subramanyan K. J. Yesudas K. M. George K. M. Mathew K. P. Kesava Menon K. P. P. Nambiar K. P. S. Menon (senior) K. R. Ramanathan K. Radhakrishnan K. Sankaran Nair K. Shankar Pillai K. Sukumaran K. T. Thomas (Justice) Kandathil Mammen Cherian Kavalam Narayana Panicker Kottayan Katankot Venugopal Kunhiraman Palat Candeth Kuzhur Narayana Marar M. S. Valiathan M. T. Vasudevan Nair M. V. Pylee Madavoor Vasudevan Nair Mannathu Padmanabha Pillai O. V. Vijayan P. K. Warrier Palghat Mani Iyer Pothan Joseph Prem Nazir Raghavan Thirumulpad Ramankutty Nair Satish Nambiar
Satish Nambiar
# T. J. S. George T. K. Oommen T. N. Krishnan
T. N. Krishnan
* T. V. Gopalakrishnan T. V. R. Shenoy Thakazhi Sivasankara Pillai Thayil John Cherian Thomas Kailath
Thomas Kailath
# Trichur V. Ramachandran V. K. Narayana Menon Vainu Bappu
Vainu Bappu
# Vallathol Narayana Menon Verghese Kurien

Padma Bhushan
Padma Bhushan
(Female)

Balamani Amma Lakshmi N. Menon P. Leela Tara Cherian #

Padma Shri
Padma Shri
(Male)

A. Marthanda Pillai A. Sivathanu Pillai Adoor Gopalakrishnan Ammannur Madhava Chakyar Antony Padiyara Ayyappa Paniker Azad Moopen B. Paul Thaliath B. Ravi Pillai Balachandra Menon C. G. Krishnadas Nair Cheril Krishna Menon E. Sreedharan Eledath Thaikkattu Neelakandan Mooss Eluvathingal Devassy Jemmis G. Aravindan G. Shankar G. Vijayaraghavan Gopinath Pillai J. Hareendran Nair Jayaram Jose Chacko Periappuram K. J. Yesudas K. M. George K. M. Mammen Mappillai K. P. Haridas K. P. Udayabhanu K. Raghavan K. Ravindran Nair K. Shankar Pillai Kalamandalam Gopi Kalamandalam Krishnan Nair Kalamandalam Sivan Namboodiri Kandathil Mammen Cherian Kandathil Mammen Philip Kavungal Chathunni Panicker Keezhpadam Kumaran Nair Kunhiraman Palat Candeth Kunnenkeril K. Jacob Kurian John Melamparambil Kuzhivelil Mathew Laurie Baker ! Madhavan Chandradathan (M.C.Dathan) M. A. Yousuf Ali M. G. Ramachandran
M. G. Ramachandran
# M. Krishnan Nair (doctor) M. Night Shyamalan
M. Night Shyamalan
# M. R. Kurup M. S. Valiathan M. Vijayan Madhu (actor) Mammen Mathew Mammootty Mani Madhava Chakyar Mathew Kalarickal Mattannoor Sankarankutty Mitraniketan Viswanathan Mohanlal N. Balakrishnan Nair N. Kesava Panikkar N. R. Madhava Menon Narayana Panicker Kochupillai Neyyattinkara Vasudevan O. N. V. Kurup P. Gopinathan P. K. Narayanan Nambiar P. K. Rajagopalan P. K. Warrier P. Parameswaran Paul Pothen Perakath Verghese Benjamin Peruvanam Kuttan Marar Philip Augustine Prem Nazir Priyadarshan Pucadyil Ittoop John Puthenpurayil Mathew Joseph R. Marthanda Varma R. K. Krishna Kumar Rajagopalan Krishnan Resul Pookutty Shaji N. Karun Sooranad Kunjan Pillai Stanley John Sunny Varkey T. K. Alex T. N. Krishnan
T. N. Krishnan
* Thayil John Cherian Thikkurissy Sukumaran Nair Thilakan Thomas Kunnunkal Vaikom Muhammad Basheer Vazhenkada Kunchu Nair Vellayani Arjunan Verghese Kurien Vishnunarayanan Namboothiri

Padma Shri
Padma Shri
(Female)

Achamma Mathai Anju Bobby George Dipika Pallikal Karthik
Dipika Pallikal Karthik
# K. M. Beenamol K. S. Chithra Kalamandalam Kshemavathy Kalamandalam Satyabhama Leela Omchery Lucy Oommen M. D. Valsamma M. Leelavathy M. Subhadra Nair Mary Poonen Lukose Mary Verghese P. T. Usha Pepita Seth ! Rachel Thomas (skydiver) Shiny Abraham Shobana Sudha Varghese Sugathakumari Sukumari Thangam Philip Usha Uthup Vidya Balan
Vidya Balan
*

(*)By birth - (#)By ethnicity - (!)By domicile

v t e

Kerala
Kerala
State Film Award for Best Director

1969–1980

A. Vincent (1969) K. S. Sethumadhavan (1970-1972) M. T. Vasudevan Nair (1973) G. Aravindan (1974) P. A. Backer (1975) T. Rajeevnath (1976) Adoor Gopalakrishnan
Adoor Gopalakrishnan
(1977) G. Aravindan (1978-1979) K. S. Sethumadhavan (1980)

1981–2000

G. Aravindan (1981) Bharathan
Bharathan
(1982) Fazil (1983) Adoor Gopalakrishnan
Adoor Gopalakrishnan
(1984) G. Aravindan (1985-1986) Adoor Gopalakrishnan
Adoor Gopalakrishnan
(1987) K. P. Kumaran (1988) I. V. Sasi
I. V. Sasi
(1989) G. Aravindan (1990) Kamal (1991) Hariharan (1992) Adoor Gopalakrishnan
Adoor Gopalakrishnan
(1993) Shaji N. Karun
Shaji N. Karun
(1994) Adoor Gopalakrishnan
Adoor Gopalakrishnan
(1995) Jayaraj (1996) T. V. Chandran
T. V. Chandran
(1997) Shyamaprasad
Shyamaprasad
(1998) Shaji N. Karun
Shaji N. Karun
(1999) M. T. Vasudevan Nair (2000)

2001–present

T. V. Chandran
T. V. Chandran
(2001) Sibi Malayil
Sibi Malayil
(2003) Shyamaprasad
Shyamaprasad
(2004) Blessy
Blessy
(2005) Lenin Rajendran
Lenin Rajendran
(2006) M. G. Sasi
M. G. Sasi
(2007) Adoor Gopalakrishnan
Adoor Gopalakrishnan
(2008) Hariharan (2009) Shyamaprasad
Shyamaprasad
(2010) Blessy
Blessy
(2011) Lal Jose
Lal Jose
(2012) Shyamaprasad
Shyamaprasad
(2013) Sanal Kumar Sasidharan
Sanal Kumar Sasidharan
(2014) Martin Prakkat (2015) Vidhu Vincent
Vidhu Vincent
(2016)

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WorldCat Identities VIAF: 21278954 LCCN: n89287373 ISNI: 0000 0000 3280 9120 BNF: cb165735383 (da

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