Their camaraderie over years is what prompted renowned director T V Chandran to helm a documentary on artist C N Karunakaran. The narrative, titled ‘Karunakaran the Artist’, through the works and life of CN, unspools a period known for the creative instincts of several artists, writers and filmmakers, says the director. Speaking at the switch-on function of the documentary in Kochi on Sunday, the director asserted that his work did not conform to the set formula.
“’Karunakaran the Artist’ is more of a short film than a documentary because it is not made in the formulaic style,” says T V Chandran. “The film is not a mere anecdote of CN’s life. I have known him for over forty years. He was a part of the eclectic coterie of the cherished seventies, a period known for people like John Abraham, Aravindan, Bharathan, Padmarajan and many others. Through this film, I’m trying to recapture the essence of that glorious period,” the director said.
The shooting of the film progresses at several places like Chennai, Kozhikode, Edappal, Thalassery, Kochi. “It is more of a moving drama, shot at CN’s studio in Kochi, the School of Arts and Crafts, Chennai, where he studied, among other places. Many characters, both dead and alive, come and go through the length of the narrative. Several stalwarts, including M T Vasudevan Nair, Madampu Kunjukuttan, artist Nampoothiri, Akkitham Narayanan can be seen in the film. We have also included the pictures and details of Aravindan, John and others who are not with us any more,” said the director.
Interestingly, one character of the documentary is an art enthusiast, who has a large collection of CN’s celebrated works. In the film, he narrates how he became enthused by the artist’s paintings. The shooting of the documentary produced by Ayilyan, under the banner of Shadowman Film Factory, will be completed by this month-end.
The function was inaugurated by actor Mammootty. Speaking on the occasion, he said, “I have admired the works of CN from my college days at Maharaja’s. Once we had organised an exhibition of his works.”
K R Mohan, Sibi Malayil, Kamal, John Paul, Kaladharan, Rajan M Krishna, Ayilyan, Reji Prasad and Pattanom Rasheed were among those present at the function.