The duo spend their spare time discussing films, art and culture and writing on them. Their friendship lead to the work Sepia: Charithram, Varthamanam. Cinemayile Nirangalude Soundarya rashtreeyangal (Sepia: History, present. Politics of colours in Films) which won the award for the best article on film by Kerala State film Awards 2012. At last the efforts of Aju K Narayan and Cheri Jacob K, assistant professors of Union Christian College, Aluva, have paid.
“Many of our articles on films and culture were published in magazines and research journals but an honour from the state government is a big recognition” says Aju, who is with the Department of Malayalam.
The piece that bagged the award on ‘The best article on film 2012’ is a unique attempt to mark colour tones in films. The article mainly discusses colour tones in Malayalam films, their arrival, techni-colour, eastman colour, reality in colour tones, colours in black and white films, symbolisation of colour tones in Malayalam films etc.
“We have tried to focus on the Sepia color tone, which is frequently used in Malayalam film industry. Golden Sepia is often used to denote the cultural symbols like ‘vilakku, kasavu, gold and sandal’ which are often associated with the elite past and regarded as a sign of hegemony. It symbolises the various dimensions of power politics. The movie Agnisakshi is such an example,” says Aju. “The movie Sagar Alias Jacky has used the colour technique to portray hyper reality and superficiality,” he said.
“The article that won the award was published in Bhashaposhini. It was the result of day and night long discussions, references from various university libraries and personal collections,” says Cheri Jacob who is with the Department of English.
The friendship which started seven years ago in UC college has resulted in many ventures. One such is their video production under the banner ‘Al Alimon’, a Spanish word that denotes a pass in bull fighting where two bullfighters encounter a bull by holding the two sides of a spread red cape.
They have together done almost 100 joint national seminars which they call twin papers, focusing on the cultural aspects of Malayalam and English.
The award-wining article is an excerpt from their published book Palavaka Samskara Padanangal. The book delves into modernism, post-modernism, cultural studies, technicalities, poetics and politics in films.
Al Alimon Scenes production has come up with a short fiction, ‘Krapp and Kurup’, designated as a curious mix of theatre, memory and cinema casting Dr V C Haris, Professor of School of letters and P Balachandran, Malayalam script writer. Their future project includes the making of feature films that would evoke social consciousness and cultural awareness. However, teaching remains their first loves “We don’t have plans to quit teaching. Because it is students, family and colleagues who have helped us in our achievements” they said in unison.