The Hollywood syndrome is the worst thing that has happened to cinema and everyone should learn to ignore it, said veteran Australian director and jury chairman of the 17th International Film Festival of Kerala (IFFK) Paul Cox.
“Although cinema is a wonderful medium of communication, the most misused one is Hollywood. While people watch my films, I see a set of dreamers like me there, while Hollywood sees them as bums on chair. Cinema affects our dreams and dreams are our children. So learn to ignore Hollywood,” he said while participating in an ‘In Conversation’ with veteran mediaperson Sashi Kumar conducted on the sidelines of IFFK 2012 on Wednesday.
Cox recalled his disastrous tryst with Hollywood with the film ‘Damien’ based on the life of the missionary Father Damien.
“The producers advised me to trim down the film as it had a duration longer than ‘Gandhi.’ They found it will not sell and I accepted. But later they asked me to restore the original as the film turned to be a flop”, he said.
He said his encounter with deadly cancer changed his vision about the world. “I was about to meet death but I pleaded. And then I returned. The experience has taught me to look at things in a new manner. Now I see trees differently, I realised there is a bigger consciousness which connects all of us,’’ said Paul Cox.
For a question on the alleged Malayalam adaptation of his film ‘Innocence’ into ‘Pranayam’ by filmmaker Blessy, Cox replied that he has no complaints in adapting any of his movies. “But I wish to watch the movie,” he said.
“There are even filthier and violent contents which are shown in movies than the birth of a child,” he replied to the recent controversy in the state over the filming a live childbirth for a movie. He opined that violence is not a thing to be celebrated in movies.
Cox, a friend of the late filmmaker G Aravindan, said that it was high time Kerala revived the new wave spirit the state had witnessed in 80s. According to Cox, who has given high prominence to music as a filmmaker, Indian films have fantastic music in terms of visuals. He also praised Pandit Ravi Shankar, who passed away on Wednesday, for his excellent piece of work in the film ‘Pather Panchali’ as its music director.