This Satyajit Ray film deeply impacted KV Anand

KV Anand was a photojournalist before taking the plunge into the world of films. Having worked as cinematographer in such movies as Mudhalvan (1999), Khakee (2004) and Sivaji: The Boss (2007), Anand debuted as a director with Kana Kandaen (2005). His latest film, Kaappaan, marks his third collaboration with actor Suriya after Ayan (2009) and Maattrraan (2012). These are Anand’s all-time favourite films.

Jalsaghar (1958)

I am a big fan of Satyajit Ray’s movies.

A still from ‘Jalsaghar’

He is one filmmaker whose oeuvre has had a profound impact on me, when I was trying to get work here. Very rarely do you think about movies for a long time. Jalsaghar was one of Ray’s films that kept running in my head even after exiting the cinema hall. Again, a lot depends on what zone you are in when you watch a movie. I still have vivid memories about this movie. I particularly liked how Ray used music to convey complex emotions and his silences.

Aval Appadithan (1978)

It’s a brilliant film.

A still from ‘Aval Appadithaan’

No matter how many times you watch it, Aval Appadithan has something new to offer. The film was far ahead of its time. What fascinates me is how Rudhraiya (director) etched out the female character (played by Sripriya). At a time when Tamil cinema gave in to a stereotypical portrayal of women, showing them as humble housewives, Sripriya’s character was a breath of fresh air. Not to mention Rajinikanth’s sharp dialogues. I must have watched it when I was a kid, but Aval Appadithan stirred me.

The Last Emperor (1987)

I wore my cinematographer lenses when I watched this movie.

A still from ‘The Last Emperor’

The Last Emperor and Apocalypse Now are two movies that appealed to me as a cinematographer. It is an autobiographical, showing different phases of the protagonist. The thing that struck me was how effectively [Bernardo] Bertolucci used colours to show emotions. For example, he shows the death of a character with shades of purple. The moment you add colour to your frame, it influences the audience at some level. In that sense, Bertolucci played around with colours in The Last Emperor.

Shutter Island (2010)

I loved Shutter Island.

A still from ‘Shutter Island’

The whole movie was lifted by Leonardo DiCaprio in an almost meditative performance. There are several things I liked about this movie, the narrative being the first. The way the director (Martin Scorcese) gradually ushers you into its world was something fascinating. In fact, the storytelling itself is so triggering that you wouldn’t have thought about its surprising climax. When I saw it for the first time, I was like: ‘what!’. Since then, I have watched Shutter Island multiple times, and it is one of my favourite films.

(As told to Srivatsan S)


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