Cinema is your experience, your vision of life.’
— Adoor Gopalakrishnan
A couple living in defiance of society, trying to make ends meet; a rootless, rustic simpleton unaware of his responsibilities; a selfish, middle-aged man clinging to old feudal ways; an ex-revolutionary wasting himself, sleeping and eating and drinking, much to the disgust of his old comrades; a writer who finds the true meaning of love and freedom in prison; and a prostitute discovering love only to be separated from her lover by the guardians of society.
Adoor Gopalakrishnan’s characters are drawn from real people, real lives. His cinema manages to frame details that often escape our everyday glance, turning the mundane into the magical, the commonplace into the startling. Yet, very little is known about the auteur.
In Adoor Gopalakrishnan: A Life in Cinema, the first authorized biography of the Dada Saheb Phalke Award winner, Gautaman Bhaskaran traces the ebbs and flows of the life of this enigmatic director. From his birth during the Quit India Movement to his lonely childhood at his uncles’ house; from life at Gandhigram, where Adoor studied economics and politics, to his days and nights at the Pune Film Institute; and from his first film, Swayamvaram, to his latest, Oru Pennum Rantaanum, Bhaskaran’s lucid narrative tracks the twists and turns of Gopalakrishnan’s life, finding an uncommon man and a rare auteur.
About the Author
Gautaman Bhaskaran is a journalist and writer, having worked in two of India’s best regarded daily newspapers, The Statesman and The Hindu, for 35 years. Now Editor South Asia for South Korea’s The Seoul Times, he also writes for a variety of other publications across the globe: Hindustan Times and The Week in India, Gulf Times and Gulf News in the Gulf, The Japan Times in Japan and Sight and Sound and Screen International in Britain. He covers major international film festivals, including Cannes, Venice, Berlin, Tokyo, Deauville, Marrakech, Dubai and several in India. He has covered Cannes alone for 20 years. He teaches cinema at Manipal University and English in Chennai’s Loyola College. He lives in Chennai with his wife, and has a son.