தமிழ்த் தேசியம்

"To us all towns are one, all men our kin.
Life's good comes not from others' gift, nor ill
Man's pains and pains' relief are from within.
Thus have we seen in visions of the wise !."

- Tamil Poem in Purananuru, circa 500 B.C 

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Home > Tamil Culture - the Heart of Tamil National Consciousness > Tamil Drama & Film  - நாடகத் தமிழ், திரைப் படம்

CONTENTS
OF THIS SECTION

Last updated
27/06/07

Short Films

Tamil Cinema (Media, Culture and Social Change in Asia) - Selvaraj Velayutham

Cinema and the Urban Poor in South India (Cambridge Studies in Social and Cultural Anthropology) - Sara Dickey

When stars displace the gods: The folk culture of cinema in Tamil Nadu - Robert L Hardgrave

Rethinking Transnational Cinema: The Case of Tamil Cinema  "Tamil cinema articulates, mobilises and dismantles the hegemonic conception of the postcolonial Indian nation as fostered by the apparatus of the nation-state through an appeal to a sense of Tamil cultural nationalism that is antagonistic to the national imaginary. The point here on the intimacy of the media form to the production and circulation of a sense of (antagonistic) cultural nationalism is precise: Tamil cinema, in particular, has had a central role in the postcolonial re-construction of the nation and national identity."

Negotiating identities in the Diasporic Space: Transnational Tamil Cinema and Malaysian Indians - Gopalan Ravindran, 2006

The Ritualistic Origins of Tamil Drama - K. Sivathamby, 1966

Drama in Ancient Tamil Society, K. Sivathamby, 1981

Music in Drama - Kalai Mamani S.R. Kasturi
Comment by M.G.Ram Ganesh , 10 November 2005

The Alps Koothadigal -  Anton Ponraj  

The Tamil Dramatic Heritage "..Seevakacintamani which is supposed to be a literary work of the 10th century A.D. contains more than forty five references about drama ..There are sure indications in the epic to point out the highly esteemed position held by drama in Tamil society. Perunkathai and Kamparamayanam also speak about drama in a number of places ... In the beginning dance and drama were one and the same and as time passed drama slowly emerged into separate art. ...The various Koothus of the ancient Tamils have helped much..

Music in the age of mechanical reproduction: Drama, gramophone and the beginnings of Tamil cinema - Stephen P. Hughes

Indian Saga  - "Tamil drama has its beginning in the 19th century. Among the early exponents is Sundaram Pillai whose 'Manonmaniam' was the most popular verse drama. Sankaradasa Swamigal, Sambanda Mudaliar and V.G. Suryanarayana Sastri wrote dramas and played important roles in them.Thanjay Govind Swamy Rao and Venkataswamy Rayar wrote plays and staged performances in various states and east Asian countries.

Nawab Rajamanickam ('Nandanar'), Trichy Kannaya Naidu ('Dasavatharam', 'Valli Thirumanam', 'Andal'), Viswanatha Das, S.G.Kittappa, Madurai Bhaskara Das, T.K.S.Brothers ('Ouvaiyyar'), K.R.Ramaswamy, Kali N.Ratnam, P.U.Chinnappa, M.G.Chakrapani, M.G.Ramachandran, N.S.Krishnan ('Naam Iruvar', 'Paithyakaran') and Thyagraja Bhagavathar, S.V.Sahasranamam, T.A.Madhuram, Sivaji Ganeshan and M.S.Draupati earned fame either as artiste or writers.

Annadurai ('Oarlravu'), 'Velaikkari'), M.Karunanidhi, M.R.Radha (Raktha Kanneer), R.S.Manohar ('Lankeswaran', 'Dronar'), Komal Swamyanathan, Cho Ramaswamy ('Swambhavamy Yuge Yuge', 'Mohammed Bin Tughlaq'), Mauli, Visu, Mereena and Poornam Vishwanathan also have contributed for the development of Tamil theatre."

The Making of Naam Iruvar

The Making of Meera

Tamil movies abroad: Singapore South Indian youths and their response to Tamil cinema - by  Sathiavathi Chinniah
Cinema Today
Tamil Cinema
TamilMovies.com
Ayngaran International - Tamil Cinemal
Cinema-Express
Tamil Star Entertainment

Tamil Drama in Singapore

Tamil Drama in Bahrein

Books on Tamil Drama


Tamil Refugees Rehabilitation Organization (TRRO) Presents Drama on War Widows in Tamil Eelam

 

Tamil Drama & Film 
 - நாடகத் தமிழ்

"படிப்பும் பேச்சும் இயற்றமிழ்!
பாடும் பாட்டே இசைத்தமிழ்!
நடிப்பும் கூத்தும் சேர்ந்ததே
நாடகத் தமிழ் என்பார்கள்
.
முடிக்கும் மூன்றும் முத்தமிழே!
முத்தமிழ் என்பது புத்தமுதே!
முடித்த வண்ணம் நம் தமிழே
முத்தமிழ் என்றே சொல்வார்கள்."
 - Paventhar Bharathidasan On முத்தமிழ்...


Dr. C.R. Krishnamurti in Thamizh Literature Through the Ages
தமிழ் இலக்கியம் - தொன்று தொட்டு இன்று வரை...

Of the three divisions of Thamizh literature (முத்தமிழ்) the one which had undergone radical changes in its format and contents since ancient times is the Stage n^Atakat Thamizh,(நாடகத்தமிழ்) As in so many other facets of their literary pursuits, the ancient Thamizh people had stipulated specifications for the physical set up of the stage (அரங்கு, அவை).ThiruvaLLuvar has used the analogy of people thronging to the stage and disappearing as soon as the dance is over to emphasize the fleeting nature of wealth.

கூத்தாட் டவைக்குழாத் தற்றே பெருஞ்செல்வம்
போக்கு மதுவிளிந் தற்று

The stages were used for different types of dances (கூத்து)specific for the regions, e.g., Aychiyar Kuravai (ஆய்ச்சியர் குரவை) Kuravaik kUtthu (குரவைக்கூத்து), KoRRavaik (கொற்றவைக்கூத்து) The dances were, in essence an enactment of mythological legends. They were also used for conveying thanks to the deities for good rains and crops or paying homage to the valour or patronage of Kings and chieftains. iLango atikaL  (இளங்கோ அடிகள்) had portrayed various kinds of dances performed in the different regions(திணை) in several chapters (அரங்கேற்று காதை, வேனிற்காதை, ஆய்ச்சியர் குரவை)

The dancers for whom dancing was a hereditary avocation were called ViRaliar (விறலியர்)  and KUtthar (கூத்தர்).. The singers who accompanied them were called PANar (பாணர்).

Even at this early point in history, there was a distinction between the high form of dancing performed before the elites and those meant for the recreation of the rural folks (வேடுவ வரி). When the Bhakthi movement was at its peak, stories pertaining to the godheads were played on the stage. Up to the medieval period, the Thamizh stage was used mainly as a forum for dances.

This tradition continued till the 18th or 19th century when dance dramas; rAma n^Atakam  - (ராமநாடகம் - அருணாசலகவி, நந்தனார் சரித்திரம் - கோபாலகிருஷணபாரதியார், அழகர் குறவஞ்சி - கவிகுஞ்சர பாரதி, குற்றாலக் குறவஞ்சி - திரிகூடராசப்ப கவிராயர்) were performed on the stage.

Other kinds of dance dramas included the PaLLu n^Atakam (பள்ளு நாடகம்) which is the dance drama performed by those in the agricultural sector describing themes specific to agrarian conditions e.g., MukkUdal paLLu (முக்கூடற் பள்ளு)by ennayinAp pulavar (என்னயினாப்புலவர்), n^ondip paLLu (நொண்டிப் பள்ளு)by MArimutthup pulavar (மாரிமுத்துப்புலவர்) is a humorous political satire.

With the arrival of the Europeans into the subcontinent, the definition of 'stage' began to assume a different meaning. By this time, Shakespearean plays became popular throughout the English speaking world.

Following this trend, Thamizh authors began to imitate English poets (Shakespeare, Sheridan) in writing plays in verses involving fictional themes and characters.

Sun^tharam PiLLai's (சுந்தரம் பிள்ளை) ManOnmaNiam மனோன்மணியம் made history in this regard, though the play was difficult to enact as a play on the stage.

Pammal Sampan^tha MuthaliyAr (ப.சம்பந்த முதலியார்) considered to be the doyen of the Thamizh stage, wrote the famous play, ManOharA(மனோகரா),  which later appeared as a film with SivAji GanEsan (சிவாஜி கணேசன்) playing the role of ManOharan.

Sampan^tha MuthaliyAr was the founder of the SuguNa VilAs Sabha (சுகுணவிலாஸசபா) which fostered the growth of the Thamizh stage in the years to come.

Others who have made tremendous contributions to the Thamizh stage in recent times include: NawAb rAjamAnickam (நவாப் ராஜமாணிக்கம்).  T.K.S. Brothers (டி.கே. எஸ. சகோதரர்கள்), R.S.ManOhar (ஆர்.எஸ. மனோகர்). ChO rAmasAmi (சோ ராமசாமி), K.A.ThangavElu (கே.ஏ. தங்கவேலு), SivAji GanEsan (சிவாஜி கணேசன்), and S.V.SEkhar (எஸ.வி.சேகர்).

Several Shakespearean plays and Sanskrit dramas were translated into Thamizh and readers interested in additional details would find a series of very interesting articles in "The Heritage of the Thamizh people" published by the International Institute of Thamizh Studies (1983).

The introduction of cinemas in the third decade of the twentieth century brought about some remarkable changes in the field of n^Atakat thamizh. Though the stage is still surviving with expositions of plays with mythological, social, historical or political themes, the films are now dominating the scene. The film industry has become one of the most powerful and influential industries in Thamizh n^Adu. Many estimates indicate that more films are made in Thamizh n^Adu than in many parts of the world.

The growth of the film industry with reference to the literary contents has been reviewed (திரை வளர்ந்த விதம்). In addition to providing a huge industrial base and job opportunities to a large number of talented artists, the film has become a very powerful medium for the propagation of social, educational and political messages which the previous generations were unable to accomplish. The free flowing literary prose style introduced by C.N. aNNAthurai (அறிஞர் அண்ணாதுரை) and M. KaruNAn^ithi (கலைஞர் மு.கருணாநிதி), the brand of lyrics popularized by BhArathi DhAsan (பாரதி தாசன்) and KaNNa DhAsan  (கண்ணதாசன்) aptly supported by the histrionic talents of N.S. KrishNan (என்.எஸ.கிருஷணன்), SivAji GanEsan (சிவாஜி கணேசன்)  and M.G. rAmachandran (மக்கள் திலகம் எம்.ஜி.ஆர்.)and the musical expertise of T.M. Soun^dararAjan(டி.எம். செளந்தரராஜன்)and  P.SusIlA (பி.சுசீலா) are some of the more memorable milestones of the film industry.

In order to document properly all the actors, directors, musicians, and technicians who have made significant contributions to the development of the film industry, it is necessary to devote a book exclusively for the purpose. It is gratifying to note that critical analyses of the literary style used in the mass media have been the subject of several doctoral theses in many Indian and foreign universities (ArOkian^Athan, 1982).

The advent of high technological innovations, the impact of western culture and the increase in the migration of people from the rural to the urban centers are to a large extent responsible for the radical changes in the format and content in the films one encounters today. In the assimilation of these modern concepts, one would hope that our own cultural identity which has survived for centuries upto this time is not surrendered.


Short Films

The Slipper: செருப்பு

A girl in Tamil Eelam saves to buy slippers but with unforeseen consequences... You may also download the film here

போருக்குப் பின்இராணுவத்தால் கைது செய்யப்பட்டு தடுப்பு முகாமலிருக்கும் தந்தையைப் பற்றி அறியத் துடிக்கும், ஒரு சிறுவனின் ஆக்ரோசம்.
ஒளித்துப் பிடித்து127 இளைஞர்களின் கொலைக்கு வழி வகுத்த, பிந்துனுவௌ தடுப்பு முகாம் கொலைப் பின்னணி. 
மூக்குப் பேணிசுகபோகப் பொருட்கள் வழி கவரும் ஆக்கிரமிப்பாளர்கள், மனிதனின் புலனுக்குப் புரியாமலே, யுத்தத்தை உருவாக்கும் அபாயம்.
தடைபோர்ச் சூழலில் மருந்துகளுக்கான தடையினால் இழந்த உயிர்கள் எத்தனை? அதன் விபரீதம் எந்தளவு கொடுமை? அமைதியான வாழ்வு தான் இல்லை நாட்டில். அமைதியான சாவு...?
அழுத்தம்கல்வியே கருந்தனம் என்று கருதும் யாழ்பாண மத்தியதர வர்க்க நிலைப்பாடால் குழந்தைகளது சிந்தனைகள் எவ்வாறு கட்டுப்படுத்தப்படுகிறது.
அதிகாலையின் இருள்களத்தில் கிடந்த ரவைகளைக் கூட புல்லாங்குழலாக்கி போரினால் ஏற்பட்ட ஊனத்தை மறந்து சமாதானத்துக்காக ஏங்கும் இளம் உள்ளங்கள்.
எச்சில் போர்வைஈழத்தில் வாழும் தன் உறவுகளுக்காய் தன் தோளில் ஆயிரம் சுமைகளைத் தாங்கி வேற்று மண்ணில் தவிக்கும் ஒர் புலம்பெயர் ஈழத்தமிழ் இளைஞனின் கதை.
மனமுள்நாட்டிலிருந்து புலம்பெயர்ந்து ஐரோப்பிய சூழலில் வாழும் ஒரு பெண்பிள்ளையின் தந்தை தன் மனதில் முள்ளோடு இந்த சூழலைப் பார்க்கும் விதமே இந்தக் கதையின் கரு.
நிழல் யுத்தம்புலம்பெயர் மண்ணில் வாழும் ஒரு கணவன் மனைவி இருவருக்கிடையிலான உறவு பற்றிய, இருவருக்கிடையில் நடைபெறுகின்ற நிழல் யுத்தம் பற்றிய கதை.

The Alps Koothadigal - சுவிஸ் தமிழ் நாடகக் கல்லூரி பற்றிய விவரணப் படம் - Anton Ponraj [see also Tamil Diaspora - a Trans State Nation - Switzerland]

 " 'Alps Koothadigal' is a documentary about Sri Lankan Tamil theatre activities in Switzerland. ...the Sri Lankans stage dramas to express their views about the ethnic crisis in Sri Lanka and they have taken the drama medium, as plays have wide reach in the international arena.

The refugees have good cooperation from the Swiss. Some of the Swiss have also acted in the plays. Some of the dramas are also in English and German, so that many people can understand the life and migration of people from Sri Lanka to many other parts of the world.

The dramas were initially staged at places where a large number of people congregate. These dramas created an awareness among the Swiss about the Sri Lankan crisis.

Tamils were working in hotels, petrol pumps and many other places. They perform plays after they complete their work, so they do not have enough rest time. To stage a drama, they take a lot of pains.

The students at the Swiss Tamil drama college are also trained in the drama field. After a training of three years, they get the title 'Kalaivalari'. The students trained here perform in many television plays and other plays..."


Comment by M.G.Ram Ganesh, 10 November 2005

" I  came across your web page  (on Tamil Drama)  in an attempt to find more about Thiru. Poornam Viswanathan. I was surprised to note that his name was not mentioned, although there is mention of S. Ve. Shekar, ( I don't deny that Shekar should be mentioned). I would appreciate if you could add Thiru. Poornam and as well Crazy Mohan., Kovai Anuradha, Venkat, etc, who are doing great things in the drama field inspite of fierce competition from Film & TV world. Although current and last generation of Tamilians knows him very well as Film Actor, Thiru. Poornam acted in more than 4500 stage plays all over India. Apart from this he had written nearly 160 short stories, dramas. As he was working for All India Radio Delhi, he staged his plays in Delhi upto 1964  and then continued in Chennai. He is a founder of Poornam New Theater, which continues to nurture & develop the Tamil drama world..."

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