Wednesday, October 10, 2007

Legacy of John Abraham lives on - Anand Haridas (The Hindu, Thursday, Jan 05, 2006)

He was an obsession for his friends — and still is. John Abraham did not just introduce his friends to good films; He proved that it was a cause worth giving your life for. His friends in Kochi are now trying to recapture that spirit.
The John Abraham Film Archive has started touring various parts of the city. Its first stop was at the Fisheries Ground in Kannamali on Tuesday and at the Chullickal church on Wednesday.
The tour got going with Agraharathile Kazhuthai, the first film that announced John Abraham to the world, and M.G. Sasi's Kanavu Malayilekku, a documentary on K.J. Baby's experiment in education.
"This touring festival is being organised to create that enthusiasm among film lovers for collecting classics," said E.P. Joseph, one of the members of the group. They are trying to build an archive in CD format, which film clubs and associations could freely access.
This is being done in association with the Media Study Centre, Kozhikode. The archive is hoping to bring in more than 300 works by master like Fellini, Eisenstein, Chaplin, Passolini and Ghatak.
This is also an attempt by John's friends to reposition the movement in the new social circumstances. Odessa, the group in which John Abraham was the main element, had very loud political shades.
"Now, we are trying to open up this group politically. We welcome associations with regional organisations, even religious ones, so that we could promote good films and a healthy film culture," Mr. Joseph said.
The festival, if one could call it so in this age of international festivals at every street corner, will now visit the Pallathu Raman Memorial Hall at Fort Kochi on Thursday, the Palluruthy Veli on January 6 and Paravoor on January 7.
In fact, the group began its efforts to get the film movement rolling all over again with the screening of Agraharathile Kazhuthai and Amma Ariyan, the latter being John's last film, at the Pallathu Raman Memorial Hall on last May. Members of four active film societies in the district and many from film societies that wound up long ago attended the meeting.
The word has spread and many more are joining. For those who love good films, it's indeed time for celebration.

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