Another ’silent’ movie to be made

July 29th, 2008 - 7:40 pm ICT by IANS  

Chennai, July 29 (IANS) Telugu actor Brahmanandam will star in a yet-to-be-titled silent movie - the third in existence in India’s modern cinematic history. Shooting is to begin soon, producer Sonia Reddy announced. Arun Kumar will direct the film, while Ilayaraja will give the music, Reddy said in a press statement here.

The first Indian silent film “Raja Harishchandra” was made in 1913 by Dadasaheb Phalke, after whom the highest Indian filmmaking award is named.

Since then, over 193 “silent” movies were made but all have become ‘extinct’ due to virtually non-existent methods of preservation or due to fires, said Geethakrishnan, a retired bureaucrat.

In 1988, “Pesum Padam” (a silent film that was renamed “Pushpak” in Hindi) featuring thespian Kamal Hassan in the main lead - was the last silent movie released. But it had a synchronised soundtrack and music for effects.

“The silent era was called so because then one could not include a synchronised soundtrack into the projected film,” film historian Randor Guy told IANS.

“Madras has the distinction of introducing the first ‘talkie’ through a synchronised chronomegaphone in 1909. But it must be remembered that the sound came from an external source independent of the film,” he said.

“With the introduction of what was called ‘vitaphone’ in 1927 when ‘The Jazz Singer’ was made, that era slowly disappeared within a few years. Since then, all movies have become talkies, even those that didn’t have dialogues because a soundtrack has been added to them.”

“All the recent movies called ’silent’ are just a fad ‘to do something different’ but essentially a modern intellectual exercise,” Guy added.

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