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Joined: 11 Jun 2007
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Location: navimumbai

PostPosted: Tue Mar 17, 2015 10:38 am    Post subject: ALOYSIUS VINCENT-VIII Reply with quote

My desire to bring out all of Vincent-Sundaram is beyond any limits within which we can make postings in our site. Still, I deem it essential to recall the glories of yester-decade technicians who set very high standards in all formats of their work.
‘Nenjam marappadhillai’
Vincent- Sundaram’s efforts were in full play through the song ‘nilavukkum malarukkum jAdhiyillai’. By any reckoning it was a masterpiece. The location was a long winding orchard, where the love-pair was moving on horse-drawn hackney [a Raekla in our language]. There was no way of using studio lights in the scene full of tall trees forming a canopy over the entire path. So, light and shade would come in an unabated sequence making the cinematographers’ life miserable. At best, camera could be set for compromise exposure with no advantage to highlights or shadows. Only those with a conceptual clarity of arriving at the ‘final image density’ through film processing can venture to shoot moving objects like the hackney. Much to the delight of critical viewers, light and shade appear as perfect complements through the entire stretch. Even more appealing is the absolute clarity with which the camera follows the object much like a computer- tagged monitoring! In between there are close-ups as pleasant interjects and the camera restores its hot pursuit through the entire song. A very high level of co-ordination can alone help to meet the demands.
‘Kadhalikka nEramillai’
People are too well aware of the movie for its telling impact on the movie-goers for every aspect. Certainly the colour scheme and cinematography stand out by quality hitherto unsurpassed [perhaps the closest competitor to that credit was ‘Shanthi nilayam’ by MarcusBartley]. What is so special about KN it holds several firsts against its name. Sridhar’s first colour movie ; also the first colour work for Vincent-Sundaram. Despite the first venture, the make-up team had done a pleasant job of avoiding ‘heavy’ make-up a bane of many colour films in Tamil. The most startling information about KN’s colour rendition is that IT WAS THE FIRST COLOUR FILM PROCESSED BY GEMINI COLOUR LABORATORY , MADRAS and Gemini made a hefty name for the processing standards. Now, the CF processing has been dismantled, a sad turn of events consequent to Digital technology.
‘Enga veettu piLLai’
Another Vincent- Sundaram work for Vijaya- Vauhini was, soon after Vincent –Sundaram opted out of Chitralaya [after ‘KN’] to be independent cinematographers. The pair’s supremacy was vivid in the song ‘peN pOnAl’ in Mysore Brindhavan Gardens. As the song is coming to close, AV had captured the entire landscape of ‘night-lit’ Brindhavan in one frame when MGR-Saroja devi run away into a tiny dot. To have registered the scene as much like in human perception in1964 was just out of the world. It must have been a taxing effort to fix-up an appropriate exposure of the film, even as the ‘depth of view’ had to be kept.
I am sure there must have been even more elegant pieces of Vincent’s work in his career. I ventured to recall a few items that I retain in my memory.
My ATTEMPT in summing up Vincent’s effort is based on one factor; his was an era of human effort involving conceptual clarity, ability to perceive film’s limited responsiveness and to manage the best viewing angle for the artistes without distracting the viewer. How many artistes have reached stardom through aesthetic presentation by cinematographers in general and Vincent in particular? A list of names comes to mind. Devika, Muthuraman, Kutti Padmini, Nagesh, Kanchana, Ravichandran and earlier Saroja Devi have had the advantages of AV’s lighting and presentation. Much of what I say can be understood if we manage to view some of the close-up shots of these artistes as presented by Vincent.
Such contributors deserve our respect and prayers “MAY HIS SOUL REST IN PEACE”.

Prof. K. Raman
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