Classic films: Thillaana Mohanambal (1968)

‘Thillana Mohanambal’ , a timeless gem directed by A.P. Nagarajan, is a musical and visual delight for any bharathanatyam and carnatic music rasika. Starring Sivaji Ganeshan as a Nadhaswaram player who falls in love with the beautiful classical dancer Padmini, bharathanatyam and sangeetham are fundamental parts of this movie, rather than a necessity. Watch 2 songs from this blockbuster below. First Maranthirunthu Parkkum: And Nalam Thaana?:

Kittu's death anniversary marked

The 18th anniversary of the deaths of Colonel Kittu (Sathasivam Krishnakumar) and nine other LTTE cadres was marked in several Tamil Diaspora locations last weekend.

Showcasing Tamil Canadian film talent

The work of young Tamil filmmakers in Canada will be screened this weekend at the Canadian Tamil Film Festival ( CTFF ). The Arts and Culture Council of Canadian Tamil Youth Alliance ( CTYA ) will hosting the screening of films on Saturday Jan. 22 (10am-4pm) at the Markham Civic Centre. The award ceremony is on Sunday at 6.15pm, following the screening of ‘1999’ (2-4pm). Register here for the event. “The event will provide the Tamil artists with a venue to broadcast their talents in the film industry and it will also serve as an encouragement to youth with an interest in the film industry,...

Singapore to expand Tamil teaching

Singapore will introduce a new Tamil-language elective next year for high-ability secondary and junior college students who want to go deeper into the language, its literature and culture, the Straits Times reports . The National Elective Tamil Language Programme (NETP) will be similar to the existing Chinese and Malay language electives, but will not be amongst examined options. Presently examined options include Tamil, Higher Tamil and Tamil literature, alongside similar in Chinese and Malay. The NETP will instead be an enrichment programme with modules ranging from classical and...

Pongal in the Park

Members of the Tamil Youth Organisation in UK gathered in a London park in the early hours Saturday to follow the age old Tamil custom of boiling milk and rice in a traditional clay pot on Pongal day. Photo TYO

Sengadal: censor’s discomfort

Why was the new Tamil movie, Sengadal (Dead Sea), about a journalist’s quest to profile the travails of fishermen from Tamil Nadu and refugees fleeing Sri Lanka, refused a rating by the Chennai Regional Censor Board?

Kalyana Then Nila

‘Kalyana Then Nila’ from the film Mounam Sammatham, featuring Mammootti and Amala showcases all of Ilaiyaraja's musical abilities in just 4 minutes and 41 seconds. Set in the romantic and evocative raga Darbari Kannada, ‘Kalyana Then Nila’ starts with a soothing rhythm, a beautiful guitar piece which then leads into a short string and flute jughalbandhi. A second’s pause and Yesudas' stunning vocals fill the room. Yesudas is one of those few artists who can make the listener feel and experience the lyrics of the songs. The ease and playfulness with which he entices the listener is almost...

Classic films: Moondram Pirai (1982)

Balu Mahendra wrote and directed this movie starring Kamal Hassan and Sri Devi, Tamil cinemas most successful pair of the 80’s, having worked together in 27 films. The movie begins with the story of Bhagyalakshmi (Sridevi), who has the intelligence of a 7 year old after a serious head injury. She is taken advantage of and ends up in a brothel, where she meets Srinivas (Kamal Hassan) who realises that she has been tricked and takes her to his home, where he takes care of her. Both share an amazing, naive bond which borders on love. Watch one of Ilaiyaraaja’s best known songs, ‘Kanne Kalaimaane...

Classic films: Mudhal Mariyathai (1985)

This classic Tamil film directed by Bharathi Raaja tells the story of a village elder (Sivaji Ganeshan), who is unhappily married to the miserable Ponnaatha, played by Vadivukkarasi. Through flashbacks, a friendship that has blossomed between him and Kuyile (Ratha), a young woman from a lower cast, is revealed. Their relationship complicates matters for both of them, socially and personally. See the unofficial trailer:

Chennai Sangamam next week

Chennai Sangamam, the annual week-long folk art festival, returns next week for the fifth time, with 2,000 performers and 4,000 performances, coinciding with the Tamil festival of Thai Pongal. A significant feature of this year's festival would be performances by the underprivileged children, children from slums, the differently abled and transgenders. The children would perform folk dances, an orchestra by the visually challenged would perform the light musical and a transgender group would stage a play, The Hindu reported. See the Indian Express 's report , and the event’s website .