From Mysore to Bangalore

Print edition : October 18, 2013

In "School Master" (1958), the high-minded schoolteacher Ranganna (B.R. Panthulu), who is apparently Brahmin, returns as headmaster to the primary school in his own native village and proceeds to set it right. But what he sets right here is corruption, which had always been the bane of Mysore. Another important motif in the movie is a romance outside the marriage networks and caste to signify the new affiliations brought about by linguistic reorganisation.

Shivarajkumar and Jayashree in "Anand" (1986). The decline of Kannada cinema perhaps begins with the youth-oriented films "Premaloka" (1986), "Anand" and "Nanjundi Kalyana" (1989). The youth film is usually about generational conflict but here it becomes an assertion of "love"; it is as if Kannada cinema, having forgotten what it once represented, is running out of subject matter.

Rajkumar in "Bedara Kannappa" (1954), which was adapted from a famous play staged by the Gubbi Drama Company. The mythological in Kannada cinema was different from the Marathi/Hindi saint film of the 1930s and was closer to D.G. Phalke's films, which were also retold puranic stories.

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