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Great ‘Gamperaliya’: A great novel made into a great film by a great director

Views - 1733 Saturday, 23 June 2018 00:35

‘Gamperaliya’ (Changes in the Village/Changement au Village) was the third feature film made by ace director Lester James Peries. It was released on 20 December 1963.The film was based on the famous novel of the same name written by the doyen of


‘Rekava’ in 1956 revolutionised Sinhala cinema

Views - 4062 Saturday, 5 May 2018 01:00

The doyen of Sri Lankan cinema, Lester James Peries, has breathed his last. It has been my firm opinion that the master movie maker was Sri Lanka’s greatest film director. When I began the ‘Spotlight’ column focusing on films, film personaliti


P.B. Sreenivas and S. Janaki: Evergreen film songs of an endearing singer duo

Views - 2815 Saturday, 28 April 2018 01:00

Tamil film music has been enriched over the years by the immense contribution of non-Tamil music composers and playback singers of South Indian origin.


‘Wanda Pethi,’ ‘Digakalliya’ and the violence in Ampara

Views - 6501 Saturday, 17 March 2018 01:11

Sri Lanka, struggling for long to recover from the debilitating effects of a protracted civil war and progress resolutely along the road to economic prosperity, suffered a tremendous setback in the last days of February and early days of March with t


Tamil actor Kamal Haasan stars in new role as political leader

Views - 4473 Saturday, 24 February 2018 01:00

Srinivasan Kamal Haasan is one of India’s foremost film actors. Known popularly as Kamal, the talented and versatile thespian has not only excelled as an actor onscreen, but has successfully engaged in other cinematic spheres too. The multi-faceted


Evergreen memories of actor-politician Vijaya Kumaratunga

Views - 5623 Saturday, 17 February 2018 01:00

Popular film actor-politician Vijaya Kumaratunga was shot dead in cold blood on 16 February 1988. He was standing near the front gate of his Kirulapone residence on Polhengoda road and talking to an acquaintance when the assailants travelling in a tw


Dharmasena Pathiraja – The Master Movie Maker

Views - 3908 Saturday, 10 February 2018 01:00

Renowned Sri Lankan film maker Dharmasena Pathiraja breathed his last on the morning of 28 January, 2018 at the Lakeside Hospital in Kandy. The 74-year-old academic cum film director, referred to as “Pathi” by almost everybody he interacted with,


“Rani” Deepika reigns as Queen of Hindi filmdom

Views - 3445 Saturday, 3 February 2018 00:55

After days of protests, demonstrations, threats and violence against its release, India’s ace filmmaker Sanjay Leela Bhansali’s epic magnum opus ‘Padmaavat’ hit the screens on 25 January.


Sivaji, MGR, Gemini – The three kings of Tamil cinema heroes

Views - 2122 Saturday, 30 December 2017 00:50

‘We Three Kings of Orient Are’ is a popular Christmas carol written and set to music by Rev. John Henry Hopkins Jnr in 1857. This is about the wise men mentioned in the Bible who came to Bethlehem with the gifts of gold, frankincense and myrrh to


Jacqueline Fernandez: Scintillating jewel of Sri Lanka

Views - 1482 Saturday, 16 December 2017 00:45

‘Spotlight’ shines again after many weeks to focus on a luminous Sri Lankan star of Sri Lanka who has been illuminating the Hindi cinematic firmament for several years.


Vasantha Obeysekere, his house on Lauries Road and ‘Dadayama’

Views - 6093 Saturday, 6 May 2017 00:02

    Versatile Film Director and Script Writer Vasantha Obeysekere breathed his last on 8 April. Vasantha, born on 29 December 1937, was 79 years of age when he passed away peacefully in Colombo.  In a creative care


Lester James Peries, the legendary pioneer of authentic Sri Lankan cinema

Views - 7753 Saturday, 8 April 2017 00:02

    The doyen of Sinhala cinema celebrated his 98th birthday on 5 April     If I were to pose the question “Mirror, mirror on the wall, who is the best Lankan filmmaker


First Sinhala talkie ‘Kadawunu Poronduwa’ was released 70 years ago

Views - 8570 Saturday, 21 January 2017 03:20

History was made 70 years ago when the film ‘Kadawunu Poronduwa’ (Broken Promise) premiered at the Kingsley Theatre in Colombo on 21 January 1947. The Chief Guest was D.S. Senanayake, Minister of Agriculture and Lands under the State C


Action hero Gamini Fonseka was the first superstar of Sinhala cinema

Views - 13294 Saturday, 24 December 2016 00:10

‘Spotlight’ beams this week on Gamini Fonseka, the first superstar of Sinhala cinema. I had begun preparing this article many months ago to mark the 80th birth anniversary of Sembuge Gamini Shelton Fonseka who was born on 21 M


When actress Jayalalithaa reigned as uncrowned Queen of Tamil cinema

Views - 10234 Saturday, 17 December 2016 00:10

The recent demise of alluring actress turned powerful politico Jayalalithaa Jayaram has caused a void in the politics of India’s Tamil Nadu state.  The 68-year-leader of the All-India Anna Dravida Munnetra Kazhagham (AIADMK)


Maestro W. D. Amaradeva created a distinctive genre of Sinhala music

Views - 14958 Saturday, 3 December 2016 00:10

     Renowned Sri Lankan vocalist, violinist and music composer W.D. Amaradeva passed away in a Colombo hospital on 3 November, just one month short of his 89th birthday.  Millions of Lankan rasikas scattered


“Marikkar” Ramdas: The Brahmin who transformed into a Muslim

Views - 10962 Saturday, 16 July 2016 00:05

        “Marikkar” Ramdas has passed away! Sadness spread among numerous fans of Sri Lankan origin scattered widely in different parts of the globe as news of the demise of th


Southern skylark Susheela soars to ‘record’ heights in singing film songs

Views - 13676 Saturday, 11 June 2016 00:10

   An indispensable feature of Indian language films are the song sequences. The songs are usually picturised on actors or actresses who lip-synch them on screen. The voices we hear belong to off-screen singers known gen


An ‘affair’ of the mind between a nubile undergrad and her ageing professor

Views - 16170 Saturday, 28 May 2016 00:36

Asoka Handagama Asoka Handagama’s latest film ‘Let Her Cry’ is currently being shown in theatres on a limited run from 13 May to 10 June. The director apparently preferred to utilise the gap in between already-scheduled r


Kandy-born actor-politico “MGR” reigned supreme in Tamil Nadu cinema and politics

Views - 19210 Saturday, 20 February 2016 00:05

There was a time when the magical initials MGR were a household name in the Tamil-speaking homes of countries with a substantial population of Tamils, including India and Sri Lanka. The initials referred to swashbuckling actor M.G. Ramach


‘Lanka-friendly’ Indian actress Asin weds entrepreneur Rahul in grand style

Views - 17856 Friday, 29 January 2016 23:43

An adorable actress with lovely looks being swept off her feet by an efficacious entrepreneur with dashing features into a grand wedding is the romantic stuff modern fairy tales are made of. No wonder then that Indian ne


Uncrowned monarch of humorous actors in Tamil movies

Views - 14335 Saturday, 19 December 2015 00:56

By D. B. S. Jeyaraj An integral part of the Tamil Film tradition has been humour. While a few films have been devoted to comedy alone the bulk of Tamil movies have had actors playing out amusing roles evoking mirth and laughter. T


Villain of Tamil cinema who terrified people with his grimaces and scowls

Views - 16780 Saturday, 28 November 2015 00:20

The eighth death anniversary of a man named Manjeri Narayanan Nambiar or M.N. Nambiar fell on 19 November. He was 89 years of age at the time of his death. Nambiar was a terrible villain who could terrify people by merely grimacing and sc


Gamini Fonseka, Lester James Peries and the milestone movie ‘Nidhanaya’

Views - 15356 Saturday, 3 October 2015 00:10

Gamini Fonseka    Sembuge Gamini Shelton Fonseka, known generally as Gamini Fonseka – the uncrowned monarch of Sinhala cinema – passed away at the age of 68 on 30 September 2004. Gamini was one of my


Indigenous Tamil cinema in Sri Lanka before ‘Black July’

Views - 14582 Saturday, 26 September 2015 00:02

 Athanas Jesurasa ​ “Yaarlpaanam” (Jaffna/Yapanaya) regarded by many as the cultural capital of the “Ilangai Thamizhar” of Sri Lanka hosted an international film festival from 15 to 21 Septem


Geetha stars in new role as Galle MP

Views - 16812 Saturday, 5 September 2015 00:01

Geetha Kumarasinghe ​ Elections are over and a new Parliament has been elected. The political excitement however is yet to subside. ‘Spotlight’ returns after a brief interval to focus on films, film


Remembering Kadirgamar on his 10th death anniversary

Views - 13768 Saturday, 8 August 2015 00:00

Lakshman Kadirgamar   ‘Spotlight’ will move away from its usual focus on movies and movie-related topics this week and beam on an illustrious personality of Sri Lanka whose 10th death anniversary falls on


M.S. Viswanathan and T.K. Ramamurthy, the ‘Monarchs of Light Music’ in Tamil cinema

Views - 15918 Saturday, 18 July 2015 00:05

The Chief Minster greets the recipients of the award MSV and TKR as Rajnikanth and Kamal Haasan look on Watching Tamil movies on screen and listening to Tamil film songs over radio was an integral part of life for me as a


“Kaadhal Mannan” Gemini Ganesan, romantic actor king of Tamil cinema

Views - 18216 Saturday, 11 July 2015 00:05

In writing last week about legendary film actor Tony Ranasinghe, I referred to the comment by Malani Fonseka about Tony being the greatest romantic lover in Sinhala films. The queen of Sinhala cinema who has acted in about 40 fil


Tony Ranasinghe: the greatest character actor and romantic lover in Sinhala cinema

Views - 15037 Saturday, 4 July 2015 01:30

    “Tony as an actor is the best character-based actor not even witnessed in the Indian screen. He has an actor within himself who emerges at the correct moment. Tony Ranasinghe is the best charac


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Today's Columnists

Crisis-ridden Sri Lanka economy: Time for economics to prevail on politics

Monday, 25 June 2018

Sri Lanka’s official statistics bureau, Department of Census and Statistics or DCS, has released the country’s 2018 first quarter provisional economic growth data in its website (available at: http://www.statistics.gov.lk/national_accounts/dcsna_


In defence of State banks – The Basel III phobia is the sword of Damocles over their heads!

Monday, 25 June 2018

Time and again over the last year, and more recently in fact, the sceptre of Basel III has raised its head in the print and electronic media.


Great ‘Gamperaliya’: A great novel made into a great film by a great director

Saturday, 23 June 2018

‘Gamperaliya’ (Changes in the Village/Changement au Village) was the third feature film made by ace director Lester James Peries. It was released on 20 December 1963.The film was based on the famous novel of the same name written by the doyen of


Thushani takes Todos to new heights

Saturday, 23 June 2018

Thushani Rodrigo has always amazed me. From the very first day I met her, I have been in awe of her strength, courage and grace and constantly impressed by her creativity. The discipline and commitment she brings to her work, her farsightedness and h


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