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Tamil actor Kamal Haasan stars in new role as political leader

Views - 933 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 - 5245 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 - 3807 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 - 3411 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 - 1711 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 - 1396 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 - 5966 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 - 7337 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 - 8456 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 - 13185 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 - 10202 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 - 14827 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 - 10925 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 - 13620 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 - 15934 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 - 18865 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 - 17830 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 - 14302 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 - 16642 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 - 15247 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 - 14520 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 - 16781 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 - 13681 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 - 15854 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 - 16216 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 - 14969 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


Farewell, Sir Christopher Lee

Views - 3758 Saturday, 13 June 2015 00:10

Legendary movie villain played Dracula, Fu Manchu, Scaramanga, Saruman and Dooku ​ Sir Christopher Lee   There was a time when I was afflicted by the supernatural in the form of ghost stories


Cannes award-winning ‘Dheepan’ arouses much interest in Sri Lanka

Views - 14251 Saturday, 6 June 2015 00:20

  Cannes is a city on the picturesque French Riviera-Mediterranean coast in South-Eastern France. It is classified as a French commune which is an administrative division roughly equivalent to a municipality. The pride of


P. Leela, ‘forgotten’ singer who sang unforgettable film songs

Views - 10775 Saturday, 23 May 2015 00:10

Baburaj, Abhayadev and P. Leela in an undated recording session     I was pleasantly surprised this week when a South Indian journal asked me to revise an article I had written earlier about the sin


Katharine “Kate” Hepburn holds Oscar record for most wins in acting category

Views - 7754 Saturday, 16 May 2015 02:31

 Spencer Tracy and Katharine Hepburn in Woman of the Year 12 May was the birthday of an actress who was described by the American Film Institute as the “greatest American screen legend” among female stars


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Today's Columnists

Tamil actor Kamal Haasan stars in new role as political leader

Saturday, 24 February 2018

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


Yameen’s economic offensive to counter political adversity ahead of presidential poll

Saturday, 24 February 2018

The embattled Maldivian President Abdulla Yameen, who is facing intense political opposition both in and out of the country, hopes to win the September, 2018 presidential election using a combination of political belligerence and a strong economic pr


In the end, there was nothing

Saturday, 24 February 2018

Much more than a storm in a tea cup! To a non-discerning person, it all seemed like the final battle of the counter revolution. President Sirisena was up in smoke trying to oust Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe for no articulated reason. He asked


Shouldn’t Govt. prevent parliamentary system from decay and destruction?

Friday, 23 February 2018

The wrong people teach us the best lessons. As a clever nation, we had always used our ballot and chased the wrong people


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