Documenting a cine legend

DECCAN CHRONICLE. | VIDYA NAIR
Published Jun 28, 2017, 12:37 am IST
Updated Jun 28, 2017, 12:37 am IST
Young director Lijin Jose’s documentary on K.G. George is the best tribute to a filmmaker ahead of his time.
Lijin Jose with K.G. George
 Lijin Jose with K.G. George

Director Lijin Jose has no qualms in saying he has made only two movies. Because after the release of his second one in 2013, Lijin put in four years of research to make a documentary he considers his best work till date. The documentary 8 ½ Intercuts: Life and Films of K.G. George, based on the veteran Malayalam director, was screened at the 10th International Documentary and Short Film Festival of Kerala, Thiruvananthapuram.

“Making a documentary on K.G George was definitely a complex process as it required deep analysis of each and every nuance of the veteran’s life. It took a while to figure out how to portray it on screen in a manner that every fan would like to see. There was no room for mistake and therefore my research extended to almost four years. But I am finally satisfied with the end product and feel glad that George has also appreciated my efforts,” says Lijin.

 

He added that it was his friend Shahina. K Rafiq, co-director of the documentary, who came forward with the idea of making something like this.

The knowledge that George has been deprived of the recognition he deserves prompted Lijin to create a holistic documentary that revolves around the filmmaker’s fine cinema as well as personal life.

Though his inclination towards cinema gained him many accolades, George was never considered a family person, a tag the ace filmmaker doesn’t regret. Lijin has paid importance to this aspect in his work as well.  The documentary, along with nine of George’s movies, also showcases various other incidents in the director’s life through his own narration. His wife Selma and Kerala’s young actors and directors like Fahadh Fazil, Anjali Menon, B. Unnikrishnan, and Geethu Mohandas have also lent their voice to this documentary.

The title of the documentary is inspired from ace Italian filmmaker Federico Fellini’s film 8 ½.

 “I knew that Fellini is K. G. George’s personal favourite. During the process of making the documentary, I had several interactions with the filmmaker and realised that he had and Fellini shared similarities in terms of personality, life, and approach towards cinema. This triggered a thought in me that the title of the film should definitely have a connection with Fellini,” adds the director.

Lijin, who is overwhelmed by the success of the documentary, says he owes a lot to his friends and the crew, including producer Shibu C. Susheelan and editor B. Ajithkumar. The admiration they have for their favourite director resulted in many of them working on this project for free.

“K.G. George is an exceptional human being and as a director, is far ahead of his time. I feel lucky to have made a film that would give people an insight into his cinema and life,” Lijin concludes.

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