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Is the Guild System returning through Malayalam Cinema?




Is The Guild System Returning Through Malayalam Cinema?


P.S.Remesh Chandran,
Editor, Sahyadri Books & Bloom Books, Trivandrum.

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In the middle ages, an experienced and specialized worker could work
and make his living only if he joined the respective Guild. Painting,
drawing, sculpting, moulding, gold-working, all were controlled by the
respective guilds. The guild master or the foreman of that particular
guild would be the omnipotent in that particular field of human
activity. Plumbers, painters, artists, brick-builders, kiln-workers,
goat-herders all had their own guilds. The powers of these guilds were
such that they controlled the respective industry, enterprise or
establishment as the case may be. The guild master and foreman could
do with or do without any worker. People and their families lost their
lives or living, according to the whims and fancies of these guild
masters.



In the Sixteenth century, power of the guild was such unquestionable
and unbreakable that even Michael Angelo and Leonardo Da Vinci could
not attempt a painting or undertake a sculpture without their consent.
Sixteenth century was an age of reawakening of thought and knowledge
when art and literature flourished, knowledge became fashionable and
science began to stir- all termed under the common title of
Renaissance. Immediately behind came the Industrial Revolution and
it's aftermaths, the Political Revolutions that shook the world. When
these mammoth tides receded, there were no traces of these notorious
guilds remaining on the shores of history. The shores were washed up
an kept clean for the coming age of Great Cinemas.



It was during this great age of the Cinemas that artists began to be
endowed with great freedom. The freedom artists got then was such
great and full and it's momentum such forceful that even after a
hundred years it still reins. A great many of the classic English,
French and Italian cinemas expostulated the sublime beauty and
ultimate freedom of man, the feelings of freedom emanating from which
culminated in grand political actions in the European arena and
elsewhere.  In France Jean Paul Sartre opened up new vistas of this
freedom. His conception of man's freedom was such limitless that while
walking through the Paris streets he began to think: Why can't I walk
as I like, as if there is no traffic on the roads? Let the cabs stop
and remain there till I cross! He never obeyed traffic rules, to the
embarrassment of the French Police Surete. But French President
Charles De Gaulle ordered never to touch Sartre, even if he disobeyed
traffic rules, to satisfy international anxiety and out of respect for
this man.



It was at such a magnificent time that Malayalam Cinemas began to be
produced, following the glasnost and peristroika of the post-war
Europe. Malayalam cinema people were great admirers of, and guided by
those lofty ideals which auto-shaped world cinema. But during the
first decade of the Twenty first century, Malayalam cinema took a turn
to the bad, as regard to artist-technician-director-producer inter-
relations. For the first time, through various heinous hideous
methods, the world-discarded guild system returned to, through,
Malayalam cinema. Talented artists, technicians, producers and
directors began to be banned from work, ousted from associations and
hunted for their dire opinions. The only thing they did not attempt to
do was a Skimmetty Ride such as we see in the novels of Thomas Hardy.
Once it was real pleasure to see Mr.Mammootty, Mohanlal, Suresh Gopi,
Thilakan, Sreenivasan, Nedumudi Venu and Jagathy Sreekumar all in one
film but now that time is past, for the time being. Renaissance
teaches us that petty and puny guilds cannot hinder the free
expression of ideas, art and talent in a free and modern nation. Man's
ultimate freedom for expression of ideas and talents, and his right to
earn a living  through them is paramount. It is the guilds which would
be swept away to smithereens in the coming tides.

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