Thursday, July 28, 2011

Movies, Cinema Posters and Cut-outs

Vaasanthi writes in her "Cut-outs, Caste and Cine stars".

The old lady opened her eyes and looked out from the window of her air-conditioned car. "What are all those dear?", she inquired about the figures that dominated the skyline. 
'Oh, those are cut-outs, Mother', said the official lightly.'Cut-outs of our chief minister.' 
Mother Teresa craned her neck and looked up at the sky. Jayalalitha's head was hidden among the clouds. 
'Good heavens,' said a shocked Mother Teresa, "it's so huge!" 
Her escort was amused by her reaction. 'Have you never seen such cut-outs ?' she asked. Still watching the passing parade of cut-outs, Mother Teresa replied, 'No, nowhere in the world.'

Cinema wall posters and cut-outs can arguably be regarded as "unique" cultural symbols of South India, more particularly in Tamilnadu and Andhra Pradesh. These should probably be the only states (in the world) wherein cine-stars contested elections after starting a political party on their own and went on to become chief ministers of their states. In that sense, Cinema assumes an important part of the social lives in these societies and hence Cinema posters will have an all pervasive presence. Cinema posters in movies provide a curious reminder of this ubiquitous presence of cinema posters in tamilnadu. 

A few observations on this ..

A "shot" of the cinema posters in movies, many a times, convey or summarise the mood or course of the film. 
In period films, cinema posters are an "essential" prop to re-create the social atmosphere of the yesteryears. 
M.G.Ramachandran and Rajinikanth are probably the most represented stars on the cinema posters (in movies).

Over to the Photo essay.

Iruvar (1997), Mani Ratnam

Thavamaai Thavamirunthu (2005), Cheran

Veyil (2006), Vasanthabalan

Thotta Chinungi (1995), K.S.Adhiyaman

Subramaniapuram (2008), Sasikumar

Mouna Raagam (1986), Mani Ratnam

Phantom India (1969), Louis Malle 

Mannan (1992), P.Vasu

Aan Paavam (1985), Pandiyarajan

Suvar Illadha chithirangal (1979), K.Bhagyaraj

Vaaranam Aayiram (2008), Gautham Menon

Boss Engira Baskaran (2010), Rajesh

Vinnaithaandi Varuvaaya (2010), Gautham Menon


  1. Thanks so much for posting all of the awesome info! Looking forward to seeing more posts!
    A new trend has been emerged in party decorations and that is celebrity cut outs of celebrities! These life size props help you grab the attention of every guest and cherish the memories of celebration for months to come. Once you used celebrity cutouts in your party d├ęcor, your invitees will try the same out when their turns come.

  2. One plot-functional one I can think of is Manal Kaiyiru where one of the twin brothers sees an MGR movie poster and gets the idea to impersonate his brother.