The restored version of master filmmaker G Aravindan’s all-time classic Thampu (The Circus Tent) will be showcased at this year’s Cannes Classic section. The news was shared by the Film Heritage Foundation, an organization founded by Shivendra Sigh Durgapur that is committed to restoring classic Indian movies.
FHF restored Aravindan’s Kummatti last year, which was screened at this year’s International Film Festival of Kerala. The two films have been restored in collaboration with Martin Scorsese Foundation and Cineteca di Bologna.
Thampu, which released in 1978, had Nedumudi Venu, Bharath Gopi, VK Sreeraman, and Jalaja in pivotal roles. Thampu tells the story of a travelling circus which has dug its tents at a village. Shot in a documentary narrative style, the film gives insights into the village’s geography, lives of villagers, and their interactions with people from the circus group.
The film won Aravindan the National Film award for best direction while Shaji N Karun won the National award for best cinematography.
In an earlier interview with indianexpress.com, Shivendra Singh Durgapur has said that restoring an Indian film is a more laborious task than making a new movie. “I first watched G Aravindan’s movies when I was studying in FTII, Pune. It was PK Nair who introduced us to Aravindan’s movies. After watching movies like Esthappan, Kanchana Seetha, Thampu, I realised that Aravindan was a filmmaker with unique identity and strong visual language. He uses a poetic narrative style and represents Kerala’s culture in an unparalleled way. Another specialty of his movies was that his movies communicated more through silence and used very little dialogues,” he had said.