About   :   Wallpapers   
8883 films, 16619 profiles, and counting

  • films
  • people
  • blogs
FOLLOW US ON
Twitter  Facebook

 contents
Photos

Upperstall Profile



Memorable films

SS Vasan

 

Upperstall profile by: Karan Bali aka TheThirdMan

SS Vasan was a true showman in every sense. Born Thiruthuraipoondi Subramanya Srinivasan Iyer in 1903, he hailed from Thiruthuraipoondi in Tamil Nadu, South India. He came to Madras (now Chennai) to study and then started an Advertising Agency. With the revenue he earned, he bought a small printing press and launched Anandavikatan, a popular weekly in Tamil Nadu even today. He got involved with films when his novel Sati Leelavati was made into a film in 1936.

In 1938 he took over distribution of films of the Madras United Artists Corporation. In 1941 there was a fire in the studio of the Motion Picture Producers Combine. Like most studios in India it was uninsured because no insurance company would take the risk. The partners, by now at odds with each other, decided to sell the charred premises. Vasan bought them, did some rebuilding, and launched the production company Gemini Studios. During the war the firm dabbled in a variety of films including a mythological, a stunt film and a love story or two - Films like Mangamma Sapatham (1943), Kannamma En Kadhali (1945), Miss Malini (1947) and Apoorva Sahodarargal (1949).

However, Vasan was really preparing his big post-independence break. He entered the Hindi market with Chandralekha (1948) a spectacle. Its drum dance is remembered even today! 603 prints of Chandralekha were made and the film was even released in the United States as Chandra with English subtitles! Vasan believed that films were meant to entertain and were meant to be catered to the ordinary man. Colossal production values, huge sets, mammoth dances, thousands of extras were his hallmark. Thus his films were more akin to variety entertain-ment programmes rather than true cinema.

In the 1950s, Gemini Pictures came out with films both in Tamil and Hindi. Popular Hindi films include Mr Sampat (1952), Insaniyat (1955), Raj Tilak (1958) and Paigam (1959). In 1958 he established Gemini Colour Laboratories and believed in establishing the Film Trade on professional lines.

Vasan was the President of the Film Federation of India for two terms and was even nominated to the Rajya Sabha. He was the given the Padma Bhusan by the Government of India in 1969, the year of his death. Gemini Pictures declined in the 1970s although it has remained successful as a studio and equipment rental business.


blog comments powered by Disqus

Recent
Haider
To me, Vishal Bhardwaj's efforts with adapting Shakespeare are a mixed bag. While he succeeded wonderfully with
Madras
On one side, Madras has a lot going for it - a gritty, realistic setting of a lower middle class housing colony...
Daawat-e-Ishq
Daawat-e-Ishq is easily one of the weakest offerings to come out from Yash Raj films, a shallow romcom with som...
Finding Fanny
Quirky characters - Check. Charming sleepy town setting - Check. Color palette - Check. Engag...
Mary Kom
Mary Kom is a real-life hero. The kind of anomaly and a success story that dreams are made of. A woman from a small vill...
Mardaani
Addressing the subject of child trafficking and sexual exploitation, Mardaani succeeds to quite a length. Howev...
Sivaji Ganesan
Sivaji Ganesan is regarded as the greatest actor ever in the history of Tamil cinema. Along with M...
Noor Jehan
Noor Jehan was the biggest singing star of them all - the diva of Bollywood in the 1940s till Inde...
Waheeda Rehman
Waheeda Rehman was the embodiment of classic beauty with a truly transcendental appeal and also on...