2nd July 2000
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Meaningful journals for Sri Lankan cinema

Serious film journals help in the progress of the cinema. They contribute towards improving the taste of the filmgoer, who then begins to appreciate the finer points in cinema. Films are evaluated at a higher level, and even provide the forum for lively discussions of what is going on in the industry.

Amidst the heaps of cheap stuff that is churned out in the name of film journals, two quality journals have hit the bookstands in recent weeks. One is the second issue of 'Sadisi', the quarterly put out by the National Film Corporation and the other is the twin issue of 'Cinesith' (vol.39/40), Asian Film Centre's quarterly, having a continuous run since 1985.

'Sadisi' covers a wide range of subjects, related to both local and foreign cinema. In his editorial note, the Editor-in-Chief, Tissa Abeysekera discusses how cinema differs from bioscope, and the need for a good mix of the two, if a film is to succeed. Some of the articles in the journal which offer good reading matter include an interview with Dharmasena Pathiraja by editor Sunil Mihindukula with a provocative title 'Ado Pathiraja, Umba Ivarai', a thesis on Literature & Cinema by Tissa Abeysekera, a look at where we are heading by Chandana Silva, Sinhala translations of a lecture and an article by Lester James Peries, Fr. Ernest Porutota's plea for a cinema highlighting faith in humanity, and an analysis of true female characters in the Sinhala cinema by Anusha de Silva.

It is also a useful publication for the student of cinema. For it lists out the world's best films in different categories, it continues the series on the history of publications on Sinhala cinema, it documents the award winners at the recent Presidential Film Awards (along with a double spread of colour photographs), sums up cinema activities in the last three months and introduces recent publications on cinema and film-makers. 

With a new editorial board the recent issue (39/40) of 'Cinesith' has got a new look. Pointing out that the Sri Lankan cinema has reached a decisive stage facing new challenges, editor-in-chief Ashley Ratnavibhushana stresses the need to identify the problem areas and lay a clear path. 

In the cover story, Gamini Wijetunga discusses a contemporary issue of how the female is being used as a commercial product in Sri Lankan society and cinema. 

Young film critic Darshana Liyanage reviews Prasanna Vithanage's award winning creation, 'Pavuru Valalu', while Professor Kusuma Karunaratne makes her observations on how 'Purahanda Kaluwara' was received at the second Asian Film Festival in Tokyo. 

Many readers will find Professor Wimal Dissanayake's Neil I. Perera commemorative oration interesting. Gamini Wijetunga's reviewed of newcomer Satyajit Maitipe's excellent creation, 'Smarana Samapti' is no less interesting. The journal has devoted eight pages to introduce recent publications on cinema in Sinhala. - RANAT

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