TV Times

17th March 2002

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'Cross Section' hits with Antoinette and Rod

By Sanath Weerasuriya 
The 'Cross Section with Antoinette and Rodney' is the latest outfit to hit the scene.

Though it has a new name, the band comprises some of the veteran musicians with years of experience behind them. 'Actually I was with Peter Prins Combo and Peter has decided to call it a day for his band. So I was asked to continue with the band and I started it with a new name and with the support of my colleague Rodney Rabot'. Antoinette explained the beginning of 'Cross Section'. 

Though Peter has called it a day, he will continue as a pianist and a solo musician. 

Rodney, Raj Emmanuel, Patrick Davidson with Antoinette from the Combo and the latest additions Hilary and Harsha Makalande saw the birth of 'Cross Section'. 

'Cross Section' will be a dance band and will be almost keeping line as the Combo. We cater to any audience of any age group. We play mainly dance music', Antoinette said. Coming from a musical family Antoinette has been in the music scene for almost three decades.

"Most of my brothers are musicians. Randy de Hoedt still performs with Pearl. My father supported my career and my husband Lucky too helped me to come this long way in music", she said. 

Her first band 'Antoinette and Gaylords' was active from 1974 to 1981 and later she joined Peter Prins Combo. She was with the Combo till he called it a day few months back. Antoinette said she is very thankful for the support of veteran front line vocalist/guitarist Rodney Rabot and the rest of the members of Peter Prins Combo Raj and Patrick, together with the latest additions renowned pianist Harsha Makalande and the lalented, Hilary Christy for giving all their support to bring this band to the top. Rodney Rabot, a well known in the music scene here in Sri Lanka for his distinctive singing style was a one time member of Amazing Grace. 

He also had his own band Climax and was also a member of Antoinette and the Gaylords and Harsha Makalande's band Krome. 

He was with Jetliners and Spitfires before joining 'krome'. "Having Harsha the renowned pianist join the band is definitely a great advantage as he too is a highly rated musician in Sri Lanka and a promoter of original music," she added. 

Raj Emanuel and Patrick Davidson were with the Peter Prins Combo for many years and are very versatile in their own fields of music. Raj is a drummer of repute and experience and is a useful vocalist too. Patrick Davidson is an experienced musician who has been in the music scene for quite a while playing for some well known bands. He now plays an effective baas line.

Hilary Christy, talented on keyboards has much experience to his credit and has been performing a Duo-Trio scene for sometime. 

'Cross Section' with Antoinette and Rodney are now ready to take the scene with a bang. "We are geared up to play any bashin the coming season." she said.

'Aswesuma' goes overseas

'The Compensation' (Aswesuma) the debut cinematic venture of Benette Ratnayake is to be catered for an international Film Festival in US. 

The film is to be screened at Tiburon International Film Festival in USA starting from March 22. 

This film portrays an old man who thinks that the utmost happiness in life is to free oneself from attachments. The main role of Old Guneris is played by veteran actor Joe Abeywickrema.

The film won the Platinum Award for the Best First Feature at the 34th Houston I.F.F. and Special Jury Award (Fipresci) by Federation of International Film Critics at the 4th Mumbai I.F.F. and was a entry at other world renowned film festivals including Moscow IFF, Montreal IFF and Kerala IFF.

The film opens with the funeral of the elderly Guneris' wife, and this beloved husband walks straight to the police station demanding that he be imprisoned for a triple murder he had committed 52 years ago. 

The rest follows with the revelation of Guneris' past which is filled with a number of tragic events. The film is being screened at Regal Colombo with English subtitle. 

Film men in search of a course

By Susitha R. Fernando 
A group of Sri Lankan film makers have written to the authorities asking what the new government's policy on local film industry was. 

Among the signatories are some of the reputed names in the film scenario here. They range from the most senior to the most junior in the industry. 

Speaking at a brief meeting held with the directors Prasanna Vithanage said they were pursuing action to rescue the industry from the present crisis and that they had questioned the minister in-charge-of the subject on five issues. 

They were, 
1. It the National Film Corporation is still operating what are its functions? 
2. Will the government intervene to maintain a cinematically rich film culture and if so what steps would be pursued here. 
3. As set out in a policy statement what measures would be introduced to give the local cinema the international stature it richly deserves. 
4. In the event the government considers it has to run film making as an industry what plans would be drawn up to realize the intention.
5. Considering the 55-year old industry a cultural heritage will the government undertake to encourage a set of dedicated young artistes to carry on the tradition. 

Dharmasiri Pathiraja, one among the most talented and intelligent film makers responsible for introducing a new film culture which was more or less in consonance with reality has conveyed the idea that he had completely given up film making. He said "We have failed to fight against the privatisation of film distribution." 

Another film director, Somaratne Balasuriya viewed it was a pathetic situation for people to give up making films when they are still capable of serving their own chosen medium. Bennette Ratnayake described that the present film making system is in a real crisis and the film makers who are attempting to do some good artistic movies got discouraged as they cannot afford to compete with the present system of releasing films. He added the privatisation of the system had given the opportunity to everyone to decide on releasing of films. 

"The theatre owners had come to decide what to show and what not to in their theatres without thinking abut the industry" he said. "Cheap films are being released motivated by profit which taking out classic films which are attracting appreciable audiences" he lamented.

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