The current stock of around 500 books.

Where the bibliophile meets the cinephile Chennais only bookshop dedicated to the movies
news Monday, April 18, 2016 - 20:29

It’s pure cinema, in the written word. Chennai’s only book shop which is dedicated entirely to film is now open.

Called “Pure Cinema”, the shop caters to every type of audience – from those in love with aesthetics to the ones who just love the entertainment.

Its owner 30-year-old owner Arun M, says the shop has been nine years in the making. “The bookstore is an extension of the Tamizh movement which I began nine years ago. I wanted to see more of alternative cinema in Tamil, but I felt people only saw movies for entertainment. Cinema is a different language that we need to learn,” he says.

His view that cinema is a different language comes from his days at a film appreciation course that he took at the Film and Television Institute of India in Pune. “I watched so many foreign movies for the course, that I wanted other people also to watch such amazing movies,” he said.

For him, alternative cinema is about making movies on real human lives instead of entertainment. Ask him to name Tamil films like this, and he says Visaranai and Kaaka Muttai.

Although he leans towards alternative cinema, he ensures that the titles include a wide variety of genres. “During documentation, you can’t really say that you will stick to books on alternative cinema. We have books on commercial cinema as well. We want to get the attention of the people,” Arun says.

The current stock of around 500 books, most of them in Tamil, include volumes on superstars Rajinikanth, MGR and Kamal Hassan. ‘The Eye of the Serpent’ by Tamil author Theodore Baskaran, ‘Kadhai Neram’ by cinematographer and director Balu Mahendra, a biography on actor MG Ramachandran called ‘Vadhyar’ are among the other notable titles that line the shelves.

Just 25 books are in English, but plans are afoot to stock up more. Arun is also getting in touch with Malayalam publishers to expand the collection. Although Tamil cinema now has a history of a century, there aren’t enough books in Tamil on the technical aspects of filmmaking. He wants to try and change this as well.

Pure Cinema also stocks magazines and documentaries, which include films by Anand Patwardhan such as ‘In the Name of God’, ‘War and Peace’ and ‘Bombay Our City’. He rues that there he does not have Tamil documentaries on the inventory as people are unwilling to put them up for sale.

Besides getting people love cinema through literature, Arun is also attempting to get people love alternative cinema. He organizes free screenings of films and conducts workshops as well. “I want to make alternative cinema, for that I need to educate people about alternative cinema to create an audience for such movies,” he said.

Become a TNM Member for just Rs 999!
You can also support us with a one-time payment.