Isaac Thomas Kottukapally: ‘His music was aimed at philosophy of cinema’

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Isaac Thomas Kottukapally

Isaac Thomas Kottukapally was a person destined to grow to be a music director. He labored within the Malayalam, Kannada, Punjabi and Hindi movie industries throughout a stellar profession, choosing up numerous nationwide and worldwide prizes, together with the National Award for the background rating of the 2010 Malayalam film Adaminte Makan Abu.

The veteran music director handed away in Chennai on Thursday, aged 72.

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Veteran Kannada filmmaker Girish Kasaravalli stated Isaac had a singular approach to creating music. “While most music directors think that their music is only to enhance the visuals, Isaac’s was aimed at enhancing the philosophy of cinema. He used to understand the politics of films. During a period when we worked together, he was inspired a lot from filmmakers such as Ingmar Bergman and Luis Bunuel,” he stated.

“Among the many films in which we were associated together, the music he did for my movie Dweepa (2002) was very popular. He was a beautiful man, and he had a great understanding about cinema,” Kasaravalli stated.

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Born in Pala near Kottayam, Kerala, Isaac graduated from Madras Christian College, following which he studied at FTII, Pune and labored as an advert man earlier than turning his consideration to motion pictures.

Starting off within the movie business as a script author, Isaac debuted as a composer with the 1997 movie Thaayi Saheba.

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Kasaravalli recalled that earlier than Issac joined the movie business, “he attended the Trinity College of Music in London and wrote a script for a film… After doing the script, he approached me as I was preparing to shoot Thaayi Saheba. I was surprised as he had actually studied direction at FTII. Later, he produced music for six of my films”.

Asianet TV channel founder Sashi Kumar stated after Isaac graduated from FTII, the 2 ran an promoting company for a number of years. “Later when I started Asianet, he was the channel’s first vice-president. Isaac played many roles for Asianet in the initial days, including content creation,” Kumar advised The Indian Express.

Describing Isaac as a “hippie”, Kumar stated, “His interest in western music was deeper than we could imagine. That passion made him study music in London even as he didn’t bother to formally complete it. I do not know anyone in my lifetime who has watched as many movies as he did. He used to watch movies by each and every shot, not as a story or plot. You ask him any scene, he will tell you shot by shot with minute details.”

Though Isaac’s official position was that of manufacturing the background rating of a movie, throughout the shoot, he could be concerned in numerous actions, together with screenplay and shot divisions.

In reality, Isaac co-wrote the screenplays for legendary Malayalam director G Aravindan’s Thampu (1978), Kummatty (1979) and Esthappan (1980).

“Isaac lost hundreds of scripts during the 2016 Vardah cyclone… He always wanted to do a movie. But beyond getting immersed in films and music, he never tried to achieve anything in life. He was one such most underrated person in the industry and art,” Kumar stated.

Veteran Malayalam director Adoor Gopalakrishnan recalled Issac as a person with a variety of goodwill.

“Even as he studied film direction, eventually he started focusing on music alone. He was much younger than me at FTII but I remember discussions about his diploma film Lilies of March, when he was a student. We expected him to emerge as a prominent filmmaker at that time,” Gopalakrishnan stated.


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