Thursday, September 3, 2009

A Guy called Randor

I recently attended two lectures delivered by Mr. Randor Guy (Photo Studios of Madras and Scandals and Secrets of Tamil Cinema) as part of the Madras Week celebrations in Chennai. The crowd for the later topic was huge and people were sitting on the floor to hear his story telling. People listen to him without closing their eyelids and with open mouth for hours together when he keeps telling about yester year film stories. Please read on to know more about Randor Guy.

Randor Guy is the pen name of Madabhushi Rangadorai (Born on March 13, 1945) is a well-known writer and journalist of India. He is also a noted film, social and cultural historian. His writings on a variety of subjects have appeared widely all over India in many languages like English, Tamil, Telugu, Malayalam, Kannada and Hindi in all the leading publications. After earning a BSc, BL from Madras University, Randor practiced as a lawyer for sometime and then started work as an executive in a leading broking firm, Paterson & Co., Madras for five years. He left his job in an agency in 1976 to work as full time creative professional. Guy is married to Dolores Guy.(Anglo Indian). He lives with his family in Ayanavaram, Chennai.

Guy has been writing books on history and films since 1967. However, he became popular when his article on Frank Capra was purchased by the United States Information Agency for use as a reference work. Randor Guy remains the only non-American whose work has been acquired as reference material by the Government of the United States of America. He was engaged by USIS, India to lecture on Capra and his films at Madras, Bangalore, Trivandrum and Hyderabad for the Retro in these cities, the first Indian to be so engaged.

Guy is a regular columnist for newspapers as the Mylapore Times, The Hindu and The Indian Express. He also writes for the film magazine Screen. He writes on a variety of topics though he is mainly popular as a film historian and critic. He was engaged by USIS, India to lecture on Capra and his films at Madras, Bangalore, Trivandrum and Hyderabad for the Retro in these cities, the first Indian to be so engaged.

Guy has also written the screenplay for a few short documentaries and feature films. He has also produced a few advertisement films. In 1999, he made a 100-minute feature film in English titled Perfumed Garden for a Hollywood film company. The film was also subsequently dubbed into Hindi, Tamil and Telugu as Brahmachari. He has also written a Sinhalese film called Paradise Peak based on a best-selling crime novel written by him. Currently, he is working with the screenplay for an English film called ‘Maya’. He also delivers lectures as Visiting Professor at Stella Maris College, Loyola College, New College, Tamil Nadu Film and Television Institute, Bharatiya Vidya Bhavan Institute of Mass Communications, Madras. Randor was a member of the selection panel for the Indian Panorama Films for the International Film Festival, Trivandrum, 1997. A proficient in English, Tamil, Telugu, Kannada, Malayalam and Hindi, he believes that work is worship, and to worship is to work!


On November 12, 2007, during a function commemorating the fifth anniversary of Samudra, a magazine dedicated to art and culture, Guy was awarded the Gnana Samudra award in recognition of his contributions to arts.

Books written by Randor

While the Breakers Roared (Fiction) Indian Ribaldry (Fiction, published in India, Japan and USA) Murder for Pleasure (True Crime) Madhuri Oru Madhiri (Fiction - Tamil) Chaya (Fiction - Telugu) Kasi (Fiction - Telugu) B. N. Reddy (Film History) A History of Tamil Cinema (Film History - Govt. of Tamil Nadu) Chitale (Biography) Starlight Starbright - Early Tamil Cinema (Best-seller) Monsoon (Novelization of a Hollywood movie shot in India)

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