Best-selling author Preeti Shenoy was recently in Kochi in connection with the launch of her latest book. The venue was the slickstore of DC Books at Convent Junction. Malayalam News Channel Manorama TV’s host interviewed her which I found innovative in many ways. The questions and answers were direct and honest, and I have no complaints about the content. However, the way the Interview was ‘tele’-graphed appeared to have nuances of Brecht & Godard rolled into one.All through the interview, Preeti Shenoy moved around the sprawling store, the interviewer following her with a restless camera.
I failed to concentrate on the content of the interview most of the time since the form of narration appeared to distract me from listening. This is a case of the awareness of the presence of the ever-moving camera, the crew, the changing visuals almost every other second resulting in an artistically menacing alienation from the questions and the answers.
In short, I had to view the interview a second time to understand what was being discussed. I found the technology hijacking the content, the people, the speech … If content is touted to be the King, here is an example of a TV interview signifying a restless world we all inhabit, the dromo-manic celebrity of the 21st century in a hurry with a form that overpowers the King.
I found the entire format and evolution of the TV interview, artistically disturbing conjuring up images of the frenzied paparazzi mindlessly stalking the celebrity with robotic determination. Finally, the relevance of the note in this web page … The interviewer asked all the questions in Malayalam. It was a delight to see Kochi bred St. Teresian Preeti Shenoy replying in effortlessly fluent Malayalam with a bit of conversational English words used here and there.
While a noted regional Literary Festival is on in Mumbai I thought of chipping in with this piece; I couldn’t find a better media environment…
(G Balachandra Menon is a writer based in Kochi. His writings encompass a wide range of subjects covering arts, cinema, essays, short stories etc.)