Knee Deep in the New Wave

When he's shooting a film, Adoor Gopalakrishnan, 62, doesn't listen to his actors, critics or the government, nor does he pander to his audience. He does, however, listen to the wind. While shooting his latest film, Shadow Kill, the story of an anguished hangman in 1940s India, Adoor was struck by the thumping sound of nighttime gusts playing on the leaves of a palmyra tree near his set in a rural Kerala village. "It sounded exactly like a heartbeat," he says. It was the rhythm he hadn't been aware he was seeking — a...

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