‘Film News’ Anandan (P.G. Anandakrishnan), often referred to as a ‘living encyclopaedia on Tamil movies,’ died here on Monday after a brief illness.

Anandan had recalled that his tryst with films began with his camera. His first photographs of Sivaji Ganesan won appreciation from Kollywood artistes. While working as reporter for film chamber, he used to meticulously collect details of films released on Fridays, actors, directors and musicians involved in them.

Survived by his wife, two daughters and two sons, Anandan is widely known for having chronicled almost everything regarding Tamil cinema.

Hailed as a “walking encyclopedia of South Indian Cinema,” he meticulously chronicled Tamil, Telugu, Malayalam and Kannada movies starting from the 1930s alongside stills from movies. Even today photographs from top films till the 1980’s will be credited to Anandan.

He recently published a phenomenal and extensive work on film history, a collection of data that he had gathered from over 16,000 feature films in different languages. Anandan provided clarity and perspective for many generations of film journalists until his death.

Through his long career, Anandan had a ringside view of the evolution of technology in Tamil cinema and how film audiences understand the craft in cinema. “The layman of today knows much more about camera angles, editing and art than he did earlier,” he said in an interview to The Hindu . Those who have had the good fortune of speaking to him attest to his incredible memory and strong sense of humour.

Condoling his death, Chief Minister Jayalalithaa said, “I am deeply grieved to learn the demise of Anandan hailed as the historian of Tamil cinema and a walking library.”

She said he had chronicled all the information and photographs related to the world of cinema in his long career.

“He passionately took up the work,” she said, and added how he went on to bag several awards including the Kala Peetam, Kalichelvam and Kalaimamani.