By Jyothi Venkatesh
Renowned filmmaker as well as profound film critic Utpal Datta has come up with a thought provoking as well as informative and comprehensive book on film appreciation. It is the translated English version of his own Assamese original CHALACHITRAR RASASWADAN, by Dr Dipsikha Bhagawati. Says Utpal, “I know her as a scholar in English Literature, especially T S Eliot. She holds a very high opinion on my book and expressed her willingness to translate. I felt happy and proud to tell you that the book is already in the syllabus of Graduate and post-graduate classes of a few universities. Now, the English translation is out and students and filmbuffs from across the country have also shown their love to the book. Journalist and author Sunil Badal who has already completed its Hindi translation, and Hindi edition will come out in the New Year. Yadu Vijayakrishnan Parameswaran, Malayalam filmmaker and author, will do the Malayalam translation. I am thrilled to see the fate of the book. One established publisher from Bangladesh had shown his interest in the Bangla translation. I think for this version I will have to include some references of Bangladeshi films.”
Says Dr Dipsikha Bhagawati “As a film buff, I’ve always nurtured interest in what you call ‘film’ or in an extended version – ‘cinema’ that had clung my diligence in a way ceaselessly to get deep into its square realm, especially in a native set up. Wherever I read about the mathematics of film, or the intricacies of relishing a film, I just tried to fix them in my psychomotor flur and hold fast. Coincidentally, I came across this book – ‘Chalachitrar Rasaswadon’, written in Assamese language by national award winning film critic and filmmaker, Utpal Datta. And as I started reading it, I went on being hooked. The thoughts and ideas of iconic filmmakers like Satyajeet Ray, Dr Bhabendra Nath Saikia, Ramesh Sippy, Akira Kurosawa – the way they are being discussed and exploited, the multidimensional perspectives of making or relishing the craft called the film, the proper grammar to conceive the aesthetic sense behind perceiving the real sense of savouring a film, its technical dimensions went on being unfolded. The thought clicked my sense that if this book can be translated into English, it would cater to a larger clan of film lovers and newbies, specifically the young learners with its simplified and finer understanding about this assembled exercise of silver screen and hence this is the holistic purpose behind it”.
In his foreword on the book, Manoj Srivastava, Chairman Diorama Cinemas writes, “The advent of cheaper affordable filmmaking technology today has democratised the medium. With a smart phone in hand, any child can attempt filmmaking. The mushrooming of film festivals globally has created space for exhibiting all kinds of films. While a kind of movement is taking place worldwide, experimenting with images and sound and the cinematic medium is getting richer, sadly there is hardly any book that can teach filmmaking in a concise and clear manner.”
This is Utpal Datta’s way of making filmmaking simpler with his thoughts of appreciating cinema today in a lucid language with his book costing just Rs 200 and published by Blue Rose Publishers. Go grab it if you want to not only make films but also appreciate the art of filmmaking