Director's Cut - 50 Major Film Makers Of The Modern Era by M.K. Raghavendra

Harsha Vardhan Reddy

Harsha is a final year student of Mechanical Engineering at BITS Pilani, Pilani Campus. He has led various student initiatives in the past three years in Pilani and has just finished his summer internship at Accenture Management Consulting. He was also the head of AIESEC chapter at BITS Pilani.

A book by M.K. Raghavendra is bound to be good. Being a national award winning film critic, he is a well known researcher and has written extensively on the World and Indian cinema industry.

In this book he has delved into the lives of the 50 greatest film-makers of all time and has shared short but precise and concise essays about them. It represents the approach to film criticism and research that all the idealists out there talk about. Films are much more than a medium of entertainment and critics should not view them in separation of the social, political, historical and economic factors inevitably associated with any industry. Mr. Raghavendra takes a scientific and holistic approach in helping the reader to understand the evolution of different film makers. I am especially impressed with his choice of film makers which represents a very diverse and exciting composition.

The book represents a comprehensive genre of films and makes the reader to watch the films described right away. The language is very easy-going and the artistic sense is not disturbed by technical jargon. He manages to hit the right mix of art and popular cinema.

However, I believe that I would have liked to see him explore only 10 filmmakers but in more depth. The write-up is quite concise, but is too short and doesn't give the wholesome feel that I would have expected from the book. Also, the book would really appeal to the readers who are well versed in the cinema industry and have explored various films. I for one, couldn't relate to many of the foreign film authors and thus had to quickly just skim through the pages instead of thoroughly exploring their works.

This book is a must for someone who wants to start expanding his horizons in terms of world cinema. For people like me who have watched the work of a few directors he explores, it excites them to break the rigidity and explore more of their cinema. I think it is a very good read and he manages to lessen my anger on critics who spoiled my many movies with sub-standard reviews.

Bytes and Banter Verdict :  A Good Read  -  3/5

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