Top positive review
A wonderful, accessible collection on the art of film making
Reviewed in India on 7 January 2020
This is a wonderful collection of articles by Satyajit Ray on film making, translated from Bengali by Gopa Majumdar. The articles cover the history and evolution of cinema across the world. There is a marked focus on the language and art of film making. It is replete with examples - with some great insights into Mr Ray's own movies. The book is easily readable and does not require any prior knowledge of the classics (although I'm sure it helps). For an amateur like myself, this book opened up many new ways of looking at a movie. As one other reviewer points out, the risk with this book is that you will start seeing blemishes in movies that you didn't notice earlier. Hopefully, one will also appreciate the artistic elements more completely.
A note on the translation and collection itself. I don't know Bengali and can't comment on the accuracy of the English version. However, the tone is superb and gives the feeling of sitting through a Masterclass on film making. There is one negative in my mind - 10-20% of the articles read like anecdotes and seem to have little connection with the overall narrative. But that is nitpicking. The book remains a fantastic read for film enthusiasts.