Vol. 4 Num 310 Mon. April 12, 2004  

Book launching
Chalachitravidhya: New book on film study by Anupam Hayat

It has been 48 years since the public release of Mukh O Mukhosh, the first ever feature film made in Bangladesh (then East Pakistan). And during this nearly half-a-century, our film industry has made its own history. But unfortunately film has always been a neglected sector, having no institutional foundation. There aren't many institutions that offer higher studies in film, and there is an immense shortage of qualified books and scholars in this sphere.

However, another title has recently been added to the existing scanty number of books on films. Reputed writer in this field Anupam Hayat has brought out a book, Chalachitravidhya (Film Studies), on fundamental aspects of film and film-related issues like film appreciation. Bangladesh Film Studies Centre (BFSC) organised the publication ceremony of the book on April 10 at Stamford University auditorium. Chairman of BFSC Rafiquzzaman, Chairman of the Department of Film and Media M Abdus Samad, filmmaker Chashi Nazrul Islam, actors Ashrafuddin Ahmed Ujjal and Kabori Sarwar, Dean of Arts faculty, Jahangirnagar University, Dr Afsar Ahmed, professor of Mass Communication and Journalism department, Dhaka University, Dr Golam Rahman, poet-journalist Sajjad Kadir and Zakiul Haque of Bangla Academy attended the programme.

Anupam Hayat's name is quite well known in the country's film journalism. He has authored several books on film including Bangladesher Chalachitrer Itihash (History of Bangladesh Film), Shekaley Bangladesher Koyekjon Chalachitra Kormi (Some Film Activists of the Past), and a biography of one of the country's pioneer filmmakers Fateh Lohani.

Among the institutions that offer studies on film is BFSC where Anupam Hayat works as the chief course coordinator. He also teaches a few courses there. And from his experience at BFSC he realised that a book containing very fundamental issues of film is essential for the students. 'From this realisation I undertook the initiative of writing Chalachitravidhya,' he said at the ceremony.

The book of about 150 pages contain eight chapters covering general ideas of cinema, a brief history of film in the world and its evolution, different elements and tactics of filmmaking, marketing of films, censorship laws, film appreciation, film related organisation and impact of films on the society. The chapter on the history of invention and evolution of film includes a substantial narration of its journey especially in the subcontinent. Discussions on various movements in the world film activities, such as Avant Garde, Expressionism, Realism, Cinema Verite, will give the reader a clear ideas of the terms.

The filmmaking and film appreciation chapters are perhaps the most interesting part of the book. Anupam explains different types of shots like Close shot, Med shot, Tilt-up and Panning through a comparative discussion between the original writings and the scripts of two sequences from the famous movies Pather Panchali and Shurjo Dighal Bari. The film appreciation part contains three writings on the films Asia, Pather Panchali and Shurjo Dighal Bari published in the weeklies Chitrali and Bichitra.

The book also contains some photographs of important personalities and stills from famous movies.

The price of the book (Taka 200) is quite reasonable. The binding is good although the text contains some silly typos. The cover-jacket is ordinary yet attractive.

The book will surely prove to be an essential resource for students of films, researchers and general readers.

Photo courtesy: Chalachitravidhya by Anupam Hayat

(R-L) Khan Ataur Rahman, Sumita Devi and Anwar Hossain in Zahir Raihan's Kancher Deyal (1963)