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Lalit Rao

Mr. Lalit Rao is a film critic from Jaipur, India, FIPRESCI India member. He is currently writing a book on 25 best French films (1990-2015). Apart from ''World Cinema'', he is interested in chess, foreign languages, linguistics and philosophy. He is also the associate editor of the quarterly magazine "Cinematography Art". Mr. Lalit Rao has reported extensively on film festivals especially 'World Cinema' through more than 40 blogs and 8 videos channels. Cinema journal ‘Deep Focus’, and ‘Bangalore Film Society’ were represented by him as their correspondent in Paris for 2005-2006. He also presented a paper on Canadian cinema entitled ‘A brief overview of Francophone cinema in Québec’ during 20th International Conference on Canadian Studies, University of Rajasthan, Jaipur, 27-29 February, 2004. Apart from writing 1000 reviews on IMDB, Mr. Lalit Rao has created KINEMA, a database with information on 25,000 films. His articles in French and English have appeared in Deep Focus, Kinoglaz, Objectif-Cinema, Sancho Does Asia and Séquences. Mr.Lalit Rao studied Master 2 at Université de Paris 3 Sorbonne Nouvelle, Paris where he worked on ‘Distribution of Indian cinema’ in France. As a film critic, Mr. Lalit Rao has attended numerous film festivals in France and India.



Book Review ‘‘Film Appreciation’’ written by Mr. Utpal Dutta, translated by Dr. Dipshikha Bhagawati © Mr.Lalit Rao 28.05.2022

Book Review ‘‘Film Appreciation’’ written by Mr. Utpal Dutta and translated by Dr. Dipshikha Bhagawati © Mr. Lalit Rao (FIPRESCI) dated 28.05.2022.
Time and again, teachers at media institutes in India have rued the fact that there is an absolute dearth of good books about cinema, books which can teach the intricacies of cinema to Indian students. For this reason, most people teaching cinema in India use foreign books about cinema as reference material. This situation is bound to change with the arrival of a new book on cinema especially its film appreciation aspect. This book is called ‘‘Film Appreciation’’. It has been written in Assamese language by Utpal Dutta. Acclaimed film critic and translator Dr.Dipshikha Bhagawati has carried out its translation into English language. 
As a reference book, ‘Film Appreciation’ is extremely handy and easy to use. It is one of those rare books on cinema which can be read in a single sitting. There is something which intensifies its reading pleasure. One derives a lot of pleasure in reading it as it has been written in a simple language which can be understood by anybody. There are hardly any jargons, heavy words or any terms or expressions which can be construed as a hindrance to comprehension in this book. The book ‘Film Appreciation’ has been written by Mr.Utpal Dutta, a veritable expert on cinema who has rendered valuable services as a broadcaster, writer of literary books and a film critic who has attended numerous film festivals in Indian and abroad as a juror. As a respectable figure in the Indian film festival circuit, Mr. Utpal Dutta has seven books about cinema to his credit. He has been helped in this noble initiative by an erudite scholar Dr. Dipshikha Bhagwati who is well versed with two idioms: the idiom of cinema as the seventh form of art and English language as an idiom used by human beings. She has carried out an excellent translation from the original Assamese language into English as the book is replete with passages which bear the mark of ‘good English.’  
One of the major highlights of this book is the easy to follow content. There are 10 chapters and 3 additions which can all be read as a separate unit. This is not the case with many reference books as their content has to be read in a sequence. It is believed by many dedicated readers that in times of Internet and multimedia, book reading is a tedious business as too much of attention is paid to the written content. This aspect has been tackled through the judicious balance of both text as well as images. If there is only text then the book will become ‘prosaic’ and if it carries only images then it would be labelled as ‘frivolous.’ There are a lot of bibliophiles who opine that a book must be felt, touched and smelled as a work of art. One cannot get this feeling while reading an E-Book on a laptop or on a Kindle device. Fortunately, the book ‘Film Appreciation’ is available as a physical copy. This is going to be a major boost for readers in India, a nation where books are easily shared among friends. As it has efficiently proven its utility, 
Utpal Dutta’s book ‘Film Appreciation’ is worthy of a wide distribution in India. Apart from film schools run by private bodies or central and state governments, this book should be made available to all major colleges and universities in India. This would enable many students to improve their knowledge about cinema especially cinema as an appreciable art form. The success of a book especially its commercial success also depends a lot on its pricing structure. ‘Film Appreciation’ can be purchased by most people including students in India as it is modestly priced at 200 ₹ (2.57 $ / 2.04 £/ 2.40 €). Lastly, it has been published in 2021 by Blue Rose publishers. It can be ordered from online outlets such as Amazon, Flipkart and ShopClues.
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About Lalit Rao

RAO Lalit

Mr. Lalit Rao (member-FIPRESCI) writes for this website on a regular basis as a film critic publishing reviews on his profile

In February 2017, he participated as jury member during  9th Bangalore International Film Festival 2017.

In 2014, he attended 19th International Film Festival of Kerala 2014 as a member of film critics’ jury.

As a film critic, Mr.Lalit Rao has attended film festivals in India as well as France namely International Film Festival of India (IFFI), International Film Festival of Kerala (IFFK), Festival International de Films de Femmes de Créteil, Paris : Cinéma du Réel-Festival International de films documentaires, Est-ce ainsi que les hommes vivent? Saint-Denis, Rencontres Internationales du Cinéma de Patrimoine, Vincennes & Festival International des Cinémas d'Asie, Vesoul. 


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