Noted film critic pens ''Seeing is Believing''

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Kolkata, Jul 20 (UNI) Chidananda Das Gupta is a reviewer with a difference, when compared to a lot of modern reviewers who aim merely at self-advertisement and writing clever lines for effects, noted actress and director Aparna Sen commented on her father's craftsmanship as a film-critic.

''His crtiticism has always been constructive, reflecting his love for films. He has always worn his mantle of scholarship very lightly,'' Ms Sen said, at the launch of ''Seeing is Believing: Selected Writings on Cinema'' by Mr Das Gupta here on Friday.

''Seeing is Believing'' showcases Mr Das Gupta's writings on the subject of cinema over the last 60 years, where the author addresses diverse themes like the origins and history of parallel cinema in India.

It also deals with the portrayal of women, sex and violence in the movies of the country, along with deriving interfaces between politics and film.

Apart from presenting definitive studies on the works of Satyajit Ray, Mrinal Sen, Ritwik Ghatak, Adoor Gopalakrishnan and Shyam Benegal, the book also discusses the Indian contribution to films - the songs composed exclusively for the movies.

Mr Das Gupta, reverred as one of the most influential film critics and historians, lives in Kolkata and has been writing on cinema since 1946. Born in Shillong in 1921, he co-founded the Calcutta Film Society when he was 26.

Some of his noted works include ''Talking about Films'', ''The Painted Face: Studies in India's Popular Cinema'' and ''The Cinema of Satyajit Ray''. He also directed a feature film ''Bilet Pherot''(1972) and a number of documentaries including ''Portrait of a City'' (1961) and ''The Dance of Shiva''(1968).

Following the launch, a panel discussion on 'How Indian is Indian Cinema' commenced among filmmaker Gautam Ghose, film scholar S V Raman, filmmakers Ashoke Vishwanathan and Ananya C Chakraborti, with scholar and critic Samik Bandyopadhyay playing the moderator.

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