Role of film critics has diminished; feel veterans

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Panaji, Nov 28 (UNI) In an age of space constraints in newspapers and people's interest in only sensational news concerning cinema, the role of film critics has diminished, feel veterans in the field.

Speaking at the Open Forum on the issue ''Role of Film Critics in spreading film culture'' at the ongoing 38th IFFI here today, film critic Uma Da Cunha said newspapers were not giving enough space to educate people about cinema; instead devoting more time and energy for ''light news and gossips'' from Bollywood.

Another critic Ashok Rane felt use of the word 'Bollywood' had trivilised the seriousness about cinema. ''The need of the hour was to educate the newspaper editors against the use of such word. Film criticism was an art by itself and needs to be cultivated, ''he said.

''What is sad is that publications do not feel the need to ensure that the function of film criticism survives,'' he added.

George Mathew, a Malyalam film critic whose view was the standard of film criticism was on the decline.

A film criticism is an exercise where the critic needs to know the history of world cinema, understand the geographical situation in context of the film and the socio-economic and historical background, Mr Mathew added.

Adding more numbers of vetern speaking their minds, Narhari Rao, secretary of FIPRESCI (International Federation of film critics) India and member of the Suchitra Film Society, Bangalore said film critics should given an insight into their own interpretations of a film through their writings. At the same time, they have to identify the talent and see how it can be promoted further.

Mr Shankar Mohan, Deputy Director of Directorate of Film Festivals (DFF) who moderated the session said writing of cinema should not be just fault finding but constructive criticism. All the speakers pointed out that film reporting, film reviewers and critics were three separate jobs.

Expressing his view, another critic Pitopan Barbara said viewers tastes were shaped by exposure to popular Hindi movies. ''They consider good movies to be serious stuff and prefer to stay away from such films. Critics should make people understand what is good cinema,'' he said.

Echoing the same view, Mr Rane said even in mainstream Hindi cinema, critics fail to highlight points which are good. ''Some times, mainstream cinema is dubbed as thrash. Not everything is trash in such movies,''he pointed out.

Some delegates also pointed out the need to improve the content of the Festival news bulletin published by the DFF. On asked the reason for two separate bulletins this year, Nandini Paliwal, CEO of the Entertainment Society of Goa (ESG) said the ESG had issued a separate supplement this year to create space for writings of the festival and cinema in general. ESG bulletin is focusing on Konkani films, she informed.


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