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Deep Focus: Reflection of Cinema – A BOOK REVIEW



By Jyoti Singh

Deep Focus: Reflection of Cinema is a book that has a collection of articles and write-ups written by the ace director Satyajit Ray. This book was first published in 2011 by Harper Collins Publishers, India in association with the Society for the Preservation of Satyajit Ray Films. The whole book was edited by Sandip Ray, son of Satyajit Ray, and it was introduced by Shyam Benegal who is also a director, screenwriter and documentary filmmaker. Deep Focus was really praised by several news outlets like The Hindu, The Indian Express, Pioneer, The Sunday Guardian, Financial Chronicles, etc. Apart from Deep Focus: Reflection of Cinema, his other writings are Our Films, Their Films and Speaking of Films, which is also based on cinema and both are recognised as best sellers.

SUMMARY: This book is divided into three parts. Part one talks about ‘The Film – Maker’s Craft’, which includes the styles of various filmmakers, filmmaking, French films, techniques, how the face of films is changing, what is the actual meaning of reality, off the camera and on the camera, silent films has its own art, new cinema, etc.

Part two talks about the ‘Pen Portraits’, which talks about Godard, a new Antonioni, the Nayak, ‘Never Use Animals’ and the immortal tramp. This part of the book highlights the people through Satyajit Ray of that time who gave the cinema a new face, a new identity, whether it a Godard, Michelangelo Antonioni, Uttam Kumar (how he cast in Nayak, Why Satyajit Ray admire him so much), Ingmar Bergman, his not using any animal in film, and Charlie Chaplin is truly immortal.

Part three talks about ‘Celebrating Cinema’. This last and my favourite part includes arrival in Moscow, film festivals. This whole part tells us about how the films are celebrated in other countries, how our Indian films, especially Satyajit Ray films, were celebrated on foreign stages. There is also a comparison between their film festivals and our film festivals.

Once you complete these three parts, you will get the chance to witness the whole filmography of Satyajit Ray, from Pather Panchali (1955) to Agantuk (1991). There is a section where you will find his contribution to other films apart from his own.

CONCLUSION: I really find this book interesting in terms of cinema. Deep Focus: Reflection on Cinema is really tremendous in terms of content, writing, pictures and everything. If you are finding your career in films and love to read about cinema, this book is definitely for you as it covers all the aspects that you are looking for. Deep Focus is really thrilling and a must read.

Poetic गुफ्तगू – With हुमेरा खान @poetsofDelhi