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8-day film appreciation and criticism workshop concludes at Assam University

FROM A CORRESPONDENT

SILCHAR, June 11: The Department of Mass Communication, Assam University, had organized a workshop titled ‘Talking Films and More’ on film appreciation and criticism. The 8-day workshop that began on June 1 concluded on Thursday. Dr. Charvak, associate professor of the department, was the coorditor of the workshop. On the first day of the workshop, the iugural session was graced by Professor Dilip Chandra th, Vice-Chancellor of Assam University, Dr. Gyan Prakash Pandey, Head of the Department, Mass Communication and Dean, Abanindrath Tagore, School of Creative Science and Arts and Bishwajit Sheel, eminent jourlist and filmmaker of this region. The workshop began with introductory lectures by key resource person of the workshop, Parichay Patra, Mosh University, Australia and guest speakers Shrabani Basu, lecturer, St. Francis College for Women College, Kolkata, Dibyakusum Ray, assistant professor, tiol Institute of Technology, Silchar and Bishwajit Sheel. More than 25 participants attended the workshop that includes professors, lecturers, scholars, film society activists, former students and students from the current batch of the department.

 Films from different countries and eras were screened daily. The screening began with Jean-Luc Godard’s 1965 classic, Pierrot le Fou. Each day, after the screening of a film, mostly Parichay Patra delivered a detailed lecture on it and enlightened the participants on various approaches and processes of both appreciation and criticism of a film. Parichay Patra’s easy and lucid way of dealing with some of the complex film texts made it possible for the participants to grasp the gist of various texts in the form of criticisms. He also shared numerous texts on film criticisms written by some eminent film scholars of intertiol repute. Among other films which had been screened in the workshop include, Cleo from 5 to 7 (1962), Le Samourai (1967), Ritwik Ghatak’s Meghe Daka Tara (1960), The Maltese Falcon (1941), Mission: Impossible (1996), Suspiria (1977) and Holy Motors (2012).

 Shrabani Basu, an authority on feminist film criticism, spoke in details on a few concerns of feminist film criticism like gaze stereotypes, desire and gender formation. Participants could relate to the fate of the female protagonist of Meghe Dhaka Tara. Sharbani Basu’s take on the film was enlightening and her lively way of delivering kept the participants spellbound.

 Dario Argento’s Suspiria (1977), which is a Giallo (meaning yellow, in Italian language) horror film, kept the viewers on the edge of their seats on the 7th day. Films from the genre, giallo, enjoyed an exalted status in the post-fascist Italy. Dibyakusum Ray, who is an expert in the genre of horror, discussed at length about the concept of romanticism and its significant shift. Ray’s energetic deliverance on giallo horror made it easy for the audiences to fathom the intellectuality of an era when horror maestro Argento used to reign supreme.

 Parichay Patra, mentioned it in particular, that it was Dibyakusum Ray who had suggested the idea of screening a diverse and meta-rrative film like Holy Motors, (2012). The workshop ended on a high note since the participants enjoyed watching Holy Motors and were awestruck at the director’s marvel.  Summing up the workshop in his speech, Dr. Charvak, said, “I am glad that despite this hot humid weather, we had a good number of participants. This workshop was in the planning stage for the past 6 months and filly it was materialized when Parichay Patra, Dibyakusum Ray and Shrabani Basu came forward. We are hoping to conduct some more workshops.”  Others who spoke on the fil day of the workshop include Bishwajit Sheel and Anindya Syam Choudhury, assistant professor, Department of English, Assam University. Bishwajit Sheel made a very remarkable attempt in chronicling the history of cinema in this part of the region. Anindya Syam also said that he would like to conduct a workshop on films and literature at his department. The participants heartily thanked Dr. Charvak for organizing the workshop and Parichay Patra, Dibyakusum Ray and Shrabani Basu for taking out their precious time in imparting knowledge on film appreciation and criticism.