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Film fetish

BUDHADITYA BHATTACHARYA
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CHAT Film critic Anna M.M. Vetticad on her book

This is the 100th year of Hindi cinema, and the landmark has occasioned several books on films. The books focus on different aspects of the industry, and reflect various shades of film love. In Anna M.M. Vetticad’s The Adventures of an Intrepid Film Critic , the the book is “about self-inflicted pain and the pleasure derived thereof,” she writes.

In 2011, Anna, a film critic, pledged to review every Bollywood film released in the National Capital Region on her blog. By the end of the year, she had clocked 121 reviews, of films ranging from the sublime to the downright pathetic – with Onir’s I am on the one hand and films like Tension Doooor, Ye Stupid Pyar and Chitkabrey – Shades of Grey on the other.

A “physically exhausting, financially consuming, intellectually draining exercise” like this required deep reserves of motivation. Anna’s stemmed from a combination of free time and a journalist’s curiosity about these films that “one sees in the listings week in and week out but nobody in any publication is covering”.

“I have spent considerable time discussing new releasing and marketing strategies of big films, quoted people from Reliance, Viacom, done extensive interviews. The difference between my coverage of big and small films is that with the big films I had to make the effort to tell you something you don’t already know. But with small films I have ended up giving you a lot of basic information about people who made them. I’d like to believe that while the book is an overview of the film industry, it is a celebration of the good small film,” she adds.

BUDHADITYA BHATTACHARYA

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