ISSN (Print) - 0012-9976 | ISSN (Online) - 2349-8846

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Why the Hurry

G P Deshpande Ghatak: Arguments/Stories edited by Ashish Rajadhyaksha and Amrit Gangar; Screen Unit, 1987; pp 140, Rs 45. SOME optimists among film-buffs in this country do believe that the Indian cinema has already arrived, that it relates to the international cinema. The present writer is highly sceptical of this claim. But there is general agreement about what constitute the rare peaks in the otherwise flat landscape of the Indian cinema. Prabhafs Tukaram (Marathi), Satyajit Ray's trilogy (Bengali), some of Arvindan's and A Gopalakrishnan's work (Malayalam) would certainly be counted as such. Towering like the mythical Meru mountain among these peaks is the work of Ritwik Ghatak, the like of which has not been seen since. There have been pretenders to his heritage but no real successors. Ghatak was not seriously studied for a long time. There are very few books on him. Serious analysis of his work, of the ethos that it evokes, of the troubled Bengal within which he worked is lacking. Ashish Rajadhyaksha, one of the editors of this volume, made a pioneering effort with his book on Ghatak published in the early eighties. Haimanti Banerjee of the Film Institute, Pune, has also written on Ghatak. Nevertheless, whatever has been written on him is nowhere near being adequate.

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