A look into the lives and works of great masters of cinema

‘Modern Masters of Cinema’ is an exploration of the world of cinema, offering readers an in-depth look at the lives and works of some of the most influential figures in the film industry.

The author’s keen observations and insightful commentary provide a fresh perspective on these cinematic icons – from Al Pacino, Marlon Brando, and Kevin Spacey to Quentin Tarantino, Woody Allen to Amitabh Bachchan, highlighting their distinctive storytelling techniques and cinematic vision. Penned by Dhiraj Singh, a serving bureaucrat in the government of India, the book is an act of love showcasing his intense interest in the films and their craft that has spawned over decades.

A short book of less than 200 pages, with over 30 chapters, this will interest film enthusiasts who look at them as more than just entertainment. If you have seen the classics and have them etched in your memory, you would connect with the book at a cerebral level.

“Every great actor is good at playing almost everything but his or her greatness lies in a few selected zones where he is in full sync with his brilliant core. Al Pacino’s restless showmanship, menace or his exasperation, Di Niro’s pinpointed rage, Michael Douglas’ lovable rogue, Brando’s rebellious surliness come to mind. They are good or even great in other situations also but here they are home, hitting the sweet spot of their limitless talent,” the author writes in the book.

In the author’s own words, “When I started thinking about why something feels so nice, I felt like documenting the points of appeal. It made me a better audience for my preferred art form… (book) is a commentary on my favourite practitioners of cinematic art.” He packs the book with his critical analysis, and anecdotes, and of course, peppering his reviews with questions like whether should films serve an ideological agenda or be politically correct.

The author does not limit his analysis to Hollywood but also includes stalwarts of Bollywood like Amitabh Bachchan, Dilip Kumar, and Rishi Kapoor. This broad scope gives readers a comprehensive understanding of cinema as a global art form. He hails the advent of directors like Anurag Kashyap, Tigmanshu Dhulia, Dibakar Banerjee, who have caught the emotion and idiom of the cow belt in its most natural way.

The ‘Modern Masters of Cinema’ offers a wealth of information and unique insights, but also demands a high level of engagement from the reader to navigate its narrative.

Book: Modern Masters of Cinema

Author:  Dhiraj Singh

Publisher: Notion Press

Price: Rs 275

Pages: 190