We asked the Masaan and Sacred Games screenwriter to recommend three books on cinema that every film aspirant should read. Here’s what’s on Varun Grover’s bookshelf:
‘Jaane Bhi Do Yaaro: Seriously Funny Since 1983’ by Jai Arjun Singh
I haven’t read a book that captures the randomness of the endless ordeal filmmaking is like this one. The fact that it is about one of the most loved Hindi films ever makes it an even more compelling read.
‘Shehar Aur Cinema Via Dilli’ by Mihir Pandya
If you want to understand how cinema is an art form unlike any other, how it interacts with cities and human histories on a visceral level, and how critiquing it is no less an art form, then read Pandya’s take on a list of Hindi films prominently featuring Delhi. The chapters on Oye Lucky! Lucky Oye! and Chashme Baddoor are a good entry point to the book (instead of going sequentially).
‘On Writing: A Memoir of the Craft’ by Stephen King
Not technically a cinema book, but there’s enough referencing of Stephen King’s works that were turned into cinema. Above all, a great book on the process of cracking cinematic stories; it gives deeply philosophical nuggets of wisdom on this mysterious art of writing, the art Mirza Ghalib described as the whisper of angels.