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Film Critic Mohammed Rouda Publishes the 9th Edition of The Book of Cinema

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Including 450 Critical Reviews for Arab and International Films

Film Critic Mohammed Rouda Publishes the 9th Edition of The Book of Cinema


Film critic Mohammed Rouda issued the 9th edition of his widely-known book franchise The Book of Cinema, which is the project that Rouda took an interest in many years ago when he first started publishing it.

The Book of Cinema, now in its ninth edition, is an annual review written specifically on all Arab and foreign films Rouda watches throughout each year. This edition includes reviews on 450 films; including 150 from across the Arab world that Rouda watched during 2015 through the beginning of 2016.

Author Mohammed Rouda was quoted as saying," The purpose was basically to fill this apparent gap, not only in film culture, but also in its history. Each year, a plethora of films are produced and they remain disorganized without a reference to bring it together between the covers of a book, and this is the message and the idea behind The Book of Cinema. Through the reviews of such a large number of films, we can also determine genres, identify trends and get to know new and old directors who engage very diligently in the cinematic life."

The new book consists of 280 large and colored pages. The book's cover features, as usual, pictures of the latest films that will either hit cinemas during the year or have already been screened in some festivals. In this edition, the book chapters are unlike previous editions. The book will be published in Egypt and Lebanon through Al Kotob Khan for publishing and bookstores, in addittion to KSA, UAE, Canada and USA.

"It is no longer enough to divide the book into two main chapters according to alphabetical order, one for Arab films and the other for foreign films. The new plan starting this ninth edition underlines filmmakers, identifies strengths and keeps up to date with the world cinema, stresses on Arab and international festivals and puts all of this in guidelines to define the current conditions from more than one side. Working on a book in a way that provides specific information as criticism is expected by readers of such an encyclopedia, it takes an extra effort the same as the effort to write it. However, I'm happy with what this book achieved in the age of the internet and under the current circumstances of the Arab cinema, in terms of production and culture, the book is a great need for both amateurs and professionals alike." Rouda added.

Currently, Mohammed Rouda is working on writing the tenth issue of the book franchise, and he commented on this saying, "after the experiences I've had, it is about time for a lot of literature to be put in books and published to enlighten amateurs, and those concerned with the film industry as well as filmmakers, and they are many ."

Born in Beirut, Lebanon, Mohammed Rouda studied and specialized in film criticism since the late 60s. He started Film magazine with his colleagues Director George Shamshoum and Critic Edgar Nagar, which was the first professional Arab cinema magazine to be published in Lebanon. Then, he left Lebanon and moved to live between the UK and USA, where he studied scriptwriting. Rouda has written for several leading Arabic newspapers and magazines, such as: Al Hawadith, Al Watan Al Arabi, Al-Hayat, and Asharq Al Awsat newspaper where he currently works. As for non-Arabic publications, he has written for the two French magazines Cinéfantastique and Traveling, and for the two internationally well-known magazines The Hollywood Reporter and Screen Daily. Rouda also was Editor-in-Chief at Variety Arabia during its release.

Currently, Mohammed Rouda writes for Asharq Al Awsat, the world's premiere pan-Arab daily newspaper, printed simultaneously each day on four continents in 14 cities. Rouda writes a column focusing on cinema every Friday.