Not to have seen the cinema of Ray means existing in the world without seeing the sun or the moon.
– Akira Kurosawa
A Film By
In Bengali with English subtitles
5.45 pm, 18h Nov 2007
Ashwin Hospital Auditorium, Ganapathy CBE
Somnath Banerjee is a sweetly handsome young man. At the outset, he is about to graduate from Calcutta University when he is victimized by a myopic instructor who cannot read his exam answers, depriving him of a graduation with honors. And so Ray starts out by offering a biting satire of a ludicrous educational bureaucracy. Yet all of Somnath's experiences while a student, and all of his book learning, have left him ill-prepared for the cruel realities he will face while attempting to enter the job market. Harsh fact first intrudes when he is told, "You're so young. It'll be ages before you're established." These words are prophetic.
At its core, Jana Aranya is a story of tainted innocence. Its hero is an unsophisticated young man who is surrounded by depravity. None of the rogues in his midst are blatantly evil. Rather, their villainy is subtle, and they justify their unsavory ethics in the name of rat-race survival.
In Jana Aranya, Ray also explores a theme that is a constant in his work: familial relations, and the psychology that exists between parent and child. Somnath's obstacles are not all job-related, in that he is influenced by his widowed father's high expectations for him. The old man, lacking in understanding of the manner of the modern world, accordingly is alienated from Somnath.
The Middleman is a fascinating, contemporary parable on the corruption of the human soul, a poignant tale of an idealistic young man who stumbles into a corrupt world outside of his creation, and is swallowed into the chaos.
This is the final film of Ray’s trilogy known as the Calcutta Trilogy. The first two were Pratidwandi (The Adversary, 1970) and Seemabaddha (Company Limited, 1971). All the three films study the effect the big city of
( May 2, 1921 - April 23, 1992 )
Satyajit Ray is perhaps the most well known Indian filmmaker to the World and inarguably among the dozen or so great masters of world cinema.. Satyajit Ray was born in
who were prominent in Bengali arts and letters. His father died when he was an infant and his mother and her younger brother's family brought him up. After graduating from
Tagore had been a close friend of his grandfather and father. Trips to nearby villages for sketching exercises, were his first encounters with rural
In 1947 Ray established the Calcutta Film Society. During a six month trip to
In 1949, the great French master of cinema, Jean Renoir had come to
In 1950, with absolutely no experience in moviemaking, Ray started working on "Pather Panchali" In 1955, after incredible financial hardship (shooting on the film stopped for over a year) his adaptation of Pather Panchali (Song of the Little Road) was completed. and on August 26, 1955. Pather Panchali was finally released in
Prior to the 1956 Cannes Festival, Indian Cinema was relatively unknown in the West, just as Japanese cinema had been prior to Kurosawa's Rashomon (1950). However, with Pather Panchali, Satyajit Ray suddenly assumed great importance. The film went on to win numerous awards abroad including Best Human Document at
A prolific filmmaker, during his lifetime Ray directed 36 films, comprising of features, documentaries and short stories. These include the renowned Apu trilogy (Pather Panchali, Aparajito  and Apur Sansar ), Jalsaghar (1958), Postmaster (1961), CharulataDays and Nights in the Forest (1969) and Pikoo (1980) along with a host of his lesser known works which themselves stand up as fine examples of story telling. His films encompass a diversity of moods, techniques, and genres: comedy, satire, fantasy and tragedy. Usually he made films in a realist mode, but he also experimented with surrealism and fantasy.
About forty years of filmmaking, with a film a year, was interrupted by his fragile health in the mid-1980s. Ray's Ghare-Baire (Home and the World, 1984) based on a novel by Rabindranath Tagore, was a return to his first screen adaptation. While shooting, he suffered two heart attacks and his son, Sandip Ray, completed the project from his detailed instructions.
Ill health kept Satyajit Ray away from active filmmaking for about four years. In 1989, he resumed making films with Ibsen's An Enemy of the People as the basis for his Ganashatru (Enemy of the People, 1989). This was followed with Shakha Prashakha (Branches of the Tree, 1990) and Agantuk (The Stranger, 1991).This series of three films were to be his last. Many film critics and film historians found these films a marked departure from his earlier work.
In 1992, He accepted a Lifetime Achievement Oscar from his sickbed in
Beisde a film-maker, Satyajit Ray was an extra-ordinarily good story teller. Most of his books are written for children except few. He was the creator of many famous characters such as Professor Shonku, Felu-da, Tarinikhuro and so on. Fictions , short storires, illustrations etc. written by were fascinating. He gave life to Felu-da through two of his movies, "Sonar Kella" and "Joy Baba Felunath". Sandip Ray too is working on Felu-da movies even after he has passed away.
Satyajit Ray died on April 23, 1992.