Satyajit Ray

"In the restrained style he has adopted, Ray has become a master of technique. He takes his timing from the nature of the people and their environment; his camera is the intent, unobtrusive observer of reactions; his editing the discreet, economical transition from one value to the next." - Roger Manvell (The International Encyclopedia of Film, 1972)

Satyajit Ray

Director / Screenwriter / Composer / Producer
(1921-1992) Born May 2, Calcutta, West Bengal, British India (now India)
Top 250 Directors

Key Production Country: India
Key Genres: Drama, Family Drama, Psychological Drama, Rural Drama, Urban Drama, Social Problem Film, Comedy Drama, Satire,
Romantic Drama, Reunion Films, Political Drama, Period Film
Key Collaborators: Dulal Dutta (Editor), Bansi Chandragupta (Production Designer), Soumendu Roy (Cinematographer), Soumitra Chatterjee (Leading Actor), Subrata Mitra (Cinematographer), Ashoke Bose (Production Designer), Chhabi Biswas (Leading Actor), Sharmila Tagore (Leading Actress), Anil Chatterjee (Leading Character Actor), Ravi Shankar (Composer), Victor Banerjee (Leading Actor), Nepal Dutta (Producer)

"No other film-maker, apart maybe from Kurosawa (though his depiction of women is notably inferior to Ray’s), has encompassed a whole culture; and no other film-maker, full stop, has covered such a range, from pure farce to high tragedy and from musical fantasies to detective stories. Satyajit Ray, whatever some superficial or ignorant critics may say, is not primarily the maker of the Apu Trilogy. I fear that his range may never be fully understood, given that the films describe Bengal, which (unlike Japan) is of little political, economic or cultural importance to the world – and in a language unknown even to most Indians. But I hope his extraordinary diversity may gradually sink in, as his work at last becomes widely available on video and DVD." - Andrew Robinson (Satyajit Ray: The Inner Eye , 1990)
"From the beginning of his career as a filmmaker, Satyajit Ray was interested in finding ways to reveal the mind and thoughts of his characters. Because the range of his sympathy was wide, he has been accused of softening the presence of evil in his cinematic world. But a director who aims to represent the currents and cross-currents of feeling within people is likely to disclose to viewers the humanness even in reprehensible figures." - Satti Khanna (The St. James Film Directors Encyclopedia, 1998)
"His reputation rests firmly on his detached, unsentimental humanism, and on an ability to derive subtle emotional nuances and ironies from a simple but effective marshalling of performance, dialogue, decor and composition. He has been his own scriptwriter, designer, composer and cameraman on many of his films; he is a consummate artist whose faith in the cinema as a medium to rank alongside the other art forms remains undimmed." - Geoff Andrew (The Film Handbook, 1989)
"Ray maintained a high artistic level in most of his subsequent films but found it impossible to match the authenticity, sincerity, beauty, and magic of the Apu trilogy. At the same time, Ray's later output boasts a bolder, more complex style and a sharper, more pointed voice. Above all, he sustained throughout his career the humanist values that have made his films universally appealing." - The MacMillan International Film Encyclopedia, 1994
"Has compassionately documented his people and culture for the world to see. This director essentially examines the social, political, and religious strata in Indian society." - William R. Meyer (The Film Buff's Catalog, 1978)
"When I'm shooting on location, you get ideas on the spot - new angles. You make not major changes but important modifications, that you can't do on a set. I do that because you have to be economical." - Satyajit Ray
TSPDT Guide
Highly Recommended
Aparajito (1956) , The Music Room (1958) , The World of Apu (1959) , Charulata (1964)
Recommended
Pather Panchali (1955) , Devi (1960) , Kanchenjungha (1962), The Big City (1963), The Adventures of Goopy and Bagha (1969), The Adversary (1970), Days and Nights in the Forest (1970) , Company Limited (1972), Distant Thunder (1973), The Middleman (1976)
Worth a Look
Paras-Pathar (1958), Rabindranath Tagore (1961), Two Daughters (1961), The Chess Players (1977), Pikoor Diary [TV] (1981), The Home and the World (1984), The Branches of the Tree (1990), The Stranger (1991)
Acclaimed Films / IMDB Filmography
1,000 Greatest Films
Jonathan Rosenbaum Martin Scorsese
Satyajit Ray / Fan Club
Penelope Gilliatt, Derek Malcolm, David Robinson, Sanjeev Verma, Adoor Gopalakrishnan, Stephanie Zacharek, J. Hoberman, Philip French, Evans Chan, Mary Lea Bandy, John Pym, Robert Guédiguian.
The World of Apu
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