The Academy Museum of Motion Pictures, the largest museum in the United States dedicated to the arts, sciences and film artists, hosted an extraordinary program featuring the works of Indian filmmaker Satyajit Ray.
“Not to have seen Satyajit Ray’s cinema is to exist in the world without seeing the sun or the moon,” the great Japanese filmmaker Akira Kurosawa once said. If the great Indian filmmaker Ray had lived, he would have turned 100 this year in May.
The Academy Museum in Los Angeles makes sure that we do not remain blind to the beauty of the sun or the moon. Celebrating Ray’s films in a centennial retrospective, he offers a two-part series of screenings that focuses on the master’s work.
The Indian master, who won an Honorary Oscar in 1992 – the first Indian / Bengali to do so – has created numerous masterpieces, including the Apu trilogy. “After a career as a graphic designer, Ray became a director in his early thirties with the revolutionary ‘Pather Panchali’ (1955), who, with ‘Aparajito’ (The Unvanquished, 1956) and ‘Apur Sansar’ (Le monde de Apu, 1959), forms the phenomenal Apu trilogy which follows the titular protagonist from childhood to adulthood â, Variety reports.
The screening program, which began at the end of November with Pather Panchali (Chanson de la petite route, 1955), continues until December, with the second part in 2022. âRay became a director in his early thirties after a career graphic designer. and quickly became a prolific storyteller, ânotes the Academy Museum. “After the worldwide phenomenon of Pather Panchali and the subsequent films that make up the Apu trilogy,â¦ Ray has explored a range of genres over the course of his thirty plus films, continually returning to themes of tradition versus modernity.”
Ray would have wrote all the scripts for his films, served as a director of photography, composed the music, and based many of his films on actual events, mostly from his life. He shot dozens of images during his prolific life, which ended in 1992.
âThroughout his career, Satyajit Ray has maintained that the best directing technique is one that is not noticeable. satyajitray.org maintains. âFor him, technique was just a means to an end. He didn’t like the idea of ââa movie that drew attention to its style rather than the content. He never used cinematic embellishments for themselves.
âBad guys annoy me,â Ray once said. His characters operated in “complex shades of gray”, satyajitray.org comments. âHe explored a range of characters and situations. Many of them were foreign to popular Indian cinema, as they were not considered suitable film subjects in India. He brought to the screen the real concerns of real people – villagers, urban middle class, intellectuals, the rich and famous, detectives, kingsâ¦ â
The 1960s âsaw Ray confront religion in ‘Devi’ (La DÃ©esse, 1960); focusing on women’s perspectives with âMahanagarâ (The Big City, 1963) and âCharulataâ (The Lonely Wife, 1964); take a dark detour with “Abhijan” (The Expedition, 1962); explore the fragile male ego with âNayakâ (The Hero, 1966); and create a magical musical adventure with “Goopy Gyne Bagha Byne” (The Adventures of Goopy and Bagha, 1969) “, Variety advertisement.
“All films will be shown on preserved 35mm copies of the Academy Film Archive, unless otherwise specified,” notes the Academy Museum website. âThese include the Academy Film Archive’s historic restoration of the Apu Trilogy from camera negatives nearly lost in a fire. “
The retrospective is organized by Bernardo Rondeau, principal director of the cinema program of the Museum of the Academy.
The second part of the retrospective will take place in 2022.
Source: TRTWorld and agencies