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The Apu Trilogy and Satyajit Ray filmography 22 years old Ray at Santiniketan Ray decided to use Pather Panchali , the classic Bildungsroman of Bengali literature , as the basis for his first film.
The semi-autobiographical novel describes the maturation of Apu, a small boy in a Bengal village. Ray gathered an inexperienced crew, although both his cameraman Subrata Mitra and art director Bansi Chandragupta went on to achieve great acclaim. The cast consisted of mostly amateur actors.
He started shooting in late with his personal savings and hoped to raise more money once he had some passages shot, but did not succeed on his terms. He also ignored advice from the government to incorporate a happy ending, but he did receive funding that allowed him to complete the film. The passage was of the vision which Apu and his sister have of the train running through the countryside, the only sequence which Ray had yet filmed due to his small budget.
With a loan from the West Bengal government , Ray finally completed the film. It was released in to great critical and popular success. It earned numerous prizes and had long runs in both India and abroad. In India, the reaction to the film was enthusiastic; The Times of India wrote that "It is absurd to compare it with any other Indian cinema [ Before completing The Apu Trilogy, Ray directed and released two other films: Critics Robin Wood and Aparna Sen found this to be the supreme achievement of the trilogy.
Ray introduced two of his favourite actors, Soumitra Chatterjee and Sharmila Tagore , in this film. It opens with Apu living in a Calcutta house in near-poverty. He becomes involved in an unusual marriage with Aparna. After Apur Sansar was harshly criticised by a Bengali critic, Ray wrote an article defending it. He rarely responded to critics during his filmmaking career, but also later defended his film Charulata, his personal favourite.
He continued to live with his wife and children in a rented house, with his mother, uncle and other members of his extended family. He also made a series of films that, taken together, are considered by critics among the most deeply felt portrayals of Indian women on screen. Sharmila Tagore starred as Doyamoyee, a young wife who is deified by her father-in-law. Ray was worried that the censor board might block his film, or at least make him re-cut it, but Devi was spared. Due to limited footage of Tagore, Ray faced the challenge of making a film out of mainly static material.
He said that it took as much work as three feature films. Ray had been saving money for some years to make this possible. Ray began to make illustrations for it, as well as to write stories and essays for children. Writing became his major source of income in the years to come. In , Ray directed Kanchenjungha. Based on his first original screenplay, it was his first film in colour. The film tells of an upper-class family spending an afternoon in Darjeeling , a picturesque hill town in West Bengal.
They try to arrange the engagement of their youngest daughter to a highly paid engineer educated in London.
Satyajit Ray - Wikipedia
He had first conceived shooting the film in a large mansion, but later decided to film it in the famous hill town. He used the many shades of light and mist to reflect the tension in the drama.
Ray noted that while his script allowed shooting to be possible under any lighting conditions, a commercial film contingent present at the same time in Darjeeling failed to shoot a single scene, as they only wanted to do so in sunshine. While at home, he would take an occasional break from the hectic city life by going to places such as Darjeeling or Puri to complete a script in isolation.
In Ray made Charulata The Lonely Wife ; it was the culmination of this period of work, and regarded by many critics as his most accomplished film. He said the film contained the fewest flaws among his work, and it was his only work which, given a chance, he would make exactly the same way. New directions —82 [ edit ] A painting of Ray In the post-Charulata period, Ray took on projects of increasing variety, ranging from fantasy to science fiction to detective films to historical drama.
Ray also made considerable formal experimentation during this period. He expressed contemporary issues of Indian life, responding to a perceived lack of these issues in his films. The first major film in this period is Nayak The Hero , the story of a screen hero travelling in a train and meeting a young, sympathetic female journalist.
Ray found that his script had been copyrighted and the fee appropriated by Mike Wilson. Wilson had initially approached Ray through their mutual friend, Arthur C. Clarke , to represent him in Hollywood. Ray later said that he never received a penny for the script. Ray claimed that this film plagiarized his script. Goopy the singer and Bagha the drummer, endowed with three gifts by the King of Ghosts, set out on a fantastic journey.
They try to stop an impending war between two neighboring kingdoms. Among his most expensive enterprises, the film project was difficult to finance. Ray abandoned his desire to shoot it in color, as he turned down an offer that would have forced him to cast a certain Hindi film actor as the lead.
Featuring a musical motif structure acclaimed as more complex than Charulata,  Aranyer Din Ratri Days and Nights in the Forest traces four urban young men going to the forests for a vacation. They try to leave their daily lives behind.
All but one of them become involved in encounters with women, which becomes a deep study of the Indian middle class. According to Robin Wood, "a single sequence [of the film] He completed what became known as the Calcutta trilogy: Pratidwandi , Seemabaddha , and Jana Aranya , three films that were conceived separately but had thematic connections.
Jana Aranya The Middleman showed a young man giving in to the culture of corruption to make a living. Seemabaddha Company Limited portrayed an already successful man giving up his morality for further gains. In the first film, Pratidwandi, Ray introduces a new, elliptical narrative style, such as scenes in negative, dream sequences, and abrupt flashbacks.
He said that, as a filmmaker, he was more interested in the travails of the refugees and not the politics.
It was set in Lucknow in the state of Oudh , a year before the Indian rebellion of In , while working on Ghare Baire Home and the World , Ray suffered a heart attack; it would severely limit his productivity in the remaining 9 years of his life.
He had wanted to film this Tagore novel on the dangers of fervent nationalism for a long time, and wrote a first draft of a script for it in the s. In , he made a documentary on his father, Sukumar Ray. They have more dialogue than his earlier films and are often regarded as inferior to his earlier body of work.
The final scene shows the father finding solace only in the companionship of his fourth son, who is uncorrupted but mentally ill. When a long-lost uncle arrives to visit his niece in Calcutta, he arouses suspicion as to his motive. This provokes far-ranging questions in the film about civilisation. He was admitted to a hospital, but never recovered.
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Ray is the first and the only Indian, yet, to receive the honor. Twenty-four days before his death, Ray accepted the award in a gravely ill condition, calling it the "Best achievement of [his] movie-making career.
Film craft[ edit ] Satyajit Ray considered script-writing to be an integral part of direction. Initially he refused to make a film in any language other than Bengali. His influence on the early films was so important that Ray would always write scripts in English before creating a Bengali version, so that the non-Bengali Chandragupta would be able to read it. Mitra developed "bounce lighting", a technique to reflect light from cloth to create a diffused, realistic light even on a set.
He found that their first loyalty was to musical traditions, and not to his film. He had a greater understanding of Western classical forms, which he wanted to use for his films set in an urban milieu. He used actors of diverse backgrounds, from famous film stars to people who had never seen a film as in Aparajito. Depending on the talent or experience of the actor, Ray varied the intensity of his direction, from virtually nothing with actors such as Utpal Dutt , to using the actor as a puppet  Subir Banerjee as young Apu or Sharmila Tagore as Aparna.
Actors who had worked for Ray praised his customary trust but said he could also treat incompetence with total contempt. The science fictions of Shonku are presented as a diary discovered after the scientist had mysteriously disappeared.
He wrote a collection of humorous stories of Mullah Nasiruddin in Bengali. His short stories were published as collections of 12 stories, in which the overall title played with the word twelve for example Aker pitthe dui, or literally "Two on top of one".
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Most of his screenplays have been published in Bengali in the literary journal Eksan. Ray wrote an autobiography about his childhood years, Jakhan Choto Chilam , translated to English as Childhood Days.
Ray penned his experiences during the period when he filmed the Apu Trilogy in his memoirs titled My Years with Apu: He also wrote essays on film, published as the collections: Our Films, Their Films is an anthology of film criticism by Ray.
The book contains articles and personal journal excerpts. The book is presented in two sections: Ray first discusses Indian film , before turning his attention toward Hollywood, specific filmmakers Charlie Chaplin and Akira Kurosawa , and movements such as Italian neorealism.
His book Bishoy Chalachchitra was published in translation in as Speaking of Films. It contains a compact description of his philosophy of different aspects of the cinemas.
Ray illustrated all his books and designed covers for them, as well as creating all publicity material for his films, i. He also designed covers of several books by other authors. Generally categorized as "Folk"-Art cf. The three-tier X-height of Bengali graphemes was presented in a manner of musical map and the contours, curves in between horizontal and vertical meeting-point, follow the patterns of alpana.
Naipaul compared a scene in Shatranj Ki Khiladi The Chess Players to a Shakespearean play; he wrote, "only three hundred words are spoken but goodness! Praising his contribution to the world of cinema, Martin Scorsese mentions: