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Tuesday, June 22, 2021

Legendary Bengali Filmaker Satyajit Ray

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Satyajit Ray was a great Bengali Film maker and a great star in in the world of Bengali Film Industry. It is a dream for every actor and actress to get a chance to work with him. Today his 89th Birthday and in short i will try to sketch his bright career and work towards Bengali film industry.

satyajit-raySatyajit was born in the famous family of Roy Chowdhury originally a zamindar(LandLords) family from Mymensingh district in East-Bengal. He was born on 2nd May, 1921, in Kolkata to Suprabha Ray and Sukumar Ray , a great writer and creator of “Abol Tabol” (Nonsense Rhymes) and various other children stories. His Grandfather was Upendra Kishore Roy Chowdhury a great writer, illustrator, philosopher, publisher, amateur astronomer and a leader of the Brahmo Samaj, a religious and social movement in nineteenth century Bengal. Satyajit studied in Presidency College and at Santiniketan (Viswa-Bharati University). Satyajit initially started his career as a commercial artist and then he finally shifted his career to film making after meeting French filmmaker Jean Renoir and viewing the Italian neorealist film Bicycle Thieves during a visit to London.

Achievements:

Ray directed over 32 films, including various documentaries, short films and feature films. He was not only a great director but he was also a great film critic like his father. He was also a fiction writer, publisher, illustrator, graphic designer. Ray’s first film was Pather Pachali, a legend in Bengali film industry. It won eleven international prizes, including Best Human Document at the Cannes film festival. The Apu trilogy includes

  • Pather Pachali,
  • Apu’s Sansar and
  • Aparajito.

Ray did the

  1. scripting,
  2. casting,
  3. scoring,
  4. cinematography,
  5. art direction,
  6. editing and
  7. designed his own credit titles and publicity material.

Awards

To his credit, Ray won many national and international awards and prizes that includes 32 National Film Awards, a number of international awards, and an Academy Honorary Award in 1992.

His Films

Some of the greatest films ever produced in Bengali Film industry were directed b him, however not only Bengali but Indian film industry took benefit out of his qualities directed.

  • Pather Pachali,
  • Apu’r Sansar,
  • Aparajito, Charulata (The Lonely Wife),
  • Devi, Kanchanjungha,
  • Nayak are his some of the greatest works.

Children stories

  • Joy Baba Felunath(The Elephant God),
  • Sonar Kella (The Golden Fort),
  • Gupi Gayen-Bagha Bayen,
  • Hirok Raja’r Desh e,
  • Gupi Bagha Fire Elo are a few name to mention.

On his later creation, he created

  • Aguntuk,
  • Shakha Proshaka,
  • Ganashutru,
  • Ghaire Baire.

Ray has made various literary works for children. Feluda (A fictional Detective named Pradosh C. Mitter) is a very popular character among children. Various films like Sonar Kella, Joy Baba Felunath was made by him. There are lots of stories published on Feluda like:

  • Bombay er Bombette (The Buccaneers of Bombay),
  • Gorosthane Sabdhan (Beware In Graveyard),
  • Chhinnamastar Abhishap (The Curse of Goddess),

and many many others. His Son Sandip Ray has made films based on some of the Feluda Story like

  1. Bombay er Bombette (The Buccaneers of Bombay),
  2. Kailash e Kelenkari (A Killer in Kailash).

His Characters:

  • Other characters Like Professor Shanku (Scientist) is pretty famous among children.
  • Tarini Khuro (Uncle Tarini ), a character not very famous is also awesome.

His AutoBiography

He has also written an auto biography of himself “Jokhon Choto Chilam” (When i was a kid) and and essays on film: Our Films, Their Films (1976), along with Bishoy Chalachchitra (1976), Ekei Bole Shooting (1979). Our Films, Their Films is an anthology of film criticism by Ray. The book contains articles and personal journal excerpts. His book Bishoy Chalachchitra was translated in 2006 as Speaking of Films, and contains a compact description of his philosophy of different aspects of the cinema. Ray also wrote a collection of nonsense verse named Today Bandha Ghorar Dim, which includes a translation of Lewis Carroll’s “Jabberwocky”. He also authored a collection of humorous stories of Mullah Nasiruddin in Bengali.

Ray’s work is often described as full of universality and humanism and always underlying great and complex thinking. The great and legendary Akira Kurosawa, who declared,

“Not to have seen the cinema of Ray means existing in the world without seeing the sun or the moon.”But his detractors find his films glacially slow, moving like a “majestic snail.

Ray’s work has highly appreciated by legendaries like Jean-Luc Godard, V.S Naipaul,Stanley Kauffman,Mrinal Sen. Though once V.S Naipaul had criticized his movie “Shatraanj Ke Khilari” with a Shakespeare play.

Ray has always been bestowed with great awards through out his life. He has been awarded with 32 National Film Awards by the Government of India. He was only among the three to win Silver Bear for Best Director twice in Berlin Film Festival and holds the record for the most Golden Bear nominations (seven times). Venice Film Festival, where he had previously won a Golden Lion for Aparajito (1956), he was awarded the Golden Lion Honorary Award in 1982.That same year, he also received an honorary “Hommage à Satyajit Ray” award at the 1982 Cannes Film Festival. Ray is only after Chaplin to receive Honorary Doctorate degree from Oxford University. He was awarded the Dadasaheb Phalke Award in 1985 and the Legion of Honor by the President of France in 1987.The Government of India awarded him the highest civilian honour Bharat Ratna shortly before his death. The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences awarded Ray an honorary Oscar in 1992 for Lifetime Achievement.In 1992 he received posthumously Akira Kurosawa Award for Lifetime Achievement in Directing at the San Francisco International Film Festival, it was received by Sharmila Tagore. Entertainment Weekly magazine, In 1996,ranked Satyajit Ray at #25 in its “50 Greatest Directors” list. The Sight & Sound critics’ and directors’ poll ranked Ray at #22 in its list of all-time greatest directors in 2002.Total Film magazine included Ray in its “100 Greatest Film Directors Ever” list in the year 2007.

Satyajit Ray passed away peacefully on 23 April 1992 in Kolkata. He lives in the heart of every Indians specially all Bengalis across the border along with his wife Bijoya Das, his son Sandip Ray and Grandson. The Legend of the Indian Film Industry can never be forgotten and we remember him on this Birthday with great respect.

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Ambarish Pandeyhttp://www.pak-times.com
Ambarish Pandey is currently working for PricewaterhouseCoopers PVT. LTD. in India, Kolkata. He is a Senior Consultant in the Advisory Division of the firm. He holds Engineering degree from Bengal Engineering & Science University, Shibpur, India's second oldest Engineering college. Besides Developing websites and other software jobs he loves to blog on Women, Minority Issues. His hobbies are Cooking, Collectibles and Archeology(Egyptology), Bengal's & Punjab's History... His book on cookery in Bengali under title "Hesel"(Kitchen) has been published in India.
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