Satyajit Ray

Our Films, Their Films by Satyajit Ray

Our Films, Their Films is a collection of perceptive, contemplative, and illuminating critical essays and personal memoirs by seminal filmmaker, composer, artist, author, intellectual, and cinephile, Satyajit Ray. Arranged into the two titular sections, Ray’s terse, candid, and often thematically overlapping expositions on Indian and international cinema reveal, not only profound engagement with, and sensitivity… read more »

My Years With Apu, A Memoir by Satyajit Ray

My Years With Apu, A Memoir reflects the lucidity, compassion, and humility of the versatile and immensely talented humanist filmmaker, Satyajit Ray. The book is prefaced by his wife, Bijoya Ray, who describes her attempts to faithfully recapture Ray’s memoir from his first draft, after his final draft was stolen at a hospital shortly before… read more »

The Essential Mystery: The Major Filmmakers of Indian Art Cinema by John W. Hood

The Essential Mystery: Major Filmmakers of Indian Art Cinema is a thoughtful, appreciative, analytical, and comprehensive overview of the influential filmmakers that have defined, shaped, and elevated the status of Indian art cinema. By correlating the filmmakers’ personal experiences with the common themes and individual styles presented through their respective cinema, Hood illustrates the diversity,… read more »

Childhood Days: A Memoir by Satyajit Ray

Childhood Days: A Memoir is a compilation of a series of articles for the children’s publication, Sandesh, and best serves as a supplement to his autobiography, My Years With Apu or the Introspections interview by K. Bikram Singh. The book flows like a contemplative, familiar, and accessible stream of consciousness of Satyajit Ray’s fond memories… read more »

The Stranger, 1991

Anila Bose (Mamata Shankar) receives a curious letter sent from New Delhi, affectionately referring to her as “baby”, presumably from her uncle, Manmohan Mitra (Utpal Dutt). Having left Calcutta immediately after his graduation when Anila was only two years old, Manmohan is eager to reunite with his sole surviving relative, imploring on her sense of… read more »

The Middleman, 1976

The Middleman opens with a shot of a disinterested proctor monitoring the History final examination at Calcutta University. A student hides a note inside a cigarette box and passes it to Somnath (Pradip Mekherjee), who chooses not to participate in the rampant cheating, and passes on the note to his childhood friend, Sukumar (Gautam Chakravarti)…. read more »

Distant Thunder, 1973

In 1942, at the height of the Second World War, Japan, having successfully secured and occupied Singapore, advanced the emperor’s ambitious military operation to India’s neighboring country of Burma. In response to the nation’s aggressive Asian campaign, the British sought to regain and reinforce strategic Allied positions in the Pacific by stemming the tide of… read more »

The Adversary, 1972

While not as overtly political as contemporary filmmaker Mrinal Sen, Satyajit Ray’s early 1970s films similarly capture the volatile climate of geopolitical unrest, profound social transformation, and domestic crisis stemming from the introduction of Naxalism into an increasingly radicalized Calcutta student movement. In a way, The Adversary represents this fomenting cultural revolution in its bracing… read more »

Seemabaddha (Company Limited), 1971

While the other two films in Satyajit Ray’s Calcutta trilogy – Pratidwandi (The Adversary) and Jana Aranya (The Middleman) – show the bleak prospects of college-educated young men struggling to carve out their own futures in the charged, sociopolitical climate of early 1970s Calcutta, the middle film in the trilogy, Seemabaddha (Company Limited) poses a… read more »

Kapurush-o-Mahapurush, 1965

On the surface, Satyajit Ray’s diptych, Kapurush-o-Mahapurush (The Coward and The Holy Man) seems an unlikely pairing: one, a stranded screenwriter’s encounter with a lost love amidst the remote plantations of Darjeeling; the other, a hapless suitor’s attempts to wrest his beloved from the influence of a silver-tongued charlatan. But beyond the presence of a… read more »