Ritwik Ghatak

Rows and Rows of Fences – Ritwik Ghatak on Cinema by Ritwik Ghatak

Published as an updated version of the compilation Cinema and I – a repository of essays, ancillary working notes, talking scripts, and interviews by Bengali filmmaker Ritwik Ghatak – Rows and Rows of Fences – Ritwik Ghatak on Cinema is an inspired, thoughtful, fascinating, articulate, and insightful collection of articles that at once, serve as… read more »

Questions of Third Cinema, edited by Jim Pines and Paul Willemen

A collection of transcribed essays presented during the three-day conference organized by Jim Pines, Paul Willemen, and June Givanni as part of the 40th anniversary of the Edinburgh International Film Festival in 1986, Questions of Third Cinema examines the evolution, application, relevance, and continued challenges of Third Cinema in its manifestation, not only from the… 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 »

Reason, Debate and a Story, 1974

A frail, elderly villager seeking shelter from the burning sun inside a makeshift hut stares inexpressively into the camera as a trio of faceless, black-cladded apparitions perform a vibrant, ritualistic dance before him, perhaps in anticipation of the old man’s inevitable death. The dreamlike, surreal episode seemingly provides an allegorical – and intrinsically operatic –… read more »

A River Called Titas, 1973

A River Called Titas opens to the eerily desolate yet tranquil sight of a receded river basin as the expressive voice of a traditional folk singer (Dheeraj Uddin Fakir) serenades the mighty Titas River in East Bengal with a soulful ode on the river’s inconstant ebb and flow that manifests its alternately fickle grace, mercy,… read more »

Subarnarekha, 1965

Ritwik Ghatak’s films are deeply haunted by the specter of the Partition of Bengal in 1947, and this sense of dislocation and self-inflicted human tragedy created by artificially imposed social division casts a pervasive sentiment of despair, instability, and perpetual exile through all the rended families and uprooted ancestral communities of Subarnarekha. Opening to the… read more »

The Cloud-Capped Star, 1960

In an impoverished refugee village in Calcutta, an attractive and industrious young woman, Nita (Supriya Choudhury), breaks a sandal while passing through the market square, and without complaining, continues barefoot on the graveled street, unable to buy a replacement pair of sandals for the walk home. Patently aware that Nita has received her monthly salary,… read more »

The Citizen, 1952

The opening image of Ritwik Ghatak’s first feature film, The Citizen, consists of a steady motion, acute angle dolly shot of mature trees (a symbolic image that is similarly implemented in the introductory sequence of The Cloud-Capped Star) lining an anonymous street, a juxtaposition of transience and permanence that serves as a seeming reflection of… read more »