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Subject Topic: Satyajit Ray ~ Master Film Maker (@Onion) Post ReplyPost New Topic
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Joined: 22 October 2008
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Posted: 03 March 2009 at 13:10 | IP Logged Quote dayglowjoe


Satyajit Ray (director of the famous Apu Trilogy) is considered one of the greatest film makers in history and Akira Kurosawa once said that "..To live life without seeing the cinema of Ray is like living on earth without ever seeing the sun and the moon..."
Pretty high praise. Ray's films showed the real India to a world who had only known the country through the rose tinted fantasy of Bollywood.

His subtle and beautiful mix of realism and lyricism is utterly beguiling. Don't miss this chance to see some very rare films on a big screen.

THE CHESS PLAYERS (Shatranj Ke Khilari)
1977 * 115 mins * rated U * Lng; English & Urdu w/ English subtitles

It is 1856, the eve of the first Indian struggle for independence (The Mutiny of 1857). A British firm, "The East India Company" rules much of India; but they do not yet own the independent state of Lucknow, ruled by the indifferent and whimsical Nawab Wajid Ali Shah.
Meanwhile, amidst the political unrest, two aristocratic friends play endless games of chess to escape reality, while their wives play their own games in secret, mirroring the giant chess game that is India's situation, all the while to approaching sound of the British Army...
Starring Sir Richard Attenborough and Victor Banerjee.

THE ELEPHANT GOD (Joi Baba Felunath)
1978 * 116 mins * rated PG * Lng;Bengali w/ English subtitles

Set in the stunning temple city of Benares, this is one of Ray's most accessible and entertaining films, and centers around the mysterious theft of a priceless gold statue of the elephant god Ganesha. India's famous detective Feluda is called in to locate the missing icon, a process which unveils many hidden secrets in the city...

THE MUSIC ROOM (Jalsaghar)
1958 * 100 mins * rated PG * Lng;Bengali w/English subtitles

This dark and gothic tale of riches to ruin is one of Ray's most atmospheric works. It tells the story of a wealthy man, the last of the Zamindars, who is obsessed with music to the point where he spends all of his family's wealth on putting on the greatest concerts in the land for the entertainment of his rich friends, and to outdo his neighbours' parties.
But as the money disappears and his wife and son grow more distant, tragedy looms...


Other filmmakers praise for Satyajit Ray...

"... when Satyajit Ray did his films you suddenly not understood the culture because the culture was so complex but you became attached to the culture through the people, and it didn't matter what they were speaking, what they were wearing, what their customs were. Their customs were very, very interesting and surprising, and you suddenly began to realize there are other cultures in the world."
~ Martin Scorsese

"The quiet but deep observation, understanding and love of the human race, which are characteristic of all his films, have impressed me greatly... I feel that he is a "giant" of the movie industry.

... Not to have seen the cinema of Ray means existing in the world without seeing the sun or the moon."
~ Akira Kurosawa

"Satyajit Ray is an extraordinary filmmaker with a long and illustrious career who has had a profound influence on filmmakers and audiences throughout the world."
~ George Lucas

"Satyajit Ray is among the world's greatest directors, living or dead... Isn't it curious that the newest, the most modern of the arts, has found one of its deepest, most fluent expressions in the work of an artist like Ray, who must make his seamless films - many have been masterpieces - in a chaotic and volatile corner of one of the world's oldest cultures, amidst the most stringent shortages of today's advanced movie-making material and equipment?"
~ James Ivory
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