Satyajit Ray was an Indian filmmaker, director, screenwriter, graphic artist, music composer, and author, widely regarded as one of the greatest filmmakers of the 20th century.
Satyajit Ray, (born May 2nd, 1921 in a Bengali Brahmin family to legendary poet Sukumar and his wife Suprabha Ray, Calcutta, India and died April 23, 1992, Calcutta), was a Bengali motion-picture director, writer, painter, story-writer and illustrator who changed the face value of Indian cinema by delivering some finest motion pictures proving India’s mettle to international platform with his magnum opus Pather Panchali (1955; The Song of the Road) and its two sequels, commonly known as the Apu Trilogy. As a director, Ray was noted for his introspective observation of humanity, his capability of producing real-life scenario, and his detailed control over his films and their music those are related with nature and daily life. Ray’s had a gifted ability to illustrate the poverty without glamorizing the underlying plight which he had displayed in many of his films.
A glimpse into his filmography:
Satyajit Ray’s films are the representation of both cinematic excellence and introspective literary diving deep into the importance of human life. Using a simple narrative, usually in a classical format with minute detailing and addressing the unsolved problems of human life.
Anderson dedicating his movie ‘ told Rolling Stone. “I had to personally introduce myself to the Satyajit Ray Family and Foundation and convince them that it was worthwhile to digitize all of his master tapes. I wound up sitting in Calcutta for five days waiting for them to hand them over. But that was one of the great experiences of my life.
His first film, Pather Panchali (English: Song of the little road) released in 1955 established his stature as one of the greatest filmmakers of the future. This movie won numerous awards including Best Human Document, Cannes, 1956 and Best Film, Vancouver, 1958. It is the first film of a trilogy – The Apu Trilogy – a three-part tale of a boy’s life from birth through manhood. The other two films of this trilogy are Aparajito (The Unvanquished, 1956) and Apur Sansar (The World of Apu, 1959).
His later films include Jalsaghar (The Music Room, 1958), Devi (The Goddess, 1960), Teen Kanya (Two Daughters, 1961), Charulata (The Lonely Wife, 1964), Nayak (The Hero, 1966), Asani Sanket (Distant Thunder, 1973), Shatranj Ke Khilari(The Chess Players, 1977), Ghare Baire (The Home and the World, 1984), Ganashatru (An Enemy Of The People, 1989) and Shakha Prashakha (Branches Of The Tree, 1991). Agantuk (The Stranger, 1991) was his last film.
What Greats said about Him:
His filmography made such an influence that famous filmmaker Akira Kurosawa once said, “Not to have seen the cinema of Ray means existing in the world without seeing the sun or the moon.
After seeing Ray’s “Days and Nights,” Pauline Kael wrote: “Ray’s films can give rise to a more complex feeling of happiness in me than the work of any other director. No artist has ever done more than Satyajit Ray to make us re-evaluate the commonplace.”
Anderson in his fifth film ‘Darjeeling Limited’ told Rolling Stone. “I had to personally introduce myself to the Satyajit Ray Family and Foundation and convince them that it was worthwhile to digitize all of his master tapes. I wound up sitting in Calcutta for five days waiting for them to hand them over. But that was one of the great experiences of my life.”
The organizing committee of the Berlin Film Festival ranked him as one of the three all-time best directors in 1978. Satyajit Ray received the honorary Academy Award with Lifetime Achievement in recognition of his rare mastery of the art of motion pictures and for his profound humanitarian outlook, which has had an indelible influence on filmmakers and audiences throughout the world in 1992. Ray was also conferred with France’s highest civilian award ‘the Legion of Honour’.