Satyajit Ray

照片 : Satyajit_Ray.jpg

照片描述 :

中文名 : 萨蒂亚吉特.雷伊

英文名 : Satyajit Ray

出生年 : 1921年

出生日 : 5月2日

出生地 : 印度加尔各达

逝世 : 逝世

逝世年 : 1992年

逝世日 : 4月23日

逝世地 : 印度加尔各达

国家/地区 : 印度

职业1 : 导演

职业2 : 编剧

职业3 : 制片人

职业4 : 作曲家

首字母 : R

条目星级 : ★

萨蒂亚吉特·雷伊(Satyajit Ray),印度电影大师,曾经是[[泰戈尔]]世交,他的作品摆脱了印度传统歌舞、传奇电影的模式,跟上了现代电影的步伐,成为[[印度电影史]]上最受世界影坛推崇的大师。1992年,雷伊在刚刚赢得[[奥斯卡]]终身成就奖之后因病去世,他的去世引起黑泽明等一干电影大师的极度惋惜。

Early life

Satyajit Ray, 1932

Satyajit Ray’s ancestry can be traced back at least 10 generations.{{Harvnb|Seton|1971|p=36}} The family history took a decisive turn with his grandfather, [[Upendrakishore Raychowdhury]]. A writer, illustrator, philosopher, publisher and amateur astronomer, Raychowdhury was a leader of the [[Brahmo_Samaj]], a religious and social movement in 19th century [[Bengal]]. [[Sukumar_Ray]], his son, was among the greatest [[Bengali]] writers of [[nonsense rhyme]] and [[children’s_literature]], an able illustrator and a critic. Ray was born to Sukumar and Suprabha Ray in Kolkata. Sukumar_Ray died when Satyajit was barely three, and his mother had to work hard to bring him up. Ray proceeded to study economics at Presidency College in Kolkata, though his interest was always in fine arts. In 1940, his mother insisted that he study at the [[Visva-Bharati_University]] at [[Santiniketan]], founded by Rabindranath_Tagore. Ray was reluctant due to his love of Kolkata, and general low impression about the intellectual life at Santiniketan.{{Harvnb|Robinson|2003|p=46}} His mother’s persuasion and his respect for Tagore finally convinced him to try this route. In Santiniketan, Ray came to appreciate [[oriental]] art. He later admitted that he learnt much from the famous painters [[Nandalal_Bose]]{{Harvnb|Seton|1971|p=70}} and [[Benode_Behari_Mukherjee]] on whom Ray later produced a documentary film. With visits to [[Ajanta]], [[Ellora]] and [[Elephanta]], Ray developed an admiration for [[Indian_art]].{{Harvnb|Seton|1971|pp=71–72}}

Ray left Santiniketan in 1943 before completing the five-year course and returned to Kolkata, where he took a job with a British advertising agency, D.J. Keymer. He joined as a “junior visualiser”, earning just 80 [[rupees]] a month. Although on one hand, visual design was something close to Ray’s heart and, for the most part, he was treated well, there was palpable tension between the British and Indian employees of the firm (the former were much better paid), and Ray felt that “the clients were generally stupid”.{{Harvnb|Robinson|2003|pp=56–58}} Around 1943, Ray became involved with [[Signet_Press]], a new publishing house started up by [[D._K._Gupta]]. Gupta asked Ray to cover designs for books published from Signet_Press and gave him complete artistic freedom. Ray designed covers for many books, including [[Jim_Corbett]]’s [[Maneaters_of_Kumaon]], and [[Jawaharlal_Nehru]]’s [[Discovery_of_India]]. He also worked on a children’s version of Pather Panchali, a classic Bengali novel by [[Bibhutibhushan_Bandopadhyay]], renamed as Am Antir Bhepu (The mango-seed whistle). Ray was deeply influenced by the work, which became the subject of his first film. In addition to designing the cover, he illustrated the book; many of his illustrations ultimately found their place as shots in his groundbreaking film.{{Harvnb|Robinson|2005|p=38}}

Along with [[Chidananda_Dasgupta]] and others, Ray founded the [[Calcutta_Film_Society]] in 1947, through which he was exposed to a number of foreign films. Throughout this time, Ray continued to watch and study films seriously. He befriended the American [[GI]]s stationed in Kolkata during World War II, who would inform him of the latest American films showing in the city. He came to know a [[RAF]] employee, Norman Clare, who shared Ray’s passion of films, chess and western classical music.{{Harvnb|Robinson|2005|pp=40–43}} In 1949, Ray married [[Bijoya Das]], his distant cousin and longtime sweetheart. The couple had a son, [[Sandip]], who is now a prominent film director in his own right. In the same year, [[Jean_Renoir]] came to Kolkata to shoot his film [[The River]]. Ray helped him to find locations in the countryside. It was then that Ray told Renoir about his idea of filming Pather Panchali, which had been on his mind for some time, and Renoir encouraged him to proceed.{{Harvnb|Robinson|2005|pp=42–44}} In 1950, Ray was sent to London by D.J. Keymer to work at its head office. During his three months in London, he watched 99 films. Among this was the [[neorealist]] film [[Bicycle_Thieves]], which had a profound impact on him. Ray later said that he came out of the theatre determined to become a filmmaker.

The Apu Years (1950–58)

{{main|Filmography of Satyajit Ray}}

Wide open eyes, a continual motif in the Apu Trilogy

Ray during his years at [[Santiniketan]].

Ray had now decided that Pather Panchali, the classic [[bildungsroman]] of [[Bengali_literature]] would provide the subject for his first film. Published in 1928 by Bibhutibhusan Bandopadhyay, this semi-autobiographical novel describes the growing up of Apu, a small boy in a Bengal village.

Ray gathered around him an inexperienced crew, although both his cameraman [[Subrata_Mitra]] and [[art_director]] [[Bansi_Chandragupta]] went on to achieve great acclaim. Ray used a large cast of amateur artists. Ray started shooting the film in late 1952, using his personal savings in the hope that someone would fund the film after seeing the initial shots; however, such funding was not forthcoming. Pather Panchali was shot over the unusually long period of three years, because shooting was possible only from time to time, when Ray or production manager [[Anil_Chowdhury]] could arrange further money. With a loan from the [[West_Bengal]] government, the film was finally completed and released in 1955 to great critical and popular success, sweeping up numerous prizes and having long runs in both India and abroad. During the making of the film, Ray refused funding from sources who demanded a change in script or the supervision of the [[producer]], and ignored advice from the government (which finally funded the film anyway) to incorporate a happy ending in having Apu’s family join a “development project”.{{Harvnb|Seton|1971|p=95}}

In India, the reaction to the film was enthusiastic, [[The_Times_of_India]] wrote that “It is absurd to compare it with any other Indian cinema … Pather Panchali is pure cinema”.{{Harvnb|Seton|1971|pp=112–15}} In the United Kingdom, [[Lindsay_Anderson]] wrote a glowing review of the film.{{Harvnb|Seton|1971|pp=112–15}} However, the reaction was not uniformly positive, and [[François_Truffaut]] is reported to have said: “I don’t want to see a movie of peasants eating with their hands.” [[Bosley_Crowther]], then the most influential critic of [[The_New_York_Times]], wrote a scathing review of Panchali that some thought would kill off the film when it was released in the [[United_States]], but instead it enjoyed an exceptionally long run.

Ray’s international career started in earnest after the success of his next film, [[Aparajito]] (The Unvanquished). This film poignantly shows the eternal struggle between the ambitions of a young man, Apu, and the mother who loves him. Many critics, notably [[Mrinal_Sen]] and [[Ritwik_Ghatak]], rank it even higher than the first film. Aparajito won the [[Golden_Lion]] in [[Venice]]. Before the completion of the Trilogy, Ray completed two other films. The first is the comic [[Parash_Pathar]] (The Philosopher’s Stone), which was followed by [[Jalsaghar]] (The Music Room), a film about the decadence of the [[Zamindar]]s, considered one of his most important works.

Ray had not thought about a trilogy while making Aparajito, and it occurred to him only after being asked about the idea in Venice.{{Harvnb|Wood|1972|p=61}} The final installation of the series, [[Apur_Sansar]] (The World of Apu) was made in 1959. Just like the two previous films, numerous critics find this to be the supreme achievement of the trilogy (Robin Wood, [[Aparna_Sen]]). Ray introduced two of his favourite actors [[Soumitra_Chatterjee]] and [[Sharmila_Tagore]] in this film. The film finds Apu living in a nondescript Calcutta house in near-poverty. He becomes involved in an unusual marriage with Aparna, the scenes of their life together forming “one of the cinema’s classic affirmative depiction of married life”,{{Harvnb|Wood|1972}} but tragedy ensues. After Apur_Sansar was harshly criticised by a Bengali critic, Ray wrote an eloquent article defending it—a rare event in Ray’s film making career (the other major instance involved the film Charulata, Ray’s personal favourite).Ray mentions this in {{Harvnb|Ray|1993|p=13}}

His success had little influence on his personal life in the years to come. Ray continued to live with his mother, uncle and other members of his extended family in a rented house (he never owned a house in his life).{{Harvnb|Robinson|2003|p=5}} Both his wife and son took active part in Ray’s creative life, as Bijoya was often the first to read a script, and helped with composing music. In spite of his modest income, Ray considered himself rich, as he was able to buy the books and records he wanted.{{Harvnb|Robinson|2003|p=5}}

From Devi to Charulata (1959–64)

Reversal of the [[gaze]], Charulata looking at Amal

During this period, Ray composed films on the [[Raj period]] (such as [[Devi]]), a documentary on Tagore, a [[comic]] film (Mahapurush) and his first film from an original [[screenplay]] (Kanchenjungha). He also made a series of films that, taken together, are considered by critics among the most deeply felt portrayal of Indian women on screen, moving [[Pauline_Kael]] to comment that she could not believe that Ray was a man, and not a woman.

Ray followed Apur_Sansar by Devi (The Goddess), a film in which studies the deep superstitions in the [[Hindu]] society. Sharmila_Tagore starred as Doyamoyee, a young wife who is [[deified]] by her father-in-law. She commented later, “Devi was what a genius got out of me, not something I did myself”. Ray was worried that the censor board might block his film, or at least make him re-cut it, but Devi was spared{{fact}}. In 1961, on the insistence of Prime-minister [[Jawaharlal_Nehru]], Ray was commissioned to make [[a documentary]] on [[Rabindranath_Tagore]], on the occasion of the poet’s birth [[centennial]], a tribute to the person who probably influenced Ray most. Due to limited real footage of Tagore available, Ray faced the challenge of making a film out of mainly static material, and he remarked that it took as much work as three feature films.{{Harvnb|Robinson|2003|p=277}} In the same year, together with [[Subhas_Mukhopadhyay]] and others, Ray was able to revive [[Sandesh]], the children’s [[magazine]] his grandfather once published. Ray had been saving money for some years now to make this possible.{{Harvnb|Seton|1971|p=189}} A curious duality in the name (Sandesh means both “news” and a particular kind of sweet) set the tone of the magazine (both educational and entertaining), and Ray soon found himself illustrating the magazine, and writing stories and essays for children. Writing became his major source income in the years to come.

In 1962, Ray directed [[Kanchenjungha]], which was his first original screenplay and colour film. Complex and musically composed, the film tells the story of an upper-class family spending an afternoon in [[Darjeeling]], a mountain_resort, where the family members suddenly revolt against the domineering family-head Indranath Roy. The film was first conceived to take place in a large mansion, but Ray later decided to film it in the famous [[mountain_resort]], using the many shades of light and mist to reflect the tension in the drama. An amused Ray noted that while his script allowed shooting to be possible under any lighting conditions, a commercial film contingent present at the same time in Darjeeling failed to shoot a single shot as they only wanted to do so in sunshine.{{Harvnb|Robinson|2003|p=142}} Ray cast [[Chhabi_Biswas]] as Roy in what turned out to be Biswas’s last film (he died in a car accident shortly after, leaving Ray with the feeling that certain characters could no longer be conceived without Biswas to interpret them).

Now an internationally reputed film personality, Ray travelled frequently as a jury or participant at film festivals, despite his complaint that he didn’t feel creative outside of Kolkata. This included a jury duty at the 1963 [[Moscow_Film_Festival]], where [[Fellini]]’s carried away the Grand Prix. His visit to [[Japan]] in the sixties gave him particular pleasure when he met filmmaker [[Akira_Kurosawa]], for whom he had very high regard. While at home, he would take an occasional break from the hectic city life by going to places like Darjeeling or [[Puri]] to complete a script in isolation.

In 1964 Satyajit Ray made [[Charulata]] (The Lonely Wife), the culmination of this period of work, and regarded by many critics as his most accomplished film.{{Harvnb|Robinson|2003|p=157}} Based on [[Nastanirh]], a short story of Tagore, the film tells the tale of a lonely wife, Charu, in 19th century Bengal, and her growing feelings for her brother in law, Amal. This [[Mozart]]ian film is often called “perfect”, Ray himself famously said the film contained least flaws among his work, and his only work, that given a chance, he would make exactly the same way. [[Madhabi_Mukherjee]]’s performance as Charu, and the work of both Subrata_Mitra and Bansi_Chandragupta in the film have been highly praised. Two scenes of the film have received special critical attention: The first seven wordless minutes of the film, depicting Charu’s [[ennui]], and the “Garden-swing sequence”, where Charu confronts her love for Amal. Other films in this period include Mahanagar(The Big City:A tale about Calcutta), Teen Kanya (Three Daughters), Abhijan (‘The Expedition) and Kapurush o Mahapurush (The Coward and The Holy Man).

New directions (1965 – 1982)

Affectionately called Manik (literally “Jewel”), Ray was more accessible to the public than his contemporaries, often welcoming unacquainted people wanting to meet him. However, Ray also often left an impression of remoteness on people who met him, and described as “[[English]]” by [[Bengali]]s, and “[[Brahmin]]ical” by Westerners for his refined yet cold and solemn demeanour. In the same vein, his great trust in his actors would be tempered by his occasional ability to treat incompetence with total contempt.{{Harvnb|Robinson|2003|p=307}} His private life was never a subject of media scrutiny, although some believe Ray had an affair with [[Madhabi_Mukherjee]] in 1960s.{{Harvnb|Robinson|2003|p=362}}

In the post-Charulata period, Ray took on projects of increasing variety, ranging from fantasy to detective films to historical drama. Ray also made considerable formal experimentation during this period, and also took closer notice to the contemporary issues of Indian life, responding to a perceived lack of these issues in his films. The first major film in this period in [[Nayak]] (The Hero), the story of a screen hero traveling in a train where he meets a young sympathetic female journalist. Starring [[Uttam_Kumar]] and Sharmila_Tagore, the film explores, in the 24 hours of the journey, the inner conflict of the apparently highly successful [[matinée_idol]]. In spite of receiving a Critics prize in Berlin, the reaction to this film was generally muted.{{Harvnb|Dasgupta|1996|p=91}} In 1967, Ray wrote a script for a movie to be entitled The Alien, with [[Columbia_Pictures]] as producer for this planned US-India co-production, and [[Peter_Sellers]] and [[Marlon_Brando]] as the leading actors. However Ray was surprised to find that the script he had written had already been [[copyright]]ed and the fee appropriated. [[Marlon_Brando]] dropped out of the project and though an attempt was made to bring [[James_Coburn]] in his place, Ray became disillusioned and returned to Kolkata.

Columbia expressed interest in reviving the project several times in the 70s and 80s but nothing came of it. When [[E.T.]] was released in 1982, many saw striking similarities in the movie to Ray’s earlier script – Ray discussed the collapse of the project in a 1980 [[Sight_&_Sound]] feature, with further details revealed by Ray’s biographer [[Andrew Robinson]] (in The Inner Eye, 1989). Ray believed that [[Spielberg]]’s movie would not have been possible without his script of The Alien being available throughout America in mimeographed copies.

Responding to his son’s complaint that he only made film that was grim and adult, and also to try out new cinematic waters, Ray made in 1969 what would be commercially the most successful of his films. Based on a children’s story written by his grandfather, [[Goopy_Gyne_Bagha_Byne]] (The Adventures of Goopy and Bagha) is a [[musical]] [[fantasy]]. Goopy the singer and Bagha the drummer, equipped by three boons allowed by the King of Ghosts, set out on a fantastic journey in which they try to stop an impending war between two neighbouring kingdoms. Among his most expensive enterprises, it turned out to be very hard to finance, Ray abandoned his desire to shoot it in colour, turning down an offer that would have forced him to cast a certain [[Bollywood]] actor as the lead.{{Harvnb|Seton|1971|pp=291-297}} Ray next made a film from a novel by the young poet and writer, [[Sunil_Gangopadhyay]]. Featuring a musical structure arguably even more complex than Charulata, [[Aranyer_Din_Ratri]] (Days and Nights in the Forest) traces four urban young men going to the forests for a vacation, trying to leave their petty urban existence behind. All but one of them get engaged into revealing encounters with women, which becomes a deep study of the Indian [[middle_class]]. According to Robin Wood, “a single sequence [of the film] … would offer material for a short essay”.{{Harvnb|Wood|1972|p=13}} Ray cast Mumbai-based actress [[Simi_Garewal]] as a tribal woman, who was pleasantly surprised to find that Ray could envision someone as urban as her in that role.

After the craftsmanship of Aranyer, Ray jumped headlong in the heart of Bengali reality, which was then in state of continuous flux due to the leftist [[Naxalite]] movement. Often accused of ignoring the contemporary Indian urban experience, Ray now made his emphatic statement on the topic in the 1970s. He completed the so-called [[Calcutta_trilogy]]: [[Pratidwandi]] (1970), [[Seemabaddha]] (1971), and [[Jana_Aranya]] (1975), three films which were conceived separately, but whose thematic connections form a loose trilogy. Pratidwandi (The Adversary) is about an idealist young graduate; if disillusioned, still uncorrupted at the end of film, Jana_Aranya (The Middleman) about how a young man gives in to the culture of corruption to make a living, and Seemabaddha (Company Limited) about an already successful man giving up morals for further gains. Of these, the first, Pratidwandi, uses an elliptical narrative style previously unseen in Ray films, such as scenes in negative, dream sequences and abrupt flashbacks. In the 1970s, Ray would also adapt two of his popular stories as detective films. Though mainly targeted towards children and young adults, both [[Sonar_Kella]] (The Golden Fortress) and [[Joy_Baba_Felunath]] (The Elephant God) found some critical following.{{Harvnb|Rushdie|1992}}

Ray considered making a film on the [[Bangladesh_Liberation_War]] but later abandoned the idea, commenting that as a filmmaker he was more interested in the travails and journeys of the refugees and not politics.{{Harvnb|Robinson|2003|p=206}} In 1977, Ray completed [[Shatranj_Ke_Khiladi]] (The Chess Players), an [[Urdu]] film based on a story by [[Munshi_Premchand]], set in [[Lucknow]] in the state of [[Oudh]], a year before the [[Indian_rebellion_of_1857]]. A commentary on the circumstances that led to the colonization of India by the British, this was Ray’s first feature film in a language other than Bengali. This is also his most expensive and star-studded film, featuring likes of [[Sanjeev Kumar]], [[Saeed_Jaffrey]], [[Amjad_Khan]], [[Shabana_Azmi]], [[Victor_Bannerjee]] and [[Richard_Attenborough]]. Ray would later make another hour-long [[Hindi]] film from a Premchand story, [[Sadgati]] (The Deliverance), that studies the cruel reality of [[untouchability]] in India. Ray made a [[sequel]] to Goopy_Gyne_Bagha_Byne in 1980, a somewhat overtly political [[Hirak_Rajar_Deshe]] (Kingdom of Diamonds) — where the kingdom of the evil Diamond King or Hirok Raj is an allusion to India during [[Indira_Gandhi]]’s emergency period.{{Harvnb|Robinson|2003|pp=188-189}} Along with his acclaimed short film [[Pikoo]] (Pikoo’s Day) this was the culmination of his work in this period.

The last phase (1983 – 1992)

A well-known photo of Sukumar_Ray, on whom Ray made a documentary in 1987

In 1983, while working on [[Ghare Baire]] (Home and the World), Ray suffered a [[heart attack]] that would severely limit his output in the remaining 9 years of his life. Ghare Baire was completed in 1984 with the help of Ray’s son (who would operate the camera from then on) because of his health condition. He wanted to film this [[Tagore novel]] on the dangers of fervent [[nationalism]] for a long time, and even wrote a (weak, by his own admission) script for it in the 1940s.{{Harvnb|Robinson|2003|pp=66-67}} In spite of inevitable rough patches due to his illness, the film did receive some critical acclaim, and it contained the first full-blown kiss in Ray’s films. In 1987, he made a documentary on his father, Sukumar_Ray.

Ray’s last three films, made after his recovery and with medical strictures in place, were shot mostly indoors, have a distinctive style, and are more verbose than his earlier films. [[Ganashatru]] (An Enemy of the People), made in 1989, is regarded by some as a weak film by Ray standards, and seen as an exercise to get back into filming after prolonged illness.{{Harvnb|Dasgupta|1996|p=134}} Made in 1989, [[Shakha_Proshakha]] (Branches of the Tree), is seen as film of greater qualities.{{Harvnb|Robinson|2003|p=353}} An old man, who has lived a life of honesty, comes to learn the corruption three of his sons, and the final scene shows him finding solace only in the companionship of the fourth, uncorrupted but mentally ill son. In [[Agantuk]] (The Stranger), his last film, Ray lightens the mood. A stranger visits a family claiming to be a long lost uncle. Through his experience, ranging from eager acceptance by the child of the family to apathy and suspicion by the elders, Ray weaves questions about identity, nature and civilization.

In 1992, Ray’s health deteriorated due to heart complications. He was admitted to a hospital, and would never recover. An honorary Oscar was awarded to him weeks before his death, which he received in a gravely ill condition. He died on [[April_23]], [[1992]].

Film craft

Satyajit Ray considered script-writing to be an integral part of direction. This is one reason why he initially refused to make a movie in any language other than [[Bengali]]. In his two non-Bengali feature films, he wrote the script in English, which under his supervision translators then interpreted in Hindi or Urdu. In fact, as he and his art_director Chandragupta considered that a “set exists only in relation to the script”,{{Harvnb|Robinson|2003|p=313}} he would always write scripts in English first, so that the non-Bengali Chandragupta would be able to read it. Camerawork in Ray’s early films are a tribute to the craft of [[Subrata_Mitra]], whose (bitter) departure from Ray’s crew, according to a number of critics, lowered the quality of [[cinematography]] in his films.{{Harvnb|Dasgupta|1996|p=91}} Though Ray openly praised Mitra, his single-mindedness made him to take over operation of the camera since Charulata, a reason why Mitra stopped working for Ray after 1966. Pioneering works of Subrata_Mitra included development of “bounce lighting”, a technique of bouncing light off cloth to create a diffused realistic light even on a set. Ray also acknowledged debt to [[Jean-Luc_Godard]] and [[François_Truffaut]] of the [[French_New_Wave]] for introducing new technical and cinematic innovations.

Though Ray had a regular [[editor]] in [[Dulal_Datta]], he usually dictated the editing while Datta did the actual work. In fact, because of financial reasons and Ray’s meticulous planning and complete control, his films were mostly cut “on the camera” (apart from Pather Panchali). At the beginning of his career, Ray worked with very talented [[Indian_classical_music]]ians, including [[Ravi_Shankar]], [[Vilayat_Khan]] and [[Ali_Akbar_Khan]]. However, the experience was painful for him as he found that their first loyalty was to musical traditions, and not to his film; also, his greater grasp of western classical forms, which he regarded as essential, especially for his films set in an urban milieu, stood in the way.{{Harvnb|Robinson|2003|pp=315-318}} This led him to compose his own scores starting from Teen Kanya. Acting in Ray’s film is praised as uniformly high, though he used actors of diverse backgrounds, from famous [[film_star]]s to people who have never seen a film (such as in Aparajito).{{Harvnb|Ray|1994|p=100}} Robin Wood and others have lauded him as the best director of children, pointing out memorable performances including Apu and Durga (Pather Panchali), Ratan (Postmaster) and Mukul (Sonar_Kella). Depending on the talent or experience of the actor Ray’s direction would vary from virtually nothing (actors like [[Utpal_Dutt]]) to using the actor as “a puppet” ([[Subir_Banerjee]] as Apu or Sharmila_Tagore as Aparna).

Ray films are markedly diverse in their subject matter. He said in 1975, “Critics have often accused me of a grasshopperish tendency to jump from theme to theme, from genre to genre… rather than pursue one dominant subject in an easily recognizable style that would help them to pigeonhole me, affix me with a label…All I can say in self-defence, if one is needed, is that this diversity faithfully reflects my own personality and that behind every film lies a cool decision.”

Literary works

{{main|Literary creations of Satyajit Ray}}

right

Ray created two of the most popular characters in [[Bengali_literature]], namely [[Feluda]], a [[sleuth]], and [[Professor_Shonku]], a [[scientist]]. He also wrote quite a number of [[short_stories]] which were published as volumes of 12 stories, always with names playing on the word twelve (for example Eker pitthe dui, or literally “Two on top of one”). Interest in puzzles and puns is reflected in his stories, Feluda often has to solve a puzzle to get to the bottom of a case. Even Feluda’s friend [[Jatayu]], the novel writer, shares this interest, he insists on naming one of his novels “Vancouver-er Vampire” (The Vampire in Vancouver), regardless of Feluda’s objection that a city as modern as [[Vancouver]] is not a good setting for a horror story. The Feluda stories are narrated by Topse, his cousin, something of a [[Watson]] to Feluda’s [[Sherlock]]. The science fictions of Shonku are presented as a diary discovered after the scientist himself had mysteriously disappeared. Ray’s short_stories give full reign to his interest in the macabre, in suspense and other aspects that he avoided in film, making for an interesting psychological study.{{Harvnb|Nandy|1995}} Most of his writings have now been translated into English, and are finding a second generation of readers.

Most of his screenplays have also been published in [[Bengali]] in the literary journal Eksan. Ray wrote his autobiography encompassing his childhood years, [[Jakhan_Choto_Chilam]] (1982) and essays on film: [[Our_Films,_Their_Films]] (1976), along with [[Bishoy_Chalachchitra]] (1976), [[Ekei_Bole_Shooting]] (1979). During the mid-1990s, Ray’s film essays and an anthology of short_stories were also published in the West. [[Our_Films,_Their_Films]] is an anthology of film criticism by Ray. The book contains articles and personal journal excerpts. The book is presented in two sections — Ray first discusses [[Indian film]], before turning his attention towards [[Hollywood]] and specific international filmmakers ([[Charlie_Chaplin]], [[Akira_Kurosawa]]) and movements like [[Italian_neorealism]]. His book Bishay Challacchitro has been recently translated 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 included a translation of [[Lewis_Carroll]]’s “[[Jabberwocky]]”. He also authored a collection of humorous stories of [[Mullah Nasiruddin]] in Bengali.

Satyajit Ray designed two [[typeface]]s named Ray Roman and Ray Bizarre. Ray Roman won an international competition in 1970. In certain circles of Kolkata, Ray continued to be known as an eminent graphic designer, well into his film career. Ray illustrated all his books and designed covers for them, as well as creating all publicity material for his films.

Critical and popular response

Ray’s work has been described as reverberating with [[humanism]], and of deceptive simplicity with deep underlying complexity. The lyrical qualities of his work and characterization of his films have been acclaimed as flawless. Superlative praise has often been heaped on his work by many, including [[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.”{{Harvnb|Robinson|2003|p=157}} Some find his humanism simple-minded, and his work [[anti-modern]] and claim that they lack new modes of expression or experimentation found in works of Ray’s contemporaries like [[Jean-Luc_Godard]]. As [[Stanley_Kauffman]] wrote, some critics believe that Ray “assumes [viewers] can be interested in a film that simply dwells in its characters, rather than one that imposes dramatic patterns on their lives.”{{Harvnb|Robinson|2003|pp=352-353}} Ray himself commented that this slowness is something he can do nothing about, and Kurosawa defended him by saying “they [Ray’s films] are not slow at all. It can be described as flowing composedly, like a big river”.

Critics have often compared Ray to artists in the cinema and other media, such as [[Anton_Chekhov]], [[Jean_Renoir|Renoir]], [[De Sica]], [[Howard_Hawks]] or [[Mozart]]. [[Shakespeare]] has also been invoked,{{Harvnb|Wood|1972}}for example by the writer [[V._S._Naipaul]], who compared a scene in Shatranj Ki Khiladi to a Shakespearian play, as “only three hundred words are spoken but goodness! – terrific things happen.”{{Harvnb|Robinson|2003|p=246}} It is generally acknowledged, even by those who were not impressed by the [[aesthetics]] of Ray’s films, that he was virtually peerless in that his films encompass a whole culture with all its nuances, a sentiment expressed in Ray’s obituary in the [[The_Independent]], which exclaimed, “Who else can compete?”{{Harvnb|Robinson|2005|pp=13-14}} However, it is a common opinion that the films he made after his heart attack had lost some of the vitality of his earlier works.

Early in 1980, Ray was openly criticized by an Indian [[M.P.]] and former actress [[Nargis_Dutt]], who accused Ray of “exporting poverty,” demanding he make films to represent “Modern India.”{{Harvnb|Robinson|2003|pp=327-328}} On the other hand, a common accusation levelled against him by advocates of [[socialism]] across India was that he was not “committed” to the cause of the nation’s downtrodden classes, with some commentators accusing Ray of glorifying poverty in Pather Panchali and Asani Sanket through lyricism and aesthetics. They also accused him of providing no solution to conflicts in the stories, and being unable to overcome his [[bourgeoisie]] background. Agitations during the [[naxalite]] movements in the 1970s once came close to causing physical harm to his son, Sandip.{{Harvnb|Robinson|2003|p=205}} In a public debate during the 1960s, Ray and the openly Marxist filmmaker [[Mrinal_Sen]] engaged in an argument. Sen criticized him for casting a matinée Idol like [[Uttam_Kumar]], which he considered a compromise, while Ray shot back by saying that Sen only attacks “easy targets”, i.e. the Bengali middle-classes.

Commemoration

{{Main| Awards for Satyajit Ray}}

Ray with his [[Oscar_award]] just days before his death.

Satyajit Ray is a cultural icon in India and in Bengali communities worldwide. Following his death, the city of Kolkata came to a virtual standstill, as hundreds of thousands of people gathered around his house to pay him their last respects. Satyajit Ray’s influence has been widespread and deep in [[Bengali_cinema]], a number of Bengali directors including [[Aparna_Sen]], [[Rituparno_Ghosh]], [[Gautam_Ghose]] and [[Tareq_Masud]] in [[Bangladesh]] have been influenced by his film craft. Across the spectrum, filmmakers such as [[Budhdhadeb_Dasgupta]], [[Mrinal_Sen]]

and [[Adoor_Gopalakrishnan]] have acknowledged his seminal contribution to Indian cinema. Beyond India, filmmakers such as [[Martin_Scorsese]],

James Ivory, [[Abbas_Kiarostami]] and [[Elia_Kazan]] have reportedly been influenced by his cinematic style. [[Ira_Sachs]]’s 2005 work [[Forty_Shades_of_Blue]] was a loose remake of Charulata, and in the 1995 film [[My Family]], the final scene is duplicated from the final scene of Apur_Sansar. Similar references to Ray films are found, for example, in recent works such as [[Sacred_Evil]],

the [[Deepa_Mehta#Elements_trilogy|Elements trilogy of Deepa Mehta]] and even in films of [[Jean-Luc_Godard]].

The character [[Apu_Nahasapeemapetilon]] in the American animated television series [[The_Simpsons]] was named in homage to Ray. Ray along with [[Madhabi_Mukherjee]], was the first Indian film personality to feature in a foreign stamp ([[Dominica]]). Many literary works include references to Ray or his work. [[Salman_Rushdie]]’s [[Haroun_and_the_Sea_of_Stories]] contains fish characters named Goopy and Bagha, a tribute to Ray’s fantasy film. Ray was awarded honorary [[doctorates]] by many institutions, becoming only the second film personality to be so honoured by [[Oxford_University]], after [[Chaplin]]. He was awarded the [[Legion_of_Honor]] by the [[President_of_France]] in 1987 and the [[Dadasaheb_Phalke_Award]] in 1985. The [[Government_of_India]] finally awarded him the highest civilian honour [[Bharat_Ratna]] shortly before his death. The [[Academy_of_Motion_Picture_Arts_and_Sciences]] awarded Ray with an honorary [[Oscar]] in 1991 for [[Lifetime Achievement]]. In 1993, [[UC_Santa_Cruz]] established the Satyajit Ray Film and Study collection, and in 1995, the [[Government_of_India]] set up [[Satyajit_Ray_Film_and_Television_Institute]] for studies related to film.

Notes

 

References

{{col-begin}}

{{col-2}}

 

  • {{Harvard reference

 

| Surname1 = Cooper

| Given1 = D

| Year = 2000

| Title = The Cinema of Satyajit Ray : Between Tradition and Modernity

| URL = http://assets.cambridge.org/052162/0260/sample/0521620260WSN01.pdf

| Publisher = Cambridge University Press

| ISBN = 0521629802

}}.

 

  • {{Harvard reference

 

| Surname1 = Dasgupta

| Given1 = C

| Year = 1996

| Title = The cinema of Satyajit Ray

| Publisher = Penguin India

| ISBN = 0140247807

}}.

 

  • {{Harvard reference

 

| Surname1 = Ganguly

| Given1 = S

| Year = 2001

| Title = Satyajit Ray: In search of the modern

| Publisher = Indialog

| ISBN = 8187981040

}}.

 

  • {{Harvard reference

 

| Surname1 = Mitra

| Given1 = S

| Year = 1983

| Title = The Genius of Satyajit Ray

| Journal = India Today

}}.

 

  • {{Harvard reference

 

| Surname1 = Nandy

| Given1 = A

| Year = 1995

| Chapter = Satyajit Ray’s Secret Guide to Exquisite Murders

| Title = The Savage Freud and Other Essays on Possible and Retrievable Selves

| Publisher = Princeton University Press

| ISBN = 0691044104

}}.

 

  • {{Harvard reference

 

| Surname1 = Nyce

| Given1 = B

| Year = 1988

| Title = Satyajit Ray: A Study of His Films

| Publisher = Praeger Publishers

| ISBN = 0275926664

}}.

 

  • {{Harvard reference

 

| Surname1 = Ray

| Given1 = S

| Year = 1993

| Edition = 3

| Title = Our films, their films

| Publisher = Asia Book Corp of Amer

| ISBN = 0863113176

}}.

{{col-2}}

 

  • {{Harvard reference

 

| Surname1 = Ray

| Given1 = S

| Year = 1994

| Title = My Years with Apu

| Publisher = Viking

| ISBN= 0670862150

}}.

 

  • {{Harvard reference

 

| Surname1 = Ray

| Given1 = S

| Year = 2005

| Title = Speaking of films

| Publisher = Penguin India

| ISBN = 0144000261

}}.

 

  • {{Harvard reference

 

| Surname1 = Robinson

| Given1 = A

| Year = 2003

| Title = Satyajit Ray: The Inner Eye: The Biography of a Master Film-Maker

| Publisher = I. B. Tauris

| ISBN = 1860649653

}}.

 

  • {{Harvard reference

 

| Surname1 = Robinson

| Given1 = A

| Year = 2005

| Title = Satyajit Ray: A Vision of Cinema

| Publisher = I. B. Tauris

| ISBN = 1845110749

}}.

 

  • {{Harvard reference

 

| Surname1 = Rushdie

| Given1 = S

| Year = 1992

| Title = Imaginary Homelands

| Publisher = Penguin

| ISBN = 0140140360

}}.

 

  • {{Harvard reference

 

| Surname1 = Seton

| Given1 = M

| Year = 1971

| Title = Satyajit Ray: Portrait of a director

| Publisher = Indiana University Press

| ISBN = 0253168155

}}.

 

  • {{Harvard reference

 

| Surname1 = Wood

| Given1 = R

| Year = 1972

| Title = The Apu trilogy

| Publisher = November Books Ltd

| ISBN = 0856310034

}}.

{{col-end}}

External links

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