Andrew Robinson did an interesting review of Satyajit Ray’s book of essays (Mar 26). Though I disagree with his comment that Ray’s influence “on the many cinemas of India has been immense but rarely acknowledged”. Ray’s influence on present Iranian and Turkish directors is notable and often acknowledged. I recently saw Ray’s Home and the World and was struck at how much of the directorial style, camera angles and play of light and shadows can be seen in the works of Panahi and Ceylan.
Can we stop this Ray worship please? Neecha Nagar, India’s first entry at Cannes, was made five years before Pather Panchali. Ray himself held mainstream icons such as Raj Kapoor and Dilip Kumar in high esteem, commending the latter for being the epitome of the method actor. Ray had his shortcomings too—while he was comfortable with the lyricism and economy of Indian art, he did not understand its capability for the larger-than-life image. He never mastered spectacle and grandeur, nor did he attempt it. In that respect, Kurosawa was a more complete film-maker. And Ray’s idea of Bengal never transcended the view from his drawing room, sketched on his coffee table. Anyway it was rooted in his Brahmo spirit.
D. Anjaneyulu, Chennai
There are many aspects of Ray that are lesser known for example his writings for children in Sandesh.
Before commenting on someone who is considered by most people as arguably the best filmmaker India has produced and one of the best in the entire world, just try to get your facts right. By saying "And Ray's idea of Bengal never transcended the view from his drawing room sketched on his coffee table, which too as much about him was rooted in his Brahmo spirit.", you have made the most ridiculous statement,one can ever imagine. Try to bolster your opinions with proper logic.
Another Point:- In no way was Kurosawa's film-making style similar to that of Ray's. In narrative style Kurosawa actually imitated the Hollywood narrative style and none of his works had the layers or depth which could match even an insignificant Ray movie.
On "Neecha Nagar" getting an Oscar nomination :- Before Lagaan the only Indian movie which was nominated in the best film category at the Oscars was "Mother India (none of Ray's movies got an Oscar Nomination)." I happened to watch it a few days back. I can openly say that- the movie excelled neither technical nor artistically. It is the most splendid piece of crap, one can imagine.
Last Point- It's not the duty of an artist to create "larger-than-life" artworks. It's people like you who enjoy watching such movies and try to denounce everyone who refuses to abide by your view on "ART"
Can we stoip this Ray worship please? Neecha Nagar, India's first entry at Cannes was made a full five years before Pather Panchali. Ray himself held mainstream cineam icons, Raj Kapoor and Dilip Kumar in high esteem, commending the latter for being the epitome of the method actor. Ray had his shortcomings too. While he was comfortable with the economic lyricism of Indian art, he did not understand its capability for the larger than life image. He never mastered spectacle and grandeur and never attempted to as much as dabble with it. In that respect Kurosawa his alter ego in some ways, was a far more complete film maker. And Ray's idea of Bengal never transcended the view from his drawing room sketched on his coffee table, which too as much about him was rooted in his Brahmo spirit. In the years since Ray, Bengali film is now more mainstream and for the first time joins its counterparts in other parts of India in bringing across to us the real lives of people outside urbs prima. Bharati Raaja liberated Tamizh cinema from the framework of Madras with 16 Vayathinile, while Puttana Kanagal did similarly for Kannada cinema as did many others for Telugu cinema. It took a new breed of Bengali filmmakers to liberate Bengali cinema from the drawing room aesthetic of Ray
“The influence of Satyajit Ray on the many cinemas of India has been immense but rarely acknowledged."
Satyajit Ray's influence on present Iranian and Turkish directors is also notable and often acknowledged. I recently saw for the third time Ray's "The Home and the World" and was struck by how much of his directorial style, camera angles and play of light and shadows can also be seen in the works of Panahi and Ceylan.
Satyajit Ray's influence on present Iranian and Turkish directors is notable and often acknowledged. I recently saw for the third time
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