The great author Satyajit Ray, whose 100th birthday falls today, will always be remembered for his cinematic genius, his directorial excellence and his futuristic vision conveyed through his films.
Ray was born in Calcutta, a leading city in the arts and literature.
He started his career as a commercial artist, he was drawn into independent cinema after meeting French filmmaker Jean Renoir and watching the Italian neorealist film by Vittorio De Sica. Bicycle thieves during a visit to London.
He found inspiration for his first film, Pather Panchali, while illustrating the children’s version of Bibhutibhushan’s novel Bandopadhyay.
On his 100th birthday today, here are some of Ray’s best films:
1. Pather Panchali
Ray made his directorial debut with the Bengali drama film Pather Panchali. This is the first film of The Apu Trilogy. This brilliant play is a social drama and it follows the childhood of the protagonist (Apu), his older sister and the harsh village life of the poor family. It is based on the Bengali novel of the same name by Bibhutibhushan Bandyopadhyay.
This is an Indian drama film in Bengali written and directed by Satyajit Ray and forms the second part of The Apu Trilogy. It is adapted from the first half of Bibhutibhushan Bannerjee’s novel Aparajito. It begins where the previous film ended with Apu’s family moving to Varanasi and chronicles Apu’s life from childhood to adolescence in college.
3. The world of Apu
The World of Apu originally published as Apu Sansar is the third part of the Apu Trilogy. This part focuses on Apu’s adult life and the trials and tribulations that come his way.
4. Parash Pathar
Parash Pathar translated into English is The Philosopher’s Stone. This is an Indian fantasy comedy film in Bengali. It was Ray’s first film outside of the Apu trilogy. He directed this film and wrote the screenplay. This gives us a glimpse of its funny side.
This is a Bengali drama film directed by Ray himself. He also wrote the screenplay for this film. This is how a dissolute zamindar prefers to listen to music and mount glasses rather than manage and protect its properties.
Meanwhile, in tribute to Ray, the Ministry of Information and Broadcasting announced that it will hold yearlong celebrations across India and abroad to mark the 100th anniversary of the birth of the legendary filmmaker.
However, given the pandemic situation, the celebrations will take place in hybrid, digital and physical modes at the same time, during the year.