March 5–20, 2022
Satyajit Ray (1921–1992): The Music Room and Devi
“Never having seen a Satyajit Ray film is like never having seen the sun or moon.”Kurosawa Akira
In December, The Cinematheque marked the centennial of Satyajit Ray, the great Bengali writer-director who introduced Indian cinema to the world, with a presentation of his acclaimed Apu Trilogy, comprising Pather Panchali (1955), Aparajito (1956), and The World of Apu (1959). We continue our tribute to master Ray with two more celebrated works, The Music Room (1958) and Devi (1960), both among his very finest achievements.
As India’s first filmmaker of international stature, Ray was instrumental in the creation of the country’s “Parallel Cinema”—a movement of thematically and artistically serious film works that, with government support, developed as an alternative to the rigidly conventionalized “a star, six songs, and three dances” formula of the mainstream Bollywood movie industry. Many other important Indian directors emerged in his wake. Ray’s own films constitute one of the most beloved bodies of work in world cinema— films of simplicity, power, poetry, grace, and generosity which bear the salutary stamp of Ray’s two great influences, Vittorio De Sica and Jean Renoir.
In 1992, shortly before his death at the age of 70, Ray received an Honorary Academy Award “in recognition of his rare mastery of the art of motion pictures, and of his profound humanitarian outlook, which has had an indelible influence on filmmakers and audiences throughout the world.”
The Music Room and Devi screen here in brand-new restorations.
List of Programmed Films
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