Satyajit Ray

Satyajit Ray

  • Highest Rated: 100% Aranyer Din Ratri (Days and Nights in the Forest) (2003)
  • Lowest Rated: 88% The Middleman (Jana Aranya) (1975)
  • Birthday: May 2, 1921
  • Birthplace: Calcutta, West Bengal, British India. [now India]
  • India's single most celebrated filmmaker, Satyajit Ray was born into a prominent Calcutta family on May 2, 1921. Ray's grandfather, Upendrakishole Roychwdhury, was the creator of the popular children's magazine Sandesh; his father, Sukhumar Ray (sometimes spelled Ra), was a noted poet and historian. After attending the Ballygunj government school, the younger Ray studied business science and physics at Calcutta's Presidency College. From 1940 to 1942, he attended the University of Santinketan, a private establishment founded by an old family friend, Hindu poet Rabindranatah Tagore, the man largely credited with India's 20th-century cultural renaissance. After graduation, Ray went to work as a commercial artist for the D. J. Keymer advertising agency in Calcutta. It was here that he was assigned to draw illustrations for Bhibuti Bashan Bannerjee's classic autobiographical novel of Bengal life, Pather Panchali. Though he'd never had any formal cinematic training, he determined then and there to someday translate the Bannerjee novel to the screen. In 1947, Ray co-founded the Calcutta Film Society, hoping to spearhead a movement toward a "new" Indian cinema. The same year he wrote his first screenplay, Ghaire Baire, but he lost the support of potential producers after refusing to make suggested changes. Three years later, Ray met French director Jean Renoir while the latter was filming his India-based The River. Renoir's encouragement, coupled with Ray's introduction to Italian director Vittorio de Sica's neorealist classic The Bicycle Thief (1947), strengthened the aspiring filmmaker's resolve to direct Pather Panchali. Hocking everything he owned, he spent three years working on the film, shooting on weekends with a nonprofessional cast. Just when it seemed that Ray's resources would dry up and he'd be forced to abandon the project, New York's Museum of Modern Art--then amassing a collection of modern Indian culture--expressed interest in the director's film. Further serendipity struck when the government of West Bengal made the precedent-setting decision to pump funding into Pather Panchali, enabling Ray to complete the film. The winner of a special jury prize at the 1956 Cannes Film Festival (the first of many such awards for Ray), Pather Panchali and its two sequels--known today as The Apu Trilogy--established Ray as India's pre-eminent film director. Indeed, in the eyes of the world, the director was to India what Akira Kurosawa was to Japan: his country's most influential and articulate cinematic spokesman. In India itself, however, Ray's films were not guaranteed successes, due in great part to his decision to film them in Bengali, a minority language (only 1977's The Chess Players would be filmed in Hindi, the country's predominant tongue).In assessing Ray's career, many film historians have divided his works into three periods. From 1955 to 1966, he favored meticulous realism, utilizing a leisurely pace and eschewing crosscutting in favor of long, single takes. From 1969 to 1977, he began to emulate the nouvelle vague movement with a more complex editing and narrative style. Also during this period, the social-comment content of his films became less superficial and more deeply felt, perhaps as a response to Indian critics who accused Ray of paying mere lip service to the serious problems plaguing his native country. His final filmmaking phase, beginning in 1978 and ending with his death, was distinguished by his tendency to dispense with exposition as quickly as possible, the better to probe the "insides" of his characters. Throughout his career, Ray favored a minimalist approach, though he was certainly capable of staging large, spectacular scenes if his material warranted such treatment. The many themes explored in his films--coming of age, spiritual awakening, feminism, natural catastrophes, mythology--reflected in microcosm the ever-changing manners and mores of India. In the late 1970s, he shifted creative gears by

Highest Rated Movies








No Score Yet Charuulata 2011 Screenwriter 2013
No Score Yet Gorosthane Sabdhan Screenwriter 2011
93% Henri Langlois: The Phantom of the Cinematheque Actor 2004
100% Aranyer Din Ratri (Days and Nights in the Forest) Director 2003
100% Agantuk (The Stranger) Director 2003
No Score Yet Target Screenwriter 1995
No Score Yet Kapurush (The Coward) Director Screenwriter 1994
No Score Yet Kapurush Mahapurush - Bad Man, Good Man Screenwriter 1994
No Score Yet Uttoran Screenwriter 1994
No Score Yet Shakha Proshakha (Branches of the Tree) Director 1991
No Score Yet An Enemy of the People (Ganashatru) Director Screenwriter 1989
100% Ghare-Baire (The Home and the World) Director 1984
No Score Yet Sadgati Director 1984
No Score Yet Sadgati Director 1981
No Score Yet Hirok Rajar Deshe Screenwriter Director 1980
89% The Chess Players (Shatranj Ke Khiladi) Director 1978
No Score Yet Joy Baba Felunath Director Screenwriter 1978
88% The Middleman (Jana Aranya) Director 1975
100% Nayak Director 1974
No Score Yet Sonar Kella Director Screenwriter 1974
No Score Yet Distant Thunder (Ashani Sanket) Screenwriter Director 1973
No Score Yet The Inner Eye Screenwriter Director 1972
100% The Adversary (Pratidwandi) (Siddharta and the City) Director 1972
No Score Yet Sikkim Director Screenwriter 1971
No Score Yet Seemabaddha, (Company Limited) Director 1971
No Score Yet Goopy Gyne Bagha Byne Screenwriter Director 1969
90% Mahanagar (The Big City) (The Great City) Director 1967
No Score Yet The Zoo (Chiriyakhana) Director 1967
No Score Yet Kapurush - O - Mahapurush Screenwriter Director 1965
93% Charulata Screenwriter Director 1964
No Score Yet Abhijan Director Screenwriter 1962
No Score Yet Kanchenjunga Director 1962
100% Two Daughters Screenwriter Producer Director 1961
96% The World of Apu Screenwriter Producer Director 1960
100% Devi (The Goddess) Screenwriter Director 1960
100% Jalsaghar (The Music Room) Director Producer Screenwriter 1958
No Score Yet Parash Pathar (Paras-Pathar) Director 1958
95% Aparajito Screenwriter Director 1956
98% Pather Panchali Director 1955
100% Apu Trilogy Director 1954


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