Monday, 20 August 2007

Satyajit Ray

Here is something India should celebrate: the genius of Satyajit Ray, writer, artist, composer and one of the world's greatest movie directors. He burst upon the international movie scene in 1955 with Pather Panchali (Song of the Little Road), produced by the Government of West Bengal, music by Pandit Ravi Shankar and using mostly amateur actors, such as the little boy who played Apu. Masterpiece followed masterpiece. Ray died in 1992. Click the title link for his official website. Or visit Wikipedia (CLICK).


At 21/8/07, Anonymous Sam said...

Hey Coxsoft,

Have previously written a couple of posts over at ArtsWom on Satyajit Ray. Sky Arts has shown a couple of his films recently and will be showing The Adversary tomorrow.

His work is really worth a look for anyone interested in cinema.



At 21/8/07, Blogger Coxsoft Art said...

Hi, Sam

Absolutely. A must. One of the world's great directors. Did you know that his inspiration was a chance viewing of Vittorio De Sica's Bicycle Thieves when visiting London? If he hadn't seen that film, he might not have bothered with cinema at all!

If you ever spot a Russian movie called The Bell, please let me know. It's a masterpiece. I'd love to see it again.

At 22/8/07, Anonymous Sam said...

I've never heard of The Bell? What sort of thing is it about and when was it made?

The Bicycle Thieves was one of the first films I watched as part of my degree... Ah, fond memories. If any film were to lead someone into wanting to direct then Vittorio De Sico's Ladri Di Biciclette (My Italian is impeccable ;-))is a pretty good place to start.

I'll keep an eye out for The Bell on my virtual travels and let you know if I find anything.

At 22/8/07, Blogger Coxsoft Art said...

I saw The Bell on BBC2's World Cinema series one Christmas at least 20 years ago. It was fairly new then, so it's not one of the old 1940s/50s classics. Maybe 1970s/80s.

It's set in medieval Russia at a time when they were being invaded by the Magyars or whoever. The movie starts with the bloody destruction of a monastery, with monks being tossed into fires and all sorts of carnage being perpetrated. A young apprentice manages to escape and wanders around Russia, disillusioned and traumatizes by all he witnesses. Finally he wanders into a village that needs a new bell for its church. They persuade him to make it for them. Can he do it? I have never, ever, wanted a character to succeed so much!

It's a monumental movie in the style of Eisenstein (Ivan the Terrible, Alexander Nevski).

If you ever get the chance to see it, don't miss out.

At 12/12/12, Blogger Coxsoft Art said...

I found it!

The film was Andrei Tarkovsky's masterpiece Andrei Rublev. Whether BBC retitled it "The Bell" or my memory is faulty, I don't know.

YouTube spoiler of bell-casting scene:


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