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India's preeminent film director, Satyajit Ray (1921-1992) came to public attention in 1955 with Pather Panchali, the first installment of what became known as the Apu trilogy. It was the motion picture that introduced Indian cinema to the West. Initially critics considered Ray a poetic chronicler of Bengali village life, but soon he showed himself adept...
India's preeminent film director, Satyajit Ray (1921-1992) came to public attention in 1955 with Pather Panchali, the first installment of what became known as the Apu trilogy. It was the motion picture that introduced Indian cinema to the West. Initially critics considered Ray a poetic chronicler of Bengali village life, but soon he showed himself adept at making movies that incorporate contemporary urban life (Branches of the Tree), Indian history (The Lonely Wife), comedy (The Philosopher's Stone), musical fantasy (Kingdom of Diamonds), children's subjects (The Golden Fortress), and even documentary elements (Rabindranath Tagore). Satyajit Ray: Interviews reveals a genial, generous, unpre-tentious, immensely knowledgeable man who, for all his fame, remained to the end amusedly indifferent to movie-world glamour. Scripting, casting, directing, music-scoring, camera-operating, working closely on art direction and editing, even designing his own credit titles and publicity material--Ray did it all almost from the start of his career. His films come close to being wholly personal expressions yet achieve a global resonance. Bert Cardullo is professor of American culture and literature at Ege University in Izmir, Turkey. He lives on the island of Chios.
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