Parash Pathar was Satyajit Ray’s immediate follow-up to his celebrated Aparajito. The film bears the heavy (but never oppressive) influence of Ray’s idol, French filmmaker Jean Renoir. Tulsi Chakravetry plays Parresh Dutt, an elderly clerk who comes into possession of a stone that can turn the humblest mineral into gold. Attaining vast wealth overnight, Dutt finds that he is still persona non grata in High Society. Taking revenge on his “betters,” he uses his wonderful stone to destroy the economy. Realizing the damage that he’s done, the clerk sacrifices himself to set things right again. When first shown at the Cannes Film Festival in 1958, Parash Pathar was greeted with amused indifference; critics and viewers alike preferred the profundity of Ray’s “Apu” trilogy to this modest little fable. Music by Ravi Shankar. Read More »
Tag Archives: Satyajit Ray
One of Satyajit Ray’s greatest early films, full of sensuality and ironic undertones, Devi is sufficiently critical of Hindu superstition that it was banned from foreign distribution until Nehru interceded. The plot concerns a wealthy and devout landowner in the 19th century who believes his daughter-in-law (Sharmila Tagore) is the reincarnation of the goddess Kali and convinces her that he’s right. With Soumitra Chatterji and Chhabi Biswas.
Jonathan Rosenbaum, Chicago Reader Read More »
“Aparajito” is the second film of Satyajit Ray’s ‘Apu Trilogy’ (Pather Panchali, Aparajito and Apur Sansar) continues to document the life and maturation of one young Indian boy. The film opens with Apu, son of Harihar and Sarbajaya, wandering and exploring the Temple City of Bananas on the banks of the Ganga (Ganges river) where they reside. The story focuses on Apu leaving the embrace of his family nest to work and become educated in a more modern world than what he has become accustomed in his youth. The struggle to remain separate is exemplified by the dire need of his Mother, Sarbajaya who is deathly ill and depressed. She remains desperately lonely in her small village after the death of her husband and departure of her son. Continuing the cycle of life Satyajit Ray continues to explore the inner conflicts of conforming to a more contemporary world than our parents. The strength to overcome our bonding of birth is another universal theme of traditional respect and independent personal advancement. Read More »
The documentary details the life and work of the celebrated Bengali writer Rabindranath Tagore (1861-1941). He was awarded the Nobel Prize for Literature in 1913 “because of his profoundly sensitive, fresh and beautiful verse, by which, with consummate skill, he has made his poetic thought, expressed in his own English words, a part of the literature of the West.” Rabindranath Tagore was the youngest son of Debendranath Tagore, born in Calcutta. He was educated at home. At seventeen he was sent to England for formal schooling, which he did not complete. Tagore was knighted by the ruling British Government in 1915, but within a few years he resigned the honor as a protest against British policies in India. Read More »