Satyajit Ray – An Inspiration
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Satyajit Ray , revered as one of the maestros of world cinema, is a cultural icon in India and across the Globe. Ray’s films are highly respected and recognized in renowned film festivals worldwide. His films have an existence of art, western in origin, but transplanted and taking roots in a new soil. The tools of filmmaking are the same, but the methods and attitudes are distinct and indigenous in his work.

Satyajit Ray was born on 2nd May 1921, in an affluent and intellectual family in Calcutta. Affectionately, known as ‘Manik Da’, Satyajit enjoyed watching films and listening to western classical music on his gramophone.

Ray’s creative sensibility was a combination of nature and nurture. His grandfather, Upendrakishore Ray, was a famous Bengali writer, illustrator, philosopher and prominent figure of the Brahmo Samaj. His father, Sukumar Ray, was a pioneering Bengali writer of nonsense rhyme and children’s literature as well as an illustrator and a critic. His own inspirations ranged from Rabindranath Tagore to his teachers Nandalal Bose and Benode Behari Mukherjee in Santiniketan, from the films of Renoir and De Sica (Bicycle Thieves), Chaplin and Ford (Fort Apache) to the photography of Cartier Bresson and the music of Beethoven. So, when his biographer, Andrew Robinson, asked him if he considered himself “50 per cent Western”, Ray had replied: “Yes, I think so—which makes me more accessible to a Western audience than someone who’s not to the same extent influenced by Western models.” And yet, Ray remained loyal to his roots and the dishevelled study in his south Calcutta (now Kolkata) home was forever his creative headquarters, from where he explored and depicted universal human values through his films. He was a truly “glocal” citizen—steadfastly local in his medium of work but effortlessly global in its appeal.

It was significant that the memory game focused only on people. As Ray was to say: “I am not conscious of being a humanist. It’s simply that I am interested in human beings.”And the manner in which he depicted human beings, their frailties and their struggles, their individual rebellions and simple triumphs, drew admirers far and wide. So fundamental to life and humanity were Ray’s creations that the Japanese director Akira Kurosawa once wrote: “Not to have seen the cinema of Ray means existing in the world without seeing the sun or the moon”. Even before he had embarked on his first film, Pather Panchali (1955), Ray had written a piece titled “What Is Wrong with Indian Films? in The Statesman newspaper in Calcutta (now Kolkata) in 1948, “The raw material of the cinema is life itself. It is incredible that a country which has inspired so much painting and music and poetry should fail to move the filmmaker. He has only to keep his eyes open, and his ears. Let him do so.”

Satyajit Ray died on 23rd April 1992 after struggling with heart complications for years. Less than a month before his passing, Ray received an Honorary Oscar. The Academy Award read: “To Satyajit Ray, 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.”

Among the numerous awards that Satyajit Ray received, both for his personal accomplishments and for his films, are the Padmashree, the Padma Bhushan, the Padma Vibhushan, the Bharat Ratna, the Magsaysay Award, the Dadasaheb Phalke Award, the Legion d'Honneur, and the honorary Oscar for lifelong achievements.

Films Directed by Satyajit Ray
No.Original TitleInternational Title
1Pather PanchaliA Song of the Little Road
2AparajitoThe Unvanquished
3Parash PatharThe Philosopher's Stone
4JalsagharThe Music Room
5Apur SansarThe World of Apu
6DeviThe Goddess
7Teen KanyaThree Daughters / Two Daughters
8The PostmasterThe Postmaster
9MoniharaThe Lost Jewels
10SamaptiThe Conclusion
11Rabindranath Tagore Rabindranath Tagore
12KanchenjunghaKanchanjangha
13AbhijanThe Expedition
14MahanagarThe Big City
15CharulataThe Lonely Wife
16Two Two
17KapurushThe Coward
18MahapurushThe Holy Man
19NayakThe Hero
20ChiriyakhanaThe Zoo
21Goopy Gyne Bagha ByneThe Adventures of Goopy and Bagha
22Aranyer Din RatriDays and Nights in the Forest
23PratidwandiThe Adversary
24SeemabaddhaCompany Limited
25Sikkim Sikkim
26The Inner Eye The Inner Eye
27Ashani SanketDistant Thunder
28Sonar KellaThe Fortress
29Jana AranyaThe Middleman
30Bala Bala
31Shatranj Ke KhilariThe Chess Players
32Joi Baba FelunathThe Elephant God
33Hirok Rajar DesheThe Kingdom of Diamonds
34PikooPikoo's Day
35SadgatiDeliverance
36Ghare BaireThe Home and The World
37Sukumar Ray Sukumar Ray
38GanashatruAn Enemy of the People
39Shakha ProshakhaThe Branches of the Tree
40AgantukThe Stranger
Films Contributed By and Made on Satyajit Ray
No.Original TitleLanguageDirector(s)
1A Perfect Day EnglishHarisadhan Dasgupta
2The RiverBengaliJean Renoir
3Our Children will Know Each Other Better EnglishHarisadhan Dasgupta
4The Tidal Bore EnglishVijaya Mulay
5The Story of Tata Steel EnglishHarisadhan Dasgupta
6Creative Artists of India: Satyajit Ray EnglishB.D. Garga
7Shakespeare WallahEnglishJames Ivory
8Glimpses of West BengalEnglishBansi Chandragupta
9Quest for HealthEnglishHarisadhan Dasgupta
10House that Never DiesEnglishTony Meyer
11Baksa BadalBengaliNityananda Datta
12Gangasagar MelaBengaliBansi Chandragupta
13Max MuellerEnglishJorn Thiel
14Darjeeling: Himalayan FantasyEnglishBansi Chandragupta
15The Brave Do Not Die EnglishHarisadhan Dasgupta
16Phatik Chand BengaliSandip Ray
17The Music of Satyajit Ray EnglishUtpalendu Chakrabarty
18Satyajit Ray Presents I BengaliSandip Ray
19Satyajit Ray Presents IIBengaliSandip Ray
20Kissa Kathmandu KaHindiSandip Ray
21Goopy Bagha Phire EloBengaliSandip Ray
22UttoranBengaliSandip Ray
23TargetBengaliSandip Ray
24Baksho RahashyaBengaliSandip Ray
25Feluda BengaliSandip Ray
26Parvaz-e zanburTajikBoung-hun Min, Jamshed Usmonov
27Satyajiter GappoBengaliSandip Ray
28Dr. Munshir Diary BengaliSandip Ray
29Satyajiter Priyo Galpo BengaliSandip Ray
30Eker Pithe Dui BengaliSandip Ray
31Bombaiyer BombeteBengaliSandip Ray
32Bankubabur BandhuBengaliKaushik Sen
33The Darjeeling LimitedEnglishWes Anderson
34Kailashey KelenkariBengaliSandip Ray
35Tintorettor JishuBengaliSandip Ray
36Gorosthaney SabdhanBengaliSandip Ray
37Royal Bengal RahashyaBengaliSandip Ray
38Some MaanaKannadaAbhishek Iyengar
39Jekhane Bhooter BhoyBengaliSandip Ray
40Bombay TalkiesHindiDibakar Banerjee
41Goopi Gawaiya Bagha BajaiyaHindiShilpa Ranade
42ChaarBengaliSandip Ray
43Badshahi AngtiBengaliSandip Ray
44Double FeludaBengaliSandip Ray
45AnukulBengaliSujoy Ghosh
46Professor Shonku O El DoradoBengaliSandip Ray
47Feluda PherotBengaliSrijit Mukherjee
48AparajitoBengaliAnik Datta