Satyajit Ray

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Satyajit Ray
BirthplaceCalcutta, Bengal Presidency, British India
Film director,
Music director,

Ray, Satyajit

(sätyä`jĭt rī, rā), 1921–92, Indian film director, b. Calcutta (now Kolkata). His subtle, austere, and delicately lyrical films made him one of the outstanding filmmakers of the 20th cent.; he was the first Indian director to win international acclaim. During his formative years he was profoundly influenced by the humanism of Rabindranath TagoreTagore, Sir Rabindranath
, 1861–1941, Indian author and guru, b. Calcutta (now Kolkata). Tagore came from a wealthy Bengali family. He went abroad in 1877 to study law in England but soon returned to India.
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, at whose university he studied. Ray began his career as a layout artist, art director, and illustrator. His early reputation was built on a trilogy of luminous neorealist films that portrayed the everyday life of a Bengali family and the childhood, youth, and manhood of a character called Apu. Pather Panchali (1955), his first film, was an immediate success and a Grand Prix winner at the Cannes Festival. It was followed by Aparajito (1956) and The World of Apu (1959). The films of this "Apu Trilogy" remain his best known works.

Ray's recurrent themes—the life of Bengal's various social classes, the conflict of old and new values, and the effects of India's rapidly changing economic and political conditions—are evident throughout his oeuvre. His more than 30 films include The Music Room (1958), Charulata (1964), The Target (1972), Distant Thunder (1973), The Home and the World (1984), The Visitor (1991), and The Stranger (1992). Over the years, he received many prizes, including an Academy Award for lifetime achievement (1992). Ray was also a screenwriter, wrote the musical scores for many of his films, and was intimately involved with all the elements of their production.


See his essays, Our Films, Their Films (1995); M. Seton, Portrait of a Director: Satyajit Ray (1971); S. Benegal, Benegal on Ray (1988); B. Nyce, Satyajit Ray: A Study of His Films (1988); A. Robinson, Satyajit Ray: The Inner Eye (1989); B. Sarkar, The World of Satyajit Ray (1992); and N. Ghosh, Satyajit Ray at 70 (1993).

The Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia™ Copyright © 2013, Columbia University Press. Licensed from Columbia University Press. All rights reserved.
The following article is from The Great Soviet Encyclopedia (1979). It might be outdated or ideologically biased.

Ray, Satyajit


Born May 2, 1921, in Calcutta. Indian film director.

Ray studied painting in Santiniketan. His world view was influenced by R. Tagore; in 1961, Ray directed a documentary about Tagore, combining film clips with actors. Ray’s most important work is the trilogy Pather Panchali (1955), Aparajito (1956), and The World of Apu (1959). These poetic films are marked by a sensitive understanding of human psychology and by a love for the common people and for the traditional forms of life in Ray’s native Bengal. His other films include The Philosopher’s Stone (1958), The Hero (1966), and the trilogy composed of Days and Nights in the Forest (1970), The Adversary (1971), and Company Limited (1972). Ray founded the Calcutta school of the cinema. He composed the music for many of his films and has also illustrated books.


Sof’ian, A. “Mir i geroi Sat’iadzhita Reia.” Iskusstvo kino, 1975, no. 2.
Seton, M. Portrait of a Director: Satyajit Ray. London [1971].
The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.
References in periodicals archive ?
Through the technique of framing his shots with the outline of the glasses, the audience gets a unique insight into Charu's thoughts and feelings, and Satyajit Ray manipulates the film form to highlight her loneliness and individual thought processes.
SATYAJIT RAY'S APU TRILOGY, comprising Father Panchali (1955), Aparajito (1957), and Apur Sansar (The World of Apu, 1959), is a Bengali bildungsroman chronicling the early life of Apu, a boy from an impoverished Brahmin family who moves with his parents from their rural village to the holy city of Benares, then alone to Calcutta, where he attends university, marries, and ends up wandering the countryside after his beloved wife dies in childbirth.
A translator's note, four brief pieces on or by Bengali actors who worked with Ray (Chhabi Biswas, Sharmila Tagore, and Dhritiman Chaterji), and an interview with the CEO of the Satyajit Ray Society complete the volume.
[beaucoup moins que] Fils d'une famille aux multiples activites artistiques (son pere et son grand-pere etaient peintres, ecrivains, photographes), Satyajit Ray est ne a Calcutta le 2 mai 1921.
"On Satyajit Ray's Film Adaptation of 'The Goddess'", Zoetrope: All-Story, 8:3 (2004): 100-101.
Satyajit Ray (2 May 1921 - 23 April 1992) directed 36 films, including documentaries, feature films and short films, during his more than three-decades long career.
Huzur, the tragic protagonist of The Music Room, Satyajit Ray's 1958 masterpiece, is passionate about music; he hosts extravagant performances in the titular room to impress everyone he invites.
Pudovkin, Satyajit Ray, Ingmar Bergman, Jean-Pierre and Luc Dardenne, Luchino Visconti, Pedro Almodovar, Nuri Bilge Ceylan and Nikita Mikhalkov.
From Hindi films like "Aandhi" (1975), "Umrao Jaan" (1981) to regional films like "Oka Ori Katha" (Telugu) and "Shyamchi Aai" (Marathi) have been featured in the calendar along with works of Satyajit Ray, Dada Saheb Phalke and many others.
Feluda is a series of novels and short stories written by famous Indian director, author and painter Satyajit Ray. Mysteries and Feluda is a 2D animated series comprising one 52 minute movie and 13 x 22 minutes TV series.
In a press conference held Monday at al-Cham Hotel, she said that a number of good Arab movies were displayed during Osian's-Cinefan, the largest film-festival devoted to Asian & Arab cinema.She indicated the similarities between the Arab and Indian cinemas, adding that we can't compare between the past and present cinema as it chronicles the passage of time.Tagore talked about her 50-year experience in cinema and her work with the Director Satyajit Ray in Song of the Little Road Movie which established her career.
Majumdar (English, Whitman College) examines the work of three very different postcolonial artists: writers James Joyce and Salmon Rushdie and filmmaker Satyajit Ray. He looks at them in terms of an anti-colonial aesthetics in which traditional forms are bent or shattered.