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).

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].
References in periodicals archive ?
Apres avoir obtenu une licence d'economie, Satyajit Ray rentre a l'universite de Santiniketan (1940-1942) qui est sous la direction de son createur, le grand poete indien Tagore.
For Ray's views about religion, see Robinson, Satyajit Ray: The Inner Eye, 33, 238, 261, 299300; Chidananda Das Gupta, The Cinema of Satyajit Ray (Delhi: National Book Trust, 2001), xii.
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.
Keya Ganguly's overall argumentation in her study of the cinema of Satyajit Ray is to claim for the filmmaker a position in the history of world cinema and cultural modernity that tracks away from seeing Ray as parochially an Indian or Bengali filmmaker and to take him and India/Bengal's encounter with the modern out of the logics of alternate or derivative or belated modernities.
The calendar was conceived and designed by NBT in association with Satyajit Ray Film & Television Institute (Kolkata) and National Film Archives (Pune).
Sharmila Tagorebegan acting when she was fourteen years old in Bengali movies and worked frequently with Satyajit Ray.
who played sangleader Rafiq, has been to his homeland of India to make a film called "The Chess Players" with the laid Indian director Satyajit Ray.
IT'S A VERY, VERY COMPLEX mixed kind of thing, the entire British heritage in India', the great Bengali film-maker Satyajit Ray (1921-92) told me when I interviewed him at length for a biography in the 1980s:
The pared--down, deceptively simple feel of the narrative recalls the lyricism of one of Mehta's greatest influences, Bengali master Satyajit Ray.
While there are a few curious omissions (enduring images from the films of Satyajit Ray spring to mind), overall the collection has achieved its aim of charting pictorially the social and cultural progress of this young democracy.
New York: South Asian business students of Baruch College aren't the only ones who can take in the cornucopia of theatre, dance, music, South Asian stand-up comedy and Satyajit Ray films that make up "Mela: A South Asian Festival," running through Feb.