Archive for March 7th, 2009


by Allan Fish

(India 1955 125m) DVD1/2

Aka. The Song of the Little Road

The road to greatness 

p/d/w  Satyajit Ray  novel  “Aparajita” by Bhibutibushan Bandopadhaya  ph  Subrata Mitra  ed  Satyajit Ray, Dulal Dutta  m  Ravi Shankar  art  Banshi Chandragupta

Kanu Banerjee (Harihar, the father), Karuna Banerjee (Sarbojaya, the mother), Uma Das Gupta (Durga as girl), Subir Banerjee (Apu), Chunibala Devi (Indirtharkun, the old aunt), Runki Bannerjee (Durga as child),

When Satyajit Ray’s debut was first shown in Cannes in 1956 François Truffaut walked out, saying it was insipid and Europeanised.  It may have been influenced by European cinema, particularly the neo-Realist school that dominated Italy in the years leading up to its release, but it’s very much its own personal vision.  One look at the DVD cover for the UK release and you see how Ray is viewed by the majority of his fellow directors, with Dickie Attenborough, Martin Scorsese and Fred Zinnemann waxing lyrical.  It is right that he is so feted and, if the sequels Aparajito and The World of Apu are probably technically superior, they didn’t have the same impact as his debut.  It’s the film that single-handedly removed Indian cinema from its fantastic but dramatically shallow Bollywood foundations and into what would one day be called the art house.  With the possible exception of Ritwik Ghatak, Ray led his nation there virtually single-handedly.  (more…)

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