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Satyajit Ray Edit Profile

director , Producer

Satyajit Ray was an Indian filmmaker, regarded as one of the great auteurs of world cinema. Ray directed 36 films, including feature films, documentaries and shorts. He was also a fiction writer, publisher, illustrator, calligrapher, graphic designer and film critic. He authored several short stories and novels, primarily aimed at children and adolescent.

Background

Ray was born in the city of Calcutta into a Bengali family prominent in the world of arts and literature. Starting his career as a commercial artist, Ray was drawn into independent filmmaking after meeting French filmmaker Jean Renoir and viewing Vittorio De Sica's Italian neorealist 1948 film Bicycle Thieves during a visit to London. Sukumar Ray, his father, died when Satyajit was three years old, and the family survived on Suprabha Ray's meager income. Ray studied at Ballygunge Government High School, Calcutta, and completed his B.A. (Hons.) in economics at Presidency College of the University of Calcutta. In 1943, Ray started work at D.J. Keymer, a British-run advertising agency, as a "junior visualiser," earning eighty rupees a month. In 1949, Ray married Bijoya Das, his first cousin and longtime sweetheart. The couple had a son, Sandip, who is now a film director. In 1992, Ray's health deteriorated due to heart complications. He was admitted to a hospital, and would never recover. An honorary Oscar was awarded to him weeks before his death, which he received in a gravely ill condition. He died on 23 April 1992 at the age of 70.

Education

In 1940, his mother insisted that he study at the Visva-Bharati University at Santiniketan, founded by Rabindranath Tagore. Ray was reluctant due to his love of Calcutta, and the low opinion of the intellectual life at Santiniketan. His mother's persuasion and his respect for Tagore finally convinced him to try. In Santiniketan, Ray came to appreciate Oriental art.

Career

In 1943, Ray started work at D.J. Keymer, a British-run advertising agency, Although he liked visual design (graphic design) and he was mostly treated well, there was tension between the British and Indian employees of the firm. The British were better paid, and Ray felt that "the clients were generally stupid." Later, Ray also worked for Signet Press, a new publishing house started by D. K. Gupta. Gupta asked Ray to create cover designs for books to be published by Signet Press and gave him complete artistic freedom. Ray designed covers for many books, including 'Jibanananda Das's Banalata Sen', and 'Rupasi Bangla', 'Jim Corbett's Maneaters of Kumaon', and 'Jawaharlal Nehru's Discovery of India'. He worked on a children's version of 'Pather Panchali'.

Achievements

  • Along with Chidananda Dasgupta and others, Ray founded the Calcutta Film Society in 1947. He screened 'Pather Panchali', released in 1955. His second film, 'Aparajito (The Unvanquished)', won the Golden Lion at the Venice Film Festival, bringing Ray considerable acclaim on the international scene. In 1959 he created the third part of "The Apu Trilogy', 'Apur Sansar'. In 1964 Ray made 'Charulata (The Lonely Wife)'. It was the culmination of this period of work, and regarded by many critics as his most accomplished film. In 1969, Ray released 'Goopy Gyne Bagha Byne (The Adventures of Goopy and Bagha)', a musical fantasy, which became commercially the most successful of his films.

Works

  • Film

    • Pather Panchali (Song of the Little Road)

    • Aparajito (The Unvanquished)

    • Apur Sansar (The World of Apu)

    • Devi (The Goddess)

    • Kanchenjungha

    • Charulata (The Lonely Wife)

    • Mahanagar (The Big City)

    • Teen Kanya (Three Daughters)

    • Abhijan (The Expedition)

    • Kapurush o Mahapurush (The Coward and the Holy Man)

  • Film adaptation

    • Goopy Gyne Bagha Byne (The Adventures of Goopy and Bagha)

Connections

father:
Sukumar Ray

mother:
Suprabha Ray

grandfather:
Upendrakishore Ray

Ray's grandfather, Upendrakishore Ray was a writer, illustrator, philosopher, publisher, amateur astronomer and a leader of the Brahmo Samaj, a religious and social movement in nineteenth century Bengal.

Grandmother:
Bidhumukhi

wife:
Bijoya Ray

son:
Sandip Ray