A weekend session explores the personal, experimental and poetic side of Satyajit Ray’s artistic oeuvre
Satyajit Ray on the sets of Sonar Kella. Pic courtesy/Getty Images
Martin Scorsese adores him. His work drew Wes Anderson and Christopher Nolan to India. Satyajit Ray’s works are considered a benchmark for Indian cinema even today. Photographer and writer Sumit Ray’s weekend session at a Bandra venue offers an opportunity to rediscover these qualities.
The 38-year-old began rewatching Ray only after the passing of actor Soumitra Chatterjee in 2021. Sumit reveals, “The passing of the thespian was the trigger. It was the pandemic and with time on my hands, I rewatched Joy Baba Felunath (1979) to relive my childhood.”
Posters of Ray’s films. Pic Courtesy/Instagram; (right) Soumitra Chatterjee in a moment from Apur Sansar. Pic Courtesy/Satyajitray.org
Soon, the ardent fan was re-watching Ray’s entire filmography. Sumit documented his observations in a series of essays on his website raybyray.in. These essays form the core of the session today, held in association with The Revolver Club.
“A lot of things fell in line beautifully for Ray to apply to filmmaking. My idea is to present the multi-faceted character that he was even before becoming a filmmaker,” Sumit notes. The two-hour-long session of video clips will be divided into three categories — poetic, experimental and personal. “These sessions will shed light on his artistic, musical and literary influences. The idea is to explore the wider influences and evolution of the filmmaker as well. For instance, Pratidwandi (1970), Seemabaddha (1971) and Jana Aranya (1976) experiment with cinematic tools such as photo negatives, the use of a spoken voice narrator or almost breaking the fourth wall,” he elaborates.
The visual style of Ray was also a key part of Sumit’s attraction to the filmmaker. “It is interesting how Ray grows more verbose towards the latter half of his filmography. There are more characters and dialogue in these films — as though he wants to clearly explain every idea to his audience,”
Above all, the session is an effort to understand a director of whom Japanese director Akira Kurosawa once said, “To not have seen the films of Ray is to live without having seen the sun or the moon.”
On June 17; 6 pm onwards
At Records.Coffee by Veranda, Bloom Boutique, Pali Hill Road, Bandra West.
Log on to insider.in