24 August, 2012

Satyajit Ray: Essays (1970-2005)

Satyajit Ray: Essays (1970-2005)

By- Gaston Roberge

The essays offered here were written between 1970 and 2005. Teaching assignments, requests for articles, and the author’s own evolving interests prompted them. They were not written with the view to form a book. They are now published together in the conviction that, both singly and as a whole, they can contribute to a better appreciation of Satyajit Ray’s legacy.

The essays deal with Ray as a filmmaker. The date on which each essay was written is indicated as it situates each in the cultural context in which it was conceived.

Out of the twenty-nine feature films of Ray, only eight, plus the Apu Trilogy as a whole, are discussed. Moreover, this small collection is not a selection, indicaing preferences; nor is it a classification, rating the films.

The discussion of Jana Aranya is the only essay that was written for this book to illuminate the evolution that took place from the first to the last film of Satyajit Ray. In order to preserve their historical value, generally, the essays were not updated.

Given Ray’s deep involvement in film education, especially in the film societies movement in India, it was felt mandatory to include two articles on the subject, one discusing the situation of the film societies today, and the other, inspired by Satyajit Ray, and proposing a programme of media education for a new type of film society.

Gaston Roberge, MA, Theatre Art (Film), University of California at Los Angeles (UCLA), was born in Montrel, Canada, in 1935. He came to India in 1961, and since then has lived
in Kolkata.
He is a Jesuit, teaching Mass Communication and Film Studies at St. Xavier’s College, Kolkata. In 1970, with the assistance of the late Satyajit Ray, he founded a media centre in Kolkata, called Chitrabani. In 1985, he started the Education Media Research Center of St. Xavier’s College.

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