A two-week feast of rare masterworks from one of cinema’s leading lights, Satyajit Ray

“The “underlying something” of [Satyajit Ray’s] rich, various body of work is, ultimately, a kind of close observer’s faith: if you can see the world clearly enough, you’ll never be a stranger to yourself,” wrote Terrence Rafferty in the New York Times of our upcoming series First Light: Satyajit Ray from the Apu Trilogy to the Calcutta Trilogy April 15 – 30.

In case you are unfamiliar with Ray’s work, this is a chance to see a group of masterpieces, many of them in brand-new prints, that doesn’t come around that often. And Netflix can’t help you out here. Even though Ray is acknowledged by filmmakers from Akira Kurosawa (who said, “To have not seen the films of Ray is to have lived in the world without ever having seen the moon and the sun”) to Wes Anderson (who visually and thematic quotes from the director in his own Darjeeling Limited), many of Ray’s most acclaimed films are not avaliable on DVD.

So consider this a two-week-long opportunity to feast your eyes on truly extraordinary films: from Ray’s self-financed Pather Panchali (he made it after being encouraged by Jean Renoir) to Charulata, an insightful exploration of a troubled marriage. You can see a film that was a major hit in India but remains lesser known here, The Adventures of Goopy and Bagha or a diptych of stories written by different authors that Ray thought would make a compelling pairing, The Coward and The Holy Man. Whichever Ray films you choose to see, we’d like to think that as Terrence Rafferty so eloquently puts it, you’ll leave seeing yourself and the world a little differently.

[New York Times: Satyajit Ray’s World of Restless Watchfulness and Nuance]

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