First advertising model maker, Satyajit Ray founded in 1942 a film club in Bombay and the Calcutta Film Society in 1947. European American filmmakers as there are projected, especially neo-realists who make strong impression. It is the meeting French filmmaker Jean Renoir, during the filming of the movie in India The River and watching the neorealist Italian film Bicycle Thieves during a trip to London, who decide to embark on the filmmaking when he exercises an illustrator for a publishing house.
Inspired by the novel Pather Panchali of Bibhutibhushan Bandopadhyay, he decided to make a movie and turns real decor, appealing to friends to take the roles of actors and financing it alone. Short of funds, he obtained a government loan of Bengal allowing him to complete the film. It is a both artistic and commercial success, and Ray received an award in 1956 at the Cannes Film Festival , making the world discover the Indian film industry.
Ray's international career really began after the success of his next film, Aparajito (The Undefeated). This film narrates the eternal struggle between the ambitions of a young man, Apu, and the love of his mother. Many critics, including Mrinal Sen and Ritwik Ghatak, rank it a notch above the first game. Aparajito won the Golden Lion in Venice . Before completing his trilogy, Ray directed two other films. First comedy Parash Pathar ( The Philosopher's Stone ), followed by Jalsaghar ( The Music Room ), a film about the decadence of Zamindars , considered one of his most important works.
After Apur Sansar, Ray connects with Devi (Goddess), a film in which he addresses the superstitions in the Hindu society. Sharmila Tagore as Doyamoyee is, a young woman deified by her stepfather. Ray is concerned about a possible blocking of the film by the office of censorship, or being forced to cut some scenes, but ultimately Devi was spared. In 1961 , at the insistence of Prime Minister Jawaharlal Nehru , Ray was hired to make a documentary on Rabindranath Tagore , on the occasion of the centenary of the poet's birth. It is a tribute to the person who probably has the most influence. With the constraint of limited length strips of Tagore available, Ray takes up the challenge to build a film mainly from static materials, and notes that this represents a sum of work for more than three classic films.
In 1962, Ray made Kanchenjungha, his first original screenplay and first film in color. This is the story of a bourgeois family, who stays in Darjeeling , a picturesque town on a hill in West Bengal, where the family tries to link his youngest daughter to engineer enjoying a good situation and having studied in London. Originally designed to take place in a huge mansion, the film was eventually shot on the famous city on the hillside, Ray decides to use the many lights and shadows, and mist, to reflect the tension of the drama. This is an amused Ray who reports that while his script allows shooting with all possible light conditions, the production team has a commercial film in Darjeeling at the same time fails to make the only decision it came to do, and that demands full sun.
In the period following Charulata , Ray explores a wide variety of genres, from fantasy to science fiction , through the police and the historical drama . Ray also performs many forms of experimentation during this period. It also takes more account of the concerns of the contemporary Indian society, thus filling a gap in his previous films on the subject. The first major film in this phase is Nayak (The Hero), the story of a movie star who travels by train and meets a young sympathetic journalist. With Uttam Kumar and Sharmila Tagore in the leading roles, the film explores, in the 24-hour journey, the inner conflict of the fledgling idol, to the apparent success. Despite an award from critics to Berlin , the film met mixed success.
In 1967, Ray wrote a script for a film called The Alien, based on his new Bankubabur Bandhu (The Friend of Banku Babu) which he wrote in 1962 for Sandesh , the family magazine. The Alien was to be an American coproduction -indienne produced by Columbia Pictures with Peter Sellers and Marlon Brando as headliners. However, Ray was surprised to find that the script he wrote was copyrighted and the rights have been filed. Subsequently, Brando departed the project, and despite an attempt to replace it with James Coburn , Ray returned to Calcutta disillusioned.
In 1969 , Ray made what will be his most commercially successful. Based on a children's story written by his grandfather Gyne Bagha goopy Byne (The Adventures of Goopy and Bagha) is a musical story belonging to the genus fantasy . Goopy the singer and Bagha the drummer, equipped with three bones lent by the King of Ghosts, begin a fantastic journey to try to prevent the outbreak of an impending war between two neighboring kingdoms. One of its most expensive achievements, this film is very difficult to finance. Ray finally gave in to turn colors, rejecting a proposal that would have required him to give the leading role to a player in Bollywood.
After Aranyer Din Ratri (Days and Nights in the Forest), Ray made a foray into Bengali reality, then in full swing under the influence of the movement of the extreme left Naxalite . He completed the trilogy of Calcutta Pratidwandi (1970), Seemabaddha (1971), and Jana Aranya (1975), three films made separately, but whose thematic connections form a kind of trilogy. Pratidwandi (The Adversary) addresses a idealistic young graduate who, despite having lost his illusions, remains intact until the end of the film. Suit Jana Aranya (The Intermediary), or how dark a young man gradually in the world of corruption for a living. Finally Seemabaddha (Company Limited in English) about a wealthy man who renounces morals to get richer. The first of them, Pratidwandi , uses an elliptical narrative style never before seen in the films of Ray, involving scenes in negative, dream sequences and the abrupt flashbacks . In the 1970s, Ray also adapted two of his popular stories as detective films. Primarily for an audience of children and young adults, both Sonar Kella (The Golden Fortress) and Joy Baba Felunath ( The Elephant God ) found some critical welcome.
Ray is realistic; his first works are full of compassion and emotion; his later work is more politicized and sometimes cynical, but there will always infuses his humor typical.
Ray has made 37 films, including the short and feature films as well as documentaries. The first film by Satyajit Ray, The Lament of the trail, won eleven international awards, including the price of human document the 1956 Cannes Film Festival . It is the first part of the Apu Trilogy, followed by Aparajito (The Undefeated) and Apur Sansar (The World of Apu). Ray served during his life a wide range of trades, including the writing of scenarios , the cast, the musical composition of soundtracks, the filming , art direction, design and implementation of its own generic and posters advertising ... Outside the cinema, he was a writer, publisher, illustrator, graphic designer and film critic. He won many awards during his career, including an Oscar for his work in 1992 . He was also awarded the Bharat Ratna , the highest award in India in 1992.
Number of awards and prizes were awarded to Ray throughout his life. By getting the honorary title of Doctor of the University of Oxford , it is the second personality of the film world to be so honored after Chaplin . It gets Dadasaheb Phalke Award in 1985 . In 1987 , he was awarded the Legion of Honour by French President François Mitterrand. Shortly before his death, the Indian government awarded him the highest civilian decoration, the Bharat Ratna . For all of his work, the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences awarded Ray of an honorary Oscar in 1992 . He also received posthumously the Akira Kurosawa Award for his directing career at the San Francisco Film Festival: it is the actress Sharmila Tagore who represents this occasion.