Satyajit Ray was one of the most distinguished Indian author and filmmaker who is considered to be of the greatest filmmakers in the world of cinema. Satyajit’s first movie was ‘The Apu Trilogy: Pather Panchali’, whose first part was released in the year 1955. This movie won ten international prizes and also bagged in ‘Inaugural Best Human Document Award’ at the ‘Cannes Film Festival’. All the three parts of this movie created revolution among the Indian cinema at that time and were appreciated worldwide. His movies like, ‘Aparajito’, ‘ParashPathar’ and ‘Charulata’ are some of his well-known works amongst many. Ray had made movies on various genres ranging from fantasy, musical drama, romance, suspense and historical dramas. Besides being a distinguished director he was also an illustrator, fiction writer, music composer, film critic, graphic designer, publisher and calligrapher. He had written several novels and short stories primarily for children and adolescents. Ray has been one of the most lauded, applauded and acclaimed filmmaker in the history of cinema which include an ‘Academy Award’ and ‘Bharat Ratan’. Here is a treasure trove of thoughts and views expressed by the genius filmmaker through his writings, movies, scripts, books and novels. Following are the quotes and thoughts by Satyajit Ray that besides giving you insights in his directorial style also expresses his take on life.
What is attempted in these film is of course a synthesis. But it can be seen by someone who has his feet in both cultures. Someone who will bring to bear on the films involvement and detachment in equal measure.
My films play only in Bengal, and my audience is the educated middle class in the cities and small towns. They also play in Bombay, Madras and Delhi where there is a Bengali population.
My cameraman and I devised a method, which we started using from my second film, which applies mainly to day scenes shot in the studio, where we used bounced light instead of direct light. We agreed with this thing of four or five shadows following the actors is dreadful.
I think they quite like me when I work because I'm one of the safer directors to back, because even if my films don't bring their costs in back home, once they're shown outside of India they manage to cover the costs.
Sometimes a director is making three films. Perhaps he is shooting a film in Madras and a film in Bombay and he can't leave Madras as some shooting has to be done, so he directs by telephone. The shooting takes place. On schedule.
Particularly in the final stages I always find that I'm rushed. It's dangerous when you're rushed in the editing stage, most of my early films are flawed in the cutting.
Most of the top actors and actresses may be working in ten or twelve films at the same time, so they will give one director two hours and maybe shoot in Bombay in the morning and Madras in the evening. It happens.
I've made seventeen or eighteen films now, only two of which have been original screenplays, all the others have been based on short stories or novels, and I find the long short story ideal for adaptation.