Satyajit Ray. As Akira Kurosawa said, “Not to have seen the cinema of Ray means existing in the world without seeing the sun or the moon.”
Satyajit Ray is regarded as one of the finest filmmakers in the history of Indian as well as World Cinema. Although he mainly worked in Bengali language, his films received appreciations from all over the world. Being one of the pioneer filmmakers to start parallel cinema movement in India, Ray made his directorial debut with the film ‘Pather Panchali’ in 1955 and stunned absolutely everyone with his unique and unconventional direction style. As a filmmaker, Ray is known for his versatility, strong vision, creative mind and approach in topics which are relevant, even today.
Here are some quotes by him:
- “The director is the only person who knows what the film is about.”
- “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 are dreadful.”
- “I don’t start a film with the heroine but with the cinema subject. If there is a woman in the story, she has to be of particular type. It’s not as if I start with Madhuri Dixit and then think what kind of film.”
- “When I write an original story, I write about people I know first-hand and situations I’m familiar with. I don’t write stories about the nineteenth century.”
- “There’s always some room for improvisation.”
- “Cinema’s characteristics forte is its ability to capture and communicate the intimacies of the human mind.”
- “The conception of background music is changing. You use less and less of it these days.”
- “I had developed this habit of writing scenarios as a hobby. I would find out which stories had been sold to be made into films and I would write my own treatment and then compare it.”
- “Somehow I feel that an ordinary person – the man in the street if you like – is a more challenging subject for exploration than people in the heroic mold. It is the half shades, the hardly audible notes that I want to capture and explore.”
- “Last, but not least – in fact, this is most important – you need a happy ending. However, if you can create tragic situations and jerk a few tears before the happy ending, it will work much better.”
Satyajit Ray was a director par excellence, whose works have been inspiring thousands of filmmakers around the whole world. Ray received several prestigious awards in his career, including an ‘Academy Award for Lifetime Achievement’ in 1992.