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Commemorating the Master Flicks of an avid Indian Bengali Filmmaker, Satyajit Ray

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Portrait of Satyajit Ray, Wikimedia
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May 07, 2017: Honouring the legendary and the greatest filmmaker Satyajit Ray on the auspicious occasion of his birthday, Japanese filmmaker Akira Kurosawa aptly said, “Not to have seen the cinema of Ray means existing in the world without seeing the sun or the moon.”

Over his 35-year-long career as a filmmaker, he directed over 30 films., including projects of myriads variety, ranging from fantasy, science fiction, detective films, historical dramas to feature films, documentaries, and shorts. Besides being a fiction writer, publisher, illustrator, calligrapher, music composer, graphic designer, he was also the greatest film critic. He has authored several short stories and novels, primarily aimed at children and adolescents.

Here are some of the films of Satyajit Ray which were way ahead of their time and are often listed among the greatest films of all times

  • Pathar Panchali

Satyajit’s debut film “Pather Panchali” is a tale of joys and sorrows of a poor Indian family in Bengal, and is a heartwarming indication that poverty does not always nullify love. The film has won eleven international prizes. This film, along with “Aparajita” and “Apur Sansar” from famous “The Apu Trilogy” are also listed among the greatest movies of all time in the history of Indian cinema. Describing the growing up of a young boy Apu (Apurba Kumar Roy) through the technique of Buildungsroman, the film narrated the childhood, education and early maturity of a young boy in the early part of the 20th century.

Satyajit Ray with Ravi Sankar recording for Pather Panchali, Wikimedia

Pioneering the Parallel Cinema movement, “Pathar Panchali” is described as the ‘turning point in Indian Cinema’. The film is said to embrace social realism and authenticity. Through his debut film, Satyajit Ray became the architect of a genre of films “Indian Parallel Cinema”. These films aimed at concerning less with offering spectacle and glamour and touched social and political subjects. Moreover, The films were usually produced on a shoestring budget without depending on stardom for success.

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  • Aparajita

The film starts off where the previous film Pather Panchali ended, with protagonist Apu’s family moving to Varanasi depicting Apu’s stepping into adolescence in college and leaving his childhood, right up to his mother’s death, when he is left all alone.

  • Apur Sansar

Being the third part of The Apu Trilogy, the film is about the childhood and early adulthood of Apu that focuses on the world of the young man. Apu’s tragic life as a teenager and an adult perfectly reflects the cruel, realistic realities, and is sure to leave you in tears.

  • Days and Nights in the Forest

As a tribute to Renoir’s classic Partie de campagne, “Days and Nights in the Forest” is all about transplanting the scene from pastoral France to the forests of north-eastern India.

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  • Goopy Bagha Trilogy

Children took immense pleasure in watching Ray’s film series which includes “Goopy Gyne Bagha Byne”, “Hirok Rajar Deshe” and “Goopy Bagha Firey Elo”.

It is interesting to note that the first two films of the ‘Goopy Bagha Trilogy’, “Goopy Gyne Bagha Byne” and “Hirak Rajar Deshe” were directed by Satyajit Ray, and the third film “Goopy Bagha Phire Elo” was directed by his son. The first movie was keenly made for entertaining kids while the second part “Hirok Rajar Deshe”, reflected the reign of Indira Gandhi in India and the emergency period. While a child would have enjoyed the story of a ruthless king being dethroned, an adult watching the film would have intimated with the deeper meaning of the film.

  • Teen Kanya

“Teen Kanya” was originally written by Rabindranath Tagore and later adapted by Satyajit Ray into a film. Teen Kanya narrated the tale of three different women during the three different stages of their lives.

  • Charulata

“Charulata” was another written work of Rabindranath Tagore that narrates the tale of a lonely wife who develops a deeply regrettable bond with her brother-in-law. The film is meditative poetry, lingering over the inner turmoil endured by all the characters.

  • Nayak

Starring Uttam Kumar and Sharmila Tagore, the first major film in the post Charulata period “Nayak” narrates the twenty-four hours of the journey, during which the film explores the inner conflict of the apparently highly successful matinée idol.

  • The Music Room

Ray represented on the world stage the magisterial drama about an ageing Bengali landowner and his fatality clinging to the past. Ray brings Roy’s perfumed world to life with glittering images of fireworks, gleaming chandeliers and the cavernous extravagance of his music room, where he invites sitarists and dancers to entertain him and his guests.

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  • The Big City

Ray was found railing against the ‘a woman’s place is in the home’ mentality, making a sassy, nuanced and deeply moving film about the gathering speed of modernity and feminism in his home city of Calcutta. Protagonist Arati, who has never stepped out of the four walls of her house suddenly takes to the world of work to support her large and extended family.

  • Kanchenjungha

“Kanchenjungha” was his first film in colour which tells its audience of an upper-class family spending an afternoon in Darjeeling, a picturesque hill town in West Bengal.

Being a skilled calligrapher, Satyajit Ray had designed four typefaces for the Roman script – Ray Roman, Ray Bizarre, Daphnis, and Holiday Script, in addition to several others for the Bengali script. Out of which Ray Roman and Ray Bizarre had bagged an international prize.

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Ray was honoured with many major awards in his career, including 32 Indian National Film Awards, a Golden Bear, a Golden Lion, and various International awards. In 1992, Ray was awarded the Bharat Ratna by the Government of India. He was also awarded an honorary degree by Oxford University.

Ray is the first and the only Indian to receive an Honorary Academy Award by the “Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences. Calling it the “Best achievement of movie-making career”, he accepted the award in a severely ill condition and left for heavenly abode at the age of 71 on 23 April 1992.

prepared by Himanshi Goyal of Newsgram. Twitter handle- @Himanshi1104

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India Continues Engaging With USA Over H-1B Passport Issue

India is closely engaged with the US administration as well as the US Congress on this matter.

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As Trump proposes changes in H1-B visa, India continues to engage with US

India is continuing to engage with the US over the H-1B visa, largely availed of by Indian IT companies, after the Trump administration proposed changes to the programme, a senior official said on Thursday.

“It is a very important topic for us and that is the reason why we have time and again at various levels, we have taken up this matter with the US side,” External Affairs Ministry spokesperson Raveesh Kumar said in response to queries by journalists here.

Kumar said that most recently, the issue was raised during the first ever India-US 2+2 Ministerial Meeting held here last month that was attended by External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj, Defence Minister Nirmala Sitharaman, US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and Defence Secretary Jim Mattis.

On Wednesday, the US Department of Homeland Security (DHS) said that the US Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) plans to come out with its new proposal by January 2019.

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It will also “revise the definition” of employment and employer-employee relationship to “better protect” US workers and wages Flickr

The DHS said it was also proposing to remove from its regulations certain H-4 spouses of H-1B non-immigrants as a class of aliens eligible for employment authorisation.

The move to end the rule could have an impact on more than 70,000 H-4 visa holders, who have work permits.

The H-4 visas are issued by the USCIS to immediate family members (spouse and children under 21 years of age) of the holders of H-1B visa.

The DHS said it will propose to revise the definition of speciality occupation to increase focus on obtaining the best and the brightest foreign nationals via the H-1B programme.

It will also “revise the definition” of employment and employer-employee relationship to “better protect” US workers and wages, the DHS said.

Donald Trump, India
President Donald Trump speaks about immigration alongside family members affected by crimes committed by undocumented immigrants, at the South Court Auditorium on the White House complex, June 22, 2018, in Washington, VOA

In his remarks on Thursday, Kumar said that India is closely engaged with the US administration as well as the US Congress on this matter.

Stating that there are certain bills which have been introduced, he, however, said that “it is important to note that none of these bills have been passed so far”.

“When we have engaged with the US, we have emphasised that our partnership which we have in the digital sphere have been mutually beneficial,” the spokesperson said.

Also Read: USA And Other Countries Pledge To Eradicate Illegal Wildlife Trade

“We have highlighted the role which has been played by the highly skilled Indian professionals who have actually contributed to the growth and development of the US economy,” he stated.

“And also they have helped the US to maintain a competitive edge in the world towards innovation and science and technology.” (IANS)