Our Films, Their Films

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This book brings together Satyajit Ray's major writings and talks on film making and film makers, and presents them in two sections. 'Our Films' is devoted mainly to his own experiences and contains many interesting anecdotes, but also has observations to offer on trends in Indian films. 'Their Films' deals with some films from abroad that have become landmarks in the history of the cinema from the silent era to the present day.
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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
The publication of these brief, self-effacing essays by India's most celebrated filmmaker (1921-1992) coincides with the restoration and American re-release of Ray's major films. Ray discusses the rise of Indian film and its search for a style that would draw more fully upon Indian culture than upon the conventions of Western cinema; his anecdotes about the making of his own films (such as The Music Room and those of the Apu Trilogy) are disappointingly abbreviated. The book also includes gentle critiques of Visconti, Rossellini and British film (distinguished more by craft than artistry) and tributes to Renoir, Kurosawa and Chaplin. Ray puckishly confesses that, if he were stranded on a desert island, the one film he would want most to have with him would be a Marx Brothers comedy. Such glimpses at the tastes of a major filmmaker are likely to appeal most to dedicated film lovers; the general reader will find less to linger over. (Sept.)
Library Journal
India's most influential director shares his views on a variety of cinematic topics and personalities in these essays, most of which date from the 1950s and 1960s. The American, British, and Italian film industries are discussed, as are film greats such as Chaplin, Renoir, and Kurosawa. Ray also writes about his own films (several of which are now being rereleased), though more depth on them is found in Andrew Robinson's Satyajit Ray: The Inner Eye (Univ. of California Pr., 1989) and Ben Nyce's Satyajit Ray: A Study of His Films (Praeger, 1988). Still, these are engaging and thought-provoking essays from one of the major directors of the century. Most libraries with substantial film collections will want this book.-David C. Tucker, DeKalb Cty. P.L., Decatur, Ga.
Benjamin Segedin
The late Bengali filmmaker Satyajit Ray veered from the oft-traveled route of his compatriots and eschewed the conventions of Indian movies, which are mostly two-and-a-half-hour melodramas featuring the latest star, pop songs, and dances. Ray's was a more serious, socially conscious cinema examining contemporary issues. His first features, the famous Apu trilogy ("Pather Panchali", "Aparajito", "Apu Sansar"), introduced Indian film to the West and made Ray a cultural hero in India. These essays written over a period of 25 years reflect Ray's insights into Indian cinema, his own career, and such other great filmmakers as Charles Chaplin, Jean Renoir, the Italian neorealists, Akira Kurasawa, and John Ford. They resemble the work of the 1950s French intellectuals who wrote for "Cahiers du Cinema" before turning to filmmaking themselves, and in them Ray proves his adeptness as a writer and as an "auteur". This collection is published in conjunction with the restoration and rerelease of some of Ray's major films.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780861256372
  • Publisher: Asia Book Corporation of America
  • Publication date: 1/28/1983
  • Edition description: New Edition
  • Pages: 219

Table of Contents

Introduction 1
What Is Wrong with Indian Films? 19
Extracts from a Banaras Diary 25
A Long Time on the Little Road 30
Problems of a Bengal Film Maker 38
Winding Route to a Music Room 44
Film Making 48
The Odds against Us 57
Some Aspects of My Craft 63
Those Songs 72
Meetings with a Maharaja 76
An Indian New Wave? 81
Four and a Quarter 100
Renoir in Calcutta 111
Some Italian Films I Have Seen 120
Hollywood Then and Now 128
Thoughts on the British Cinema 142
Calm Without, Fire Within 152
Moscow Musings 162
The Gold Rush 168
Little Man, Big Book 172
Akira Kurosawa 180
Tokyo, Kyoto and Kurosawa 187
New Wave and Old Master 194
Silent Films 199
A Tribute to John Ford 208
Index 213
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