The Cinema of Satyajit Ray: Between Tradition and Modernity

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The most comprehensive treatment of Satyajit Ray's work, The Cinema of Satyajit Ray makes accessible the oeuvre of one of the most prolific and creative filmmakers of the twentieth century. Providing analyses of selected films, including those that comprise The Apu Trilogy, Chess Players, and Jalsaghar, among others, Darius Cooper outlines Western influences on Ray's work, such as the plight of women functioning within a patriarchal society, Ray's political vision of the "doubly colonized," and his attack and critique of the Bengali/Indian middle class of today.

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Editorial Reviews

Library Journal
The powerhouse Indian film industry passes unnoticed outside of the subcontinent, and, for the most part, so does the work of its master filmmakers. It has been over a decade since the publication of Andrew Robinson's Satyajit Ray: The Inner Eye (1989) and Ben Nyce's Satyajit Ray: A Study of His Films (1988). This new monograph aims to approach the cinema of Ray from an Indian aesthetic as well as an Indian social and historical perspective. Cooper (literature and film, San Diego Mesa Coll.) adds much to our understanding, analyzing Ray's early films in terms of the concept of "rasa" (i.e., aesthetic perception) in terms of the status of Indian women, and vis- -vis British and Hindu hegemony--among other things. Throughout, close analysis dovetails with Indian cultural contexts in effective ways. The result is a superb work of scholarship recommended for all libraries supporting international cinema.--Neal Baker, Earlham Coll., Richmond, IN Copyright 2000 Cahners Business Information.\
From the Publisher
"Well-informed descriptions of Indian society and history contextualize the author's careful presentation of each film's plot and hist well-grounded comments about the fim maker's stylistic decisions. Cooper writes lucidly enough that even upper-division undergraduates can make use of the excellent jumping-off point for future studies of Ray's cinema." Choice

" clearly an important contribution to our knowledge of Satyajit Ray's films... The great strength of the book is that it provides an innovative and detailed analysis of many of Ray's films, and anyone with an interest in Ray should read this book. In addition, it adds an important dimension to cinema studies and will, therefore, be useful to anyone who is interested in world cinema." Herman Van Olphen, Journal of Asian Studies

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780521620260
  • Publisher: Cambridge University Press
  • Publication date: 1/28/2000
  • Series: Cambridge Studies in Film Series
  • Pages: 274
  • Product dimensions: 5.98 (w) x 8.98 (h) x 0.75 (d)

Table of Contents

List of Illustrations
Introduction 1
1 Between Wonder, Intuition, and Suggestion: Rasa in Satyajit Ray's The Apu Triology and Jalsaghar 15
Rasa Theory: An Overview 15
The Excellence Implicit in the Classical Aesthetic form of Rasa: Three Principles 24
Rasa in Pather Panchali (1955) 26
Rasa in Aparajito (1956) 40
Rasa in Apur Sansar (1959) 50
Jalsaghar (1958): A Critical Evaluation Rendered through Rasa 64
2 From Gazes to Threat: the Odyssean Yatra (Journey) of the Ray Woman 75
The "Roles" of the Indian Woman as Determined by Hindu Society: A Historical Background 75
Woman Redefined in the Tagore Triad: "The Postmaster," Charulata, and Ghare-Baire 79
The Ray Woman - Under the Male Hindu Gaze 96
Women as Possessors of the Gaze 102
Two Ray Women - in Masquerade 106
The Victimized Woman Who Dares to Humble the Father 108
The Articulation of the Ray Woman - From a Space She Can Call Her Own 118
The Ray Woman's Politics of Silence 122
The Ray Woman as Hedonist 127
Concluding Remarks: In Praise of Satyajit Ray's Feminist Stance 132
3 The Responses, Trauma, and Subjectivity of the Ray Purush (Man) 134
The Philosophical Determinant of Suffering and the Responses of the Ray Purush: Siddhartha's Response in Pratidwandi (1970) 134
Somnath's Response in Jana Aranya (1975) 143
Gangacharan's Response in Ashani Sanket (1973) 147
Shyamalendu's Response in Seemabaddba (1971) 152
The Responses of the Forest-Bound Male Quartet of Aranyer Din Ratri (1970) 157
Fearsome Fathers and Traumatized Sons 161
4 Satyajit Ray's Political Vision of the Doubly Colonized 177
The Tradition of the Doubly Colonized in India: A Critical Introduction to the Hegemonic Structures of Hinduism and Colonialism 177
The Hindu Hegemony 178
The British Hegemony 184
The Colonized Artist's Response: Ray's Sadgati (1981) and Shatranj-ke-Khilari (1977) 189
5 From Newly Discovered Margins: Ray's Responses to the Center 213
From "Zero" to "Captain Nemo": Ray's Problematic Alphabet of 1990s Indians 215
The (T)issues of Language: Ray's Principal Instrument of Bhadralok Censure 219
The Burden(s) of Mise-en-Scene: Ray's 1990s Filmic Style 225
Unsatisfactory and Satisfactory Endings 231
On Ray - The Final Epitaph 234
Notes 235
Selected Bibliography 245
Filmography 249
Index 255
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