Author: Satyajit Ray
Translator(s): Gopa Majumdar
ISBN/UPC (if available): 0-14-400026-1
Exactly fifty years ago, in 1955, the release of Pather Panchali heralded the arrival of a master in the world of cinema. Over the next forty years, Satyajit Ray came to be regarded as one of the world's finest film-makers ever. Today, more than a decade after his death, he continues to be India's most respected name in international film circles.
Apart from his achievements as a director, Ray was also a prolific writer of novels, short stories, and essays on cinema. Speaking of Film brings together some of Ray's most memorable
writings on film and film making. With the masterly precision and clarity that characterize his films, Ray discusses a wide array of subjects: the structure and language of cinema with special reference to his adaptations of Tagore and Biubhuti Bhushan Bandopadhyay, the appropriate use of background music and dialogue in films, the relationship between a film-maker and a film critic, and important developments in cinema like the advent of sound and color. He also writes about his own experiences, the challenges of working with rank amateurs, and the innovations called for when making a film in the face of technological, financial and logistical constraints. In the process Ray provides fascinating behind-the-scene glimpses of the people who worked with him - the intricacies of getting Chhabi Biswas, who had no ear for music, to play a patron of classical music in Jalsaghar; the incredible memory of the seventy-five-year-old Chunibala Devi, Indir Tahkurn of Pather Panchali, and her remarkable attention to details.
The first ever translation of Bishay Chalachitra, a seminal collection of essays on cinemas, Speaking of Films retains the lucidity and simplicity that is a hallmark of Ray' writing, and gives an invaluable insight into the mind of a genius.
My Life, My Work
The Making of a Film: Structure, Language and Style
The Language of Cinema: Then and Now
Bengali Films in the Past
Art in Bengali Cinema
Background Music in Films
Dialogue in Films
Films in Colour
A Critic in the Eyes of a Director
On Apur Sansar
Alias Indir Thakrun
A Quarter of Century