Satyajit Ray - The Inner Eye

Satyajit Ray - The Inner Eye

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Author: Andrew Robinson
Publisher: Oxford University Press
Year: 2004
Language: English
Pages: 420
ISBN/UPC (if available): 019566812X


Satyajit Ray: The Inner Eye is the definitive biography of the movie giant Satyajit Ray, an exceptionally versatile film-maker who won almost every major prize in cinema, including an Oscar for lifetime achievement just before his death in 1992. Ray's films include the Apu Trilogy, The Music Room, Charulata, Days and Nights in the Forest, The Chess Players and The Stranger. He also made comedies, musicals, detective films and documentaries.

The new edition, revised and extensively updated following Ray's death, includes material covering his final films and his artistic legacy, and a uniquely comprehensive bibliography of Ray's writings. The book is based on extensive interviews with Ray himself, his actors and collaborators, and a deep knowledge of Bengali culture.

Handsomely illustrated with drawing and photographs, including evocative stills from Ray's films, the book presents a broadly chronological film-by-film account of Ray's work. It uncovers his roots-Bengali, Indian and Western; cinematic, literary, artistic and musical-so that readers can understand as well as enjoy Ray's films.

The Inner Eye reveals the totality of Satyajit Ray's achievement and its timeless appeal, and will be of interest to film lovers everywhere.


Extremely thorough, often perceptive, and at times highly entertaining. It is good to have a sympathetic portrait of one of the giants of cinema.
-Salman Rushdie, London Reviews of Books

Mr Robinson's close analysis of the warp and woof of Mr Ray's work makes an almost answerable case for the defence.
-The Economist

A glorious book, a feast of research and insight.
-Films and Filming

Andrew Robinson has managed to combine research with knowledge and analysis to produce what could become an enduring work of reference on the technique and narrative brilliance of the cinema of Ray.
-India Today

Robinson's book is a labour of love, in every sense…the enthusiasm is infectious, the sympathy persuasive. The book will enrich our re-viewing of Ray.
-Sight and Sound

The book…is a splendid achievement, readable and informative, handsomely illustrated.
-William Radice,
Bulletin of the School of Oriental and African Studies


Preface to the Second Edition and Acknowledgements

Life of Illustrations

Note on the Pronunciation and Spelling of Bengali

Introduction: Getting to know Ray

A Bengali Banyan Tree: The Ray Family
Early Years 1921-40
Santiniketan and Tagore 1940-2
Commercial Artist and Critic 1943-50
The Making of Pather Panchali (Song of the Little Road) 1950-5
The Apu Trilogy 1955-9: Pather Panchali, Aparajito
The Unvanquished, The World of Apu (Apur Sansar)
Comedies: The Philosopher's Stone (Parash Pathar) 1958, The Holy Man (Mahapurush) 1964
The Music Room (Jalsaghar) 1958
The Goddess (Devi) 1960
Three Daughters (Teen Kanya) 1961
Kanchenjungha 1962
The Expedition (Abhijan) 1962
The Big City (Mahanagar) 1963
The Lonely Wife (Charulata) 1964
The Coward (Kapurush) 1965
The Hero (Nayak) 1966
Musicals: The Adventures of Goopy and Bagha
(Goopy Gyne Bagha Byne) 1969
The Kingdom of Diamonds (Hirak Rajar Dese) 1980
Days and Nights in the Forest (Aranyer Din Ratri) 1969
The Calcutta Trilogy: The Adversary (Pratidwandi) 1970, Company Limited (Seemabaddha) 1971, The Middle Man (Jana Aranya) 1975
Distant Thunder (Asani Sanket) 1973
Detective Films: The Zoo (Chiriakhana) 1967,
The Golden Fortress (Sonar Kella) 1974,
The Elephant God (Joi Baba Felunath) 1978
The Chess Players (Shatranj Ke Khilari) 1977
Two 1964, Pikoo 1980
Deliverance (Sadgati) 1981
The Home and the World (Ghare Baire) 1984
Documentaries: Sikkim 1971, Sukumar Ray 1987, Rabindranath Tagore 1961, Bala 1976, The Inner Eye 1972
Unmade Films: Ravi Shankar, The Mahabharata, A Passage to India, The Alien
Ray as Designer, Illustrator and Writer
Some Aspects of His Craft: Ray as Film-maker
The Inner Eye
Koh-i-noor: An Enemy of the People (Ganasatru) 1989,
Branches of the Tree (Sakha Prasakha) 1990,
The Stranger (Agantuk) 1991, and the Legacy of Satyajit Ray