Archive for Bengali

NYT obituary on Soumitra Chatterjee

Posted in Refugee with tags , , , , , on November 22, 2020 by Qalandar


Excerpt: “…In one memorable scene, while delivering a monologue about the novel he plans to write, Mr. Chatterjee furrows his brow with intellectual severity, strikes the faraway look of an imagination at work, pauses and points for emphasis as he narrates the plot, and finally, with arms raised in triumph, smiles with joy at the act of creation. The sequence appears to have the naturalness of improvisation, but it was actually the product of laborious preparation.

Mr. Ray’s son, Sandip, said he saw the work that Mr. Chatterjee put into his roles when he peeked at one of the actor’s scripts. “It was full of handwritten notes,” he told The Telegraph, Kolkata’s English-language daily, in a recent interview. “Every minute detail of voice modulation, pause, look, movement and whatnot was in there.””

Read the complete piece HERE.

Preservation of the Satyajit Ray paper archive (V&A Museum; 2002)

Posted in Refugee with tags , , on November 7, 2016 by Qalandar

EXCERPT: “The most valuable part of this collection from the point of view of the history of cinema, and also the largest single component (totalling over 10,000 pages), is the Khero Khata or ‘Red Books’. Averaging two for every full-length feature and one for every short film, they include scripts in various stages of development including the final shooting scripts detailing each scene and shot. There are also detailed sketches, diagrams and designs.

Other ‘treasures’ include screen plays, music notation sheets, designs and sketches for costumes and sets, production stills, drafts of Ray’s own fiction, advertising and book designs, correspondence, over 1000 personal photographs, examples of his early drawings and sketches, typographic and calligraphic designs, diaries and personal scrapbooks.”

Complete article HERE

Rituparno Ghosh: Home and the World (THE CARAVAN, July 2013)

Posted in the good with tags , , , on July 13, 2013 by Qalandar

EXCERPT: “Ghosh knows his audience well, and he plays on our fascination with the actual world of film stars by embedding aspects of it on screen. He casts a real-life mother-daughter pair, Aparna Sen and Konkona, at a time when Bengali curiosity about the latter’s potential as an actress was very high, and yet does not make them play themselves—Aparna’s character, Urmila, is a housewife who has nothing to do with the cinema. Ghosh inserts into the film snatches of conversation that seem perfectly natural between Urmila and Titli, but also pick up on the film-going public’s innate tendency to compare star children to their parents. My friend Sandip thinks it’s incredible that a mother as beautiful as you had a daughter like me, Titli says guilelessly to Urmila, to which Urmila responds in a protective motherly fashion, “Eto sundar mishti meye amar” (Such a sweet, pretty daughter I have). There is also the near-perfect casting of Mithun Chakraborty as Rohit Roy, with the character’s life story drawing judiciously on aspects of Chakraborty’s own biography—his growing up in poverty in a refugee colony, his unusual status as a Bengali hero who made it big in Bombay films. Continue reading

A Note on Two Satyajit Ray Charmers

Posted in the good with tags , , , , , , on September 25, 2009 by Qalandar

One of my great pleasures is exploring a master’s minor work — often it is only in the latter, especially when one has attained canonical status, that some vestiges of the whimsical remain. Strictly speaking, this is only partly true of Satyajit Ray’s work (he actually seemed to get more whimsical with age and directorial maturity), but nevertheless, an acquaintance with the Ray of less serious subjects is highly rewarding. One isn’t overawed, but most decidedly charmed.

Read the complete piece HERE.

Satyajit Ray — Book Designer

Posted in the good with tags , , on August 15, 2009 by Qalandar

Thanks to ArtisPretty for bringing this to my attention — Qalandar


Ray fundamentally transformed all notions of designing books in India.

Entirely discarding the clean formality of the British style of jacket design, he was the first Indian artist to have introduced to the book-jackets a style of brushing which was entirely Indian. And it was the easy flow of his brushes – sometimes pointed and sometimes broad – that was the hallmark of his jacket designs in the early phase of his career as an artist.

One of the ideal examples of this genre of brushing can be seen on the jacket of an abridged edition of ‘Pather Panchali’ ( Song of the Little Road ), designed in 1945.

Read the rest HERE.

Thoughts on a scene from NAYAK (Bengali; 1966)

Posted in the good with tags , , on June 7, 2009 by Qalandar


Musings on Satyajit Ray’s TEEN KANYA

Posted in the good with tags , , , , on May 19, 2009 by Qalandar