The Director is the only person who knows what the film is about.

Today marks the 99th birthday of quite certainly the greatest filmmaker India will ever produce. One could never have thought a 35 year old graphic designer working in a British advertising agency could change the course of Indian and Bengali cinema in ways that the regular, unvarying and toneless filmmakers could never think. It is said when D.J Keymer sent Satyajit Ray to its London headquarters, along the course of six months Ray watched 99 films, including Vittorio De Sica’s Ladri di biciclette (Bicycle Thieves). The seed of neo-realism then planted in his mind made him give up his job for the very 𝙋𝙖𝙩𝙝𝙚𝙧 𝙋𝙖𝙣𝙘𝙝𝙖𝙡𝙞 that would eventually put Indian cinema in the world map. In a 1982 lecture he says, ” 𝓣𝓱𝓮 𝓹𝓻𝓸𝓼𝓹𝓮𝓬𝓽 𝓸𝓯 𝓰𝓲𝓿𝓲𝓷𝓰 𝓾𝓹 𝓪 𝓳𝓸𝓫 𝓭𝓲𝓭𝓷’𝓽 𝓭𝓪𝓾𝓷𝓽 𝓶𝓮 𝓪𝓷𝔂 𝓶𝓸𝓻𝓮. 𝓘 𝔀𝓸𝓾𝓵𝓭 𝓶𝓪𝓴𝓮 𝓶𝔂 𝓯𝓲𝓵𝓶 𝓮𝔁𝓪𝓬𝓽𝓵𝔂 𝓪𝓼 𝓓𝓮 𝓢𝓲𝓬𝓪 𝓱𝓪𝓭 𝓶𝓪𝓭𝓮 𝓱𝓲𝓼: 𝔀𝓸𝓻𝓴𝓲𝓷𝓰 𝔀𝓲𝓽𝓱 𝓷𝓸𝓷-𝓹𝓻𝓸𝓯𝓮𝓼𝓼𝓲𝓸𝓷𝓪𝓵 𝓪𝓬𝓽𝓸𝓻𝓼, 𝓾𝓼𝓲𝓷𝓰 𝓶𝓸𝓭𝓮𝓼𝓽 𝓻𝓮𝓼𝓸𝓾𝓻𝓬𝓮𝓼, 𝓪𝓷𝓭 𝓼𝓱𝓸𝓸𝓽𝓲𝓷𝓰 𝓸𝓷 𝓪𝓬𝓽𝓾𝓪𝓵 𝓵𝓸𝓬𝓪𝓽𝓲𝓸𝓷𝓼.” It would be a grave dishonour to cite Ray as a filmmaker alone. As it stands he was the first graphic designer in India. He had gained a lot of fame for his work, although he didn’t quite like his job but what Milton Glaser was doing in US, Ray was doing it in Signet Press. The vision and calibres Ray possessed altogether would take the world another hundred years to produce one. He was a screenwriter, lyricist, music director, illustrator, calligrapher and of course a writer. His novels, 𝙁𝙚𝙡𝙪𝙙𝙖 and 𝙋𝙧𝙤𝙛𝙚𝙨𝙨𝙤𝙧 𝙎𝙝𝙤𝙣𝙠𝙝𝙪. would bring about a stir in your mind regarding the knowledge this man possessed and it eventually became the '𝐂𝐡𝐢𝐥𝐝𝐡𝐨𝐨𝐝'of many. De Sica’s influence on Ray could have been the best thing happen to Ray and Indian cinema. He would go on to produce "𝟑𝟔 𝐦𝐚𝐠𝐧𝐢𝐟𝐢𝐜𝐞𝐧𝐭 𝐟𝐢𝐥𝐦𝐬 ,𝟮𝟵 𝗼𝗳 𝘁𝗵𝗲𝗺 𝗯𝗲𝗶𝗻𝗴 𝗳𝗲𝗮𝘁𝘂𝗿𝗲 𝗳𝗶𝗹𝗺𝘀, 𝟱 𝗱𝗼𝗰𝘂𝗺𝗲𝗻𝘁𝗮𝗿𝗶𝗲𝘀 and 𝟮 𝘀𝗵𝗼𝗿𝘁 𝗳𝗶𝗹𝗺𝘀". He has won 𝟑𝟐 𝐍𝐚𝐭𝐢𝐨𝐧𝐚𝐥 𝐚𝐰𝐚𝐫𝐝𝐬 and 𝐚𝐧 𝐎𝐬𝐜𝐚𝐫 for his 𝐥𝐢𝐟𝐞𝐭𝐢𝐦𝐞 𝐚𝐜𝐡𝐢𝐞𝐯𝐞𝐦𝐞𝐧𝐭 . He received the Oscar on his hospital bed from one of his favourite actress Audrey Hepburn. Cinema in India which is often cited by the directors as ‘𝗮𝗿𝘁’ 𝗼𝗿 ‘𝗰𝗿𝗮𝗳𝘁’ making it sound so polished and furnished would not have been possible without Ray. Ray who blatantly considered the Hindi cinema makers and its audience to be “𝐒𝐭𝐮𝐩𝐢𝐝, 𝐛𝐚𝐜𝐤𝐰𝐚𝐫𝐝 𝐚𝐧𝐝 𝐮𝐧𝐬𝐨𝐩𝐡𝐢𝐬𝐭𝐢𝐜𝐚𝐭𝐞𝐝” has unknowingly paved way for all the critically acclaimed cinema we have around ourselves. The debt we owe to this man and his vision cannot be paid in one lifetime.The Japanese director Akira Kurosawa once said of Ray, “𝓝𝓸𝓽 𝓽𝓸 𝓱𝓪𝓿𝓮 𝓼𝓮𝓮𝓷 𝓽𝓱𝓮 𝓬𝓲𝓷𝓮𝓶𝓪 𝓸𝓯 𝓡𝓪𝔂 𝓶𝓮𝓪𝓷𝓼 𝓮𝔁𝓲𝓼𝓽𝓲𝓷𝓰 𝓲𝓷 𝓽𝓱𝓮 𝔀𝓸𝓻𝓵𝓭 𝔀𝓲𝓽𝓱𝓸𝓾𝓽 𝓼𝓮𝓮𝓲𝓷𝓰 𝓽𝓱𝓮 𝓼𝓾𝓷 𝓸𝓻 𝓽𝓱𝓮 𝓶𝓸𝓸𝓷.”

" শুভ জন্মদিন মানিক দা ! " - Solacing Comrade

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