Bandopadhyay’s The Song of the Road and Satyajit Ray’s Pather Pānchālī – February 2

Rita Banerjee will introduce and lead the discussion for Satyajit Ray’s 1955 film, Pather Pānchālī, on Tuesday February 2 from 6-8:30 pm for the Institute for Indology and Tibetology at Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität München, (Ludwigstr. 31, Seminarraum 427).  The screening is part of the course Translation and Modern South Asian Literatures at LMU.  Anyone interested in translation studies, Modern South Asian literature, or art house film is welcomed to join the screening.  Satyajit Ray’s Pather Pānchālī is based on Bibhutibhushan Bandopadhyay’s 1929 Bengali novel, The Song of the Road.

“[Pather Pānchālī] was the birth of a cinema, certainly the birth of a new kind of Indian cinema. On the first day of the shoot, the director had never directed, the cameraman had never shot a scene, the children in the leading roles hadn’t been tested and the soundtrack was composed by a then obscure sitarist (the great Ravi Shankar). Perhaps this inexperience gave everyone involved the freedom to create something new. Certainly director Satyajit Ray and cinematographer Subrata Mitra showed a miraculous gift for lighting scenes, coaxing intimate and utterly convincing performances from children and other non-professional actors, and allowing narrative to grow seamlessly – just as happened in the best of the films by Ray’s western mentor, Jean Renoir…It’s a film that blindsides the viewer by showing a child’s perspective on the world: it is Apu and Durga’s perspective on a train passing by, their discovery of their aunt’s body or their excitement at the sound of the sweet-seller’s bells that captivate us jaded adults. This is the first of a trilogy in which Apu leaves childish things behind and goes into a world every bit as confounding as the one his father could not master.” – Stuart Jeffries, The Guardian

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