A Potpourri of Vestiges pays tribute to the legendary Indian filmmaker Satyajit Ray on the Occasion of his 92nd Birthday.
Indian filmmaker Satyajit Ray, the father of Indian neo-realistic cinema, is widely regarded as one of the greatest auteurs of the 20th century. In fact, it wouldn’t be a hyperbole to call Satyajit Ray the most consummate filmmaker of all time, for when it came to the different aspects of filmmaking, he himself practically took care of everything: be it casting, scripting, direction, music, cinematography, art direction, editing, or marketing and publicity. An alumnus of Nobel Laureate Rabindranath Tagore’s Visva-Bharati University at Santiniketan, Ray was born in a Calcutta based Bengali family noted for their long legacy of art and literature. It was in Santiniketan that Ray, under great painters like Nandalal Bose and Benode Behari Mukherjee, fell in love with the Oriental art. However, Satyajit Ray’s love for cinema and Indie filmmaking was sparked by his interaction with the legendary Italian filmmaker Jean Renoir who had come to Calcutta to scout locations for his forthcoming movie. After establishing Calcutta Film Society in 1947, Ray embarked on a six-month-long trip to Europe, as part of his job assignment in an advertising agency, during which he religiously explored the different facets of cinema, watching as many as 100 international films including Vittorio de Sica’s neorealistic masterpiece Bicycle Thieves (1948). Greatly inspired by the concept of realistic cinema that promoted a whole new degree of realism through the use of an amateur cast in place of a professionally trained one and real shooting locations instead of the custom-built sets and studios, Ray was more determined than ever to start a new chapter in Indian Cinema.