This year marks the centennial of director Satyajit Ray’s birth. On this occasion, the Dryden is celebrating Ray’s contribution to cinema and acknowledging the influence he has had on filmmakers worldwide. Pauline Kael wrote, “Ray’s films can give rise to a more complex feeling of happiness in me than the work of any other director. . . . No artist has ever done more than Satyajit Ray to make us re-evaluate the commonplace.” Akira Kurosawa said that “not to have seen [Ray’s] films is like living without seeing the sun or the moon.” Directors as varied as William Wyler, Elia Kazan, Stanley Kubrick, and Martin Scorsese note Ray as an influence. In fact, Scorsese classifies him as “one of the four greats,” along with Ingmar Bergman, Akira Kurosawa, and Federico Fellini.
Ray’s Apu Trilogy are his enduring masterpieces. The films, based on the novels of Bengali author Bibhutibhushan Bandopadhyay, follow the life of Apu Roy. From his childhood at the beginning of the twentieth century in rural Bengal, India, through his education and ultimate move as a young adult to the big city of Kolkata, we see the entire formation of a young man. His relationship with his family and their past, particularly regarding religion and a sense of responsibility, is a continuing theme throughout the films, which are regarded as some of the best world cinema has to offer.
Events in this Series
The Apu Trilogy | Member Movie Night The first installment in Ray’s seminal trilogy focuses on a poor Brahmin family in a remote village in Bengal. GEM members admitted for free. Only members may attend this screening. Your entire party must be present before being seated.
The Apu Trilogy The middle section of the Satyajit Ray’s Apu Trilogy is separated into two parts: a 10-year-old Apu (Pinaki Sengupta) living by the Ganges with his family, and a teenage Apu (Smaran Ghosal) finding success in his studies and earning a scholarship to study in Kolkata.
The Apu Trilogy After high school graduation, Apu (Soumitra Chatterjee) is at a crossroads, encouraged to continue with his studies, but barely sustaining himself through private tutoring. On the advice of his friend Pulu (Swapan Mukherjee), he gets away from the city on a vacation to a rural wedding.