A glimpse of the genius

Kaleidoscopic view

A glimpse of the genius

Satyajit Ray, a phenomenally critically acclaimed director who revolutionised the notion of filmmaking with films like Pather Panchali, Charulata, Sadgati, Pratidwandi and many more, is easily one of the most celebrated filmmakers of Indian Cinema.

He, who strides alongside cinematic greats like Jean Renoir and Akira Kurosawa internationally for his cinematic brilliance was recently remembered for his work at the recently concluded Centenary Film festival.

It was an exhibition organised, as part of the Satyajit Ray Festival, by the Directorate of Film Festivals and Satyajit Ray Society in association with Lightcube Film Society that offered rare glimpses into the legendary filmmaker’s fascinating world of art. It had on display some reproductions of Ray’s numerous artistic works preserved in their originals at the Satyajit Ray Society’s archives in Kolkata.

 It included ad-artworks, book jacket designs, posters, booklets, set and costume designs, sketches from shooting scripts, stills and landscapes, as also photographs shot by Ray of the ordinary and the extra-ordinary as well.

“Many people know Satyajit Ray as a filmmaker only. Through this exhibition we have shown the other side of the creative man,” says Suraj Prasad of Lightcube.  “He did book cover designing that revolutionised the idea of book jacket designing in the country. He discarded the British type of book jacket design and introduced the style of brushing in jacket designing,” he adds.

Interestingly, the Signet press book jacket which he designed for Naam Rekhechhi Komal Gandhar by Bishnu De, Srimati by Lila Majumdar, Banalata Sen by Jibanananda Das, Aaam Antir Bhenpu by Bhipbuti Bhusan Banerjee and Parampurush Sri Sri Ramakrisna by Achitya Kumar Sengupta were on display.

Universally acknowledged as one of the greatest filmmakers of all time, Satyajit Ray was a genius in creativity. Apart from having complete mastery over all areas of filmmaking, Ray was also an author, essayist, editor of Sandesh – a children’s magazine, lyricist, music composer and artist. The filmmaker was a consummate still photographer as well.

“Ray’s creativity was not restricted to posters and cover designs. He used to draw the image of the character and the set which he used to imagine for his film,” shares Suraj. “In this exhibition we have set designs of The Halla minister’s chamber in Goopy Gyne Bagha Byne, detective Feluda’s drawing room in Sonar Kella and general
Outram’s study in Shatranj Ke Khiladi,” explains Suraj.

“Besides, there were some rare photographs clicked by Ray, which included Uttam Kumar’s picture in Rome, Ingmar Bergman in Sweden, Akira Kurosawa and Kashika Kawakita in Tokyo, Steve McQueen in Los Angeles and some landscapes pictures too,” says Suraj.

Since the exhibition was a reflection of Ray’s creative genius, it also included advertisements designed by him when he used to work as a commercial artist with DJ Keymer, an advertising agency in 1943. In addition, the posters he designed for films like Pather Panchali, Aparajito, Paras Pathar, Jalsaghar, Teen Kanya, Kanchenjungha and Charulata were also on display.

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