• Mike Curb College logo, Armer Theater logo, Dept Chair Jon Stahl interviewing Darren Star in the Armer Theater

Thursday Nights at the Cinematheque Fall Calendar

Satyajit RayFeatured in Spring 2014 -- THURSDAY NIGHTS AT THE CINEMATHEQUE 

Satyajit Ray, the master storyteller, has left a cinematic heritage that belongs as much to India as to the world. His films demonstrate a remarkable humanism, elaborate observation and subtle handling of characters and situations. The cinema of Satyajit Ray is a rare blend of intellect and emotions. He is controlled, precise, meticulous, and yet, evokes deep emotional response from the audience. His films depict a fine sensitivity without using melodrama or dramatic excesses. He evolved a cinematic style that is almost invisible. He strongly believed - "The best technique is the one that's not noticeable".

Though initially inspired by the neo-realist tradition, his cinema belongs not to a specific category or style but a timeless meta-genre of a style of story telling that touches the audience in some way. His films belong to a meta-genre that includes the works of Akira Kurosawa, Alfred Hitchcock, Charles Chaplin, David Lean, Federico Fellini, Fritz Lang, John Ford, Ingmar Bergman, Jean Renoir, Luis Bunuel, Yasujiro Ozu, Ritwik Ghatak and Robert Bresson. All very different in style and content, and yet creators of cinema that is timeless and universal. (www.satyajitray.org)

In 1992, Satyajit Ray received the honorary Academy Award ©A.M.P.A.S. ® - Lifetime Achievement - "In recognition of his rare mastery of the art of motion pictures and for his profound humanitarian outlook, which has had an indelible influence on filmmakers and audiences throughout the world."

The following screenings are open to the campus community and to the general public.
Admission is free.

Pather Panchali dvd cover
Thurs, Jan 23 
-- 7 PM


Pather Panchali (Song of the Little Road) (1955), 115 mins.

Satyajit Ray’s debut film and the first film of “The Apu Trilogy,” Pather Panchali is a quiet and beautiful reverie about the life of an impoverished Bengali family. This is the film that introduced Ray to the world and brought a new vision of India to the screen.

Aparajito dvd cover
Thurs, Jan 
30 -- 7 PM


Aparajito (The Unvanquished) (1956), 113 mins.

Aparajito continues Ray’s “The Apu Trilogy” and follows the character of Apu as he grows up and away from his Bengali family. A flawless continuation of the story begun in the first part of the trilogy and a film that remains strikingly relevant to today’s world.
Jalsaghar dvd cover 

Thurs, Feb 6 -- 7 PM


The Music Room (Jalsaghar) (1958), 100 mins.

With The Music Room, Ray brilliantly evokes the crumbling opulence of the world of a fallen Indian aristocrat clinging to a fading way of life. An incandescent depiction of the clash between tradition and modernity and a defining work of the filmmaker’s career. 

Apur Sansar poster
Thurs, Feb 
13 -- 7 PM


The World of Apu (Apur Sansar) (1959), 106 mins.

The final chapter of “The Apu Trilogy” is a rich and contemplative film that provides a dramatic conclusion to the story begun in Ray’s first two films. The World of Apu follows the titular character’s journey into adulthood and into a perplexing and uncertain future.

Devi (the Goddess) poster
Thurs, Feb 20 -- 7 PM


Devi (The Goddess) (1960), 93 mins.

In Devi, Ray tells the story of a young woman who comes to believe that she is an incarnation of the goddess Kali. Here the filmmaker explores the idea of the modern Indian woman and sensitively shows the pressures and difficulties this new ideal created.

Kanchanjangha dvd cover
Thurs, Feb 27 
-- 7 PM


The Postmaster (1961), 56 mins.; and Kanchenjungha (1962), 102 mins.

Ray’s first original screenplay and his first film to be shot in color, Kanchenjungha followsthe shifting and evolving relationships of an upper-class vacationing Bengali family. Together with The Postmaster, an excerpt from the multi-part film, Three Daughters.

The Big City (Mahanagar) dvd cover
Thurs, March 6 -- 7 PM


The Big City (Mahanagar) (1963), 131 mins.

The Big City, Ray’s first portrayal of life in his native Kolkata, follows a young woman who decides to take a job to help support her family. A powerful human drama that is both hopeful morality tale and a commentary on the identity of the modern Indian woman.

Charulata (The Lonely Wife) dvd cover
Thurs, March 13 -- 7 PM


Charulata (The Lonely Wife) (1964), 117 mins.

Set in late nineteenth-century, pre-independence India, Ray’s Charulata is an exquisite story of a woman’s artistic and romantic yearning. A subtle and delicate tale of a marriage in jeopardy and a woman taking the first steps toward establishing her own voice.

Nayak poster
Thurs, March 20 -- 7 PM


Nayak (The Hero) (1966), 120 mins.

From his second original screenplay, Ray’s Nayak tells the story of a Bengali matinee idol, who while on a cross-country train journey, ends up revealing all of his personal secrets to a young journalist. A compelling meditation on fame and the fragility of public personas.

Pratidwandi dvd cover
Thurs, March 27 -- 7 PM


The Adversary (Pratidwandi) (1970), 110 mins.

The first of three films collectively known as “The Calcutta Trilogy” that examine the city of Kolkata’s effect on youth and the high price it extracts from them. Stylistically daring and inventive, The Adversary is one of Ray’s most politically potent and provocative films.

Ashani Sanket dvd cover
Thurs, April 3
 -- 7 PM


Distant Thunder (Ashani Sanket) (1973), 101 mins.

Set during World War II, Distant Thunder tells the story of the man-made famine that caused the deaths of five million inhabitants of Colonial Bengal. An emotionally charged film that contrasts the course of terrible events and the astonishing beauty of the world.

Sonar Kella poster
Thurs, April 17 -- 7 PM


The Golden Fortress (Sonar Kella) (1974), 120 mins.

A young boy is haunted by memories of a previous life and is kidnapped by sinister scheming bandits. A bewitching comedy-thriller, The Golden Fortress shows Ray at his most playful and includes some of the most memorable performances in Bengali cinema.

The Chess Players (Shatranj Ke Khilari) poster
Thurs, April 24 -- 7 PM


The Chess Players (Shatranj Ke Khilari) (1977), 113 mins.

The Chess Players focuses on events surrounding Britain’s colonial involvement in India in the late nineteenth-century. Employing Western actors and stars from the Bombay cinema, the film was Ray’s most expensive production and one of his few to utilize English dialog. 

The Home and the World (Ghare-Baire) dvd cover
Thurs, May 1 -- 7 PM


The Home and the World (Ghare-Baire) (1984), 140 mins. 

Ray’s The Home and the World concerns an aristocratic but progressive man, who insisting on broadening his more traditional wife’s political horizons, drives her into the arms of a friend. An elegant, profound, and meditative work from the late-career of a master.

The Stranger (Aguntuk) poster
Thurs, May 8 -- 7 PM


The Stranger (Aguntuk) (1991), 120 mins.

In his final film, Ray tells the story of a bourgeois couple who receive news that a man claiming to be the wife’s long-lost uncle will be staying with them after years of travel. The Stranger is a complex and humane portrait of a world both corrupt and sadly beautiful.