Thursday, August 25, 2005

Repertory watch/Pather Panchali

Pather Panchali

This is a must-see movie. Pather Panchali, the debut of the great Bengal director, Satyajit Ray, runs for a week-only season at the Chelsea Cinema between 26 August and 01 September. Ray is to Bangladesh what Roberto Rosselini is to Italy and both created some of the most memorable films in world history. Ray was very much influenced by the simplicity, documentary quality of the Italian Neo-Realists. In Pather Panchali, he tells the story of a poor, but loving family living in a rural Bengali village, with focus on the boy of the family, Apu. Apu’s father, a priest and poet, leaves for the city to pursue his dream of becoming a playwright. His mother is left struggling to take care of his sister and elderly aunt, an amazing image of old age on the screen. The bond between the mother and her children as well as the relationship between Apu and his sister is one of the most touching portraits of family life on the screen. Pather Panchali is often ranked as one of the ten best movies ever, alongside Carl Dreyer’s a The Passion of Joan of Arc and Jean Luc Godard’s Breathless. And for good reason. Pather Panchali is cinema at its purest. Unmissable.

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