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Satyajit Ray Poster

Biography

Jump to: Overview (4) | Mini Bio (1) | Spouse (1) | Trivia (20) | Personal Quotes (3)

Overview (4)

Date of Birth 2 May 1921Calcutta, Bengal Presidency, British India [now India]
Date of Death 23 April 1992Calcutta, West Bengal, India
Nicknames Manik
God
Height 6' 4" (1.93 m)

Mini Bio (1)

Satyajit Ray was born in Calcutta on 2nd May 1921. His father, Sukumar Ray was an eminent poet and writer in the history of Bengali literature. In 1940, after receiving his degree in science and economics from Calcutta University he attended Tagore's Viswa-Bharati University. His first movie Pather Panchali (1955) won several International Awards and set Ray as a world-class director. He died on April 23, 1992.

- IMDb Mini Biography By: Petra Neumann

Spouse (1)

Bijoya Ray (1948 - 23 April 1992) (his death) (1 child)

Trivia (20)

Regarded as India's most important director so far, together with Mrinal Sen and Ritwik Ghatak.
Father of Sandip Ray.
Was voted the 25th Greatest Director of all time by Entertainment Weekly.
In 1967 he wrote a script for a movie entitled "The Alien". Columbia Pictures was in talks to produce it. Peter Sellers and Marlon Brando were supposed to be up for the leading roles. However, Ray was surprised to find that the script he had co-written had already been copyrighted and the fee appropriated. Brando dropped out of the project and, though an attempt was made to bring James Coburn in to replace him, Ray was disillusioned, had enough of Hollywood machinations and returned to Calcutta. Columbia was interested in reviving the project in the 1970s and 1980s but nothing came of it. When E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial (1982) was released in 1982, many saw striking similarities in the film to Ray's earlier script. Ray himself believed that Steven Spielbergs movie "would not have been possible without my script of 'The Alien' being available throughout America in mimeographed copies." Spielberg denied this by saying, "I was a kid in high school when this script was circulating in Hollywood".
Great Japanese filmmaker Akira Kurosawa and Ray were acquainted. Kurosawa said of Ray's work, "To have not seen the films of Ray is to have lived in the world without ever having seen the moon and the sun.".
The Legion of Honor is the most prestigious award in France and presented to those having exhibited outstanding lifetime achievement in their chosen field of work. Instead of inviting him over to France for the ceremony, then French president François Mitterrand personally went to Ray's doorstep in Calcutta to present him with the honor.
Another huge fan of Ray's work was John Huston.
He was a physically enormous man (about 6' 5" and well over 200 pounds), having stood nearly a foot taller than the average Indian of his generation.
Member of the jury at the Berlin International Film Festival in 1961
Was a fan of the Tintin comics and even had some shots of some of the books in his movies.
He won a special lifetime achievement award at the 1992 Acadamy Awards. He's the second Indian to have won an Oscar. The first was Bhanu Athaiya in 1983.
Member of the jury at the Venice Film Festival in 1982.
Is the author of several science-fiction short stories.
A talented graphic artist, Ray designed numerous book jackets and magazine covers. He also designed two typefaces.
He was made a Fellow of the British Film Institute in recognition of his outstanding contribution to film culture.
Interviewed in "World Directors in Dialogue" by Bert Cardullo (Scarecrow Press, 2011).
Father-in-law of Lalita Ray.
Grandfather of Souradip Ray.
Was very fond of actor Nana Patekar. Wanted to direct him before he passed away.
His niece married Bollywood legend Kishore Kumar.

Personal Quotes (3)

For the cinema it's much better to be more concentrated in time. It's an instinctive feeling: I can't put it into words why I feel like that. The film's better if the period is a day or a week or fortnight or a month, so that nobody grows up: everybody's as they were in the beginning.
[on whether or not he is a humanist] Not really. I can't think of being anything else but what is represented by my films. I am not conscious of being a humanist. It's simply that I am interested in human beings. I would imagine that everyone who makes a film is to some extent interested in human beings... I'm slightly irritated (laughs) by this constant reference to humanism in my work - I feel that there are other elements also. It's not just about human beings. It's also a structure, a form, a rhythm, a face, a temple, a feeling for light and shade, composition, and a way of telling a story.
[on Indian art] Indian art is not one thing. Indian art is so many different schools and styles. (Nevertheless) I think lyricism, the love of nature, the symbolic aspect of art (like showing rain in a few lines of dots in a Rajput miniature) the looking for the essence in natural forms and human forms, and then going for the essence rather than the surface - that I think is primarily what distinguishes Indian art from Western art. Not just Indian art but Eastern art in general. Chinese and Japanese art also, if you come to think about it, have the same qualities as Indian art.

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