Satyajit Ray, who died in 1992 at the age of 70, is one of the giants of world cinema. The son of a prominent Bengali literary figure, he was an accomplished writer, composer, editor and artist as well as a great movie director. His passionate interest in the cinema developed early on, and shortly after the second world war he accompanied Jean Renoir when he travelled to India to scout locations for The River. Subsequently he wrote a wonderfully perceptive article about this experience for Sequence, the film magazine edited by Lindsay Anderson, Gavin Lambert and Karel Reisz.
During a visit to Europe to work in the London headquarters of his Calcutta advertising agency, he saw Vittorio De Sica's Bicycle Thieves and decided that on his return he wanted to make a movie in