With Criterion’s long-awaited addition of India’s Satyajit Ray
to their pantheon of all-time great directors about to be made official tomorrow with the release of The Music Room, my thoughts inexorably turned to India as I contemplated my next entry for this column. Given that Louis Malle
himself has had two of his films (Zazie dans le Metro and Black Moon) recently published by Criterion, and that Ray
was a Bengali who based his films in the northeastern corner of that great subcontinent, it make perfect sense that our Journey through the Eclipse Series takes a passage to India, landing in Calcutta
, from Eclipse Series 2: The Documentaries of Louis Malle
Like the fabled city itself, Malle’s Calcutta
is a sprawling, vast, messy and barely fathomable explosion of humanity at its rawest and most visceral, at least to the extent that a documentary film can convey that raw viscerality.