Early Life and Background
Satyajit Ray's ancestry can be traced back for at least ten generations. Ray's grandfather, Upendrakishore Ray was a writer, illustrator, philosopher, publisher, amateur astronomer and a leader of the Brahmo Samaj, a religious and social movement in nineteenth century Bengal. He also set up a printing press by the name of U. Ray and Sons, which formed a crucial backdrop to Satyajit's life. Sukumar Ray, Upendrakishore's son and father of Satyajit, was a pioneering Bengali writer of nonsense rhyme and children's literature, an illustrator and a critic. Ray was born to Sukumar and Suprabha Ray in Calcutta.
Sukumar Ray died when Satyajit was barely three, and the family survived on Suprabha Ray's meager income. Ray studied at Ballygunge Government High School, Calcutta, and completed his B.A. (Hons.) in economics at Presidency College of the University of Calcutta, though his interest was always in fine arts. In 1940, his mother insisted that he study at the Visva-Bharati University at Santiniketan, founded by Rabindranath Tagore. Ray was reluctant due to his love of Calcutta, and the low opinion of the intellectual life at Santiniketan His mother's persuasion and his respect for Tagore finally convinced him to try. In Santiniketan, Ray came to appreciate Oriental art. He later admitted that he learned much from the famous painters Nandalal Bose and Benode Behari Mukherjee. Later he produced a documentary film, The Inner Eye, about Mukherjee. His visits to Ajanta, Ellora and Elephanta stimulated his admiration for Indian art.
In 1943, Ray started work at D.J. Keymer, a British-run advertising agency, as a "junior visualiser," earning eighty rupees a month. Although he liked visual design (graphic design) and he was mostly treated well, there was tension between the British and Indian employees of the firm. The British were better paid, and Ray felt that "the clients were generally stupid." Later, Ray also worked for Signet Press, a new publishing house started by D. K. Gupta. Gupta asked Ray to create cover designs for books to be published by Signet Press and gave him complete artistic freedom. Ray designed covers for many books, including Jibanananda Das's Banalata Sen, and Rupasi Bangla, Jim Corbett's Maneaters of Kumaon, and Jawaharlal Nehru's Discovery of India. He worked on a children's version of Pather Panchali, a classic Bengali novel by Bibhutibhushan Bandopadhyay, renamed as Aam Antir Bhepu (The mango-seed whistle). Designing the cover and illustrating the book, Ray was deeply influenced by the work. He used it as the subject of his first film, and featured his illustrations as shots in his groundbreaking film.
Along with Chidananda Dasgupta and others, Ray founded the Calcutta Film Society in 1947. They screened many foreign films, many of which Ray watched and seriously studied. He befriended the American GIs stationed in Calcutta during World War II, who kept him informed about the latest American films showing in the city. He came to know a RAF employee, Norman Clare, who shared Ray's passion for films, chess and western classical music.
In 1949, Ray married Bijoya Das, his first cousin and longtime sweetheart. The couple had a son, Sandip, who is now a film director. In the same year, French director Jean Renoir came to Calcutta to shoot his film The River. Ray helped him to find locations in the countryside. Ray told Renoir about his idea of filming Pather Panchali, which had long been on his mind, and Renoir encouraged him in the project. In 1950, D.J. Keymer sent Ray to London to work at its headquarters office. During his three months in London, Ray watched 99 films. Among these was the neorealist film Ladri di biciclette (Bicycle Thief) (1948) by Vittorio De Sica, which had a profound impact on him. Ray later said that he came out of the theater determined to become a film-maker.
Read more about this topic: Satyajit Ray
Other articles related to "background, early, life, early life and background":
... Against the primeval natural background of lush, insatiable, and putrefying vegetation the trading posts must have appeared either as foolish challenges to ... why does this area loom so large in his early work? (Leaving aside The Rescue, whose completion was repeatedly deferred till 1920, the last of the Malay novels was Lord Jim, published in 1900.) Najder argues that ... of tropical nature and the dreariness of human life within it accorded well with the pessimistic mood of his early works." After Johannes Freiesleben, Danish master of the ...
... The duo-sisters were very popular for their matchless rendition of National and Devotional songs ... They had a hectic practice for about three decades and were much sought after for providing background music in films ...
... He was brought up to lead the life of a country gentleman, at a house called South Hill, near the village of Delvin, County Westmeath, Ireland, a modest property of some 170 acres, and also at the family's ...
Famous quotes containing the words background, early and/or life:
“Silence is the universal refuge, the sequel to all dull discourses and all foolish acts, a balm to our every chagrin, as welcome after satiety as after disappointment; that background which the painter may not daub, be he master or bungler, and which, however awkward a figure we may have made in the foreground, remains ever our inviolable asylum, where no indignity can assail, no personality can disturb us.”
—Henry David Thoreau (18171862)
“Although good early childhood programs can benefit all children, they are not a quick fix for all of societys illsfrom crime in the streets to adolescent pregnancy, from school failure to unemployment. We must emphasize that good quality early childhood programs can help change the social and educational outcomes for many children, but they are not a panacea; they cannot ameliorate the effects of all harmful social and psychological environments.”
—Barbara Bowman (20th century)
“There is no religion in which everyday life is not considered a prison; there is no philosophy or ideology that does not think that we live in alienation.”
—Eugène Ionesco (b. 1912)