Satyajit Ray - Legacy

Legacy

Satyajit Ray is a cultural icon in India and in Bengali communities worldwide. Following his death, the city of Calcutta came to a virtual standstill, as hundreds of thousands of people gathered around his house to pay their last respects. Satyajit Ray's influence has been widespread and deep in Bengali cinema; a number of Bengali directors, including Aparna Sen, Rituparno Ghosh and Gautam Ghose in India, Tareq Masud and Tanvir Mokammel in Bangladesh, and Aneel Ahmad in England, have been influenced by his film craft. Across the spectrum, filmmakers such as Budhdhadeb Dasgupta, Mrinal Sen and Adoor Gopalakrishnan have acknowledged his seminal contribution to Indian cinema. Beyond India, filmmakers such as Martin Scorsese, James Ivory, Abbas Kiarostami, Elia Kazan, François Truffaut, Carlos Saura, Isao Takahata and Danny Boyle have been influenced by his cinematic style, with many others such as Akira Kurosawa praising his work. Gregory Nava's 1995 film My Family had a final scene that repeated that of Apur Sansar. Ira Sachs's 2005 work Forty Shades of Blue was a loose remake of Charulata. Other references to Ray films are found, for example, in recent works such as Sacred Evil, the Elements trilogy of Deepa Mehta and even in films of Jean-Luc Godard. According to Michael Sragow of The Atlantic Monthly, the "youthful coming-of-age dramas that have flooded art houses since the mid-fifties owe a tremendous debt to the Apu trilogy". The trilogy also introduced the bounce lighting technique. Kanchenjungha (1962) introduced a narrative structure that resembles later hyperlink cinema. Pratidwandi (1972) helped pioneer photo-negative flashback and X-ray digression techniques. Together with Madhabi Mukherjee, Ray was the first Indian film figure to be featured on a foreign stamp (Dominica).

Many literary works include references to Ray or his work, including Saul Bellow's Herzog and J. M. Coetzee's Youth. Salman Rushdie's Haroun and the Sea of Stories contains fish characters named Goopy and Bagha, a tribute to Ray's fantasy film. In 1993, UC Santa Cruz established the Satyajit Ray Film and Study collection, and in 1995, the Government of India set up Satyajit Ray Film and Television Institute for studies related to film. In 2007, British Broadcasting Corporation declared that two Feluda stories would be made into radio programs. During the London Film Festival, a regular "Satyajit Ray Award" is given to a first-time feature director whose film best captures "the artistry, compassion and humanity of Ray's vision". Wes Anderson has claimed Ray as an influence on his work; his 2007 film, The Darjeeling Limited, set in India, is dedicated to Ray.

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