New Directions (1965–82)
In the post-Charulata period, Ray took on projects of increasing variety, ranging from fantasy to science fiction to detective films to historical drama. Ray also made considerable formal experimentation during this period. He expressed contemporary issues of Indian life, responding to a perceived lack of these issues in his films. The first major film in this period is Nayak (The Hero), the story of a screen hero traveling in a train and meeting a young, sympathetic female journalist. Starring Uttam Kumar and Sharmila Tagore, in the twenty-four hours of the journey, the film explores the inner conflict of the apparently highly successful matinée idol. In spite of the film's receiving a "Critics prize" at the Berlin Festival, it had a generally muted reception.
In 1967, Ray wrote a script for a film to be called The Alien, based on his short story "Bankubabur Bandhu" ("Banku Babu's Friend") which he wrote in 1962 for Sandesh, the Ray family magazine. Columbia Pictures was the producer for what was a planned U.S.-India co-production, and Peter Sellers and Marlon Brando were cast as the leading actors. Ray found that his script had been copyrighted and the fee appropriated by Mike Wilson. Wilson had initially approached Ray through their mutual friend, Arthur C. Clarke, to represent him in Hollywood. Wilson copyrighted the script credited to Mike Wilson & Satyajit Ray, although he contributed only one word. Ray later said that he never received a penny for the script. After Brando dropped out of the project, the project tried to replace him with James Coburn, but Ray became disillusioned and returned to Calcutta. Columbia expressed interest in reviving the project several times in the 1970s and 1980s, but nothing came of it. When E.T. was released in 1982, Clarke and Ray saw similarities in the film to his earlier Alien script. In a 1980 Sight & Sound feature, Ray had discussed the collapse of his American co-project. His biographer Andrew Robinson provided more details in The Inner Eye (1989). Ray believed that Spielberg's film would not have been possible without copies of his script of The Alien having been available in the United States. Spielberg has denied this charge. Besides The Alien, two other unrealized projects which Ray had intended to direct were adaptations of the ancient Indian epic, the Mahābhārata, and E. M. Forster's 1924 novel A Passage to India.
The king of ghosts grants Goopy and Bagha three boons
A clipping from the film Goopy Gyne Bagha Byne where the king of ghosts ("bhuter raja") grants Goopy and Bagha three boons. Significantly Satyajit Ray used his own voice for the voice of king of ghosts ("bhuter raja"). In this scene king of ghosts is speaking in rhyme. In 1980, Ray made a sequel to Goopy Gyne Bagha Byne, Hirak Rajar Deshe, in this film too, most of the dialogues exchanged by the protagonists of the film were rhyming.|
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