No film maker able to emulate Satyajit Ray’s quality: Benegal

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Benegal…Indian cinema will always be known as “before and after Satyajit Ray.

Veteran director Shyam Benegal believes Indian cinema will always be known as “before and after Satyajit Ray.”

Addressing a packed auditorium at the launch of the Satyajit Ray Film Retrospective in Israel, Benegal who made such Indian classics like Ankur (1973), Nishant (1975), Manthan (1976) and Bhumika (1977) said no other filmmaker has ever been able to emulate the quality of filmmaking that the Pather Panchali director possessed.

The national award-winning director said that when Ray entered Indian film industry “nobody knew what had hit them”. Ray changed filmmaking, particularly “relating to subjects and the manner in which he handled them,” said Benegal.

“Satyajit Ray was, of course, the most important Indian filmmaker. I don’t think there has been another of that quality since,” Benegal said.

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“But Ray also occupies historically a very interesting position in Indian cinema because when you talk about Indian films, you always say this is something before Ray and this is something after Ray.”

Seven of Ray’s classics — the Apu trilogy (Pather Panchali, Aparajito and Apur Sansar), Jalsagar, Ganashatru, Ghare Baire and Aguntuk will be screened in cinemas in Tel Aviv, Jerusalem and Haifa for two weeks.

Describing the release of Ray’s Pather Panchali in 1955 as a watershed in the evolution of Indian cinema, Benegal said that it was a landmark moment that turned everything upside down. – CINEWS

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