The book contains a collection of various articles on the subject of cinema penned by the great filmmaker, Satyajit Ray.
Summary Of The Book
Satyajit Ray is considered to be one of the best filmmakers in the world. His movies, starting from Pather Panchali, attracted a wide audience and earned him worldwide recognition for his art. He was extremely knowledgeable about the practice of film making.
This book, Deep Focus: Reflections On Cinema contains a collection of various articles that Ray wrote over the years, starting from 1949. These articles were published in many different magazines and newspapers. The compilation has been edited by Satyajit Ray’s son, Sandip Ray, and the foreword has been written by another great filmmaker, Shyam Benegal.
There are around 22 articles in the book, containing Ray’s views on all things concerning cinema. The book is divided into three parts, with each section having a different focus. The first part contains Ray’s essays on the subject of films in general, the second contains his writings about other great film personalities, and the third section contains his writings about film festivals.
In the second section, Ray writes about other great film personalities from around the world like Godard, Bergman, Antonioni, and Charlie Chaplin. He has also written about the Bengali matinee idol Uttam Kumar, the actor who starred in Ray’s films, Nayak and Chiriakhana. The third section contains interesting stories about his experiences in film festivals, both as a participant and as a member of the jury.
The book also reveals his views on mainstream cinema. He explains that he has no issues with the term, ‘commercial’. As movies cost a lot of money to make, he states that they must attract a wide audience to recover the money and make a profit. Yet, he also does not hide his aversion to the formula concoctions churned out by the mainstream filmmakers in Bombay and West Bengal.
Ray also talks about the difficulty of adapting books for films. One of his essays explains that as books are seldom written for the medium of cinema, when they are adapted for the screen, they inevitably have to be revised to suit the needs of the medium.
The book contains productions stills, rare photographs of Ray, and photographs and sketches by Ray himself. In addition to this, the book contains a comprehensive filmography of Satyajit Ray, views from other people on his contribution to the movie industry, and a list of the awards and honours that were bestowed on him.
About Satyajit Ray
Satyajit Ray is a prominent filmmaker and many of his films are considered to be timeless classics.
Some of his other popular books are The Feluda Mysteries: A Bagful of Mystery, Our Films Their Films, The Feluda Mysteries: Murder By The Sea, Speaking of Films, Adventures of Feluda: Curse of the Goddess, and Adventures of Feluda: Bandits of Bombay.
Satyajit Ray was born in 1921 in Kolkata. He obtained his degree in economics from the Presidency College of the University of Calcutta. He worked as an illustrator, first for an ad firm and later for Signet Press, a publishing company. While there, he worked on a children’s version of the classic Bengali novel, Pather Panchali. The book made a deep impression on him. Pather Panchali was Satyajit Ray’s first movie. It immediately attracted the attention of the international film making community and earned him many awards. His second film, Aparajito, launched his international career. His third film was Apur Sansar, and these three films are considered a trilogy, generally referred to as the Apu trilogy. Ray also revived a Bengali Children’s magazine, Sandesh and began writing stories for it, including his famous Feluda detective stories. Ray married Bijoya Das in 1949. Their son, Sandip, is now a filmmaker.
Specifications of Deep Focus : Reflection on Cenema