29 September, 2020

Dew Upon The Grass

Apu's vision of the world hasn't aged, the same sense of wonderment prevails

Dew Upon The Grass
I saw Pather Panchali early in 1956, very soon after it was completed. Indeed, I was one of the first people in Europe to see the film. I don’t think any of us had seen a Bengali film before; but what we saw left us utterly astonished. We knew instantly we were in the presence of a work that was absolutely extraordinary. Interestingly, we were already acquainted with Ray.

A year or so before, he had written an article for the British Film Institute magazine Sight and Sound, about meeting Jean Renoir and watching him work on his classic film The River, in and around Calcutta. He was, of course, a film enthusiast from his early days, and read everything he could about cinema. His article had made a great impression on us because he was—apart from being a gifted graphic artist and musician—a fine writer.

There was no way that we could ignore the quality of Pather Panchali. It was and remains one of the truly great films, of powerful poetic quality, the work of an artist of exceptional creative personality.

Most remarkable was that...



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