The BFI has announced the full programme for Satyajit Ray: The Language of Film, a season celebrating one of the true masters of world cinema. Satyajit Ray’s centenary in 2021, as well as 75 years of Indian independence, mark a timely juncture to showcase his complete body of remarkable work including his ‘Apu Trilogy’ Pather Panchali (1955), Aparajito (1956) And The World Of Apu (1959), The Music Room (1958), The Lonely Wife (1964), Days And Nights In The Forest (1970) and many more.
Programmed thematically by Sangeeta Datta, the season is presented in association with the Academy Film Archive and will include numerous restorations on 35mm from their archives, as well as three 4K restorations made by the Criterion Collection and the UK premiere of four brand new 4K restorations presented by NFDC – National Film Archive of India. One of the highlights of the season will be a BFI re-release of The Big City (1963), in selected cinemas UK-wide from 22 July and screening on an extended run at BFI Southbank. Set in the mid-50s Calcutta, in a society still adjusting to Independence and gripped by the social and financial crisis, this powerful, progressive cinema classic sees a middle-class housewife brilliantly and excitingly defy expectations and find herself becoming a successful businesswoman.
There will be a screening of Ray’s adaptation of Rabindranath Tagore’s short stories The Postmaster And Samapti (1961) on 7 July introduced by Aparna Sen, who made her screen debut in the latter and has since become India’s greatest and longest-standing female writer-director. Sen will also make an appearance at BFI Southbank as part of this year’s London Indian Film Festival on 2 July, with an In Conversation event followed by a screening of her powerful new film The Rapist (2021).
Sangeeta Datta will give a richly illustrated talk to introduce audiences to the film screening and their thematic curation, as well as offer a close analysis of key titles in The Film Language of Satyajit Ray on 6 July.