The film academy and American Cinematheque celebrate Satyajit Ray

The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences and the American Cinematheque are celebrating the Academy Film Archive’s restoration of 19 films directed by the seminal Indian filmmaker Satyajit Ray (1921-92).

On Sept. 6 at its Samuel Goldwyn Theatre, the academy is screening the first two installments of the filmmaker’s landmark early work, “The Apu Trilogy”: the award-winning 1955 “Pather Panchali,” a haunting drama about a young boy named Apu who lives with his poverty-stricken Brahmin family in rural Bengal; and 1956’s “Aparajito, which continues the story of Apu and his family.

The final film in the trilogy -- 1959’s “Apur Sansar,” which revolves around Apu’s adulthood -- screens Sept. 9.


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Guests scheduled at the screenings include actress Sharmila Tagore from “Apur Sansar” and Dilip Basu, founding director of the Satyajit Ray Film and Study Center at UC Santa Cruz.

The Cinematheque’s “Satyajit Ray Restored” festival begins at the Aero Theatre in Santa Monica on Sept. 12 and continues through Oct. 21. The retrospective begins with 1964’s “Charulata” and 1958’s “The Music Room.”

Other Ray films scheduled for the Aero include “The Big City,” “The Expedition,” “The Goddess,” “The Hero,” “The Coward,” “The Holy Man,” “The Chess Players” and “The Elephant God.”

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In addition to the Cinematheque, the academy has partnered with the British Film Institute and the Austrian Film Museum to screen the restored Ray films.

Ray received an honorary Oscar on March 30, 1992, “in recognition of his rare mastery of the art of motion pictures and of his profound humanitarian outlook, which has had an indelible influence on filmmakers and audiences throughout the world.”

Audrey Hepburn presented the honorary Oscar in what would be her final appearance at the Academy Awards. Ray was too ill to receive the award in person and accepted it via live feed from his hospital room. He died less than a month later, on April 23, at age 70.


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