Read Instead…in Print


“Film is the only art, apart from music, that can exist in time.”


Read instead…in print #20

Satyajit Ray Miscellany: On Life, Cinema, People & Much More brings to light more than seventy essays on film making, screenplay writing, rare autobiographical pieces, photographs and manuscripts, from one of cinema’s true auteurs and one of the world’s greatest creatives – Satyajit Ray also wrote and illustrated stories for Sandesh, the defunct children’s magazine that his grandfather had founded and which Ray revived in 1961. Satyajit Ray started out in advertising and, in 1953, began working on his first film, Pather Panchali, shooting largely on Saturdays and Sundays. Only after the film’s release, in 1955, and its success, did he quit his job and dedicated himself entirely to filmmaking. Filmmaking was a deeply personal affair for Satyajit Ray. His vision of making a film was drastically different than that of other filmmakers’ and he made all his films according to his own mind and skill. He wrote his own dialogue (scored his films and often designed their publicity materials as well), but his films rose above the words, as he believed a film should be conveyed in images as much as possible. Satyajit Ray’s films are like that, striking this incredible balance between sound and image and containing moments of purely visual significance. He was a director who did filmmaking as he understood it, appreciating the medium and experimenting with elements that are only specific to film. These unique ideas of film-making are expressed in these essays, which is why they are invaluable.

“The fact is that a children’s film which has all the qualities of
simplicity, spontaneity and universality is perhaps the hardest
kind of film to make. This is not surprising, since literature too
shows the same kind of dearth. It is indeed a rare gift to be able to
tell with the heart of a child while creating with the mind of an adult.”

Read instead… in print is about a good book about cinema or filmmakers. No discursive, pretentious analyses, no verbose scrutiny. Because the idea is to invite you to read the book, not read about it here. But instead of using social media, I use my journal. Back to basics. Take it as a wish to break free of over-reliance on social media (even if it’s just for posting a photo of a good book) for presenting my work, cultural finds and interests. These are things to be enjoyed as stand-alone pieces in a more substantial and meaningful way than showing them in the black hole of Instagram thronged with an audience with a short attention span. This is also a look through my voluminous collection of books about film that I use as research in my adamant decision to rely less and less on the online and more on more on print materials.


Read instead…in print #14: Cassavetes on Cassavetes

Real emotion and visual power: Interview with film poster designer Matt Needle

Read instead…in print #11: Picture, by Lillian Ross

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