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KANCHENJUNGHA

India, 1963 (MIFF 1968, Programme 1)

Director: Satyajit Ray

The setting for Satyajit Ray's first film in colour is the beautiful hill station of Darjeeling, in the foothills of the Himalayas: a point suspended in time between modern India and the gracious past. Here, affluent citizens from Calcutta take refuge from the summer heat. The entire action of the film takes place during one afternoon—during the last day of the stay of a wealthy family. Here, on holiday with his down­trodden relatives, an elderly tycoon finds his values shattered by a chance meeting with a young man who refuses to be ruled. . . .

As the characters stroll about the converging paths, their lives shape subtly into new patterns: past and present are revealed woven into a rich texture. Throughout their perambulations, the tracking camera catches the mists that gather to turn the colours into subtle pastels, then drift away to allow the sun to highlight bright, pictorial settings. Ray uses the changing moods of the weather to counterpoint the develop­ment of his story.

This was the first film in which Ray showed his country's rich bourgeoisie, a class he knows well. It was also his first film in which the women were recognizably modern, having acquired the boredom of sophistication. Finally, it is the only Ray film in which the English apear: the Viceroys have gone, leaving behind a slightly preposterous jumble of music and milk chocolate.

See also...

THE ADVENTURES OF GOOPY AND BAGHA

India, 1968
Goopy is a singer who cannot sing and he meets Bagha, a drummer, after they have both been driven from their respective villages. They sing and play to disperse their fears during ... a night in the … More »

PATHER PANCHALI

India, 1955
The 1956 Cannes Festival was remarkably rich in entries from famous directors. ^ Yet-in warmth, humanity and poetic sensitivity none could measure up to the first work of an outstanding film-maker - … More »

APARAJITO

India, 1957
This is the second film of Satyajit Ray's trilogy which began with the remarkable Father Panchali, shown at last year's Festival. At the end of part one, Harihar, his wife Sarbojaya, and their son Ap… More »

WORLD OF APU

India, 1958
So much has already been written about Pather Panchali and Aparajito that Ray's trilogy was destined for classic status even before the release of the third instalment, and the various influences - R… More »

JALSAGHAR

India, 1958
Jalsaghar is one of the few films made by Salyafit Ray. apart from the great Bengali trilogy about the life of the boy Apu. It leisurely and patientty unfolds Ihe story of the decline of the last mem… More »

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