The Tower Theatre in Salt Lake City presents a two-week, mini-festival of works by legendary Indian filmmaker Satyajit Ray, beginning Friday.
Featured in the festival, which runs through April 2, are a trio of later-period Ray films, including the last film he actually directed, the film he was working on before he died and the movie that was made from the last screenplay he wrote.Ray, who won a Lifetime Achievement Oscar in 1991, directed 30 films during his 30-year-plus career. He rose to fame worldwide for his 1955 drama "Pather Panchali (Song of the Road)" and also helped found the Calcutta Film Society.
After writing, casting and scouting locations for the 1992 drama "The Broken Journey," Ray was hospitalized for a longtime ailment. Though he continued to aid his son, Sandip Ray, who wound up making the movie, Satyajit Ray died in April 1992, before it was completed.
His films and screenplays have been praised by his fellow filmmakers, including Francis Ford Coppola, Martin Scorsese and Akira Kurosawa, who remarked that "the quiet but deep observation, understanding and love of the human race (that) are characteristic of all his films have impressed me greatly."
Films in the series are:
- "THE STRANGER" (March 20-25): Ray's final film as a director, a 1991 drama about the members of a middle-class Calcutta family, whose beliefs are put to the test when they are visited by a mysterious stranger who claims to be the wife's long-forgotten uncle.
- "TARGET" (March 26-29): Ray's screenplay adaptation of the Bengali novel "Manushar Juddha" was filmed in 1995, and stars Indian actor Om Puri ("The Ghost and the Darkness") as an impoverished hunter-for-hire forced to choose sides between peasant villagers and his employer, a wealthy landowner who has enslaved them.
- "THE BROKEN JOURNEY" (March 30-April 2): A drama about a wealthy doctor who learns the true purpose of being a physician when he treats a sick villager and confronts the tribal witch doctor responsible for making his patient even more ill.
The films in the series are in Hindi, with English subtitles. None of them are rated but would probably receive either a PG or PG-13 rating.
All showings will be held at the theater, 876 E. 900 South. For more information on show-times or ticket prices, call the Tower Theatre at 297-4040.