"Take movies, music, poetry out of life & its gone!"

SATYAJIT RAY's unfilmed visual script on RAVI SHANKAR - Book Review by Bobby Sing

02 Aug, 2014 | Articles on Cinema / Articles on Music, Poetry and Life / NOSTALGIA, BOOK REVIEWS, VINTAGE MAGAZINES & MORE

In the early phase of his career while working on ‘Apu Trilogy’, maestro Satyajit Ray had a fascinating association with the legendary Ravi Shankar and they worked together on few films including the trilogy and PARAS PATHAR. While creating together, Ray conceived a documentary film on the renowned sitarist in details but for some unknown reasons couldn’t make the project and it remained undisclosed for s few decades only to be recently presented in the form of a book titled “Satyajit Ray’s Ravi Shankar – An Unfilmed Visual Script”, edited by his son Sandip Ray. The presentation has contributions from Dhritiman Chaterji, Arup K. De, Deepak Mukherjee, Debasis Mukhopadhyay and an introduction by Sankarlal Bhattcharjee too becoming a collector’s item for all true fans of the master, teaching us many important lessons on film-making as per his own style.
While there are no specific dates known about the actual creation of the visual script, the present book has been beautifully designed in a small horizontal format including a detailed storyboard by Ray with frames (sketches) painted with water-colours (though published in a sepia tone) along with guidelines about camera angles, movements, zooms, dissolves, cuts and various transition options.
The storyboard is also accompanied by a good amount of text in the form of two interviews with Ravi Shankar, a sleeve note from Apu Trilogy LP by Ray, few rare photographs and an extract from his book “My Years with Apu : A Memoir”, together offering many unknown, amazing anecdotes related with the director’s early creations. Interestingly the visual script was there in the possession of “Society for Preservation of Satyajit Ray Archives” before being published and this is the first time a complete storyboard of Ray’s sketches has been released in the form of a dedicated book.
However the most interesting fact is that the documentary planned is not anything routine, talking about the life of the artist like a biography as usual. On the contrary its actually a documentary of a concert by the legendary world famous musician, titled “A Sitar Recital by Ravi Shankar”. It begins with a dark screen lighting up slowly revealing Ravi Shankar with his sitar in the middle of a stage and then later focuses on his face, hand movements, accompanying musical instruments and nature images of trees, storms, sky, flowers, painting of a lady and much more. For all friends well familiar with the sequence of a Classical Music concert, the documentary follows the set pattern of an Alaap, JOR or MADH and JHAALA quite mesmerizingly.
Moreover the book also makes you aware of some pleasant facts, not known to many, like the maestro sitarist Ravi Shankar was also a fine singer rendering many classical compositions in one of his educative albums made especially for the west.
So being a great tribute from one creative genius to the other, this is certainly one of those rare must have books which need to be there in the collection of all true fans of Indian Cinema as well as of Indian Classical Music.

“Satyajit Ray’s Ravi Shankar – An Unfilmed Visual Script”
Published by Harper Collins (Paperback)

Link to buy : http://www.amazon.in/gp/product/9351361748

Tags : SATYAJIT RAYs unfilmed visual script on RAVI SHANKAR, Book Review by Bobby Sing, Rare Collector Delight Books, Articles on Cinema and Music by Bobby Sing, Worth Collecting Books on Indian Cinema and Indian Classical Music.
02 Aug 2014 / Comment ( 0 )
Leave A Comment
E-mail (will not be published)
Website (Optional)
Enter shown code