India, 1958, 100 minutes
Sat, May 01 / 2:30 / Castro / MUSI01C
Sun, May 02 / 6:15 / PFA / MUSI02P
This stunning film by director Satyajit Ray, is based on a novel by the Bengali writer Tarashankar Banerjee about a turn-of-the-century aristocrat named Biswambhar Roy whose funds and holdings are dwindling but who continues to spend money on lavish concerts in his music room. His existence may be threatened, but his vision of perfection, embodied in the hypnotic musical sequences, will not be denied. Many of Ray’s films have a rueful, Chekhovian tone of ironically tinged regret, a tone that is crystallized in The Music Room, one of the greatest films in the history of Indian cinema. When the Academy Film Archive restored Ray’s film, it had to work with extremely compromised and damaged materials—the finished product is something close to a miracle.
The work of Satyajit Ray occupies a special place in the history of the San Francisco International Film Festival. His first film, Pather Panchali, had its U.S. premiere at the first Festival in 1957. Since then, the Festival has shown more of his films than those of any other director. In 1992, the Festival bestowed its directing award upon him. Unfortunately, he passed away just prior to the Festival and was unable to receive it in person.
In Bengali with English subtitles. Restored by the Academy Film Archive with funding provided by The Film Foundation. Film courtesy of Aurora Film and the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences; photo of Satyajit Ray courtesy of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences. Presented by The Film Foundation and American Express.
Presented in association with 3rd i.