Spring Film Series 2016

Ray & Lumet


The Spring Film Series will focus on the work of two film masters, Indian director Satyajit Ray and America’s Sidney Lumet. Ray was mentored by Jean Renoir and John Huston; Pather Panchali’s acceptance into and acclaim at the Cannes Film Festival as a masterpiece of humanist film making, was a key moment in the golden age of art house cinema. The restoration of Ray’s classic trilogy was dramatic, the original negatives were devastated in a 1993 film vault fire. Literally rising from the ashes, the meticulous reconstruction took two years, allowing the free-spirited boy, Apu, his place in this masterpiece, essential viewing for all lovers of film. Akira Kurosawa said, “Never having seen a Satyajit Ray film is like never having seen the sun or the moon.” By Sidney Lumet, a searing self-portrait lavishly illustrated with clips, by Award-winning director Nancy Buirski will arrive at the museum after triumphs in film festivals including Durham’s Full Frame Documentary Film Festival and New York’s Tribeca. We will conclude the series with one of Lumet’s most enjoyable films.

April 15:

Pather Panchali (Song of the Little Road) (1955) Directed by Satyajit Ray. Subir Banerjee, Kanu Banerjee, Karuna Banerjee. In Bengali with English subtitles (125 minutes) DCP Restoration

Little Apu grows up in rural Bengal, his life ruled by charismatic women, in a poetic film inspired by Italian neorealism. “All the explosions of a blockbuster, but they detonate in the heart. If you’ve never seen an Indian film, clear out your schedule pronto. Wonderstruck and attuned to the smallest details…Ray’s trilogy is quiet and concentrated. These films will lift you up” (Joshua Rothkopf Time Out New York). Film notes for Pather Panchali

April 22:

Aparajito (The Unvanquished) (1956) Directed by Satyajit Ray. Smaran Ghosal, Pinaki Sengupta, Kanu Banerjee. In Bengali with English subtitles (109 minutes) DCP Restoration

Beginning where the first film ends, Apu and his family move to the holy city of Benares (Varanasi) as he continues his academic and spiritual education through his adolescence. “What makes it almost unparalleled in cinema is its fusion of poignancy, humor and poetry…it concerns a poor boy growing up in India nearly a century ago—and yet, miraculously, it concerns us all.” (Andrew Robinson New York Times). Film Notes for Aparjito

April 29:

Apur Sansar (The World of Apu) (1959) Directed by Satyajit Ray. Soumitra Chatterjee, Sharmila Tagore, Alok Chakraborty. In Bengali with English subtitles (105 minutes) DCP Restoration

Apu has graduated from college, and he struggles to combine his life as husband and father with his aspirations of a writing career. “Ravishing! Ray make us feel the magic of feathery reeds in the sunlight, the terrible beauty of a monsoon deluge hitting dirty stone streets, the exultation of love, and the inescapability of loss” (John Powers Vogue). Film Notes for Apur Sansar

May 6:

By Sidney Lumet (2015) Directed by Nancy Buirski. (111 min) R. DCP

Interviewed three years before his death in 2011, By Sidney Lumet is a wide-ranging conversation with the director, encompassing personal history and a career on stage, tv, and most memorably, on screen. Lumet’s bedrock concerns with fairness, and his celebration of rebel characters illuminated films like his thrilling debut, Twelve Angry Men, and Dog Day Afternoon and Network. Lumet, an engaging raconteur, brings his thorny moralism and uncompromising language to Buirski’s portrait.

May 13:

Twelve Angry Men (1957) Directed by Sidney Lumet. Henry Fonda, Lee J. Cobb, Martin Balsam (96 min). Blu-Ray.

Racial profiling and circumstantial evidence roil a boiling jury room full of stellar character actors. Is it an open and shut case or a railroad job? Reminders of the innocence protection afforded by the Constitution have never more timely. Lumet’s first feature was bankrolled by screenwriter Reginald Rose and star Fonda. “It is a masterpiece of stylized realism… lean and mean” Roger Ebert. Film notes for 12 Angry Men

Fridays, 8 pm
East Building
Museum Auditorium

Tickets $7 ($5 Students, NCMA members)

By phone:             (919) 715-5923      
In person: Museum Box Office, East Building.