Friday, April 14, 2017

Aqueous invention of film

It is often said, and not with
lack of judgment, that the ul-
timate entrance by any charac-
ter in cinema was the one Lean
crafted for Omar Sharif, in his
ride to the well in Lawrence of
Arabia. But the pond uncovered
by a cherishing sister, for her
distracted mother, in the ocular
socket of a sleeping boy in Pa-
ther Panchali established a cat-
gory of entrance too absolute
for comparison. When its pains-
taking restoration was screened
in New York and Los Angeles, ear-
lier this year, the commotion at
its rediscovery was natural. Film,
as an implication of film in the 
reflections of an aqueous meniscus
one could call, innocent, cannot
be explored again without exchang-
ing glances with Satyajit Ray.

Enter, then, the dragonfly, flit-
ting on the surface in a rising
storm, and the narrative is not
symbolic, but simply vital, to 
be appraised again and again as 
a flight of coherent chance. All
that was ever needed to redeem
the word exquisite, was proof
it isn't empty, as we'd thought.

Satyajit Ray
  Director and
Bibhutibusan Banerjee
Subrata Mitra
Pather Panchali

i  Artur Molyanets, photography

ii, iii  Subir Banerjee, Apu

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