21 October 2012

Satyajit Ray on the 'Calcutta Trilogy'

Satyajit Ray began his career with the poetic 'Apu Trilogy,' made between 1955 and 1959 as the study of a young man's attempt to find himself and come to terms with the eternal conditions of life and its two opposite poles: love and death. Three of Ray's films made between 1970 and 1971 in effect form another trilogy, the main characters being seen this time in relation to their work. It is a political trilogy, about how we are being shaped, and perhaps misshapen, by our working conditions. 'Days and Nights in the Forest,' the least direct of the three, shows a group of city executives on a country weekend, away from the suffocating atmosphere of Calcutta. 'The Adversary' returns to Calcutta, where a young man revolts against the inhuman conditions attached to his search for a job. And the third film, 'Company Limited,' once more takes the audience round the other side of the desk to show the manipulations and status-seeking at the top of a big firm. In the following 1972 interview with Christian Braad Thomsen, Satyajit Ray discusses the 'Calcutta Trilogy' and other aspects of his work.

12 October 2012

Inuit Community-Based Filmmaking

While residing in one of the most challenging environments on Earth, with a total population of only about 2,500, the Inuit of the village of Igloolik have produced three feature films, Atanarjuat: The Fast Runner, The Journals of Knud Rasmussen, and Before Tomorrow. This community's ways of working may prove inspirational to other Indigenous communities seeking to make feature films while using their own traditional cultural practices. Zacharias Kunuk, the Inuit director of both Atanarjuat: The Fast Runner and The Journals of Knud Rasmussen, first became interested in making videos out of a desire to record his father's hunting stories. He began moving away from his successful work as a soapstone carver to become an employee and eventually a manager of the Canadian-government-operated Inuit Broadcasting Corporation (IBC) station in his home village of Igloolik.