Syamal, sales director of an English firm in Calcutta which manufactures ventilators, aspires to win the job of company director but must compete with a colleague who is manoeuvering to get the position for himself. His sister-in-law Sudarsana arrives to spend a few days with them. She remembers having been jealous of her sister’s marriage, something Syamal appears not to have forgotten. In order to cover up his company’s problems meeting a production deadline, Syamal resorts to provoking a strike at the factory and, in the end, obtains the coveted directorship. His machinations are observed by Sudarsana who, unlike her sister, gains clear insight into the personality of her brother-in-law. –Satyajit Ray Film and Study Center
Satyajit Ray is one of cinema’s truest Renaissance men. In addition to his films, he is a reputed writer of short stories, a music composer (scores for his own films and other film-makers, notably Merchant-Ivory’s Shakespeare Wallah) and a painter and graphic designer of considerable skill. Appropriately enough, Ray derived from a background of great culture, the son of poet Sukumar Ray who died when he was three years old. His interest in fine arts, literature and painting led him to reside at Rabindranath Tagore’s Santiniketan (an intellectual retreat for artists and thinkers) for a significant period of time. Ray’s true love however was the cinema. The cinema of 30s Hollywood, which included Fred Astaire musicals and comedies by Ernst Lubitsch; Russian films he devoured in repeated viewings at the Calcutta Film Society (which he co-founded in 1947) and later the Italian neorealist films which he discovered in London.
At the time of the Second World War, and the final period of… read more
My parents used to tell me stories of relatives who did good and went on to become managers of multinational firms much like what this story narrates. So awesome to see this part of Indian history documented in some form.
Restored by the Satyajit Ray Preservation Project at the Academy Film Archive, the masterful Seemabaddha, the second film in Ray's Calcutta trilogy, is now available on DVD in its preserved form courtesy of U.K.'s Mr Bongo Films. (A markedly superior edition than the one previously available from the otherwise essential Indian distributor Angel.)
Ew, "company limited" sounds so gross. The original when translated literally could mean "bounded by limits' which is so much more evocative. Ray was a kind of a subtitling tyrant, and it shows.
oh the bit where the male characters were being ugly drunken tourists in the middle of the road and dancing "the santhal twist" when the girls came by in their car, and they froze in the headlights, totally embarrassed. Santhals are a tribe indigenous to that area, and what the characters in the movie were doing was being the stereotypical urban tourist, grossly callous, insensitive, not to mention racist. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Santhal
the pop culture references in "days and nights" (in fact in many of Ray's movies) are some of my favorite bits. Shekhar chancing upon Aparna's record collection (the vinyl UK Rubber Soul) for instance and alling for her shortly after. It's fitting in many ways, that Wes Anderson is a fan. Worth noting that Ray was dissing Elvis way before Chuck D, in Pratidwandi, for ex.