The action occurs in an imaginary land. Goopy the singer and Bagha the drummer are untalented musicians whose playing provokes as much ridicule from the peasants as it does contempt from the king. The only audience they manage to charm is the ghosts. Wearing magic sandals, they arrive in the kingdom of Shundi where, to everyone’s amazement, the ruler admires their music. Meanwhile, the king of the neighboring realm of Halla, who is the twin brother of the king of Shundi, wants to declare war. Goopy and Bagha do everything in their power to dissuade him, and finally it is their singing that demobilizes the troops at the last moment. Reconciled, the twin brothers offer to reward Goopy and Bagha with their daughters in marriage. –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