Film Series

Modern Cinema: Satyajit Ray

Intimate Universes

October 4–21, 2018
Phyllis Wattis Theater

“Somehow I feel that an ordinary person — the man in the street if you like — is a more challenging subject for exploration than people in the heroic mold. It is the half shades, the hardly audible notes that I want to capture and explore.” — Satyajit Ray

Widely regarded as one of the greatest filmmakers of the twentieth-century by critics and cinephiles alike, Satyajit Ray was a multi-talented master storyteller. In addition to being a novelist, calligrapher, graphic designer, and film critic, Ray frequently served as screenwriter and producer, and sometimes composer on his films. Deeply felt, Ray’s delicate human dramas often express contemporary issues of Indian life. In 1950, after watching Vittorio De Sica’s 1948 Italian masterpiece Bicycle Thieves, Ray exited the theater determined to make movies. His debut feature, Pather Panchali (1955), was adapted from a popular work of Bengali literature, shot with mostly non-professional actors, and became the first part of his world-renowned Apu trilogy. A number of his earlier films, including The Goddess (Devi) (1960) and Charulata (1964), represent powerful and in-depth portraits of Indian women, while in his later years, Ray turned to detective stories and historical epics. This series brings together fifteen of his best-loved films, beautifully restored by the Academy Film Archive, alongside work that inspired or was inspired by him.

Modern Cinema, co-presented by SFMOMA and SFFILM, is a film series exploring the dynamic interactions between cinema’s past and present.

Films and schedules may be subject to change.


Modern Cinema’s Founding Supporters are Carla Emil and Rich Silverstein. Support is provided by Nion McEvoy and the Susan Wildberg Morgenstein Fund.

Events in this Series

See all past events