22 May, 2014

Satyajit Ray's Ravi Shankar: An Unfilmed Visual Script (Book)


It's hard to review a book like Satyajit Ray's Ravi Shankar because it is more of a collector's item and is also likely to appeal primarily to hardcore cinephiles or music enthusiasts. While on the surface it is the untold story of the documentary that Satyajit Ray wanted to do on Ravi Shankar, but what the reader gets as a result of that is an insight into the friendship that these two legends of Indian arts shared and the bond that music formed between them.



Satyajit Ray's Ravi Shankar is a look into both the private and public persona of the one director that is equally known in the West as he is in his native country. It gives the reader a birds-eye view into the workings of a master and most importantly his thought process. The book looks into his films, in context of the unfilmed documentary, and in doing so we also learn about elements, mainly music, that have influenced Satyajit Ray. Edited by Sandip Ray, Satyajit's son, and with insight from Ravi Shankar, the book is a gem for any film or music lover to have because it comprises of sketches of how the documentary was to be filmed, and with details about film techniques used, it serves as an interesting book to have for any wannabe filmmakers.

With only 100 odd pages, quite a few of them dedicated to the sketches, Satyajit Ray's Ravi Shankar is something that you would pick up only to enrich your own knowledge about the director and his art and how he went about, or in this case did not, creating beautiful movies. It is a book to have in your collection if films or music interests you even mildly, but unfortunately it might not have the same appeal for the casual reader. However, the book is worth picking up just for the sketches if nothing else.  


This is an unbiased review of the book which was sent by Harper Collins.  

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