May 3, 2013

Satyajit Ray’s mesmeric scene from ‘Pather Panchali’ inspires today’s Google sketch

Google pays tribute to world-class film-maker Satyajit Ray on his birthday—he would have turned 93 today—with a sketch inspired by one of cinema’s most breathtaking scenes.

Pather Panchali, is a sensitive masterwork about childhood, innocence and the tricky communication between human beings and nature, told through two children—Apu and his older sister Durga. Based on the novel by Bibhutibhushan Bandopadhyay, the film released in 1955 and almost instantly became a classic.

This scene is evidence to how much Ray achieved with a camera with a primal lens and entirely with natural light. Durga and Apu are in a field covered by Kaash flowers in bloom. They don’t say much to each other, and are busy picking up the sound of a roaring train at a distance. As the train approaches, they run through the tall, bending flowers, as if they want to catch it. It is a instant of momentary joy for the children; it is also an expressive symbol for the inert world they live in, without much hope.

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