Contents: Foreword/Buddhadeb Dasgupta. 1. Introduction. 2. The Apu Trilogy/Pather Panchali, Aparajita and Apur Sansar. 3. An early pastiche/Parash Pathar, Jalsaghar, Abhijan, Kapurush O. Mahapurush and Chidiakhana. 4. The urban middle class/Kanchanjungha, Mahanagar, Nayak and Aranyer Din Ratri. 5. The Calcutta Triptych/Pratidwandi, Seemabaddha and Jana Aranya. 6. The tribute to Tagore/Tin Kanya, Charulata and Ghare Baire. 7. The cry against tradition/Devi and Sadgati. 8. An eye on the past/Shatranj Ke Khilari and Ashani Sanket. 9. Cinema for the young/Goopy Gyne Bagha Byne, Hirak Rajar Deshe, Sonar Kella and Jay Babu Felunath. 10. The last three films/Ganashatru, Shakha Prashakha and Agantuk. 11. Some final remarks. Filmography. Index.
"In this new work, John W. Hood makes a thoroughly informed, socio-historical critique of all twenty-nine feature films of Satyajit Ray. Structured along themes which the author has identified in Ray's movies, this reassessment analyses each film independently, on the basis of its individual merits and lapses, carefully avoiding the popular hagiography that is common to much of Ray criticism. Having taken us through the two ends of the spectrum of excellence and mediocrity that comprise Ray's work, Hood concludes his incisive study by affirming that "What makes Ray ascend into the realms of the great is his profound sense of humanity".
A highly accessible work on arguably the finest film-maker India has ever produced, this book will engage not only serious readers of cinematic texts but also be a valuable learning resource for students of film studies, all over the world."