The Music Room [Blu-ray]
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New digital restoration, with uncompressed monaural soundtrack
Satyajit Ray (1984), a documentary by Shyam Benegal that chronicles Ray's career
New interview with filmmaker Mira Nair
New interview in which Ray biographer Andrew Robinson on the 'Making of'
A 1981 French roundtable discussion with Ray, Michel Ciment & Claude Sautet
New and improved English subtitle translation
PLUS: A booklet featuring an essay by critic Philip Kemp & 1963 essay by Ray
Top Customer Reviews
Satyajit Ray. The Indian Bengali filmmaker was known for his non-traditional Indian films. Having directed 37 films in his lifetime, many which won multiple awards internationally and his contribution to cinema has earned him an Academy Honorary Award in 1991, his films are beloved by many and many have hoped to see his films receive the Blu-ray treatment in the U.S.
And who best than the Criterion Collection who will be releasing Ray's fourth feature film titled "Jalsaghar" (The Music Room) on Blu-ray and DVD.
"The Music room" is a film adaptation of Tarashankar Banerjee's short story but instead of creating an exact adaptation, Satyajit Ray would give his own spin to the film, making several changes but also creating a non-traditional film that would have music like most Indian films, but rather the music being an intermission, the music would be integrated as part of the original screenplay and featuring popular Indian music talent of the time: Begum Akhtar, Roshan Kumari, Ustad Waheed Khan and Bismillah Khan.
"The Music Room" is presented in 1080p High Definition black and white. For a film that could have been lost (the original negative was destroyed in a fire) forever, fortunately, through the collaboration of various companies, "The Music Room" was among Satyajit Ray's films that were restored and given an HD transfer on Blu-ray courtesy of the Criterion Collection.
There is no better surviving element of the negative than what we see with this film on Blu-ray and I have to say that the film looks great on Blu-ray. With Satyajit Ray's films, there is a focus on aesthetics, the environment around them.Read more ›
The movie features excellent black-and-white cinematography, great acting and of course, the genius of Ray's direction.
To the lovers of music, this movie features a real treasure-trove of music with music direction by the late great Ustad Vilayat Khan, vocals by Akhtari Bai and a rare classic by the late Pakistani singer Salamat Ali Khan who was only 19 when he was recorded for this movie.
A popular actor of his time, Chhabi Biswas plays Biswambhar Roy, a zamindar, or once a powerful feudal lord who clings to the last ratty remnant of his glory days in his crumbling mansion. We meet him swaddled in his robes sucking on a hookah like a baby on his pacifier when he hears music from a neighbor's place that takes him back to his earlier days when he could fund lavish celebrations on his wife and son
But alas, Roy's indulgence - his addiction -- to his passions do nothing to rescue the slow loss of his fortune as he competes with his neighbor and spends the last of his money on irrelevant displays of master artists in his beloved music room. But what is mostly revealed is Roy's social impotence along with his false sense of entitlement and his sadly deluded sense of social superiority. But make no mistake; this great film is also about something more than the power of music and memory in a changing culture. It's about the conflict of living in the moment and letting go of the residue of the past. Something exceedingly difficult for us humans no matter when or what the age in which we live.
This engrossing film is Ray's best and a wonderful introduction if this director in not known to you. The best extra on this full-frame B&W restoration is the two-hour documentary "Satyajit Ray."
Clearly, a lot of effort has gone into the making of this movie and the Criterion restoration does that great justice. The scenes inside the music room, with the shimmering chandelier and the large mirrors, are crisp and clean and give a good sense of the grandeur of the landowner's life. The mansion itself is shown as being situated in isolation, surrounded by a vast and empty plain, revealing its insularity from the world around it. The private family scenes between the landowner and his wife and son are shot in smaller rooms and give a closer, more intimate feel, humanising Biswambhar Roy. You wonder how much of Roy was merely a product of the environment he grew up in, conditioned to a certain mindset that for generations had been required to function in an authoritative role.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Brilliant film observing the decline of a fading Bengali aristocracy as the modern world intrudes upon the old days. Incredible displays of traditional Indian music. A classic!Published 4 months ago by Susan Wexler
I love Rays use of light and cinematic poetry is unequalled by very few filmakers I have seen. The story is somewhat predictable and slow, but has many moments of sheer magic . Read morePublished 17 months ago by Paul Peabody
Satyajit Ray after completing the Apu Trilogy, played around with experimental movies but not finding his foothold. Finally with Jalsaghar (The Music Room)- he was on sure grounds. Read morePublished 19 months ago by RMitra, mystery writer
Watch it! It's one of S. Ray's best. The movie is deeply thought provoking and stands well for repeated viewings. The remastered copy of "Criterrion" is excellent. Read morePublished 20 months ago by Yoselovich Boris
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