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Our Films Their Films Paperback – June 1, 1993

ISBN-13: 978-0863113178 ISBN-10: 0863113176

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 219 pages
  • Publisher: Asia Book Corp of Amer (June 1, 1993)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0863113176
  • ISBN-13: 978-0863113178
  • Product Dimensions: 0.8 x 5.8 x 8.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 8.5 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (6 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #9,480,365 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

The publication of these brief, self-effacing essays by India's most celebrated filmmaker (1921-1992) coincides with the restoration and American re-release of Ray's major films. Ray discusses the rise of Indian film and its search for a style that would draw more fully upon Indian culture than upon the conventions of Western cinema; his anecdotes about the making of his own films (such as The Music Room and those of the Apu Trilogy) are disappointingly abbreviated. The book also includes gentle critiques of Visconti, Rossellini and British film (distinguished more by craft than artistry) and tributes to Renoir, Kurosawa and Chaplin. Ray puckishly confesses that, if he were stranded on a desert island, the one film he would want most to have with him would be a Marx Brothers comedy. Such glimpses at the tastes of a major filmmaker are likely to appeal most to dedicated film lovers; the general reader will find less to linger over.
Copyright 1994 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

From Library Journal

India's most influential director shares his views on a variety of cinematic topics and personalities in these essays, most of which date from the 1950s and 1960s. The American, British, and Italian film industries are discussed, as are film greats such as Chaplin, Renoir, and Kurosawa. Ray also writes about his own films (several of which are now being rereleased), though more depth on them is found in Andrew Robinson's Satyajit Ray: The Inner Eye (Univ. of California Pr., 1989) and Ben Nyce's Satyajit Ray: A Study of His Films (Praeger, 1988). Still, these are engaging and thought-provoking essays from one of the major directors of the century. Most libraries with substantial film collections will want this book.
David C. Tucker, DeKalb Cty. P.L., Decatur, Ga.
Copyright 1994 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful By Debabrata Ghatak on March 30, 2002
Format: Misc. Supplies
Ray proves in this book(written over a period of twenty years starting from 1948) that he is equally at ease with his pen and he can touch people's mind with his amazing clarity of reasons and a definite mastery over the film medium.
As the name of the book suggests,in the first part ,i.e,in "Our Films", he talks about Indian films and related matters.
The essays here are on different topics ranging from the problems of traditional Indian Cinema to various facets of his work; from his analysis of a few "new wave" films by other contemporary Indian directors to the sights and sounds captured in his diary during the shooting of Aporajito(The Unvanquished)in Benares.
The second part, "Their Films" ,talks mostly about the films of Hollywood,Japan and Italy and Russia.Essays here are more captivating as they portray Ray's meetings with such greats as Renoir and Kurosawa and elaboration on few of their works.
Not to miss are the essays on Hitchcock's biography written by Trauffau,Chaplin's autobiography and a tribute to great John Ford and one on Italian neo-realistic genre.
Ray is completely successful in sharing his love for simple ,realistic, human documentary than craftsmanship in this book.This is a great book-for anybody who appreciates good cinema.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By David Alston on September 16, 2006
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
The great Bengali filmmaker/writer/composer Satyajit Ray is one of my greatest heroes, so this will not be any kind of an objective review. So be it.

Ray's roots were in - among other things - film criticism; a background he shared with fellow filmmakers Jean-Luc Godard and Nagisa Oshima, and he never stopped being fascinated by film - it's potential, the theories surrounding process and technique, and even after launching his own filmmaking career (PATHER PANCHALI - a debut of similar stature to CITIZEN KANE or BREATHLESS) with quite a splash, Ray continued to view other films with both the analytical precision of a scholar, and a fan-like fascination retained from his own childhood and adolescence.

OUR FILMS, THEIR FILMS collects the best of Ray's critical writing (also including some diary excerpts and otherwise uncollected film musings), from the late 1940s until the mid 1960s, and is divided into writings on Indian (OUR FILMS) and international (THEIR FILM) cinema. Ray's enthusiasms and his critiques are both rendered with very sharp, eloquent precision; one will come away from this collection with a very strong impression of an extremely erudite and restless creative mind.

For me, there are many highlights here: Ray's writings on Italian film, starting with neo-realism, which offer a number of insights that depart from current critical consensus; with some of the more well-observed (if concise) commentary on Fellini, Antonioni, DeSica, Visconti and others, I would say that this essay is overdue for rediscovery by current cinephiles.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on June 14, 1998
Format: Hardcover
Our Films, Their Films is a brilliant chronicle of creative thinking by one of the one of the world's most brilliant playwrights. This book is a must for anyone who questions what creatiity is and how culture affects creativity. Ray's essays are both endearing and quite lucid for the normal person to read and understand. All of Satyajit Ray's stories should find their way back into print. He was a breath of fresh air in the film industry.
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