The Apu Trilogy
September 4 – 7
"The great, sad, gentle sweep of the Apu Trilogy remains in the mind of the moviegoer as a promise of what film can be. Standing above fashion, it creates a world so convincing that it becomes, for a time, another life we might have lived."
– Roger Ebert, Chicago Sun-Times
From September 4 through 7, the Gene Siskel Film Center presents Satyajit Ray’s Apu Trilogy. Each of the three films is screened twice, with all three playing on September 6.
Satyajit Ray (1921-1992) was India’s greatest filmmaker, and the Apu Trilogy is his most celebrated achievement. Based on Bibhutibhushan Bandopadhyay's classic autobiographical novels, the three films trace the hero’s life from birth to early manhood. The entire trilogy is unified around such elemental themes as country/city, tradition/change, and life/death, resonantly rhymed and intertwined from one film to the next. Brilliantly scored by Ravi Shankar, each of the films stands on its own as a masterpiece of humanist cinema; together they form one of the richest viewing experiences in the history of cinema.
Although the original negatives were burned in a 1993 lab fire, the Apu Trilogy has been meticulously and beautifully restored to 4K digital by the Criterion Collection in collaboration with the Academy Film Archive at the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences.
— Martin Rubin
APU TRILOGY DISCOUNT!
Buy a ticket at our regular prices for any screening of an Apu Trilogy film and get a ticket for the other films at this discount rate for each with proof of your original purchase: General Admission $7; Students $5; and Members $4. (This discount rate applies to the second and third features only. Discount available in person at the box office only.)
Song of the Little Road
1955, Satyajit Ray, India, 125 min. With Subir Bannerjee, Kanu Bannerjee
“Beautiful, sometimes funny, and full of love, it brought a new vision of India to the screen." – Pauline Kael, The New Yorker
Ray’s first and most acclaimed film, this dense mosaic of village life introduces Apu’s dreamy father, fretful mother, cynical aunt, and tempestuous older sister, with the child Apu a wide-eyed observer who is eventually pulled by sorrow and change into the stream of life. Beautifully balancing the prosaic and the poetic, PATHER PANCHALI depicts both harsh poverty and childhood raptures with unsentimental compassion. In Bengali with English subtitles. 4K DCP digital restoration. (MR)
1956, Satyajit Ray, India, 109 min. With Pinaki Sen Gupta, Karuna Bannerjee
“My favorite film in the trilogy...It's a masterpiece for which terms like ‘simplicity’ and ‘profundity’ seem inadequate.” – Jonathan Rosenbaum, Chicago Reader
APARAJITO follows Apu from age ten to seventeen. One of the cinema’s most profound treatments of parent-child relationships, this wide-ranging work shows Apu as a street urchin in the holy city of Benares, an eager schoolboy in the palmy countryside, and a university student in Calcutta, where he inevitably grows away from his devoted mother. In Bengali with English subtitles. 4K DCP digital restoration. (MR)
The World of Apu
1959, Satyajit Ray, India, 105 min. With Soumitra Chatterjee, Sharmila Tagore
“The Apu Trilogy is a true masterpiece, and THE WORLD OF APU is its crown jewel.” – James Berardinelli, ReelViews
The final film in the trilogy opens with Apu an impoverished writer in Calcutta. Through a bizarre set of circumstances, he finds himself married to a girl whom he has never met. The central section of the film is a lively romantic comedy detailing the growing love between two married strangers. When misfortune strikes, Apu must face despair and learn not to “turn his back on life.” In Bengali with English subtitles. 4K DCP digital restoration. (MR)