For the past month, the fine folks at Fandor have been partnering with Hulu to bring you a curated selection of films from the vast Criterion Collection streaming library. This week, Fandor has revealed they have thirteen films from Satyajit Ray for you to watch over the holidays. The films will be available for the next two weeks.
I suppose what is worth noting is that the three films of the Apu Trilogy (Pather Panchali (1955), Aparajito (1956) and Apur Sansar (1959)) are not included in this line-up of Ray films. This past October, Kim Hendrickson mentioned that the films would be coming to Criterion in the coming year (approximately), and that a lot of work had gone into restoring the films. They’re surely holding onto those for the Blu-ray (box set) release.
What is most exciting is that several of the titles are not yet available on Hulu, and many are available in high definition (including the titles which were released on DVD in the Late Ray Eclipse box set).
Below you’ll find links and descriptions for each of the films that have been added to the Criterion area on Fandor.
1. An Enemy Of The People (1989)
In Satyajit Ray’s absorbing contemporary adaptation of a play by Henrik Ibsen, a good-hearted doctor discovers that the serious illness befalling the citizens of his small Bengali town may be due to a contamination of the holy water at the local temple.
2. The Big City (1963)
THE BIG CITY, the great Satyajit Ray’s first portrayal of contemporary life in his native Kolkata, follows the personal triumphs and frustrations of Arati, who decides, despite the initial protests of her bank-clerk husband, to take a job to help support their family.
3. Charulata (1964)
Satyajit Ray’s exquisite story of a woman’s artistic and romantic yearning takes place in late nineteenth-century, pre-independence India, in the gracious home of a liberal-minded, workaholic newspaper editor and his lonely wife, Charulata.
4. Devi (1960)
A young woman’s father-in-law begins to believe that she is a reincarnation of the goddess Kali, to whom he is strongly devoted. As she falls under the adoring eyes of other villagers, she begins to lose herself to the illusion.
5. The Elephant God (1979)
In Satyajit Ray’s second Feluda film, the famous detective investigates the robbery of a priceless deity while on holiday in beautiful Benares.
6. The Holy Man (1965)
After the death of his wife, Gurupada and his daughter fall in with a holy man who wows them with memories of meeting Plato, teaching Einstein, being present at the Crucifixion and on first-name terms with the Buddha in this social satire by Satyajit Ray.
7. The Home and the World (1984)
Both a romantic-triangle tale and a philosophical take on violence in times of revolution, THE HOME AND THE WORLD, set in early twentieth-century Bengal, concerns an aristocratic but progressive man who, in insisting on broadening his more traditional wife’s political horizons, drives her into the arms of his radical school chum.
8. Monihara (1961)
The second segment in Satyajit Ray’s THREE DAUGHTERS, MONIHARA is a story within a story, a haunting fable told by a schoolteacher about the strange man he discovered inhabiting a nearby mansion.
9. The Music Room (1958)
With THE MUSIC ROOM, Satyajit Ray brilliantly evokes the crumbling opulence of the world of a fallen aristocrat (the beloved actor Chhabi Biswas) desperately clinging to a fading way of life. His greatest joy is the music room in which he has hosted lavish concerts over the years, now a shadow of its former vivid self.
10. The Postmaster (1961)
The first segment in Satyajit Ray’s THREE DAUGHTERS, THE POSTMASTER is a moving look at the poverty and social roles of a rural village through the eyes of a young man who has just arrived there from Calcutta.
11. Rabindranath Tagore (1961)
Satyajit Ray’s celebration of famed poet Rabindranath Tagore combines archival material with dramatized scenes from Tagore’s biography.
12. Samapti (1961)
The third segment in Satyajit Ray’s THREE DAUGHTERS, SAMAPTI follows a recent university graduate returning to his quaint hometown as he fights off pressure from his mother to marry and, instead, falls for a dynamic tomboy who is hesitant to commit.
13. The Stranger (1991)
Satyajit Ray’s valedictory film is a multifaceted character study that contains both humor and melancholy rumination.