Going Hollywood: Satyajit Ray’s unrealised dream?
It has recently emerged that master filmmaker Satyajit Ray's wish to make a film in Bangladesh remained unfulfilled, as he could never reproduce on the big screen eminent writer Selina Hossain's novel “Hangor Nodi O Grenade”. Now renowned Hollywood director Martin Scorsese is saying that Ray's dream of making a Hollywood movie too had to be shelved due to “some dirty politics played by unknown quarters.”
Scorsese told The Times of India newspaper that in the late 1960s “there was a big probability of Ray coming down to Hollywood to shoot “The Alien” based on his own short story” which was published in the popular Bangla magazine “Sandesh”. The film, Scorsese said, was to be produced by 20th Century Fox.
“Hollywood was waiting to embrace Ray with open arms. Alas, due to some dirty politics played by unknown quarters, Ray's Hollywood dream had to be shelved”, he said.
Scorsese said he has “no qualms in admitting that Steven Spielberg's film 'E.T.' was influenced by Ray's 'The Alien'. Even Sir Richard Attenborough pointed this out to me.”
Scorsese said that Ray was more knowledgeable about world cinema than him and the Indian director's grasp over western classical music and international literature was something noticed only by Akira Kurosawa and Sir David Lean.
Scorsese said the shoestring budget with which Ray made his films was something unknown to Hollywood and Europe and his asset was his art of narrating very complicated issues in the simplest form on celluloid with the minimum number of shots and dialogues.
For Scorsese, “perhaps the greatest Ray shot I saw” was the young Apu in “Aparajito” sitting by a pond, hands folded, head down, weeping his heart out and remembering his late mother.