Welcome to The Queue — your daily distraction of curated video content sourced from across the web. Today, we’re watching a video essay that looks at how the master Satyajit Ray directs a film.
In no uncertain terms, Satyajit Ray is one of the most important filmmakers of all time. He is an icon in both Bengali communities and worldwide, where he is celebrated by filmmakers whose names are more well-known to Westerners: Martin Scorsese, John Huston, Wes Anderson … the list goes on. Ray’s influence is absolutely everywhere.
Whether you have never heard of Ray’s work before or you’re a longtime appreciator, the video essay below provides marvelous insight into how the master approached directing. With intercut interviews of Ray describing his own approach to directing interspersed with archival footage and film clips, the video essay details some of the principles that made Ray the artist he is.
From Ray’s approach to working with non-actors and children to the importance of maintaining creative control (which for Ray meant doing everything himself), the video essay lays out some of the core muscles of Satyajit Ray’s movie-making process.
p.s. if you’re wondering where you can watch Satyajit Ray’s work, the heroes over at the Criterion Channel have assembled films and interviews celebrating the director’s oeuvre, from his breakthrough debut Pather Panchali (1955) to his final feature film, The Stranger (1991).
Watch “How Satyajit Ray Directs a Film | The Director’s Chair”:
Who made this?
This video essay on the directing style of Satyajit Ray was created by StudioBinder. This production management software creator also happens to produce wildly informative video essays. They tend to focus on the mechanics of filmmaking itself, from staging to pitches and directorial techniques. You can check out their YouTube account here.
More videos like this
- For another dive into film direction, here’s StudioBinder again with an essay examining how Alfred Hitchcock approaches long takes.
- Here’s a detailed scene breakdown from StudioBinder on what makes the poker scene in Casino Royale so captivating (even if you have no idea how poker works).
- Here’s more of StudioBinder’s work: a video essay that clarifies the importance of a script breakdown with a look at Wes Anderson‘s The Grand Budapest Hotel.
- Finally, here’s a video essay about how three directors, Quentin Tarantino, David Fincher, and Christopher Nolan, direct interrogation scenes.