The Big City
Satyajit Ray / IN, 1963 / 135 min.
One of the Satyajit Ray finest films – a multi-layered, subtly political and hugely enjoyable cinematic tapestry tracking one woman’s quiet fight against a society that would rather she remained seen but not heard. Digital restoration.
Subrata (Anil Chatterjee), a young bank clerk, might be struggling to support his extended family on a meagre salary – but he’s horrified when his wife Arati (Madhabi Mukherjee, Ray’s longtime muse) dares to challenge his cherished belief that ‘a woman’s place is with her cooking pots’.
Arati takes a job just as her husband appears at risk of losing his, upsetting the family dynamics at a moment of tremendous change in what was then a newly independent country. A hugely absorbing feature from a true master and the first Satyajit Ray feature to be fully set in his native Kolkata.
Restored & Unseen
At last, a chance to see that Italian classic that’s been on the list for so long? Or relish that wonderful restoration of Blue Movie, the Netherlands’ most talked-about nude film of the seventies, when the Bijlmer district was still a sexual paradise? Restored & Unseen is a biweekly programme featuring classics and recent restorations, with introductions by experts.