Title Page, Copyright

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pp. i-iv

Contents

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pp. v-vi

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Foreword

Barry Keith Grant

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pp. vii-x

The Apu Trilogy is the fifth book by the influential film critic Robin Wood to be republished by Wayne State University Press within its Contemporary Approaches to Film and Media Series. It follows the updated Howard Hawks (2006) and the expanded monographs Ingmar Bergman (2013) and Arthur Penn (2014), three of Wood’s early and pioneering auteurist studies originally published in the 1960s, and Personal Views (2006), a collection of essays previously published...

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Preface

Richard Lippe

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pp. xi-xviii

After Robin Wood committed himself to the Wayne State University Press offer to update the directorial monographs, he initially thought of working on the Bergman book, but he rejected the idea after considering the number of films that had followed Shame (1968). Furthermore, he felt his occasional writings on Bergman through the years had made clear his reconsidered position on the director. Instead, Robin chose to write on Satyajit Ray’s work, much of which he hadn’t...

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Introduction

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pp. 1-24

One likes to begin a book with a bit of controversy, punching a few critical noses and offering one’s own for the return poke or smash that all too seldom comes. The reader always enjoys finding a few insults bandied around: aside from the dubious pleasure of sharing in a probably quite unjustified feeling of superiority, it gives one the sense that there must be some issue at stake, for one to make up one’s own mind about. Alas, in the case of Satyajit Ray, it is next to impossible...

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Pather Panchali

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pp. 25-54

Apu is born near the beginning of Pather Panchali, and we see him briefly as a baby, being sung to by the senile female dependent known as “Auntie.” However, our real introduction to him comes when, some years having elapsed, we see him being awakened by Durga in time for school. The way in which he is presented is critical to his role in Pather Panchali and to some extent in the whole trilogy. The sequence of shots is as follows: (1) Durga enters the yard, followed...

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Aparajito

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pp. 55-78

The first shots of Aparajito depend for their emotional effect partly on our having the end of the previous film clearly in our minds: the camera is inside a train crossing a huge bridge, through the metal struts of which we see the Ganges. The backward look from the ox cart that closed Pather Panchali is now turned toward the future—toward Benares, across the river, at which we are looking through Apu’s eyes. The struts rhythmically flashing past communicate a sense of...

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The World of Apu

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pp. 79-126

After Aparajito, Ray made two films unconnected with the trilogy, The Philosopher’s Stone, a comedy, and The Music Room (Jalsaghar). He has said that he had no definite intention at that time of making The World of Apu but was persuaded to do so later. The film shows no sign of such reluctance. Far from suggesting any lack of inspiration or commitment on the part of its director, it is the crowning achievement of the trilogy, and (with Charulata and Days and Nights in the Forest, of those I have...

Notes

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pp. 127-128

Filmography

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pp. 129-144

Index

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pp. 145-150