We all have our blind spots, and mine tends to be older foreign films. I've seen the great French and Japanese films of the classic period, but I could definitely stand to catch up on some of the other nations, including India. Which is why I was so excited to bring Pather Panchali to The Canon this week - The Apu Trilogy has long been a hole in my viewing history, and this was a perfect opportunity to begin filling it.
When you think of Indian film you think of Bollywood - big, bloated, dance-filled mega-movies. But Satyajit Ray, one of the world's most celebrated filmmakers, wasn't working in that idiom. Inspired by Italian Neorealism, he was making movies that reflected the real world, and many consider the Apu Trilogy, of which Pather Panchali is the first entry, his masterpiece of social realism.
Spoiler alert: I really loved the movie. I hope this episode of The Canon convinces more people to take a shot at this film that is more underseen than the works of Kurosawa and Godard.
Next week on The Canon: we come back to America with perhaps our most modern movie (outside of the best of the year episodes): Brokeback Mountain.
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