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Bulletin issued on Monday, March 30, 1992

Bulletin issued on Monday, March 30, 1992

Postby Utpal Aich on Sat Aug 11, 2007 12:07 pm

Following is the text of a Bulletin we circulated in San Francisco on 30th March 1992.


Monday, March 30, 1992

Today when the attention of the whole world will remain focused on the TV screen, we shall have those rare 5 minutes of our lives when we would be the most proud people on the world. Proud to be Indians! Those will be the 5 minutes when the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences will be awarding Satyajit Ray, the Honorary Oscar ‘in recognition of his rare mastery of the art of Motion Pictures’.

Satyajit Ray, being in the intensive care unit of a Calcutta Nursing Home, will not be physically present at the 64th Annual Academy Awards Presentation at the Dorothy Chandler Pavilion of the Los Angeles Music Center. Initially, the Oscar Committee had decided that one of their representatives would award Mr. Ray the Oscar on 30th March 1992 in Calcutta and this would be transmitted via satellite and shown on the big screen live at the Dorothy Chandler Pavilion. However, as Mr. Ray’s condition deteriorated further, the Oscar Committee had to rush a 3-member team to Calcutta on 16th March 1992 shifting their prevalent practice to film his acceptance speech to be shown this evening. In the past, the Oscars were awarded to the representatives sent by the recipients like Akira Kurosawa (Japan) who could not appear in person.

Given below is a description of how those 5 minutes will be shown on ABC television today:

Satyajit Ray will be introduced by Audrey Hepburn of ‘My Fair Lady’ fame, who is also one of Satyajit Ray’s favourite actresses. (Let us see if Audrey Hepburn can pronounce the name Satyajit Ray correctly). Behind Audrey Hepburn, on the big screen, we shall see a montage from the first film – Pather Panchali – when Apu chases his sister Durga through a white ‘kash’ (similar to pampas grass, which symbolizes autumn/fall) and sees a train for the first time in his life. The background music (sitar) of Ravi Shankar keeps coming again and again in the Trilogy whenever the train appears.

Then we shall see scenes from ‘Aparajito’ (The Unvanquished) – the second part of the Trilogy – some excerpts of a unique treatment of death by the master director. The onset of sickness in Apu’s father is first revealed through his absent-mindedness (forgetting the eye-glasses) and collapsing on the steps of the ghat at Benares and the falling of the ‘lotta’. (His father asks for water of the Ganges before his death. Apu goes to fetch it). And then the camera focuses on a temple top from where, all at once, hundreds of pigeons take flight (as if suggesting the flight of the soul from the body) and wheels against the dawn sky accompanied by the falling notes of a flute playing a melody based on the Raga ‘Jog” (music by Ravi Shankar again).

Then the gold-plated statuette travels thousands of miles to reach the hands of Satyajit Ray through computer-video-graphics. Satyajit Ray is so frail that the 12 pound statuette appears very heavy to him to lift – he comments that ‘it is very heavy’. He spends some time in jest with the Hollywood film crew. He asks the producer Al Swarz how he should hold the statuette. Swarz reminds him that he is the director and knows it better. And then Satyajit Ray delivers a two and a half minute acceptance speech for the Award.


1967 Magsaysay Award, Manila

1971 Star of Yugoslavia

1973 D. Litt., Delhi University

1974 D. Litt., Royal College of Arts, London

1976 Padmabibhushan, India

1978 D. Litt., Oxford University

Special Award, Berlin Film Festival

1979 Special Award, Moscow Film Festival

1982 ‘Hommage á Satyajit Ray’, Cannes Film Festival

Special Golden Lion of St. Mark, Venice Film Festival

1983 Fellowship of British Film Institute

1985 D. Litt., Calcutta University

‘Soviet Land’ Nehru Award

1987 Legion d’Honneur, France

1992 Bharat Ratna, India

Professor Emeritus, Government of India

Utpal Aich
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Joined: Sat Aug 11, 2007 10:32 am
Location: Beijing, China

Re: Bulletin issued on Monday, March 30, 1992

Postby Hilloril on Wed Jul 15, 2015 1:32 am

There is no way I can forget about this, I really like it.
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Joined: Wed Jul 15, 2015 12:50 am

Re: Bulletin issued on Monday, March 30, 1992

Postby Gblogarm on Wed Nov 22, 2017 2:16 am

I want to study about this story very much. It would be great for the guys to educate me.
Posts: 2
Joined: Wed Nov 22, 2017 12:29 am

Re: Bulletin issued on Monday, March 30, 1992

Postby anee200292 on Mon Dec 25, 2017 6:19 am

Thanks for sharing this! There was much I didn't know about... :)
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Joined: Mon Dec 25, 2017 6:13 am

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