Satyajit Ray's Encounter With Jean Renoir
1949, Encounter With Jean Renoir
Renoir had come to Calcutta to scout locations for The River. Ray walked into the hotel where Renoir was staying and sought a meeting. Soon Ray was accompanying Renoir on his trips in search of locations to outskirts of Calcutta during the weekends.
Seeing his enthusiasm and knowledge about cinema, Renoir asked him if he was thinking of becoming a filmmaker. To his own surprise, Ray said yes and gave Renoir a brief outline of Pather Panchali, which he had recently illustrated.
Ray had now married his cousin Bijoya in a simple ceremony of signing a register at Bombay. This was followed later with Brahmo ceremony in Calcutta. Bijoya shared his taste in films and music.
Renoir returned to Calcutta later to shoot the film. Renoir hired Ray’s friend Bansi Chandra Gupta as an art director and Harisadhan Das Gupta as an assistant. Subrata Mitra, who would later become Ray’s cinematographer, took stills.
Ray too wanted to be part of the unit, but he was now an art director in an advertising agency, D.J. Keymer and was sent to London to work at the agency’s head office.