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Unravelling the mind of a genius : Satyajit Ray and his Kheror Khata

Kolkata: The Centre for New Media (CENEMA), a part of the TCG Centres for Research and Education in Science and Technology (TCG-CREST), with...

The Centre for New Media (CENEMA), a part of the TCG Centres for Research and Education in Science and Technology (TCG-CREST), within the umbrella of The Chatterjee Group (TCG), is presenting Satyajit Ray’s Kheror Khata (Film Books) of the film ‘Goopy Gyne Bagha Byne’, originally released in 1969, through a bilingual responsive website The project is the group’s tribute to Ray on his birth centenary by exploring his work through modern digital technology in order to bring more incisive insight into Ray’s creative genius.

The project is centred around the Kheror Khata, a traditional red cloth-bound notebook, which Ray maintained for his films and served as his “filmbook”. In these notebooks, he kept meticulous and exhaustive notes in the form of words, phrases, sentences, sketches, musical notes and storyboards as an important guide throughout the making of the film, as well as the post-production phases of editing, background music, sound effects and special effects.

This project extensively annotates elements of overs 900 pages, with descriptions and deciphered texts, cross-referenced to the script, digitised movie sequences, music snippets and other additional information, leading to 1500+ elements, 500+ movie snippets, 100+ images and 70+ newly recorded piano renditions of the original notations. The songs, background music, iconic scenes from the film are also linked to the multidimensional contexts explicitly conceived on the Kheror Khata. The site also presents for the first time the sketchbook of the film, production stills, the publicity material of the film and other aspects, all produced by Ray.

The project aims to enable cinema lovers, researchers of the film medium, filmmakers themselves in general and admirers of Ray in particular, all across the globe, to delve deeper into his unique approach to movie making, aided by his facility with other forms of art, crafts, design and music. It is hoped that this project will help a global audience to engage in research and more importantly, a younger generation will find inspiration in this interplay of the thought process of a creative mind captured in the Kheror Khata pages with the final iconic film in celluloid and derive their own insight and interpretation of the genius of Ray

Sandip Ray is the principal advisor and collaborator of the project and Kunal Sen is the technical advisor. TCG CREST is very pleased that the sons of two legendary Bengali filmmakers, Satyajit Ray and Mrinal Sen, have collaborated on this project.


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