• The brilliant Bengali filmmaker Satyajit Ray has joined the Criterion Collection with his evocative and deeply moving 1958 drama The Music Room. It’s a film that viewers may not know as well as his Apu trilogy, but, as Sean Axmaker explains in a review of our edition for Turner Classic Movies, it was also important to the director’s career: “The Music Room showed the world that Ray had great range and talent beyond the naturalism of his first films. Ray takes a classical approach, informed by the masters of international cinema he revered, for this drama set in the fading decadence of old-world feudal life of the 1920s . . . [The Music Room] was his most accomplished film up to that time, and many critics still hold it as the director’s masterpiece.”

    DVD Beaver’s Gary Tooze has been a fan of the film for years and as such is especially thrilled about Criterion’s restored edition, writing, “This film impacted me like few others the first time I saw it on the inferior DVD over a decade ago. Seeing it on Blu-ray, I have had a similar but more profound reaction . . . I’m as content a cinephile as I have been in years after my viewing. This has our strongest recommendation!” DVD Verdict’s Clark Douglas raves, “The Music Room remains one of Satyajit Ray’s best films and a surprisingly tender portrait of societal change.” And for Film Comment’s Patrick Friel, “it’s a strange and compelling film on memory”; Friel is particularly interested in Ray’s technique: “Curious zooms and dolly shots and arcing camera movements punctuate many scenes, hinting at the juxtaposition between the inevitable movement of time and a man who yearns for the past.”

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3 comments

  • By Evilronin
    September 06, 2011
    07:04 PM

    Any of Ray's film deserves much needed Criterion treatment, a little sad that it's taken this long and what about the quintessential Ray; the Apu trilogy? In any case, viva Criterion!
    Reply
  • By Johnny Jagwani
    March 22, 2012
    12:09 PM

    i think alot of ray's film deserve to be added, Apu Trilogy and more.. Company Limited and Abhijan has already been restored, but criterion's superior releases would mean nice bonus features. 2 dauthers, is actually Three Daughters, and the middle film was never seen in the release outside of India. Criterion would be THE company to right this long standing wrong. The Chess Players, to my knowledge is out of print with it's former rights-holder. And Lonely Wife and more are completely unavailable. Judging willingness to spend, these films are goldmines, if they get worthy releases!
    Reply
  • By Daniel Marcus
    June 09, 2012
    01:53 AM

    I have written to Criterion for years asking about APU and they have never responded. Not a word. Considering that most of us support this company by spending hundreds if not thousands on their films, it feels shabby not to at least explain.
    Reply