• 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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