Satyajit Ray

The Music Room

The Music Room

With The Music Room (Jalsaghar), Satyajit Ray brilliantly evokes the crumbling opulence of the world of a fallen aristocrat (the beloved actor Chhabi Biswas) desperately clinging to a fading way of life. His greatest joy is the music room in which he has hosted lavish concerts over the years—now a shadow of its former vivid self. An incandescent depiction of the clash between tradition and modernity, and a showcase for some of India’s most popular musicians of the day, The Music Room is a defining work by the great Bengali filmmaker.

Film Info

  • Satyajit Ray
  • India
  • 1958
  • 99 minutes
  • Black & White
  • 1.33:1
  • Bengali
  • Spine #573

Special Features

  • New high-definition digital restoration, with uncompressed monaural soundtrack on the Blu-ray edition
  • Satyajit Ray (1984), a feature documentary by Shyam Benegal that chronicles Ray’s career through interviews with the filmmaker, family photographs, and extensive clips from his films
  • New interviews with Satyajit Ray biographer Andrew Robinson and filmmaker Mira Nair
  • Excerpt from a 1981 French roundtable discussion with Ray, film critic Michel Ciment, and director Claude Sautet
  • New and improved English subtitle translation
  • PLUS: A booklet featuring a new essay by critic Philip Kemp, a 1963 essay by Ray on the film’s location, and a 1986 interview with the director about the film’s music

New cover by Marian Bantjes

Purchase Options

Special Features

  • New high-definition digital restoration, with uncompressed monaural soundtrack on the Blu-ray edition
  • Satyajit Ray (1984), a feature documentary by Shyam Benegal that chronicles Ray’s career through interviews with the filmmaker, family photographs, and extensive clips from his films
  • New interviews with Satyajit Ray biographer Andrew Robinson and filmmaker Mira Nair
  • Excerpt from a 1981 French roundtable discussion with Ray, film critic Michel Ciment, and director Claude Sautet
  • New and improved English subtitle translation
  • PLUS: A booklet featuring a new essay by critic Philip Kemp, a 1963 essay by Ray on the film’s location, and a 1986 interview with the director about the film’s music

New cover by Marian Bantjes

The Music Room
Cast
Chhabi Biswas
Biswambhar Roy
Padma Devi
Mahamaya, his wife
Pinaki Sen Gupta
Bireswar, his son
Gangapada Bose
Mahim Ganguli
Tulsi Lahiri
Taraprasanna, the steward
Kali Sarkar
Ananta, the servant
Begum Akhtar
Durgabai
Salamat Ali Khan
Ujir Khan
Roshan Kumari
Krishnabai
Credits
Director
Satyajit Ray
Screenplay
Satyajit Ray
Producer
Satyajit Ray
Based on the short story Jalsaghar by
Tarasankar Banerjee
Cinematography
Subrata Mitra
Editing
Dulal Dutta
Art director
Bansi Chandragupta
Sound
Durgadas Mitra
Music director
Ulstad Vilayat Khan
Music and dance performed onscreen by
Begum Akhtar, Roshan Kumari, Waheed Khan, Bismillah Khan, and company
Music performed offscreen by
Daksinamohan Thakur, Asish Kumar, Robin Majumdar, Imrat Hussain Khan
Production manager
Anil Choudhury

From The Current

The Music Room: Distant Music
The Music Room: Distant Music

In May 1956, an Indian film was screened at the Cannes Film Festival. It wasn’t well attended. The Indian delegation had done little to promote it, arranging only a single midnight screening that clashed with a party in honor of Akira Kurosawa. In …

By Philip Kemp

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Mira Nair’s Guide to the Collection
Mira Nair’s Guide to the Collection

The writer-director of Monsoon Wedding and Salaam Bombay! takes us through an eclectic mix of favorite films, including works by Jane Campion, Lars von Trier, and Satyajit Ray.

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Bruce Beresford’s Top 10

Bruce Beresford is the director of more than twenty-five features, including Breaker Morant (1980), Tender Mercies (1983), Driving Miss Daisy (1989), Mister Johnson (1990), and Black Robe (1992).


A Tour of the Taj With Satyajit Ray

Flashbacks

A Tour of the Taj With Satyajit Ray

The author’s encounters with the great Indian filmmaker.

By Peter Cowie

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