Wes Anderson, the Oscar-nominated director from Hollywood, was in India till early February 2007. He shot his latest film in sandy areas chosen by Satyajit Ray in 1973 to shoot part of his Sonar Kella (The Golden Fortress), which was a great hit with children and grown-ups. Anderson, a veteran of four films, came to India because he is a great admirer of Ray films. “Ray’s work has been an enormous influence on the movie I am making in Rajasthan,” said Anderson in an interview. “His films have inspired all my other movies, and I should dedicate the movie to him.”Anderson’s maiden work, Bottle Rocket, found a place on the list of the best films of the 1990’s by Martin Scorsese, the revered filmmaker who too happens to be a most ardent admirer of Ray’s. The Royal Tennanbaums, Anderson’s third film, received an Oscar nomination for best original screenplay. “My main knowledge of Indian films is Ray's films,” Anderson said, “which I learned about from renting Teen Kanya (Three Daughters) on Betamax in my video store in Houston, when I was about fifteen. I also love Jean Renoir's The River,” he said, “Ray's films, along with The River and Louis Malle's documentaries, were essentially all I knew about India. I became somewhat obsessed with the India I learned about from those films.”
Anderson has been hooked on Ray ever since. “His films feel like novels to me. He draws you very close to his characters, and his stories are almost always about people going through a major internal transition. My favorites are the Calcutta trilogy of The Adversary (Pratidwandi), Company Limited (Seemabaddha), and The Middleman (Jana Aranya), which are very adventurous and inventive stylistically, and Days and Nights in the Forest (Aranyer Dinratri), which I relate to the kind of movies and books that completely captured my attention when I was a teenager, with soulful troublemakers as heroes. I think Charulata (The Lonely Wife) is one of his most beautiful films, and also Teen Kanya (especially The Postmaster) and the Apu films.”
One expected that Anderson would film part of the movie in Darjeeling. Anderson, however, fails to articulate exactly why he decided to shoot the whole film in Rajasthan. “We plan to shoot in the desert between Jodhpur and Jaisalmer (where some of Sonar Kella was set), and also in the hills around Udaipur. Why would be hard to say. Some of the story was written in the places where it is set,” he said.He would like to fill the film with the music of Satyajit Ray, if he can. “I often take inspiration from music in how I shoot, and I listened to Ray's scores continuously during writing the script, and I have selected numerous cues that I think are perfect for my story.”According to Martin Scorsese “Anderson has a fine sense of how music works against an image”. And Anderson said that "he, and in some places I have ideas to sculpt the scenes around the music rather than vice-versa.”
Related links :-http://theplaylist.blogspot.com/2007/07/wes-anderson-and-satyajit-ray.html
*Abridged. Reproduced from The Statesman "