British film-maker Paul Greengrass, who has helmed the famous Bourne film franchise, says that he is a fan of the late film-maker Satyajit Ray, and that Ray is an inspiration to him. “I remember watching Pather Panchali (1955) when I was a student, and I loved it,” he told us in a telephonic interview.
Also see:Satyajit Ray, the graphic artist
Greengrass also compares Ray to celebrated Japanese film-maker Akira Kurosawa, who directed the cult film Rashomon (1950). “He (Ray) was definitely one of the great masters of cinema, great at his art. He was like Kurosawa, everything he made had something special in it,” says the 58-year-old.
Paul Greengrass, who shot some scenes for the Bourne series in India, has fond memories of the trip, and the film-maker says he’d love to be back to capture more on his lens. “We shot a few scenes in Goa for the film. I loved every minute of ­shooting there. The people were great, the weather was great and the overall experience, was like, you know, great. I’d love to shoot in India, again. It has some beautiful landscapes,” says Greengrass.
A self-confessed Satyajit Ray fan, the film-maker says it’s about time that Indian influence takes over western cinema. Talking about a possible interlinking between British and Indian cinema, the 58-year-old adds, “I loved Danny Boyle’s Slumdog Millionaire (2008). The film was very popular around the globe as well. I loved Monsoon Wedding (2001) as well. It was ­beautiful. I feel that in the years to come, especially in the UK, you will see a lot of Indian influence in films. The song, the dance, the humour — the overall energy in Indian films is fantastic. I see a crossover between films in the UK and India.”
Greengrass’s film, Captain Philips (2013) received six nominations at this years Academy Awards, but failed to bag an Oscar. Was he disappointed? “You don’t make films to win awards. I’ve been lucky enough to win a few of them earlier. But what matters to me more is the fact that the audiences in India and around the world watched the film, enjoyed it and talked about it,” he says, adding that actor Barkhad Abdi — who was nominated in the Best Supporting Actor (male) category — was really excited about it. “It was a huge moment. Also, Barkhad’s fellow nominees in the category, (Bradley Cooper, Jared Leto and others) were brilliant actors, and he couldn’t believe that he was even nominated,” he says.
Also see: Kishore Kumar refused fees for Satyajit Ray's Charulata