Centre for New Media (CENEMA) has launched a multi-lingual website exploreray.org where Satyajit Ray’s Kheror Khata (Film Books) of the iconic film ‘Goopy Gyne Bagha Byne’, originally released in 1969, are presented in a way never seen before. The ambitious project pays tribute to Satyajit Ray on his Birth Centenary by exploring his work of art and creative mind, thereby providing a unique insight to a global audience.
The project is centred around the Kheror Khata, a traditional red cloth-bound notebook, which Ray maintained for his films and served as his “film book”. In these notebooks, he kept meticulous and exhaustive notes in the form of words, phrases, sentences, sketches, musical notes and storyboards as an important guide throughout the making of the film, as well as the post production phases of editing, background music, sound effects and special effects. Effectively, the ‘Kheror Khata’ is not only the blueprint of the film but truly a ‘Film Book’.
This project extensively annotates elements of about 900+pages, with descriptions and deciphered texts, cross-referenced to the script, digitised movie sequences, music snippets and other additional information, leading to 1500+ elements, 500+ movie snippets, 100+ images and 70+ newly recorded piano renditions of the original notations. The songs, background music, iconic scenes from the film are also linked to the multidimensional contexts explicitly conceived on the Kheror Khata. The site also presents for the first time the sketchbook of the film, production stills, the publicity material of the film and other aspects, all produced by Ray.
The project aims to enable cinema lovers, researchers of the film medium, film makers themselves in general and admirers of Ray in particular, all across the globe, to delve deeper into his unique approach to movie making, aided by his facility with other forms of art, crafts, design and music. We hope that this project will help a global audience to engage in research and more importantly, a younger generation will find inspiration in this interplay of the thought process of a creative mind captured in the Kheror khata pages with the final iconic film in celluloid and derive their own insight and interpretation of the genius of Ray.
A team of TCG CREST, led by Ayananshu Banerjee, partnered with multiple individuals and organizations, worked tirelessly for the last six months to execute this project. Sandip Ray played a pivotal role as the principal advisor and collaborator. Kunal Sen assumed the all-important role of technical advisor. This is the first time ever the sons of two legendary Bengali film makers Satyajit Ray and Mrinal Sen have collaborated for a project.
CENEMA – TCG CREST thanks Sandip Ray and the Ray Society for providing the Kheror Khata and other related artefacts of the film and Mrs. Purnima Dutta for giving the permission to use the film snippets of this iconic film.