American Cinematographer - July 2015 - 74

Post Focus

I

Restoring The Apu Trilogy in 4K
By Debra Kaufman

When Janus Films recently released its new 4K version of The
Apu Trilogy, it marked the culmination of one of the most improbable and heroic restoration stories imaginable. The Criterion Collection, in association with the Academy Film Archive at the Academy
of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences, teamed with L'Immagine
Ritrovata in Bologna to salvage severely damaged film elements
through the concerted application of restoration expertise and the
latest digital technologies.
That Bengali filmmaker Satyajit Ray's Apu Trilogy - which
comprises Pather Panchali (1955), Aparajito (1956) and Apur Sansar
(1959) - was even made is itself a bit of a miracle. Enamored of
Vittorio De Sica's Bicycle Thieves and other post-World War II neorealist films, but with no prior filmmaking experience, the 31-year-old
Ray decided to make a film out of Bibhutibhushan Banerjee's
coming-of-age novel Pather Panchali. He gathered an inexperienced
crew and a cast of amateurs, and began to shoot. It took three years
to finish Pather Panchali and seven years to complete the trilogy, on
a reported budget of $3,000.
The films tell the story of Apu, a poor boy in a rural village
74

July 2015

who endures the tragedies of familial deaths and poverty, attains an
education, and then finds himself pressured into a marriage. The
marriage unexpectedly brings happiness and a child, but then
tragedy strikes again, and Apu flees his fate. By the end, he has
found a new serenity and takes joy in his son.
The trilogy was a milestone in Indian cinema and was immediately recognized by the worldwide cinema community as an
important contribution. By the time Ray died in 1992, he and The
Apu Trilogy had garnered dozens of awards and become part of the
essential history of cinema. Martin Scorsese, James Ivory, Elia Kazan,
Philip Kaufman, Wes Anderson and Danny Boyle are just some of
the directors who have mentioned the trilogy's impact on their own
work.
The need to restore Ray's films first came to light when
AMPAS feted Ray with an Honorary Oscar at the 64th Academy
Awards. The film clips shown were of poor quality, and a project was
soon put together to restore Ray's best films. The negatives were
sent to Henderson Film Laboratories in London where, in 1993,
nitrate sparked a huge fire that severely burned The Apu Trilogy
negatives and totally destroyed a number of Ealing comedies and
other classic British films.
Relying on other elements, Sony released The Apu Trilogy in

American Cinematographer

Images courtesy of Janus Films and the Criterion Collection.

Director Satyajit
Ray's famed
Apu Trilogy has
undergone a
painstaking 4K
restoration
courtesy of an
international
coalition
spearheaded by
the Criterion
Collection.



Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of American Cinematographer - July 2015

Contents
American Cinematographer - July 2015 - Cover1
American Cinematographer - July 2015 - Cover2
American Cinematographer - July 2015 - 1
American Cinematographer - July 2015 - 2
American Cinematographer - July 2015 - Contents
American Cinematographer - July 2015 - 4
American Cinematographer - July 2015 - 5
American Cinematographer - July 2015 - 6
American Cinematographer - July 2015 - 7
American Cinematographer - July 2015 - 8
American Cinematographer - July 2015 - 9
American Cinematographer - July 2015 - 10
American Cinematographer - July 2015 - 11
American Cinematographer - July 2015 - 12
American Cinematographer - July 2015 - 13
American Cinematographer - July 2015 - 14
American Cinematographer - July 2015 - 15
American Cinematographer - July 2015 - 16
American Cinematographer - July 2015 - 17
American Cinematographer - July 2015 - 18
American Cinematographer - July 2015 - 19
American Cinematographer - July 2015 - 20
American Cinematographer - July 2015 - 21
American Cinematographer - July 2015 - 22
American Cinematographer - July 2015 - 23
American Cinematographer - July 2015 - 24
American Cinematographer - July 2015 - 25
American Cinematographer - July 2015 - 26
American Cinematographer - July 2015 - 27
American Cinematographer - July 2015 - 28
American Cinematographer - July 2015 - 29
American Cinematographer - July 2015 - 30
American Cinematographer - July 2015 - 31
American Cinematographer - July 2015 - 32
American Cinematographer - July 2015 - 33
American Cinematographer - July 2015 - 34
American Cinematographer - July 2015 - 35
American Cinematographer - July 2015 - 36
American Cinematographer - July 2015 - 37
American Cinematographer - July 2015 - 38
American Cinematographer - July 2015 - 39
American Cinematographer - July 2015 - 40
American Cinematographer - July 2015 - 41
American Cinematographer - July 2015 - 42
American Cinematographer - July 2015 - 43
American Cinematographer - July 2015 - 44
American Cinematographer - July 2015 - 45
American Cinematographer - July 2015 - 46
American Cinematographer - July 2015 - 47
American Cinematographer - July 2015 - 48
American Cinematographer - July 2015 - 49
American Cinematographer - July 2015 - 50
American Cinematographer - July 2015 - 51
American Cinematographer - July 2015 - 52
American Cinematographer - July 2015 - 53
American Cinematographer - July 2015 - 54
American Cinematographer - July 2015 - 55
American Cinematographer - July 2015 - 56
American Cinematographer - July 2015 - 57
American Cinematographer - July 2015 - 58
American Cinematographer - July 2015 - 59
American Cinematographer - July 2015 - 60
American Cinematographer - July 2015 - 61
American Cinematographer - July 2015 - 62
American Cinematographer - July 2015 - 63
American Cinematographer - July 2015 - 64
American Cinematographer - July 2015 - 65
American Cinematographer - July 2015 - 66
American Cinematographer - July 2015 - 67
American Cinematographer - July 2015 - 68
American Cinematographer - July 2015 - 69
American Cinematographer - July 2015 - 70
American Cinematographer - July 2015 - 71
American Cinematographer - July 2015 - 72
American Cinematographer - July 2015 - 73
American Cinematographer - July 2015 - 74
American Cinematographer - July 2015 - 75
American Cinematographer - July 2015 - 76
American Cinematographer - July 2015 - 77
American Cinematographer - July 2015 - 78
American Cinematographer - July 2015 - 79
American Cinematographer - July 2015 - 80
American Cinematographer - July 2015 - 81
American Cinematographer - July 2015 - 82
American Cinematographer - July 2015 - 83
American Cinematographer - July 2015 - 84
American Cinematographer - July 2015 - 85
American Cinematographer - July 2015 - 86
American Cinematographer - July 2015 - 87
American Cinematographer - July 2015 - 88
American Cinematographer - July 2015 - Cover3
American Cinematographer - July 2015 - Cover4
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/ac/ac1119
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/ac/ac1019
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/ac/ac0919
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/ac/ac0819
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/ac/ac0719
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/ac/ac0619
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/ac/ac0519
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/ac/ac0419
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/ac/ac0319
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/ac/ac0219_v2
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/ac/ac0219
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/ac/ac0119_v2
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/ac/ac0119
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/ac/ac1218
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/ac/ac1118
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/ac/ac1018
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/ac/ac0918
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/ac/ac0818
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/ac/ac0718
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/ac/ac0618
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/ac/ac0518
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/ac/ac0418
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/ac/ac0318
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/ac/ac0218
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/ac/ac0118
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/ac/ac1217
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/ac/ac1117
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/ac/ac1017
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/ac/ac0917
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/ac/ac0817
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/ac/ac0717
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/ac/ac0617
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/ac/ac0517
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/ac/ac0417
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/ac/ac0317
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/ac/ac0217
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/ac/ac0117
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/ac/ac1216
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/ac/ac1116
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/ac/ac1016
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/ac/ac0916
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/ac/ac0816
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/ac/ac0716
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/ac/ac0616
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/ac/ac0516
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/ac/ac0416
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/ac/ac0316
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/ac/ac0216
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/ac/ac0116
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/ac/ac1215
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/ac/ac1115
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/ac/ac1015
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/ac/ac0915
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/ac/ac0815
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/ac/ac0715
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/ac/ac0615
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/ac/ac0515
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/ac/ac0415
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/ac/ac0315
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/ac/ac0215
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/ac/ac0115
http://www.nxtbookMEDIA.com