Satyajit Ray’s The Apu Trilogy Film Series
November 4, 2023 - November 18, 2023
Release Date: September 20, 2023
Pasadena, CA—In conjunction with the exhibition Benevolent Beings: Buddhas and Bodhisattvas from South and Southeast Asia, the Norton Simon Museum presents filmmaker Satyajit Ray’s The Apu Trilogy, which brought India into the golden age of international art-house film. The films follow one indelible character, a free-spirited child in rural Bengal who matures into an adolescent urban student and finally a sensitive man of the world.
All films are presented in Bengali with English subtitles. Held in the Museum’s theater on consecutive Saturdays in November; free with Museum admission; doors open at 4:00 p.m.
Pather Panchali (1955), NR
Directed by Satyajit Ray
Saturday, November 4, 4:30–6:35 p.m.
With the release in 1955 of Satyajit Ray’s debut, Pather Panchali, an eloquent and important new cinematic voice made itself heard all over the world. A depiction of rural Bengali life in a style inspired by Italian neorealism, this naturalistic but poetic evocation of a number of years in the life of a family introduces us to both little Apu and, just as essentially, the women who will help shape him: his independent older sister, Durga; his harried mother, Sarbajaya, who, with her husband away, must hold the family together; and his kindly and mischievous elderly “auntie,” Indir—vivid, multifaceted characters all. With resplendent photography informed by its young protagonist’s perpetual sense of discovery, Pather Panchali is an immersive cinematic experience and a film of elemental power.
Aparajito (1956), NR
Directed by Satyajit Ray
Saturday, November 11, 4:30–6:20 p.m.
Aparajito picks up where the first film leaves off, with Apu and his family having moved away from the country to live in the bustling holy city of Varanasi (then known as Benares). As Apu progresses from wide-eyed child to intellectually curious teenager, eventually studying in Kolkata, we witness his academic and moral education as well as the growing complexity of his relationship with his mother. This tenderly expressive, often heart-wrenching film not only extends but also spiritually deepens the tale of Apu.
Apur Sansar (1959), NR
Directed by Satyajit Ray
Saturday, November 18, 4:30–6:20 p.m.
This extraordinary final chapter brings our protagonist’s journey full circle. Apu is now in his early twenties, out of college and hoping to live as a writer. Alongside his professional ambitions, the film charts his romantic awakening, which occurs as the result of a most unlikely turn of events, and his eventual, fraught fatherhood. Featuring Soumitra Chatterjee and Sharmila Tagore in star-making performances and demonstrating Ray’s ever more impressive skills as a crafter of pure cinematic imagery, Apur Sansar is a moving conclusion to this monumental trilogy.
ADMISSION: All screenings are included with Museum admission. Admission is $20.00 for adults; $15.00 for seniors; and free for Museum members, students with I.D., and everyone age 18 and under. Details on our hours, protocols and visitor information can be found at www.nortonsimon.org.
WHERE: Norton Simon Museum| 411 West Colorado Boulevard in Pasadena; located on the corner of Colorado and Orange Grove Boulevards at the intersection of the 210 and 134 freeways |Parking at the Norton Simon Museum is free but limited. Public transportation or ridesharing is encouraged.
Learn about the exhibition Benevolent Beings: Buddhas and Bodhisattvas from South and Southeast Asia.
Images for the Press
About the Norton Simon Museum
The Norton Simon Museum is known around the world as one of the most remarkable private art collections ever assembled. Over a 30-year period, industrialist Norton Simon (1907–1993) amassed an astonishing collection of European art from the Renaissance to the 20th century, and a stellar collection of South and Southeast Asian art spanning 2,000 years. Modern and Contemporary Art from Europe and the United States, acquired by the former Pasadena Art Museum, also occupies an important place in the Museum’s collections. The Museum houses more than 12,000 objects, roughly 1,000 of which are on view in the galleries and gardens.
Location: The Norton Simon Museum is located at 411 W. Colorado Blvd. at Orange Grove Boulevard in Pasadena, Calif., at the intersection of the Foothill (210) and Ventura (134) freeways. For general Museum information, please call (626) 449-6840 or visit nortonsimon.org. Hours: The Museum is open Thursday through Monday, 12 p.m. to 5 p.m. (Friday and Saturday to 7 p.m.). It is closed on Tuesday and Wednesday. Admission: General admission is $20 for adults and $15 for seniors. Members, students with I.D., and patrons age 18 and under are admitted free of charge. The first Friday of the month from 4 to 7 p.m. is free to all. The Museum is wheelchair accessible. Parking: Parking is free but limited, and no reservations are necessary. Public Transportation: Pasadena Transit stops directly in front of the Museum. Please visit http://pasadenatransit.net for schedules. The MTA bus line #180/181 stops in front of the Museum. The Memorial Park Station on the MTA Gold Line, the closest Metro Rail station to the Museum, is located at 125 E. Holly St. at Arroyo Parkway. Please visit www.metro.net for schedules. Planning your Visit: For up-to-date information on our guidelines and protocols, please visit nortonsimon.org/visit.