Dulal Dutta - Writer





Editor. Nationality: Indian. Born: Chandannagar, West Bengal, 1925. Career: Assistant editor in Bombay; 1955—first film as editor, Pather Panchali , by Satyajit Ray; in addition to Ray's films, edited films by Satyen Bose, Asit Sen, Ajoy Kar, Tarun Mazumdar, and others.


Films as Editor for Satyajit Ray:

1955

Pather Panchali ( Father Panchali )

1956

Aparajito ( The Unvanquished )

1957

Parash Pathar ( The Philosopher's Stone )

1958

Jalsaghar ( The Music Room )

1959

Apur Sansar ( The World of Apu )

1960

Devi ( The Goddess )

1961

Rabindranath Tagore (doc); Teen Kanya ( Two Daughters )

1962

Kanchanjanga ; Abhijan ( Expedition )

1963

Mahanagar ( The Big City )

1964

Charulata ( The Lonely Wife )

1965

Kapurush-o-Mahapurush ( The Coward and the Saint )

1966

Nayak ( The Hero )

1967

Chiriakhana ( The Zoo )

1969

Goopy Gyne Bagha Byne ( The Adventures of Goopy and Bagha )

1970

Aranyer Din Ratri ( Days and Nights in the Forest ); Pratidwandi ( The Adversary )

1971

Seemabaddha ; Sikkim (doc)

1972

The Inner Eye (doc)

1973

Asani Sanket ( Distant Thunder )

1974

Sonar Kella ( The Golden Fortress )

1975

Jana Aranya ( The Middleman )

1976

Bala (doc)

1977

Shatranj Ke Khilari ( The Chess Players )

1978

Joi Baba Felunath ( The Elephant God )

1979

Heerak Rajar Deshe ( The Kingdom of Diamonds )

1982

Ghare Bahire ( The Home and the World )

1989

Ganashatru ( An Enemy of the People )

1990

Shakha Proshakha ( The Branches of the Tree )

1991

Agantuk ( The Stranger )



Films as Editor for Sandip Ray:

1994

Uttoran ( The Broken Journey )

1995

Target


* * *


When Satyajit Ray gathered a crew of friends together to make a film of Bibhuti Banerjee's novel, Pather Panchali , editor Dulal Dutta seemed to be an old veteran in comparison with the inexperience of the others. He had previously worked on two movies. He went on to collaborate many times with Ray, gaining worldwide fame for this association. Ray later commented on the amateur appearance of his first work: "Judged on the level of craftsmanship, there was much that was wrong with my film. . . . The early part clearly shows we were groping with the medium. Shots are held for too long, cuts come at the wrong points, the pace falters." Other critics have more generously judged that the director and his editor allowed the material, the natural rhythms of the village life and landscape, to dictate the rambling style of the film.

Dutta, under Ray's close supervision, developed a cutting style of great economy, but one which could reveal the poetry of the content. Akira Kurosawa commented that "his work can be described as flowing composedly, like a big river." Dutta's editing skills are most apparent in scenes of dialogue, such as the picnic and memory game in Aranyer Din Ratri . Ray described in a 1966 article, "Some Aspects of My Craft," the alternative assemblages Dutta would put together for him: "These offer endless variations of emphasis, unlimited scope for pointing up shades of feeling. It is not unusual for an important dialogue scene to be cut in half a dozen different ways before a final satisfactory form is achieved."

Dutta has worked with other directors, including James Ivory on his first film, The Householder . But he has otherwise lived an almost reclusive life in the film community of Calcutta, rarely being seen in public.

—Stephen Brophy

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