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.
Pather Panchali ( Father Panchali )
Aparajito ( The Unvanquished )
Parash Pathar ( The Philosopher's Stone )
Jalsaghar ( The Music Room )
Apur Sansar ( The World of Apu )
Devi ( The Goddess )
Rabindranath Tagore (doc); Teen Kanya ( Two Daughters )
Kanchanjanga ; Abhijan ( Expedition )
Mahanagar ( The Big City )
Charulata ( The Lonely Wife )
Kapurush-o-Mahapurush ( The Coward and the Saint )
Nayak ( The Hero )
Chiriakhana ( The Zoo )
Goopy Gyne Bagha Byne ( The Adventures of Goopy and Bagha )
Aranyer Din Ratri ( Days and Nights in the Forest ); Pratidwandi ( The Adversary )
Seemabaddha ; Sikkim (doc)
The Inner Eye (doc)
Asani Sanket ( Distant Thunder )
Sonar Kella ( The Golden Fortress )
Jana Aranya ( The Middleman )
Shatranj Ke Khilari ( The Chess Players )
Joi Baba Felunath ( The Elephant God )
Heerak Rajar Deshe ( The Kingdom of Diamonds )
Ghare Bahire ( The Home and the World )
Ganashatru ( An Enemy of the People )
Shakha Proshakha ( The Branches of the Tree )
Agantuk ( The Stranger )
Uttoran ( The Broken Journey )
* * *
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.