|Apu at the end of his journey in Apur Sansar.|
Whilst some of the films listed below are available via online specialist DVD websites, many are still out of the reach of the respected cinephile. The range of films is quite vast and a lot of the films are available to watch in HQ with subtitles. The negative is that watching a film on YouTube is not really the ideal context or format in which to engage with this kind of cinema. Another problem is that many of these films are either taken down due to copyright infringement or have parts missing to them. In addition, the subtitles for a lot of these films are inconsistent and can be hard to follow due to poor translation. Nevertheless, should one really be so critical given the fact YouTube has in a way led to the democratisation of cinephilia. I have also noticed that an increasing number of film makers are also making available their work for free on YouTube including none other than Ken Loach who recently uploaded The Gamekeeper and Looks and Smiles, both marginal films and relatively unseen by audiences. I think the danger is that when users on YouTube upload new films, easily available through most DVD retailers, that the issue of piracy and infringement of copyright becomes strikingly pertinent.
I will try to update this list regularly and hope to build up some kind of comprehensive list of what is actually available on YouTube:
1. Ek Din Pratidin (A Day Like Any Other) - Dir. Mrinal Sen, 1979
2. Kharij (The Case Is Closed) - Dir. Mrinal Sen, 1982
3. Jukti Takko Aar Gappo (Reason, Debate and a Story) - Dir. Ritwik Ghatak, 1974
4. Ashani Sanket (Distant Thunder) - Dir. Satyajit Ray, 1973
5. Pratiwandi (The Adversary) - Dir. Satyajit Ray, 1972
6. Bhumika (The Role) - Dir. Shyam Benegal, 1977
7. Suraj Ka Satvan Ghoda (The Seventh Horse of the Sun) - Dir. Shyam Benegal, 1992
8. Elippathayam (The Rat Trap) - Dir. Adoor Gopalakrishnan, 1981
9. Tarang (Wages and Profit) Dir. Kumar Shahani, 1984, NFDC
Shahani trained at The Film and Television Institute of India and was taught by Ritwik Ghatak. This film is available to watch for free at a video on demand website titled 'Jaman' - you have to register but it has a small library of hard to find NFDC funded films. Once again, the quality varies for many of the films.
10. Nazar (The Gaze) Dir. Mani Kaul, 1990, NFDC
Many of the following NFDC financed films are also available to watch for free and some for a small fee at the Jaman website:
11. Ek Doctor Ki Maut (Death of a Doctor) - Dir. Tapan Sinha, 1990
12. Ghare-Baire (Home and the World) - Dir. Satyajit Ray, 1984
13. Dharavi (City of Dreams) - Dir. Sudhir Mishra, 1991
14. Salim Langde Pe Mat Ro (Salim The Lame) - Dir. Saeed Akhtar Mirza, 1989
15. Yugant (What The Sea Said) - Dir. Aparna Sen, 1995
MOVIE MAHAL (Nasreen Munni Kabir)
In many ways the series of short documentaries written and produced by Nasreen Munni Kabir for Channel Four in the 1980s was one of my earliest introductions to Indian cinema. Each of the documentaries covered a particular area of popular Indian cinema and was linked to a landmark or key Indian film. I can see that this upload has been taken from an old VHS print and the quality does vary considerably but I am not sure why this has not been made available on DVD as it seems to be an excellent resource and introduction to popular Indian cinema:
16. Movie Mahal - Between The Lines
17. Movie Mahal - Heroines
18. Movie Mahal - Hero Worship
19. Movie Mahal - Take Two
20. Sukumar Ray - Dir. Satyajit Ray, 1987
Ray's last documentary; an affectionate look at his father. (Be weary of the subtitles for this one)
21. Nishant (Night's End) - Dir. Shyam Benegal, 1975
Personally, I don't think Benegal has made an angrier film. Cinematography by Nihalani.
22. Hazaar Chaurasi Ki Maa (Mother of 1084) - Dir. Govind Nihalani, 1998
This film deals directly with the Naxalite movement of the late 60s and 70s. It stars Jaya Bhaduri in the lead role.
23. Rabindranath Tagore - Dir. Satyajit Ray, 1961
Essential if one wants to grasp the origins of Ray's intellect.
24. Satyajit Ray - Dir. Goutam Ghosh, 1999
Documentary on Ray by Bengali film maker Goutam Ghosh.
25. Hirak Rajar Deshe (Kingdom of Diamonds) - Dir. Satyajit Ray, 1980
The second film of the Goopy Gyne Bagha Byne films - characters created by Ray's grandfather.
26. Ghattashraddha (The Ritual) - Dir. Girish Kasaravalli, 1977
A Kannada art film; looking forward to this one, visually it looks incredible.
27. Ekti Nadir Naam (The Name of a River) - Dir. Anup Singh, 2002
Blending fiction and documentary, this is an exploration of Ritwik Ghatak.
28. Sonar Kella (The Fortress) - Dir. Satyajit Ray, 1974
This proves the breadth of Ray's body of work.
29. Ardh Satya (Half Truth) Dir. Govind Nihalani, 1983
Nihalani's masterpiece - still unavailable in the UK.
30. Swayamvaram - Adoor's directorial debut.
(1972, Dir. Adoor Gopalkrishnan, 131 min)
31. Interview - The first Part of Sen's Calcutta Trilogy.
(1970, Dir. Mrinal Sen, 85 min)
32. Calcutta '71
(1972, Dir. Mrinal Sen, 132 min) - click on title to access link
33. Padatik / The Guerrilla Fighter
(1973, Dir. Mrinal Sen, 98 min) - click on title to access link
34. Komal Gandhar / E Flat
(1961, Dir. Ritwik Ghatak, 134 min) - click on title to access link
35. Neel Akasher Neechey / Under The Blue Sky
(1959, Dir. Mrinal Sen, 133 min) - Another Bengali film and an early one from Mrinal Sen.
36. Bombay, Our City
(1985, Dir. Anand Patwardhan, 82 min) - For more about Patwardhan's skills as a documentary film maker check out Srikanth's post at The Seventh Art.
37. Neem Annapurna / Bitter Morsel
(1979, Dir. Buddhadev Dasgupta, 95 min) - This has been compared to the early work of Ray.
38. Nagarik / The Citizen
(1952, Dir. Ritwik Ghatak, 127 min) - Ghatak's directorial debut.
39. Teen Kanya / Three Daughters: The Postmaster (56 min)
(1961, Dir. Satyajit Ray) - Biographer Andrew Robinson argues that The Postmaster episode features some of Ray's best work.
40. Shadows of Time
(2004, Dir. Florian Gallenberger, 122 min) - Shot in Calcutta and directed by a German director, this one seems interesting as it also features Tannishtha Chatterjee and Irfan Khan in the cast.