June 02 2020
From our archives: Mrinal Sen speaks on films and film making
31 December 2018

In a career spanning over 60 years, Bengali filmmaker Mrinal Sen directed numerous acclaimed movies and collaborated with artists worldwide. Not one to mince words about the various social and political issues of the time, he often spoke frankly and eloquently about filmmaking and life.

Here is a collection of articles and interviews with the director that appeared in The Hindu. 

Mrinal Sen's first break, as told to Ranjan Das Gupta

"After 'Akash Kusum' I had a war of letters with Satyajit Ray, who described it as a crow film. But there were no hard feelings between us as we always shared a mutual set of unspoken ethics and had a silent regard for each other."

'My films are popular failures at the box office'

"I see myself as a logical extension of what I was 30 years ago. Things might have changed physically but then the intellectual concerns have remained the same," said  Mr. Sen, looking back on his four-decade-long journey into the world of film-making.

Cannes like a second home: Mrinal Sen

"George C. Scott refused an Oscar for 'Patton'. I admire his honesty and grit. If I feel I do not deserve an award, I will never opt for it. I will certainly not return an award I received years ago. On a personal level I do not want to comment on the trend of returning awards at all. I never chaired national awards. Even Ray did not. I strongly condemn any bias or intolerance in society."

I don't rank my films: Mrinal Sen

"I have always admired the works of John Ford, the earlier Hitchcock, Sir David Lean and Billy Wilder. Films like ‘How Green Was My Valley’, ‘Rebecca’, ‘Dr. Zhivago’ and ‘Sunset Boulevard’ are very special. I do not support the dirty game played at the Oscars at times and I personally feel Hollywood should concentrate more on content than form. Even Francis Ford Coppola and Sir Richard Attenborough also think along the same lines."

Films from the heart

“I hate to be branded as a political filmmaker. The term political is clichéd. Can you label Satyajit Ray as a humanist filmmaker or Tapan Sinha just as a brilliant storyteller?”

Mrinal Sen turns 90, says that he hasn't yet retired

“Birth or death, it isn't my business to celebrate. My friends, relatives and people who think of me are there to celebrate if they will. But not me,”



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