Reflections on Satyaiji Ray’s The Hero, by Iyer Pico

In 1974, I took a series of train trips all across India, as my father introduced me to the relatives I’d never had a chance to meet in my faraway English schools and home. Every detail of The Hero clamored around our compartment: the faces at the window, waving tiny cups of tea; the moralists eager to lecture anyone on everything; the slightly obsequious waiter explaining that there was nothing to drink but Coca-Cola. None of us in the carriage would have been surprised that the man who pontificated most furiously on the importance of liberating women would prove to be the one most eager to exploit them; projection can take many forms.

Depths and Surfaces, Iyer, Pico, Feb 22, 2018:

We’ve talked about reading “upstream” with your favorite authors, but I’m finding it a helpful practice with your favorite filmmakers too. For example ask yourself, what movies did Wes Anderson watch? What movies did he love? Then go watch those movies, and you’ll soon see the inspirations reveal themselves.

Satyajit Ray was an enormous influence on Wes Anderson. With each interior train hallway shot from The Hero, I kept thinking “Oh! That shot is in the Darjeeling Limited!”

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