Arts Devo

Epic art walkin’ and Indian cinema—both in Chico

Previous Next

Best fun time with art Arts DEVO isn't playing favorites when he says that the annual Open Studios Art Tour is the best visual arts event of the year. You can't really top having more than 60 local artists fill up their studios with art and invite everyone over for private art shows over the course of two weekends in October: Oct. 17-18 & 24-25, 10 a.m.-5 p.m. I am really looking forward to stops No. 7 (Jana and Dave Lawton's Art House) and No. 1 (where Katharine Sherman will demo painting and drawing at Chico Art Center). Presented by Chico Art Center, this is the 27th edition of the epic art walk/ride/drive, and this Friday, Oct. 16, 5-7 p.m., there will be a kick-off reception at the center, where sample pieces from many participating artists are on display and where you can purchase tour guides for $10.

The bildungsroman The CN&R received a letter last week from someone who had been part of an audience of “20 or 25” in attendance at the Pageant Theatre for a recent screening of Panther Panchali, the first installment of the much-celebrated Apu Trilogy by Indian director Satyajit Ray. The letter suggested that we'd missed an opportunity to let people know ahead of time that the Pageant was showing the seminal film. We actually did announce the screening with a short description in last week's issue, but the writer has a point when he says there are likely many people around here who haven't heard of the 60-year-old film and that it'd be worthwhile to fill them in on a series “widely considered to be among the finest ever made.”

Released between 1955 and 1959, the films tell the coming-of-age story of a poor Bengali boy named Apu in three parts, from boyhood (Panther Panchali, “Song of the Little Road”), through adolescence (Aparajito, “The Unvanquished”) to young adulthood (Apur Sansar, “The World of Apu”). As the films made their way around the world, from India to the U.S. to Cannes, Ray picked up plenty of hardware—more than 30 international awards—and has since landed on many critics' best-films-of-all-time lists and influenced some of the best filmmakers in the world, not the least of whom was Japanese director Akira Kurosawa, who said, “Never having seen a Satyajit Ray film is like never having seen the sun or the moon.” Oh, if that's not enough, Ravi Shankar wrote and recorded the soundtracks for all three.

The Pageant's presentation of Criterion's just-released 4K digital restoration offers a rare chance to see the films on a big screen. Film two (Aparajito) shows Oct. 17, 3 p.m., and Oct. 18, 7 p.m., and film three (Apur Sansar) shows Oct. 24, 3 p.m., and Oct. 18, 7 p.m. And if you missed the first one, you can probably find an old version streaming online, or wait till the set is released on DVD Nov. 17.