At the latest Filmfare awards, Sirsha Ray bagged the Best Cinematographer trophy for Konkona Sen’s directorial debut, A Death In The Gunj. The recognition was well deserved because Ray has made every scene of this period art house film work in terms of composition and lighting while matching it perfectly to the brooding, emotional mood. This FTII graduate has shot some 50 Bengali films, and his expertise is evident in several scenes – the protagonist’s dream sequence as other cast members are dancing around a bonfire, the eerie planchette scene and the search for the young girl in the jungle at night. The receding road with pale red light from the car’s taillight falling on the jungle is a visual that stays etched in the mind of the viewer. Ray says he had a modest kit of an Alexa XR with a set of master primes and an Angenieux HR zoom freshly calibrated to shoot the film with, but that did not deter him from bringing 1979 McCluskiegunj back to vibrant life.
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