New Release: The Music Room Blu-ray and DVD

The Music Room movie scene

Chhabi Biswas catches his reflection in The Music Room.

The Criterion Collection released the legendary Bengali director Satyajit Ray’s 1958 film The Music Room (Jalsaghar) on Blu-ray and DVD on July 19, 2011, marking the movie’s first-ever release digital release.

The movie turns on the fallen aristocrat Huzur Biswambhar Roy (Chhabi Biswas) who desperately tries to cling to his way of life as his opulent world begins to crumble. His greatest joy is the music room in which he has hosted lavish concerts over the years — now a shadow of its former vivid self.

Considered to be a defining work for Ray, The Music Room offers an insightful depiction of the clash between tradition and modernity, while showcasing some of India’s most popular musicians of the day.

Presented in Bengali with English subtitles, the Blu-ray and DVD each contain a new digital restoration and new and improved English subtitle translation, with uncompressed monaural soundtrack on the Blu-ray.

Both also include the following features:

  • Satyajit Ray (1984), a feature documentary by Shyam Benegal that chronicles Ray’s career and includes interviews with the filmmaker, family photographs and extensive clips from his films
  • new interview with filmmaker Mira Nair
  • new interview in which Ray biographer Andrew Robinson discusses the making of The Music Room and the film’s cultural significance
  • excerpt from a 1981 French roundtable discussion with Ray, film critic Michel Ciment and filmmaker Claude Sautet
  • booklet featuring an essay by critic Philip Kemp as well as reprints of a 1963 essay by Ray and a 1986 interview with the director about the film’s music


Buy or Rent The Music Room
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About Laurence

Founder and editor Laurence Lerman saw Alfred Hitchcock’s North by Northwest when he was 13 years old and that’s all it took. He has been writing about film and video for more than a quarter of a century for magazines, anthologies, websites and most recently, Video Business magazine, where he served as the Reviews Editor for 15 years.