Nayak(Bengali)-10.51.16 PM

Nayak and A Hard Day’s Night

Criterion and Janus Films have restored and re-released A Hard Day’s Night (1964), opening in theaters in the US starting over the long holiday weekend. Seeing it on the big screen for the first time and looking and sounding so good after decades of VHS and tv is a thrill. What I don’t remember appreciating in all my previous viewings is what it has to say about pop celebrity in the mid 1960s. It is that particular point that made me keep thinking—amid the jokes, personality, energy, and THOSE SONGS—about Satyajit Ray’s Nayak (1966), released just two years later and also a loosely fictionalized but reality-grounded story of a day in the life of someone very, very famous.

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