Two key movies by master directors who rank high in the annals of world cinema screen tonight: Satyajit Ray's "Pather Panchali" (1955) and Sergei Eisenstein's "October" (1928).
"Pather Panchali"--7 p.m. at Bowers Museum (2002 N. Main St., Santa Ana); free with $6 museum admission; (714) 567-3600--was the first of Ray's pictures and the first he made in "The Apu Trilogy." It won the grand prize at the Cannes International Film Festival and brought the Bengali director sudden worldwide acclaim, much as "Rashomon" had done for Japanese director Akira Kurosawa at the Venice Film Festival in 1951.
"Pather Panchali," which means "Song of the Open Road," was adapted (along with the rest of the trilogy) by Ray from a novel by Bibhuti Bhushan Bannerjee that the director had illustrated for publication before deciding to make a film of it. The picture focuses on Apu's boyhood, school days and family life.