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Category — Film Industry

Early Tamil Cinema With Deleuze: The Case Of Cintamani (1937)

Last few weeks had been quite hectic as I was trying to connect early Tamil cinema with Deleuze’s notions of movement-image. I was preparing a paper for Dr Stephen Hughes’ (SOAS) seminar on “Early Tamil Cinema” held in Chennai during Feb.17-18,2011. Working on this paper meant working against the “limit” of Deleuzean notions contained in his Cinema I and II books, as pointed out by David Martin Jones. David Martin Jones’ “Towards Another ‘-Image’: Deleuze, Narrative Time and Popular Indian Cinema,” (Deleuze Studies 2 (1) 25-48) points to the limitation of the supposedly eurocentric approach of Deleuze’s Cinema I and II books in examining the case of Indian cinema. [Read more →]

February 20, 2011   1 Comment  

Interiorising Bangla cinema and its decline

by Suruchi Mazumdar

Uttam Kumar passed away thirteen days before I was born. For the uninitiated, he was the matinee idol of popular Bengali cinema of post-Independent era. As the news of the star actor’s untimely and sudden death spread, my heavily pregnant mother – nonchalantly risking my impending arrival and ignoring my helpless father’s vain objections – wobbled through a swelling and maddening crowd to catch a last glimpse of the hero of her youth and childhood. [Read more →]

November 7, 2010   No Comments  

A Day To Remember and the Strange Political Economy of Media in Tamil Nadu

Today (October 01) is a day to remember in Tamil cinema for two varied reasons. It marks another birth anniversary of Sivaji Ganesan, the doyen of Tamil cinema who passed away in 2001. It was Sivaji who gave a great boost to the political cinema of DMK during the 1950s. His first film, Parasakthi, 1952, was a scathing statement against the evils of exploitation, superstition, and moral depravity. [Read more →]

October 1, 2010   1 Comment  

The Man Who Was Seen Too Much: Amitabh Bachchan on Film Posters

by Ranjani Mazumdar

I’m sharing an essay I read on the Bachchan film posters. It has been written by Ranjani Mazumdar, Associate Professor of cinema studies at Jawaharlal Nehru University, New Delhi.

Ranjani has previously written on the Bombay film poster, but this paper works specifically on Amitabh Bachchan, and it creates a visual map of how cinema responded to societal changes in the 1970s, and also traces Bachchan’s rise to stardom through the film poster.

The essay is four-pages long, and you have to go to the bottom right corner of the page and click on ‘next’, a link that isn’t very visible on the page.

Click here to access the essay.

September 7, 2010   No Comments  

Selling stars

The popular Hindi film industry is often accused of recycling material, rehashing old stories, copying Hollywood and generally not generating any new innovative material. We can argue over the validity of these claims, but there is something new and wildly interesting that has been brewing in Bollywood for some years now, and that is the manufacturing of stars.

With the internet, social networking and myriad other options, the mapping of stardom has changed over the last few years. Namrata Joshi of Outlook has written about the role of marketing in selling stars and their films. Have a look here.

May 29, 2010   No Comments  

Marathi films beat Bollywood

A recent report by the Press Trust of India claims that the first quarter of 2010 has seen Marathi films grossing higher than most mainstream Hindi films produced by the Bombay film industry. Notwithstanding the likes of 3 Idiots and My Name is Khan, an upsurge has been noticed in the returns of films like Harishchandrachi Factory, Natrang to name a few.

Click here to access the full report.

April 1, 2010   No Comments  

The end of Miramax

Just over thirty years after it came into existence, Miramax  studio that gave the world films like Pulp Fiction, Kill Bill, Chicago to name a few, was shut down by Disney. Click here to access the entire report.

January 29, 2010   No Comments  

If the Oscars were run by critics…

Nominations, predictions, surprises and catfights are usual fare in the run up to the most popular award show hosted by the Academy for Motion Pictures and Sciences. An interesting list was drawn up by the guys at TIME, that made early predictions about what film, director and actors would be honoured by the Academy if the awards were decided by critics.

I’ve linked the list of Best Picture and the votes it got here.

For the complete list, click here.

January 28, 2010   1 Comment  

Notes on 3 Idiots

There is a very good reason that I didn’t write on the much celebrated, much talked-about recent film, 3 Idiots, despite having some thoughts on it. The reason, quite simply, is my regular critique of Aamir Khan and the response it generates. While I enjoyed the film for its lighter moments, its use of comedy and some irreverent moments that are unique to popular Bombay cinema, it would have been impossible for me to ignore the glaring problems with this film. And for fear that my criticism of Aamir Khan’s constructed star persona (polite words for god complex) looks like a bad habit, I have chosen to remain somewhat in the background with this one. Luckily, I came across Jai Arjun Singh’s insightful piece on the film that appeared in Business Standard. I share his opinion to a large extent, and it can be accessed here.

January 10, 2010   No Comments  

Harishchandrachi Factory: India’s latest Oscar blunder?

harishchandrachi-factory.doThe last few months have seen much frenetic activity around Paresh Mokashi’s Marathi film Harishchandrachi Factory, primarily because it was picked as India’s official entry to the Oscars. While a lot of dinnertime conversation seems to revolve around this film and its supposed uniqueness, it is likely that most of this excitement in the air is based on some reviews about this film and its supposed archival value, because very few people have actually seen it. The question therefore is, is the film really the right choice to send to an international forum as our selection of the best film made in India this year. The answer, is, no. [Read more →]

October 31, 2009   47 Comments