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Posts from — January 2007

A small step by MTV-Adlabs, a giant leap for industry?

Finally, late capital is attempting to rationalise the way films are conceptualised, produced, sold and consumed in what could be seen as the first signs of structural shift in the Indian film industry.

Variety reports that MTV and Adlabs Films have announced a slate of three films, budgeted at no more than Rs 35 mn ($800,000/Rs 3.5 crore) each. The films will be jointly produced by the two companies, with MTV [Read more →]

January 31, 2007   No Comments  

Publishing more trivia

Barring the few research papers, there is very little information about Indian film music. Manek Premchand’s book Musical Moments From Hindi Films, though not an academic work, attempts to fill that gap. The only sore point is that critical writing is given a go-by in favour of trivia. The book illustrates Pendakur’s point about the lack of serious writing on the industry. Nevertheless, it is a good resource for any researcher into Hindi cinema.

January 31, 2007   2 Comments  

Why MGR’s Fans See(k) a God in Him? – II

Gods do not belong only to heavens, at least in Tamil Nadu. They can be created in the minds of the urban and rural poor in Tamil Nadu solely through adulatory voyeurism. What is adulatory voyeurism? It is the the means through which ordinary mortals can be effectively distanced from the rest of the society and made to exist on heavenly planes on earth. Here propitiation of the object of desire is the key to the process. Unlike [Read more →]

January 30, 2007   2 Comments  

Parazania and the economy of coercion

Despite the best efforts of director Rahul Dholakia, Parazania failed to secure a release in Gujarat — after the experiences of Fanaa exhibitors appeared to have developed cold feet. The film is a tragedy about a Parsi family, which loses one of its children in the 2002 Gujarat rioting. The Bajrang Dal had already issued a warning against the film’s release. On the other hand, the exhibitors have engaged in self-censorship by [Read more →]

January 30, 2007   No Comments  

The Gates Foundation has got it all wrong

According to Mira Nair, the big names in Hindi filmdom do not want to be associated with promoting AIDS awareness (Read here). The project, promoted by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, has not takers. So Mira Nair, Vishal Bharadwaj, Santosh Siva, and Farhan Akhtar are to make shorts that will be screened before blockbusters. [Read more →]

January 29, 2007   No Comments  

Whither Filmi Fundas

Whatever happened to “filmi fundas”, the film festival of Indian independent cinema?

It was interesting how this festival tried to position itself against earlier waves of “New Indian Cinema”. “Unlike parallel cinema which show moralistic stories in rural settings, independent cinemas show urban, fast-paced delight made on a small budget. ‘Hyderabad Blues’ and ‘Bombay Boys’ have managed to rake in [Read more →]

January 29, 2007   No Comments  

Film and media effects

According to this Guardian report, the Islamic Human Rights Commission (IHRC) has charged Hollywood films with unashamed biased potrayals of Muslims. In its research report titled The British media and Muslim representation: the ideology of demonisation, research respondents (Muslims) found a “direct correlation between media portrayal and their social experiences of exclusion, hatred, discrimination and violence”. The [Read more →]

January 29, 2007   1 Comment  

The Cultural Politics of Cinema in Tamil Nadu

In TN, the state government’s sponsorship is actively sought by the film industry whenever there is a change in the government and whenever a new crisis hits the industry. Be it tax cuts or hiking/lowering of ticket prices or anti-piracy measures, the film industry always seeks to profit from the much talked about historical nexus between politics and cinema in TN. [Read more →]

January 26, 2007   2 Comments  

Why MGR’s fans see(k) a god in him?

On Jan.17 2007, many streets of the areas where the urban poor live in Chennai (Tamil Nadu) wore a solemn look with fans-turned-worshippers thronging the garlanded pictures of MG Ramachandran at street corners. Songs from his films were aired through public address system till sunset. MGR’s fans ceased to be fans once again and became worshippers of a god that was the creation of their subaltern cinema conciousness. [Read more →]

January 24, 2007   1 Comment  

Docedge ’07: Lessons for Indian documentary filmmakers

Haobam Pabam Kumar’s AFSPA, 1958, which bagged three awards at the Toronto International Film Festival brought into sharp focus the paradox of the Indian Cinema landscape, ranging from the popular to those on the margins, the subaltern. The need for exposure at venues such as Toronto highlights the struggles of the Indian documentary filmmaker. But in a twist of irony, the screening of the Hindi popular film Kabhi Alvida [Read more →]

January 18, 2007   4 Comments