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Posts from — January 2007

Assamese Cinema: the opportunity for new capital

The Assamese film industry represents all that is wrong with Indian cinemas. Poor cinema infrastructure, the hegemony of Hindi cinema, lack of adequate funding keeps this region pinned down and prevents its rich and unique cultural narrative to blossom. Unfortunately, the cultural elitism and essentialism within Assam creates an internal push-pull dynami, which acts as an internal deterrent to growth. In a film seminar at the [Read more →]

January 17, 2007   2 Comments  

The subaltern cinema within India

There are those amongst the Indian cinema landscape who share some of the subaltern characteristics. These are the filmmakers from Assam, Manipur, Goa, Maharashtra who are simply overlooked by the market forces. Will the recent efforts by the CII and FICCI help them? Theoretically, yes, the market should help any kind of cinema — afterall the function of late capital is to maximise itself and when cinema is viewed [Read more →]

January 15, 2007   No Comments  

MPAA to flex muscle in Indian film industry?

AFP reports that a top US business lobby group is to launch a probe into counterfeiting in India’s film industry. Given the growing proximity between corporate players in the film industry with the US film industry — one should not be surprised if MPAA starts flexing its muscle in India and attempts to establish itself in the one film market it has little control over.

January 14, 2007   No Comments  

Taslima Nasreen has no Lajja!

Ok… so the headline got your attention. Now to the real issue. Bangladeshi writer Taslima Nasreen’s leave to remain (Visa) in India is to expire soon and her essay “Let’s Burn The Burqa” (read here) has appeared in Outlook.

Taslima’s courage is admirable – not because she is a woman, but because she refuses to be a “well- [Read more →]

January 13, 2007   3 Comments  

A brief history of the crime/action film

Films based on criminal-political nexus have been the staple for many years. This theme drew on the mass media coverage of its time, which critiqued this development in Indian politics with reference to the nationalist ideal and its promised utopia of a new nation. Its origins go the ascendancy of Indira Gandhi, the Navnirman movement, emergency, Sanjay Gandhi etc. The theme was presented in various film forms – [Read more →]

January 12, 2007   No Comments  

The Cult cinema circuit in India

An interesting report in Screen, 2002 (read here) about the B/C grade film circuit where the margins are high and the films, well… of a unique aesthetic! While one end of the spectrum makes and distributes films purpotedly explicit (though these are not cleared by the censors), the other end distributes locally made horror films (read here, watch interesting documentary here Pt 1 and here Pt 2) and Hong Kong action films (read here). [Read more →]

January 11, 2007   No Comments  

Film censorship in the UK and across the world

A bonanza for a researcher! The Guardian website has a collection of reports on film censorship across the world since 2002

I represent the links here (for my own records in case it is taken off)

This Film is Not Yet Rated [Read more →]

January 10, 2007   No Comments  

Pleasure, middle-class cinema, and reflexivity

Mass media texts are a fertile ground to mount inquiries into middle-class (or the bourgeoisie) India’s relationship with the global and local. Market mediated texts are rooted in specific ideological pleasures and the study of successful texts is revelatory. These texts, for example media discourse, films, music, advertising and promotion campaigns, which are aimed at segmented consumption often carry ideological [Read more →]

January 9, 2007   No Comments  

Intellectual Montage – some thoughts

Was Kuleshov right in claiming new meaning from the clash of unrelated images? To put it another way, does montage have any relevance to the contemporary cinephile or scholar?

Rewind: Like other Russian formalists of the era, Lev Kuleshov was looking at unveiling the formal properties of the moving image. Okay! so you have heard this argument before. Or have you? For most intellectual [Read more →]

January 8, 2007   2 Comments  

Hindi cinema and style

A feature article in Screen (India) has reported about the recent trends in style and fashion, or image, as a major component of popular Hindi films. Producers take great care to plan and execute the look and feel of the film right down to the extras.

I would like to argue that style and fashion in Hindi films is more a representation of the sociology and [Read more →]

January 6, 2007   No Comments