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Posts from — February 2007

The Big Black Hole

It appears the Indian society is allowing itself to be sucked by the big black hole called popular culture, personified in the Hindi film industry. This report in the Indian express sums it up.

The biggest trend that came about in all of last year was Bollywood. The organisers, designers and media (on both sides) only concerned themselves with which star was appearing for whom. [Read more →]

February 28, 2007   1 Comment  

Response to Hindi cinema – rhetoric or substance?

There is both recognition and discomfort in many quarters across South Asia over the rising popularity of the India cultural industry. Countries skirting India are responding to the challenge, though it is more rhetorical than substance. It is argued here that for a truly diverse South Asian film culture to evolve, policy needs to go beyond statements, tax breaks, subsidies, and exhibition quotas. [Read more →]

February 26, 2007   No Comments  

Film Completion Bonds

Completion bonds (or guarantees) covers completion risk, i.e., they will cover the film in the event a film is not made within budget and as per the original production timeline.

Banks perceive film completion risk as the greatest risk. With completion guarantees in place, the possibility of a film project getting organised finance is higher. However, the guarantors retain some control… [Read more →]

February 22, 2007   No Comments  

Can stars speak?

hema_malini_book.jpg In Raj Kanwar’s Ladla, Sridevi plays an entrepreneur who falls in love with a foreman in her factory, marries him, and performs the obligatory role of carrying his lunch to work. So we all know about the role of women in the industry and the films it makes. Here’s some more. A review of Hema Malini’s official biography (Hema Malini: The Authorized Biography) picks up interesting stuff from the book (I must [Read more →]

February 20, 2007   5 Comments  

Winning awards abroad

Perhaps instructive of the European canon that admits foreign films, at the Berlin Festival Indian director Rajnesh Domalpalli accepted the first feature film prize for Vanaja (film website), a film about individual agency, gender, and caste system. However, BAFTA did accept Rang De Basanti, raising some questions about the basis on which it was nominated. [Read more →]

February 19, 2007   No Comments  

India Germany co-production pact

Another country has signed a co-production pact with India. The salient features of the pact are:

  • minimum contribution includes at least one leading actor, one supporting actor and one qualified technical staff person.
  • language of soundtrack: Hindi or any other Indian language or dialect, or in English or German or in any combination of those permitted languages. [Read more →]

February 18, 2007   No Comments  

Maoists ready to exploit cinema?

Two reports have emerged out of Nepal in the last month, both filed by the news agency Indo Asian News Service.

‘Maoists ready to capture Nepal’s cinemas’ Feb 14. According to this report:

“There is a rush to make films on the underground movement and the consequences for Nepal’s society… At least six films have been shot… ” [Read more →]

February 16, 2007   No Comments  

Stardom, consumerism, and new media

John Ellis and C Gledhill define a star as a performer in a particular medium whose figure enters into subsidiary forms of circulation and then feeds back into future performances. Richard Dyer argues that the star image has four components

February 15, 2007   No Comments  

Sholay and new Indian cinema

Ah! Indian cinema in the age of capitalism. Remakes, sequels, merchandising, product placements, revenue streams, segmentation… there is an intensification of rational ways of making business. Along with that comes the corporate juggernaut and legal paraphernalia so no opportunity to mop up revenue is missed. In the new capitalistic jargon Dhoom epitomises film “properties” that can be exploited in various ways — [Read more →]

February 14, 2007   2 Comments  

The celebrity interview

Commercial media and celebrities negotiate many sociological and commercial processes creating a space that demonstrates intersection of many interests. The celebrity interview is particularly a unique phenomenon as it has evolved into sophisticated voyuerism, which rewards the reader with background “factual”, “routine” or “exclusive” information about the star that engages the reader as spectator and [Read more →]

February 11, 2007   No Comments