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Posts from — September 2007

Subaltern cinema: Korean and Indian parallels

Cinema is meant to entertain!

Who wants to spend money on a boring film?

I don’t want my money to go into an indulgent film!

Let them sell the film!

These are cliches, the product of a lazy and unimaginative discourse driven by a new sophomoric elite. After all, a market driven society can only end up with such a life-affirming view and there seems to be no way out from the death grip of this verbal fabric! Independent filmmakers have to face the daily ignominy of such admonitions, particularly in countries such as Korea and India, which have strong domestic industries. [Read more →]

September 22, 2007   1 Comment  

Film marketing and Indian cinema

Following up on an earlier debate, a report in India’s leading business daily Economic Times (‘Saawariya’, ‘Om Shanti Om’ set to rewrite marketing rules) is informative of the changing contours of the film business in India, with implications of how other cinemas will be shaped. Two films being released this year (Saawariya and Om Shanti Om) are to use significant sums of money for marketing. Saawariya (Sanjay Leela Bhansali) [Read more →]

September 20, 2007   1 Comment  

NTR, MGR and The State of Subaltern Trance

At the outset, let me record my thanks to Kishore for stirring my thoughts once again on an interesting trajectory. The cultures of adulation woven by NTR and MGR have their similarities and differences. The culture of adulation created by NTR is rooted in the mythical/puranic roles played by him. There was no social movement backing him or revving up simultaneously the culture of adulation along desired lines as in the case of MGR and his fans. [Read more →]

September 19, 2007   1 Comment  

The Political Economy of Tamil Television II

September 15 2007 was not yet another day for Tamil television channels and their benefactors – viewers, owners and their political sponsors. The day marked the advent of Kalaignar TV. The Tamil word Kalaignar is an honorific title conferred on Tamil Nadu Chief Minister M Karunanidhi in recognition of his literary acumen and abilities. In the literal sense, the word Kalaignar denotes the meaning ‘exponent of arts’. [Read more →]

September 16, 2007   7 Comments  

The Politics of Tamil Television:The Changing Contours of Control

The relationship between politics and media in Tamil Nadu is no doubt an unique one with a chequered history spanning several decades. Beginning with the rise of the self-respect movement during the 1920s, political communication in Tamil Nadu has been prospering remarkably well, thanks to the clever use of the medium that defines every age. In matters of politics, the age of newspapers during the 1920s and 1930s was quickly overshadowed by the age of cinema during the 1950s. [Read more →]

September 16, 2007   15 Comments  

Growing harassment of documentary filmmakers in India

Message from Gaurav Jani, Praveen Kumar, Rakesh Sharma

Film-makers Rakesh Sharma, Gaurav Jani and Praveen Kumar yesterday (on Sept 14) registered their protest with the President of India during the National Film Awards ceremony organised by the Ministry for Information & Broadcasting. Each of them handed over a protest petition to the President as they went up to collect their awards. The film-makers were protesting against the growing harassment of documentary film-makers by the police and officials from the CBFC (Central Board for Film Certification). The full text of the protest petition is enclosed below. [Read more →]

September 15, 2007   No Comments  

The digital revolution, hype and indies

This Hindu Business Line report states Fun Republic, the Essel Group exhibition and retail property company has plans to launch a 1000 screens in the next five years. If you ignore the cheerleading and the hype that typifies Indian media coverage today (“The day is not far when sitting on a comfortable couch in your drawing room, you will see Keanu Reaves somersault through the air in The Matrix the same moment audiences in the US view it for the first time on their big screens.”) some interesting points can be dug out. Cinemax, the report claims: [Read more →]

September 5, 2007   5 Comments