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Posts from — October 2007

Cinema, TV, and the logic of spectacle

Television making sense? For once perhaps. This CNN-IBN report takes a dig at the state of film awards in India particularly the way they have become software for television companies with little focus on the awards themselves. Interestingly the report has top Indian director Karan Johar stating that some awards are ridiculous and “those who accept the awards are stupider”. He goes on to add, “but what do you do with a television driven industry, it is a TRP driven industry…”. In the interests of “balance”, the report has a soundbite from an organiser of one of the awards — IIFA. [Read more →]

October 30, 2007   3 Comments  

Modernity and the discourse surrounding RGV

Filmmaker Ram Gopal Varma

Filmmaker Ram Gopal Varma

RGV’s ascent is marked by a discourse about the “modernisation” of the Indian popular film through a break from its song and dance melodrama format and movement into realism and minority auteurship (note 1). This is not merely a function of the film form (note 2), but also the mass media’s active support of the filmmaker (especially in the early stages) after the success of films such as Rangeela and Satya. I would like to argue that in RGV, the media elites have sought the unfinished project of realism, the goal to get Indian cinema out of its “not-yetness”. [Read more →]

October 27, 2007   No Comments  

Ghatak literally reduced to the subaltern

The lament of Partha Chatterjee, the doyen of the original Subaltern Studies project, over the neglect of Ritwik Ghatak’s films at the Ritwik Ghatak Memorial Trust in the congested Chetla market in Kolkata points to the subaltern nature of Ghatak in Indian film history and indeed consciousness: [Read more →]

October 12, 2007   2 Comments  

Giving Disney the boot, DIY distribution

According to this report, Outsourced, a film made by John Jeffcoat (his blog is here) and produced by Shadow Catcher Entertainment decided to go solo in distributing the film after the insulting offer by Miramax/Disney. [Read more →]

October 9, 2007   No Comments  

Zizek? Rascal!

Slavoj Zizek

Slavoj Zizek

Žižek has been under sustained attack by critics who find his analysis arcane, subjective and frankly, pointless. In the latest issue of the peer-reviewed and open source International Journal of Žižek Studies (Vol 1, No 3, 2007), Prof Todd McGowan (Univ of Vermont) makes a compelling argument defending a Žižekian reading of cinema (I use the term cinema as opposed to film. Why? Because I define film to be the text while [Read more →]

October 7, 2007   7 Comments  

Photography Revolution: How India Missed It?

One of the striking images of the common man in India in 2007 is his enactments as a mobile phone, digital camera and MP3 enthusiast/user. Here is a post I wrote for indiaphotoculture some time back on the photography revolution ordinary Indians missed before the advent of camera phones and digital cameras. [Read more →]

October 2, 2007   4 Comments