Archive for 2018

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[ecrea] South Asian Film & Media 9.1 published

Wed Sep 12 23:08:07 GMT 2018

Intellect is pleased to announce that Studies in South Asian Film & Media 9.1 is now available! To find out more about the journal issue, click here >>


Iconic imagination: Listening to, and looking back at, the piano in early Hindi cinema

Authors: Andrew Alter And Jasmine Dean
Page Start: 3

This article identifies and analyses a selection of Hindi films between 1942 and 1991 in which pianos are used for songs. The number of such films is not great and thus the piano is theorized as cameo – it arrives on-screen and in the soundtrack with a clear purpose in order to reference a set of symbols from outside the film’s narrative. Consequently, it represents not only a nostalgia for the recent colonial condition, but also a host of cultural ideologies associated with westernization. By compiling the list and analysing this set of films, we attempt to more clearly understand the symbolic meanings indexed through the picturization, and to contribute to a theorization of musical symbolization in film.

Of goddesses and women: Towards a super-empowered female hero

Authors: Vartikka Kaul
Page Start: 21

This article explores the representation of Indian female superheroes in selected Indian comic books that have been published in recent years (1998–2016). It argues that these superheroines are actively engaged in negotiating and challenging gender stereotypes and cultural formulations of the female body. Through these representations, a transgressive agency of a female superhero is being constructed in a popcultural space where idealized mythological and nationalistic framing from popular Indian comic book traditions, such as the Amar Chitra Katha comic book series, was previously the norm.

‘Lonely night watchman’s art’: Circuits of exclusion, C-grade film and hybrid aesthetics of Miss Lovely

Authors: Ramna Walia
Page Start: 35

Since the 2000s, Bombay cinema has engaged in a nostalgic re-telling of its history through the industrial practice of film remakes and retro films. We see an industrially produced nostalgia for the past that commemorates Bombay cinema history through its stars, narrative strategies, art direction, costumes and remixes of old songs and dances. Such recovery of the past elicits questions on the ‘invisible’ histories of film practices, particularly the B- and C-circuit films, produced in Mumbai. The origin and definition of these films remain ambivalent – and despite accounting for a sizeable portion of annual film productions, these films remain underground as a ‘bad object’. I focus on the slippery category of C-grade cinema and its exponential rise in Bombay. I then focus on Ashim Ahluwalia’s cinephilic engagement with the industrial story of the C-circuit in Miss Lovely (2012) and argue that the film uses a hybrid formal structure of a multiplex fringe film that fuses documentary elements with long-form fictional narrative and embodies the contestations of industrial histories of the Bombay film cultures.

Book Reviews

Authors: Suhaila Meera And Namrata Rele Sathe And Harleen Singh
Page Start: 59

Dancing with the Nation: Courtesans in Bombay Cinema, Ruth Vanita (2018)
NAYAR (2017)
New Feminisms in South Asia: Disrupting the Discourse Through Social Media, Film, and Literature, Sonora Jha and Alka Kurian (eds) (2018)
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