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Bombay and the Village in 1990s Women‘s Cinema
Rashmi Sawhney

This article examines the representation of Bombay in Aruna Raje‘s Rihaee (1988) and Sai Paranjpyes Disha (1990). It has been argued here that in both films, Bombay functions as a narrative anchor to the fictive village, which is depicted as the locus of Indian modernity. Symbolism of the village-city trope is used to reorganise the syntagm of modernity-location-gender in new relations of power and also to present alternative visions of national development within the socio-economic context of 1990s liberalisation in India. The dialectic between city and village in these films emphasises the role of memory and migration in women‘s cinema, and also serves as a means to probing the relationship between gender and films in the postcolonial context.

Film Studies
The dollars are coming!

While post-war popular cinema has traditionally been excluded from accounts of national cinemas, the last fifteen years have seen the academy’s gradual rediscovery of cult and, more, generally, popular films. Why, many years after their release, do we now deem these films worthy of study? The book situates ‘low’ film genres in their economic and culturally specific contexts (a period of unstable ‘economic miracles’ in different countries and regions) and explores the interconnections between those contexts, the immediate industrial-financial interests sustaining the films, and the films’ aesthetics. It argues that the visibility (or not) of popular genres in a nation’s account of its cinema is an indirect but demonstrable effect of the centrality (or not) of a particular kind of capital in that country’s economy. Through in-depth examination of what may at first appear as different cycles in film production and history – the Italian giallo, the Mexican horror film and Hindi horror cinema – Capital and popular cinema lays the foundations of a comparative approach to film; one capable of accounting for the whole of a national film industry’s production (‘popular’ and ‘canonic’) and applicable to the study of film genres globally.

Valentina Vitali

explains why in India, until very recently, horror films seemed like a glitch in the system: none appears to have been made throughout the history of Indian cinemas except between the late 1970s and the early 1990s, when the genre saw a moment of glory with the Hindi productions of the Ramsay brothers. From the mid-1990s a series of films began to be made that mixed, to varying degrees, elements of the horror, thriller and melodrama film.1 Unlike the Ramsay brothers’ productions, this recent wave comprises exclusively large-budget productions, or at any rate, much larger

in Capital and popular cinema
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Genre and performance in Shahrukh Khan’s post-millennial films
Rayna Denison

competing generic codes, works to produce generic hierarchies and highlights dominant generic elements at given points within a film text. In practice, Mittell’s approach appears similar to the blending spoken of in the title of this chapter, a term borrowed from Rosie Thomas’s article on popular Indian cinema, in which she writes: Film-makers talk about ‘blending

in Genre and performance
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A brief digression on twins
R. S. White

plot into a de facto musical at least in certain sections, and this is probably the most recognisable trait of Indian cinema. India is a country where twins hold special local significance and are widely considered as, in some mildly superstitious way, special and lucky. To add to the mystery surrounding twins there, apparently authenticated but intriguing facts emerge, such as a village in Kerala that over the last

in Shakespeare’s cinema of love
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Kinga Földváry

universality of the melodramatic mode has never been confined to the Hollywood studio system, or even the Anglo-American cultural sphere, the discussion of the melodrama ends with a brief investigation of a comparable mode employed within the other global cinema giant, Bollywood. 28 Despite being rooted in different literary and theatrical traditions, Indian cinema displays a similar love of spectacle, song and dance, and turbulent emotions, not to mention an overall openness towards a hybridity of generic features. Some scholars even claim that the melodramatic element in

in Cowboy Hamlets and zombie Romeos
Proscenium theatre and technologies of illusionism
Niharika Dinkar

political protests at the partition of Bengal in 1905 and the commemorative films of the Delhi Durbar in 1903.101 Rosie Thomas situates the origins of cinema in the genre of the Arabian Nights fantasy film based on the Persian quissa-­dastan literary tradition, replete with spectacular special effects and magical tricks. Displacing the Brahmanic Hindu origins of cinema with the stunt film, she poses the intriguing question as to what an alternative genealogy of Indian cinema might look like if Ali Baba were seen as the first film instead of Raja Harishchandra.102 One

in Empires of light
Haroun and the Sea of Stories and The Moor’s Last Sigh
Andrew Teverson

cross-cultural allusions. Haroun , in the space of its two hundred pages duplicates the narrative complexity of the story sea it depicts by drawing freely upon a range on narrative pre-texts, including European, Middle Eastern and Indian fairy tale, pop music lyrics, English children’s classics, Indian cinema, Persian poetry, political allegory and science fiction. The Moor’s Last Sigh , likewise, interweaves references to a vertiginous range of fictions, films and art-works, including Dalí and Buñuel’s Chien Andalou (MLS, 148–9), The Wizard of Oz (MLS, 304

in Salman Rushdie
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The subaltern in the shadows
Niharika Dinkar

-­making process. Shuddhabrata Sengupta makes a similar assessment in his discussion of lighting in early Indian cinema before the advent of colour film, when a chiaroscuric display of light and shadow dominated the visual idiom.5 He makes the important point that the dramatic lighting of these films (Madhumati, Kagaz ke Phool) calls attentions to the craftsmanship of the filmmaking process in its evolution of a visual language where film technicians and cameramen are granted a greater presence. Later films using sophisticated, high-­powered lighting technologies tend to conceal

in Empires of light
From woman’s film to global melodrama
Kinga Földváry

-inflected British-Asian film is the critical commonplace that popular Indian cinema is predominantly melodramatic in mode, a feature that Western criticism never fails to observe and tends to criticise, equating this central narrative and stylistic element with cheap kitsch and untamed, simplistic excess of emotionalism. This chapter focuses on a single example, Life Goes On (2009, dir. Sangeeta Datta), a film shot in London, with a predominantly English dialogue, but depicting both Eastern and Western social traditions and clearly targeting a diasporic audience. At the same

in Cowboy Hamlets and zombie Romeos