This collection of essays tries to crate a sharper awareness of popular films as possible source for an alternative, non-formal frame of political and social analysis. The authors self-consciously disengage from the ornate aesthetics of popular cinema and conventional film theory to more directly address the changing relationship between politics and cinema in South Asia. Their aim is to initiate a more intimate dialogue with ordinary viewers of popular films and the socio-political awareness implicit in them.
The emphasis of the contributors is on the larger politics of culture epitomized in popular films. By avoiding regular film theory and models of cultural studies, they rethink cinema as a form of shared, tacit political knowledge that supplies what the editor calls 'a slum's eye view' of Indian public life.
This book is essential reading for social scientists as well as for all film buffs interested in the fate of cinema as a mode of self-expression and social creativity.
Ashis Nandy is a distinguished political psychologist, sociologist of science, and a futurist. He is associated with the Centre for the Study of Developing Societies, Delhi.
Excerpts From Review:
'Despite [its] academic sophistication, [this] book is easy reading, principally because of the authors' obvious enjoyment of the subject.'
.an insight into how local cinema can be subsumed into global mass culture, a process that began with Sholay, where feudalism became an ally, communalism an undercurrent, and the objectification of woman as passive creatures an important element'
-The Indian Express
'Nandy sets out his agenda by stating that Indian popular
cinema [has] everything from classical to folk, from the sublime to the ridiculous, and from the terribly modern to the incorrigibly traditional
-The Hindustan Times
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