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Popular Indian Cinema Through A Transnational Lens

First Edition
Edited by:

August 2018 | 343 pages | SAGE India
This volume brings together a group of international scholars to analyze the globalized networks of Indian cinema. It provides a critique of a common scholarly tendency in the field of popular cinema of defining Indian films in terms of their modernity and desire for nationhood. Bollyworld argues that Indian cinema cannot be understood in terms of this national paradigm, and must be more properly described as a field of visual and cultural production that interlinks sites as diverse as the cosmopolitan city of Bombay, the provincial region of Maharashtra, and countries such as Nigeria, Germany, South Africa and the United Kingdom.

The twelve essays track the intra-national and trans-national movements of Bollywood cinema. Divided into three sections, the first discusses the technology and aesthetics of India's commercial cinema as it developed in the period that spans the silents from 1913 to the advent of the talkies in 1931.

The second section studies these films as 'local', 'intertextual' manifestations of globalization and highlights the changes in post-liberalization cinema. Against the backdrop of economic liberalization, the institutionalization of multiculturalism and a strong voice of migrant Indian populations, the third section focuses on the overseas reception of Indian films.

Rosie Thomas
Not Quite (Pearl) White
Fearless Nadia, Queen of the Stunts

Kajri Jain
Figures of Locality and Tradition
Commercial Cinema and the Networks of Visual

Gayatri Chatterjee
Icons and Events
Reinventing Visual Construction in Cinema in India

Shuddhabrata Sengupta
Reflected Readings in Available Light
Cameramen in the Shadows of Hindi Cinema

Geetanjali Gangoli
Sexuality, Sensuality and Belonging
Representations of the `Anglo-Indian' and the `Western' Woman in Hindi Cinema

Koushik Banerje
`Fight Club'
Aesthetics, Hybridisation and the Construction of Rogue Masculinities in Sholay and Deewar

Sudhanva Deshpande
The Consumable Hero of Globalised India
Christiane Brosius
The Scattered Homelands of the Migrant
Bollyworld through the Diasporic Lens

Thomas Blom Hansen
In Search of the Diasporic Self
Bollywood in South Africa

Narmala Halstead
Belonging and Respect Notions vis-à-vis Modern East Indians
Hindi Movies in the Guyanese East Indian Diaspora

Brian Larkin
Bandiri Music, Globalisation and Urban Experience in Nigeria
Raminder Kaur
Cruising on the Vilayeti Bandwagon
Diasporic Representations and Reception of Popular Indian Movies


"Though some of the 13 essays in this volume are topically more significant than others, all-all-are superlative: solid, fascinating, and uncommonly informative. How exhilarating to find such fine competition among books. Summing up: Highly recommended."

P. H. Stacy
University of Hartford

…the use of both black and white and color illustrations in the book brings the analysis of the visual elements of the films to life. The photos of video stores and other visual evidences of Bollywood film culture around the world provide a valuable look at how Indian films become part of the visual landscape of cities like London and Frankfurt.... Bollyworld makes an important contribution to the literature on Indian film and to scholarship on transnational cinema culture.

Asian Journal of Communication

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