Popular Cinema in Bengal: Genre, Stars, Public Cultures (Routledge South Asian History and Culture) (Hardcover)
Popular Cinema in Bengal marks a decisive turn in studies of Bengali language cinema by shifting the focus from auteur and text-based studies to exhaustive readings of the film industry.
The book covers a wide range of themes and issues, including: generic tropes (like comedy and action); iconic figurations (of the detective and the city); (female) stars such as Kanan Bala, Sadhana Bose and Aparna Sen; intensities of public debates (subjects of high and low cultures, taste, viewership, gender and sexuality); print cultures (including posters, magazines and song-booklets); cinematic spaces; and trans-media and trans-cultural traffic. By locating cinema within the crosscurrents of geo-political transformations, the book highlights the new and persuasive research that has materialised over the last decade. The authors raise pertinent questions regarding 'regional' cinema as a category, in relation to 'national' cinema models, and trace the non-linear journey of the popular via multiple (media) trajectories. They address subjects of physicality, sexuality and its representations, industrial change, spaces of consumption, and cinema's meandering directions through global circuits and low-end networks.
Highlighting the ever-changing contours of cinema in Bengal in all its popular forms and proposing a new historiography, Popular Cinema in Bengal will be of great interest to scholars of film studies and South-Asian popular culture. The chapters were originally published in the journal South Asian History and Culture.