Synopses & Reviews
Indian cinematic traditions have always relied on eclectic ways of figuration that combine signs and affects of desire and abomination. That is, incarnations often emerge at critical interfaces between good/bad, Indian/western, self/other, virtue/vice, myth/reality, and so on. Such figures are products of discontinuous assembling processes that cut through dyadic arrangements and pass the same character/body/identity via different, often contradictory, moral economies and sign systems. These many-armed, complex modes of figuration carry a special tenacity in Indian cinema for many reasons, but perhaps most importantly because the template of classical realist narration usually has had limited authority over its proceedings. Perpetually caught between the home and the world, between elation and agony, such cinematic entities carry in them the diverse, contending energies of the overall assembling arena of Indian modernity itself. The essays in this volume consider the issue of figuration in the broadest sense, including formations that are supra-individual, animalistic, divine and machinic.
About the Author
Anustup Basu is Associate Professor in the Department of English at the University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign. He is author of Bollywood in the Age of New Media: The Geo-televisual Aesthetic ( 2010). Basu's recent work has appeared in boundary 2, Postscript, PostModern Culture, and in Global Bollywood: Travels of Hindi Song and Dance (2008). He is working on a monograph titled The Phenomenology of Information.
Meheli Sen is Assistant Professor in the Department of African, Middle Eastern, and South Asian Languages and Literatures (AMESALL) and the Cinema Studies program at Rutgers University, USA. Her primary research area is South Asian Cinemas. Sen's work has been published in LIT: Literature Interpretation Theory, Journal of the Moving Image and South Asian Review, as well as in Bollywood and Globalization: Indian Popular Cinema, Nation, and Diaspora (2010). She is currently working on a monograph on Hindi commercial cinema.
Table of Contents
Introduction: Meheli Sen
PART I: POLITICAL AND TYPOLOGICAL FIGURES
1. Sensate Outlaws: The Recursive Social Bandit in Indian Popular Cultures; Bishnupriya Ghosh
2. What Happened to Khadi? Dress and Costume in Bombay Cinema; Anupama Kapse
3. Configuring the Other: The Detective and the Real in Satyajit Ray's Chiriakhana; Gautam Basu Thakur
PART II: GENERIC MUTATIONS
4. Diverting Diseases; M. Madhava Prasad
5. Nevla as Dracula: Figurations of the Tantric as Monster in the Hindi Horror Film; Usha Iyer
6. Haunted Havelis and Hapless Heroes: Gender, Genre and the Hindi Gothic Film; Meheli Sen
PART III: STAR FIGURES
7. 'The Face that Launched a Thousand Ships': Helen and Public Femininity in Hindi Film; Anustup Basu
8. From Superman to Shahenshah: Stardom and the Transfigurative Body of Hrithik Roshan; Nandana Bose
9. Con-figurations: The Body as World in Bollywood Stardom; Sumita S. Chakravarty
PART IV: FIGURING (OUT) NEW BOLLYWOOD
10. Metafiguring Bollywood: (Brecht after Om Shanti Om); Bhaskar Sarkar
11. Bodies in Syncopation; Moinak Biswas
12. Between Violetta and Vasantasena is Toulouse-Lautrec: Cinematic Avatars and Bollywood in Moulin Rouge!; Kirsten Strayer
Afterword; Anustup Basu