This volume points to the limits of models such as regional, national, and transnational, and develops ‘network’ as a conceptual category to study cinemas of India. Through grounded and interdisciplinary research, it shows how film industries located in disparate territories have not functioned as isolated units and draws attention to the industrial traffic – of filmic material, actors, performers, authors, technicians, genres, styles, sounds, expertise, languages, and capital, across trans-regional contexts -- since the inception of cinema. It excavates histories of film production, distribution and exhibition, and their connections beyond regional and national boundaries, and between places, industrial practices, and multiple media.
The chapters in this volume address a range of themes such as transgressive female figures; networks of authors and technicians; trans-regional production links and changing technologies, and new media geographies. By tracking manifold changes in the contexts of transforming media, and inter-connections between diverse industrial nodal points, this book expands the critical vocabulary in media and production studies and foregrounds new methods for examining cinema.
A generative account of industrial networks, this volume will be useful for scholars and researchers of film studies, cinema studies, media studies, production studies, media sociology, gender studies, South Asian studies, and cultural studies.
Table of Contents
Introduction: Detouring Networks
Madhuja Mukherjee and Monika Mehta
The Female Star, Traveling Figures and Transgressions
1. Fatma Begum, South Asia’s ‘First’ Female Director: Resurrections from Media and Legal Archives
2. The ‘Problem of Respectable Ladies Joining Films’: Industrial Traffic, Female Stardom and the First Talkies in Bombay and Tehran
3. Sabita’s Journey from Calcutta to Bombay: Gender and Modernity in the Circuits of Cinemas in India
Sarah Rahman Niazi
4. Travels of the Female Star in the Indian Cinemas of the 1940s and 50s: The Career of Bhanumathi
5. Bringing Bharatanatyam to Bombay Cinema: Mapping Tamil-Hindi Film Industry Traffic through Vyjayanthimala’s Dancing Body
Networks of Circulation, Production, and Imaginings
6. Film exhibition in Hyderabad in 1930s: The case of Motimahal theatre and film circulation
C. Yamini Krishna
7. Arriving at Bombay: Bimal Roy, Transits, Transitions, and Cinema of Intersection
8. Circumambient Geographies of Cinema: The Shaw Brothers’ Malay Film Production Studios
in mid-century Singapore
9. Filmfare, the Bombay Industry and Internationalism (1952-1962)
10. Traversing The Evil Within (1971) – Transnational aspirations, Gender, Infrastructure in a post-war Asia
Media Geographies, Agencies and Technologies
11. Habits and Worlds: Malayalam Cinema’s Travels with the Gulf
12. Celluloid Visions in a Video Frame: Bhojpuri Cinema between Insurrections and Catharsis Akshaya Kumar
13. Mixing Industrial Elements, Generating Sexual Agency in Aiyyaa
Nilanjana Bhattacharjya and Monika Mehta
14. Blurring the Boundaries Between Hollywood and Bollywood: The Production of Dubbed Films in Mumbai”
15. Making-of Videos: Of Placeless Studios and Pioneering Music Directors
16. The Materiality of Digital Footprints: Video industries, media networks and the “located mobility” of Malegon films
Monika Mehta is Associate Professor of English at State University of New York, Binghamton, USA. She is the author of Censorship and Sexuality in Bombay Cinema (2011/ 2012) and has also co-edited Pop Empires: Transnational and Diasporic Flows of Korea and India (2019).
Madhuja Mukherjee is involved with art-practice, curatorial projects, and filmmaking. She is Professor of Film Studies at Jadavpur University, Kolkata, India. Her research papers have been published in academic journals; she is the author of New Theatres Ltd.: The Emblem of Art, The Picture of Success (Pune: 2009), editor of Aural Films, Oral Cultures: Essays on Cinema from the Early Sound Era (Kolkata: 2012), Voices of the Talking Stars: The Women of Indian Cinema and Beyond (Kolkata/ Delhi: 2017), and Popular Cinema in Bengal: Genre, Stars, Public Cultures (London / New York: 2020).