1st Edition

Industrial Networks and Cinemas of India Shooting Stars, Shifting Geographies and Multiplying Media

Edited By Monika Mehta, Madhuja Mukherjee Copyright 2021
    276 Pages 14 B/W Illustrations
    by Routledge India

    276 Pages 14 B/W Illustrations
    by Routledge India

    276 Pages 14 B/W Illustrations
    by Routledge India

    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.

    Introduction: Detouring Networks

    Madhuja Mukherjee and Monika Mehta


    PART I

    The Female Star, Traveling Figures and Transgressions


    1.  Fatma Begum, South Asia’s ‘First’ Female Director: Resurrections from Media and Legal Archives

    Rashmi Sawhney

    2.  The ‘Problem of Respectable Ladies Joining Films’: Industrial Traffic, Female Stardom and the First Talkies in Bombay and Tehran

    Claire Cooley

    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

    Uma Bhrugubanda

    5.  Bringing Bharatanatyam to Bombay Cinema: Mapping Tamil-Hindi Film Industry Traffic through Vyjayanthimala’s Dancing Body

    Usha Iyer


    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

    Madhuja Mukherjee

    8.  Circumambient Geographies of Cinema:  The Shaw Brothers’ Malay Film Production Studios

    in mid-century Singapore

    Peter Bloom

    9.  Filmfare, the Bombay Industry and Internationalism (1952-1962)

    Anustup Basu

    10. Traversing The Evil Within (1971) – Transnational aspirations, Gender, Infrastructure in a post-war Asia

    Pujita Guha


    Media Geographies, Agencies and Technologies


    11.  Habits and Worlds:  Malayalam Cinema’s Travels with the Gulf

    Ratheesh Radhakrishnan

    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”

    Tejaswini Ganti

    15.  Making-of Videos: Of Placeless Studios and Pioneering Music Directors

    Pavitra Sundar

    16.  The Materiality of Digital Footprints:  Video industries, media networks and the “located mobility” of Malegon films

    Ramna Walia


    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).