Tamil Cinema

The Cultural Politics of India's other Film Industry

Edited by Selvaraj Velayutham

© 2008 – Routledge

208 pages | 8 B/W Illus.

Purchasing Options:
Paperback: 9780415492195
pub: 2009-02-25
US Dollars$54.95
Hardback: 9780415396806
pub: 2008-04-07
US Dollars$158.00

About the Book

Hitherto, the academic study of Indian cinema has focused primarily on Bollywood, despite the fact that the Tamil film industry, based in southern India, has overtaken Bollywood in terms of annual output. This book examines critically the cultural and cinematic representations in Tamil cinema. It outlines its history and distinctive characteristics, and proceeds to consider a number of important themes such as gender, religion, class, caste, fandom, cinematic genre, the politics of identity and diaspora. Throughout, the book cogently links the analysis to wider social, political and cultural phenomena in Tamil and Indian society. Overall, it is an exciting and original contribution to an under-studied field, also facilitating a fresh consideration of the existing body of scholarship on Indian cinema.

Table of Contents

Introduction: The Cultural History and Politics of South Indian Tamil Cinema Selvaraj Velayutham 1. A Good Woman, A Very Good Woman: Tamil Cinema’s Women C.S. Lakshmi 2. The Tamil Film Heroine: From a Passive Subject to a Pleasurable Object Sathiavathi Chinniah 3. Presencing the Amman in Tamil Cinema: Cinema Spectatorship as Sensuous Apprehension Kalpana Ram 4. Politics and the Film in Tamil Nadu: The Stars and the DMK Robert Hardgrave 5. The Nurturing Hero: Changing Images of MGR Sara Dickey 6. Tamil Cinema in the Public Sphere: The Evolving Art of Banner Advertisements in Chennai Preminda Jacob 7. Encountering a New Art: Writers Response to Cinema in Tamil Nadu Theodore Baskaran 8. Cinema in the Countryside: Popular Tamil Film and the Remaking of Rural Life Anand Pandian 9. Imaginary Geographies: The Makings of ‘South’ in Contemporary Tamil Cinema Rajan Krishnan 10. Encounters with ‘India’: (Ethno)-Nationalism in Tamil Cinema Vijay Devadas and Selvaraj Velayutham 11. The Diaspora and the Global Circulation of Tamil Cinema Selvaraj Velayutham

About the Editor

Selvaraj Velayutham works in the Department of Sociology at Macquarie University, Sydney, Australia. His research interests include migration, transnationalism, and Tamil cinema and cultural studies. He has published works on South Indian diaspora, home and belonging, and living with diversity.

About the Series

Media, Culture and Social Change in Asia Series

The aim of this series is to publish original, high-quality work by both new and established scholars in the West and the East, on all aspects of media, culture and social change in Asia.

Editorial Board:

  • Gregory N. Evon, University of New South Wales
  • Devleena Ghosh, University of Technology, Sydney
  • Peter Horsfield, RMIT University, Melbourne
  • Chris Hudson, RMIT University, Melbourne
  • K.P. Jayasankar, Unit for Media and Communications, Tata Institute of Social Sciences, Bombay
  • Michael Keane, Queensland University of Technology
  • Tania Lewis, RMIT University, Melbourne
  • Vera Mackie, University of Melbourne
  • Kama Maclean, University of New South Wales
  • Jane Mills, University of New South Wales
  • Anjali Monteiro, Unit for Media and Communications, Tata Institute of Social Sciences, Bombay
  • Laikwan Pang, Chinese University of Hong Kong
  • Gary Rawnsley, Aberystwyth University
  • Ming-yeh Rawnsley, University of Leeds
  • Jo Tacchi, RMIT University, Mlebourne
  • Adrian Vickers, University of Sydney
  • Jing Wang, MIT
  • Ying Zhu, City University of New York

Learn more…

Subject Categories

BISAC Subject Codes/Headings:
LANGUAGE ARTS & DISCIPLINES / Communication Studies
PERFORMING ARTS / Film & Video / General
SOCIAL SCIENCE / Media Studies