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Cinema India: The Visual Culture of Hindi Film

Divia Patel (Author) Rachel Dwyer (Author)
Synopsis Cinema is one of India’s most vibrant cultural products, as well as a major industry, producing the largest number of films in the world. This is the first book to concentrate on the dynamic visual culture of Indian cinema, tracing the development of the popular or commercial cinema in Bombay (Mumbai) since 1913. Drawing on a wide range of sources, Dwyer and Patel trace Bombay cinema’s historical roots in early photography, theatre and chromolithography and its development as a visual regime that has come to dominate Indian public culture. The unique style of this cinema is explored through an analysis of the mise-en-scene of the film itself—the locations, the sets and costumes—and shows how they, along with the song and dance sequences, construct the ‘look’ and meaning of a film. The authors examine the use of hairstyles and make-up in the context of representations of the body in order to explore changing ideas of beauty and sexuality within the film genre. Equally important to India’s visual culture is film publicity. Cinema India explores the development of film advertising and its range of aesthetic influences, from indigenous sources, for example, the Ajanta cave paintings, to foreign styles, such as Art Deco, and examines how cinema publicity material is able to convey social, political and economic information about the society in which it is produced.
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About the author

Rachel Dwyer

Rachel Dwyer is Reader in Indian Studies and Cinema, SOAS, University of London. Her main work is on Hindi Cinema. She has published several books including Yash Chopra, about one of the greats of the Hindi film industry with whom she worked for several years.

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Bibliographic information

Title Cinema India: The Visual Culture of Hindi Film
Format Hardcover
Date published: 01.01.2002
Edition 1st Ed.
Language: English
isbn 0195663470
length 240p.