Cinema India: The Visual Culture of Hindi Film

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Reaktion Books, 2002 - Motion pictures - 240 pages
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This is the first book to concentrate on the visual culture of Indian cinema, specifically Bombay-based cinema since 1913. 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. Drawing on a wide range of sources, Dwyer and Patel examine Bombay cinema's unique styles, genres and themes, tracing its roots in early photography, theatre and chromolithography and its development as a visual regime that dominates Indian popular culture. The authors consider mise-en-scène, looking at sets, locations and costumes – crucial to understanding Indian fashion, lifestyle and consumption. They 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. Other crucial elements that are discussed include ethnicity and Westernization, thus highlighting issues of class, caste, regional variation and religion. Finally the authors look at publicity materials and examine the development of the imagery employed in film-advertising.

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About the author (2002)

Rachel Dwyer is a lecturer in Gujarati and Indian Studies at SOAS, University of London. Divia Patel is a curatorial assistant in the Indian and South-East Asian Department at the Victoria & Albert Museum.

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