Tamil Cinema: The Cultural Politics of India's Other Film Industry

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Selvaraj Velayutham
Routledge, Apr 3, 2008 - Language Arts & Disciplines - 224 pages
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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.

 

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Contents

The cultural history and politics of South Indian Tamil cinema
1
Tamil cinemas women
16
From a passive subject to a pleasurable object
29
Cinema spectatorship as sensuous apprehension
44
The stars and the DMK
59
Changing images of MGR
77
The evolving art of banner advertisements in Chennai
95
Writers response to cinema in Tamil Nadu
111
Popular Tamil film and the remaking of rural life
124
The makings of the south in contemporary Tamil cinema
139
Ethnonationalism in Tamil cinema Vijay Devadas and Selvaraj Velayutham
154
11 The diaspora and the global circulation of Tamil cinema
172
Index
189
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About the author (2008)

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.

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