Film and Visual Culture in India
Is Bollywood all there is to Indian cinema? This course is an introduction to Indian cinema, or more appropriately, the many cinemas of India. Spend 10 weeks watching great Indian movie classics and new surprises - violent urban gangster films, morbidly humorous films about youth cyber culture, unlikely Shakespeare adaptations, Paris as an exotic and distant city, inventive new sports comedies, to name just a few themes.
Our introduction will be structured thematically around broad ideas - nationalism and Indian cinema; film and mass media; film and the urban experience; cinema and globalization; cinema as experimental and avant-garde art practice. Where possible, we will also explore the relation between film and other practices of image production - popular film posters, lithographed religious calendar images, photography, traveling slide show exhibitors.
Movies will be in Indian languages and subtitled in English. Titles include: LSD: Love Sex aur Dhoka (Love, Sex and Betrayal, 2010, English/Hindi); Satya (Truth, 1998, Hindi), Pyaasa (Thirst, 1957, Hindi/Urdu), Chennai 600028 (2008, Tamil), An Evening in Paris (1967, Hindi), Pather Panchali (Song of the Little Road, 1957, Bengali), Harishchandrachi Factory (Harishchandra's Factory, 2009, Marathi).
Course work includes two screenings and two lecture sessions a week. Readings will be drawn mainly from film studies but will include scholarship from other disciplines such as art history, anthropology, urban theory and sociology.
Grading will draw on short response papers, a longer term-end essay and participation.