CMS 320: Bollywood, Hollywood and Beyond
This course studies popular Indian cinema through a transnational lens, while also attending to this cinema's relation to culture and politics within India. As one of the largest film industries in the world, Indian cinema has a distinctive identity and appeal. In this course, we will study this cinema's many encounters, influences and travels with cultures and locations beyond India. For example, "Bollywood" has a long history of popularity and circulation in countries such as the former Soviet Union, Turkey, and China. It has a complex relationship to Hollywood and to U.S pop culture (such as the mutual influencing of genres, or the issue of piracy). Meanwhile, Indian cinema has also been influenced by cinematic trends from other countries: Italian Neo-realism, Film Noir, Hong Kong Martial Arts films.
This course will take up a series of examples that clarify Indian cinema's relation to the cultural universe within and beyond India and ask: how is Indian cinema, Indian?
Course work for this course will be a combination of quizzes, and short essays based on given prompts and a longer term end paper. Students should be prepared to watch at least two movies each week.
The movies for required viewing will be available online on the course website as streaming media, or on websites such as Netflix, Amazon and YouTube. Readings will be available on Canvas as pdf files. Students are responsible for watching weekly movies ahead of each week's lecture/discussion sessions.
The movies we will watch include popular hits like Dabanng, Dangal, DDLJ, Kahaani; art films like Pather Panchali, as well as examples from regional cinemas in India (Tamil, Marathi, Bengali and Assamese).
Instructor: Prof. Sudhir Mahadevan
Office Location: Padelford Hall, C-506