Philosophical Issues in Indian Cinema : Approximate Terms and Concepts

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    • Abstract:
      This book interrogates the vocabulary used in theorizing about Indian cinema to reach into the deeper cultural meanings of philosophies and traditions from which it derives its influences. It re-examines terms and concepts used in film criticism and contextualizes them within the aesthetics, poetics and politics of Indian cinema. The book looks at terms and concepts borrowed from the scholarship on American and world cinema and explores their use and relevance in describing the characteristics and evolution of cinema in India. It highlights how realism, romance and melodrama in the context of India appear in a culturally singular way and how the aggregation of constituent elements – like songs, action, comedy – in Indian film can be traced to classical theatre and other diverse religious and philosophical influences. These influences have characterized popular film and drama in India which present all aspects of life for a diverse nation. The author explores concepts like ‘fantasy', ‘family'and ‘patriotism'by using various examples from films in India and outside, as well as practices in the other arts. He identifies the fundamental logic behind the choices made by film-makers in India and discusses concepts which allow for a fresh theorizing on Indian cinema's characteristics. This book will be of great interest to students and researchers of film studies, media studies, cultural studies, literature, cultural history and South Asian studies. It will also be useful for general readers who are interested in learning more about Indian cinema, its forms, origins and influences.
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