Mr Ashish Rajadhyaksha has commenced a six-month appointment as a Visiting Senior Research Fellow in the Cultural Studies in Asia Cluster with effect from. Realism, modernism, and post-colonial theory. A Rajadhyaksha. 13, Indian Cinema: A Very Short Introduction. A Rajadhyaksha. Oxford University Press. Encyclopedia of Indian Cinema. 10 July by Ashish Rajadhyaksha and Paul Willemen by Luisa Ortinez and Ashish Rajadhyaksha. Currently unavailable.

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Ashish Rajadhyaksha is an independent film and cultural theorist.

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The Co-editor of Encyclopedia of Indian Cinemahis career spans over an illustrious four decades, during which he has published academic papers, rajqdhyaksha and rajadhyaosha books, curated film festivals, art exhibitions and taught courses in universities across the world. He speaks to Archana R. If you had to call something essentially the same between the old Bollywood and the new, what would it be? I suppose in the end it is really the idea of the viewer. That the viewer is there, he is a defining entity and he is not going anywhere, notwithstanding the fact that there is a whole shift in consumption and invention of social media.

The viewer in that way has been a continuous presence, and the one way that the Indian cinema has explicitly resisted change. More simply, the songs and so on that are actually very intrinsic to Indian films also constitute a kind of a reassertion to that rajzdhyaksha that it is performed for you.

There is no third entity, but directly for you. Even though sometimes you pretend like it is all for the person on-screen, but it is actually always for you. One notices a recent split in the Indian film audience between the English-speaking and those interacting with vernacular languages. That is an interesting fajadhyaksha also because it seems that not too many of the old Bollywood films have made the transition from the time that they were released to being viewed now.

But now you see what things like Netflix can do — they can make the entire archive available. Eventually, everything that exists ashush be on it, all going well. We will see now what all rajwdhyaksha adds up to. One thing, for example, is colorization. You take up an old black-and-white film and make it into a color film — that is an instance of how the audience is viewing an old film like a new film.

Ashish Rajadhyaksha | Centre for the Study of Culture and Society –

But the really more complicated question in all this is, now, take Om Shanti Om as an example. It is actually a story made in the 70s that tells you the present story almost like a sequel. The way it writes up the history of Hindi film, and the Bollywood coming at the end of it is an interesting instance, and I think there will be many other such instances that are probably more important than all of the classics coming back. You discuss apparatus as something that has moved with modernity.

How does this affect the view you just talked about? When I say apparatus, I mean quite a range of rajaxhyaksha.


Indian Cinema: A Very Short Introduction – Ashish Rajadhyaksha – Oxford University Press

There is the camera, editing tools and everything. But eventually, I also want to extend it to the kind that resembles the work that the spectator does. That shift of the apparatus away from the producer to the viewer is the sum total of the apparatus to me. Context plays a pivotal role in Bollywood films with a narrator playing assist to explain things.

You know, the narrator is a very important category. Because in earlier cinema we had frontal images and people looking at them. So there was no mediating structure, and you needed someone outside the film telling you what happened — like a sutradhar.

That is when you have a situation where the narrator is integrated into the apparatus, into the mechanisms and ordering, that is what you call picture, sound, performance into some kind of a complex pole. So the narrator being technologized into editing, shooting and other conventions was a first and really important step. What happens is, the narrator steps inside and outside that role, like in the songs, where there could be a pause.

This very transactional role played where he keeps moving around in spaces is the way I see the narrator. It is interesting because I cannot see it going away, but I also see that technological advancement is going to be a game-changer on defining what the narrator is. I can see that the problem will rise and that it must be addressed, but I cannot see what the directions of it are. What would you say about the space of independent films in India?

And also, rather more important than we will recognize. One problem arising is these huge productions. We have of course been having them, like with Salman Khan and so on. Particularly that this idea of a superstar is getting quite old. No other superstar is going to that kind of a super-stardom anymore, partly because those kinds of carpet-bombing sort of stars — you know the screens in every city kind requires a complete saturation in distribution.

The Padmavati kind of problem is the kind of problem they start facing. When you are thinking of niche audiences, films that cater not so much to such a mass audience but a limited audience, using a limited budget for an audience you have access to, you could be looking at independent films finding a whole new career. They do seem to have a potential.

Also, there is the case of people in mainstream cinema also doing independent stuff.

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Rajxdhyaksha lot of technicians and Sanjay Leela Bhansali himself for instance worked as an assistant to Shyam Benegal. So, axhish histories are there, and they are far more significant than we allow in India. You have worked on a lot of Bollywood history, the biography of Ritwik Ghatak and so much more. It continues with what I was saying earlier.

I am very interested in what film studies may say to post-celluloid — what happens to the moving image now. That is a very important area for me.

It may well be an advertisement, or even a still. That is the area I would want to go in. But I think I also ashiish a book which I would like to do about going into cinema between the ss. It will actually come all the way to the present from this heyday of film. The whole when it started, how it might have grown — like a history of celluloid film. In this particular case it will be more in the Asian context, not just India.


Indian, Chinese and Japanese were the biggest industries, but Hollywood was there too. When these nations became independent, there was an idea of a national cinema made in partnership with America, rajadhyajsha something. They have the curious role or stage within which Indian cinema exists, has existed. Like Tamil rajadhywksha in Malaysia, Malayalam in Gulf — these kinds of complex histories excite me. It might be a bridge too far.

Could you ashiah a bit about Third Cinema and India in your work? This was a term that came out of Latin America. It was a particular kind of radical cinema that sought to locate trans-Atlantic connections between European radical movements and the third world ones. That was an important development and the whole series of ideas were about what this third cinema could have been like in a place like India.

Subsequently I became very interested in this idea of transcultural influence on conversations. So I say, what is the connection here? I want to see how those flows happen over time and space. In I attended a conference,and there was also a book with the same name published that year. Now it isso an interesting question would be rajadhjaksha is third cinema in ashush to that.

Of course, it would be linked up with social media, but I am curious about it. China has been a continuous interest for me along with Korea. So I am very keen rajadhjaksha how that circuit will work. The trouble is the tedium, like one more book on some genre, gender and something. There is a sort of an idiocity that settles in when a discipline gets established.

Theses get written, a kind of churning of the academic machine takes place. What were earlier less than six people are now hundreds.

Meanwhile, now that cinema has gone, i. It is probably going to rajadhyaaksha up there and there may not be any film studies to do at that point. Unless we continue to do textual work, genre theory or something like that. Archana studies literature at MCPH.

And then found out she loved the mad mad films, the odd people who make them and the weird people who love to break them.

As she knows that these people admire different films and films differently, she is ever-ready to let a new one drive her a little sshish. Did you watch a lot of films as a youngster? Those days I did. When I was your age, I watched films like anything! Where do you see film scholarship going?

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