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Bollywood in the Age of New Media

The Geo-televisual Aesthetic

Anustup Basu

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This study of popular Indian cinema in an age of globalisation, new media, and metropolitan Hindu fundamentalism focuses on the period from 1991 to 2004. Popular Hindi cinema took a certain spectacular turn from the early nineties as a signature 'Bollywood style' evolved in the wake of liberalization and the inauguration of a global media ecology in India. Films increasingly featured transformed bodies, fashions, life-styles, commodities, gadgets, and spaces, often in non-linear, 'window-shopping' ways, without any primary obligation to the narrative. Flows of desires, affects, and aspirations frequently crossed the bounds of stories and determined milieus. One example is the film Haqeeqat that featured poor working class protagonists, but romantic musical sequences transported them abruptly to Switzerland, with the actors now dressed in designer suits. Basu theorises this overall cinematic-cultural ecology here as an informational geo-televisual aesthetic.

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Contents

Section I: Introduction
1. Cinematic 'Assemblages': The Nineties and Earlier
2. The Geo-televisual and Hindi Film in the Age of Information
Section II: Informatics, Sovereignty and the Cinematic City
3. Allegories of Power/Information
4. The Music of Intolerable Love: Indian Film Music, Globalization, and the Sound of Partitioned Selves
Section III: Myth and Repetition
5. Technopolis and the Ramayana: New Temporalities
6. Repetitions with Difference: Mother India and her Thousand Sons
Epilogue

About the Author

Anustup Basu is Assistant Professor of English and Cinema Studies, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.