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Bollywood Cinema: A Critical Genealogy

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dc.contributor.author Mishra, Vijay
dc.date.accessioned 2015-04-13T00:44:39Z
dc.date.accessioned 2022-07-07T02:24:22Z
dc.date.available 2015-04-13T00:44:39Z
dc.date.available 2022-07-07T02:24:22Z
dc.date.copyright 2006
dc.date.issued 2006
dc.identifier.uri https://ir.wgtn.ac.nz/handle/123456789/19271
dc.description.abstract “Bollywood” has finally made it to the Oxford English Dictionary. The 2005 edition defines it as: “a name for the Indian popular film industry, based in Bombay. Origin 1970s. Blend of Bombay and Hollywood.” The incorporation of the word in the OED acknowledges the strength of a film industry which, with the coming of sound in 1931, has produced some 9,000 films. (This must not be confused with the output of Indian cinema generally, which would be four times more). What is less evident from the OED definition is the way in which the word has acquired its current meaning and has displaced its earlier descriptors (Bombay Cinema, Indian Popular Cinema, Hindi Cinema), functioning, perhaps even horrifyingly, as an “empty signifier” (Prasad) that may be variously used for a reading of popular Indian cinema. The triumph of the term (over the others) is nothing less than spectacular and indicates, furthermore, the growing global sweep of this cinema not just as cinema qua cinema but as cinema qua social effects and national cultural coding. Although Indian film producers in particular, and pockets of Indian spectators generally, continue to feel uneasy with it (the vernacular press came around to using “Bollywood” only reluctantly), its ascendancy has been such that Bombay Dreams (the Andrew Lloyd Weber musical) and the homegrown Merchants of Bollywood both become signifiers of a cultural logic which transcends cinema and is a global marker of Indian modernity. As the Melbourne (March 2006) closing ceremony of the Commonwealth Games showed, Bollywood will be the cultural practice through which Indian national culture will be projected when the games are held in Delhi in 2010. International games (the Olympics, World Cup Soccer, Asian Games, Commonwealth Games, and so on) are often expressions of a nation’s own emerging modernity. For India that modernity, in the realm of culture, is increasingly being interpellated by Bollywood. en_NZ
dc.format pdf en_NZ
dc.language.iso en_NZ
dc.publisher Te Herenga Waka—Victoria University of Wellington en_NZ
dc.relation.ispartofseries Asian Studies Institute working paper en_NZ
dc.relation.ispartofseries No. 20 en_NZ
dc.subject cinema en_NZ
dc.subject Bollywood en_NZ
dc.subject review en_NZ
dc.title Bollywood Cinema: A Critical Genealogy en_NZ
dc.type Text en_NZ
vuwschema.contributor.unit School of Languages and Cultures en_NZ
vuwschema.type.vuw Working or Occasional Paper en_NZ
vuwschema.subject.anzsrcforV2 470202 Asian cultural studies en_NZ

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