Alternatives to Love: Indian Cinema Reinvented in Greater Asia

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Ian Dixon


As conventional Bollywood continues to thrive, independent productions in India are embracing more insurgent themes and challenging storylines. Following the lead of maverick actor/producer Amir Khan in the wake of Dhobi Ghat (2010), films such as A Death in the Gunj (2016) and Sir (2018) not only feature women’s themes but aggregate the colour and movement of Indian cinema while enlisting serious subject matter. India remains a vital focus on the world cinema scene as the traditions of culture and cinema predate online distribution opportunities by centuries. Drawing from film theorists such as Ashvin Devasundaram, Madhuja Mukherjee, Chidananda Das Gupta and Neelam Sidhar Wright, I examine the two exemplary films as textual analysis in a historical context. Along with the influence of Hindu mythology, this paper seeks a template for effective, globally relevant cinema which respects Edward Said’s notion of Orientalism. While considering the storytelling traditions of Rabindranath Tagore and Satyajit Ray as literary and cinematic voices, this paper also consults Western screenwriting experts Stephen Cleary and Robert McKee in its search to support the artistic aims of cinema from India. India deserves to be championed for its centuries of unrivalled artistic achievement and unparalleled cinematic exuberance.


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