INTRODUCTION

Hrishikesh S Ingle

Abstract


Studio based filmmaking presents two possibilities for the historical studies of cinema. The first is that of mitigating the enormous creative and cultural energies to a particular institution. The second is to attribute an ontology for forms and practices that are seen to be projective evolvements of what has preceded them. Inherent in these prospects is the question of ascribing a historicity to cinema, its social anchoring, and filmmaking practices. These consider the studio as a kind of institutional space that, after about a century, seems ensconced in its own peculiarities, and therefore has defined its own temporal provenance. It might seem therefore that studio-filmmaking, which was the dominant mode of film production till about the 1950s in India provides for its own periodization; and therefore explains-off pertinent questions of form, film circulation, censorship, social acceptance, stars, and the economics of cinema. The intent here is to interrogate this inheritance, and propose an analytical perspective that wrests open the linearity (as well as some settled notions) of studio histories in India. This deliberation is presented in three parts: the first one deals with the specific problem of historicizing film studios in India; the next section outlines the issues of networks and the vernacular as two spatial ideas that inform studio histories of Indian cinema, and the last section presents an overview of this special issue of Wide Screen.


Keywords


new theaters, prabhat, bollywood, bombay talkies, indian studio system, cinema

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