BETWEEN THE SHOTS, AFTER THE CUTS: THE POLITICAL ECONOMY OF PRABHAT STUDIO
‘Plus ça change, plus c’est la même chose’ (A lot of things change, yet a lot of them remain the same), notes Ashish Rajadhyaksha at the end of Indian Cinema: A Very Short Introduction.[i] Rajadhyaksha raises queries about nationalism, industrial mechanisms, state policy and charts key moments from Indian film history to the present-day corporatized Bollywood conglomerate cultures. The question of industrial status and cultural value, both of which were enmeshed into the category of state legitimation loom over the entire book. This article on Prabhat’s studio economy is in persuasion of Rajadhayaksha’s usage of the French phrase for entanglements of historical changes and residual continuities in film cultures during the period mid-1920s to mid-1950s to ask “what is the ‘meme chose’” (same thing) that persists and what are the changes that occur in relation to the economics of the pre-eminent Prabhat Studio (1929-53)?
[i] Ashish Rajadhyaksha, Indian Cinema: A Very Short Introduction, (Oxford, United Kingdom: Oxford University Press, 2016), 118.
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