WHEN WAS THE ‘STUDIO ERA’ IN BENGAL: TRANSITION, TRANSFORMATIONS AND CONFIGURATIONS DURING THE 1930s
This paper focuses on the moment of transition during early 1930s and revisits the industrial shifts, which were taking place in Calcutta, Bengal, with the arrival of the sync-sound mechanism and what is popularly described as ‘Talkies’. Through a close-reading of film magazines of the period it shows how such transformations, at the level of film cultures and practices, were taking place and the manner in which certain houses were investing in sound systems, which activated the consolidation of the studios. This paper, however, emphasizes on the silent films, which circulated simultaneously, and draws attention to the gradual growth of the studios, emergence of new configurations and popular debates, which highlight how cinema in Bengal was also imagined with regard to Hollywood hits, other than the fact that it was located in the ‘bazaar’.
Indian studios, silent cinema, new theatres, Bengali cinema, comedy, talkies, sound technology, public culture, early stardom, fan cultures
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