18 December 2008



"Mazumdar's experience as a filmmaker allowed her to offer significant readings of not just the narratives and character development in the films, but of the cinematography, mise-en-scene, and other technical and performance aspects of production. As scholar and filmmaker, Ranjani Mazumdar effectively combined her two disciplines in the book, which is accessible and useful to scholars of South Asia and film." Journal of Popular Culture

“This is not simply a book about how Bombay movies have re-presented the ambivalent site of the city in post-Independence India. More profoundly, Mazumdar is giving us an alternative history of Indian modernity, a history in which 'the urban experience' only comes fully into focus through the sensuous mediation of the popular cinema.” Visual Anthropology Review

“Mazumdar has a great capacity to discuss Indian cinema, with a brilliant grasp of its political, historical and aesthetic developments, but equally she is well attuned to the interests and ruptures in the academic discourse of film and cinema studies.” Film International

“Mazumdar develops her work thoroughly and consistently, such that contemporary Bombay cinema is easily accessible to the general reader and the academic scholar alike ... takes us through the cinematic city as character, as spectacle, as spatial dynamic, as performative motor and above all as an invaluable archive of urban experience in contemporary India.” The Book Review

"Departing from the obsession that Film Studies in India has displayed with the idea of cinema as a national allegory, the book convincingly argues for the need to examine the city's hidden archive as one that cannot be subsumed within the sign of the national." Biblio

“...an exciting and important contribution to a field that has, to date, been under researched and under theorized. Lively, provocative and richly suggestive, it will also serve as a surefire incentive to watch those films all over again”

"...at once about Hindi films, spatial practices, urban modernity and globalization...the strength of the book lies in bringing all of them together in a productive conversation.”
Economic and Political Weekly

“Here, at last, is a book [that] walks the streets where the films are set, looks at shop windows, publicity material, costumes, fashion, architecture, telecommunications and the concrete materiality that surrounds the film object.”

“This is a fascinating book about the city of Bombay (now Mumbai) and its place and role in Indian cinema. Ranjani Mazumdar has provided us with a lucid picture of the city and its relationship with cinema ... a much needed contribution in understanding the role of Hindi films in the cinematic city. The book also challenges the idealisation of the Indian village as constructed by the Indian nationalist movement.” Information, Society, and Justice

"... a landmark study - carefully researched, well organized and offering refreshingly uncondescending and strikingly insightful discussions of mainstream films - that deserves to be read by anyone interested in India's popular cinema or its contemporary urban life." Journal of Asian Studies

Published August 2007 / hardback / 296PP / Rs 595 / ISBN 81-7824-205-2 / South Asia rights / Copublished by the University of Minnesota Press

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