Accepted paper:

The new Marathi film

Author:

Aarti Wani (Symbiosis College of Arts & Commerce)

Paper short abstract:

As the global traffic of ideas, images and objects filters into the Marathi sensorium, the new Marathi film is the surface that registers, absorbs and reflects its effects. This paper examines some of the textual strategies and tropes of this cinematic moment in Maharashtra.

Paper long abstract:

When the low budget Shwaas modestly explored the relationship between a young boy and his grandfather, its sentimental realism was seen as ground breaking. As India's official entry in the 2004 Oscars, it stepped into the global circuit of information and imagery, marking the moment of a clear shift in the production, circulation and reception of Marathi film. Making use of the emergent spaces of the multiplex and film festivals, drawing on cinephilia and the proliferating digital technology, the new Marathi film was thematically unusual even if lacking in formal innovation or technical finesse. Responding to the aspirations and concerns of their niche urban audience, films like Shwaas, Dombivali Fast (2005), Valu (2008), Jogva (2009), and Natrang (2010) explored hitherto ignored subject matters, constituencies and spaces and in so doing emerged as sites engaging with the promises and anxieties of a global culture of consumption and lifestyle, as with the possibilities of manufacturing new selves and identities. As the global traffic of ideas, images and objects filters into the Marathi sensorium, the new Marathi film is in fact the surface that registers, absorbs and reflects its effects. This paper will examine some of the textual strategies and tropes of this cinematic moment in Maharashtra , namely the spatialization of desire via reconfigured spaces of the city and the village as also the construction and performance of fluid gender identities.

panel P27
Cinema matters: the changing film object in a globalizing world