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Framing the Nation

Languages of ’Modernity’ in India

As recent films like Slumdog Millionaire attest, India on film is quickly growing beyond the images of Bollywood that used to come to mind. In the 1980s the idea of film theory arrived in the Indian scholarly community, stirring anew a fascination with popular cinema, especially that of Bombay, that went beyond previous Bollywood-oriented discussions focused on cinematic styles and genres alone. Ajanta Sircar’s Framing the Nation grew out of that new engagement with cinema in India, a transition marked by a move from cinephilia to film theory.

In Framing the Nation, Sircar maps the distance that film theory has traveled in the Anglo-American academy and India in the past decades, inviting questions such as—How do we make sense of this new academic interest in popular Indian cinemas? How should we begin to understand Indian popular culture as a result? Sircar’s work is founded not only in a scholarly fascination with the growth and transition of films, but in a real passion for the movies, resulting in a book that will appeal not just to scholars of film history and theory, but to those intrigued by Indian cinema in general.

252 pages | 12 halftones | 6 x 9 | © 2011

Film Studies

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Table of Contents


Chapter One—‘English’, Modernity and the Language of Nationhood
Chapter Two—‘Hindi’: Translating Nationhood as Indian
Chapter Three—Stars and Signs of Bombay
Chapter Four—Love in the Time of Liberalization: Qayamat Se Qayamat Tak
Chapter Five—In the Name of the Father: Tezaab

Afterword, or ‘On the Passage of a Few People Through a Rather Brief Moment in Time . . .’
Appendix I: Plot Summary of Qayamat Se Qayamat Tak (1988)
Appendix II: Plot Summary of Tezaab (1988)
Appendix III: Filmography

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