Changes between Initial Version and Version 1 of New Indian Cinema

Jun 28, 2012, 3:55:24 PM (12 years ago)



  • New Indian Cinema

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     1'''New Indian Cinema''' 
     4Promotional label for a sector of state 
     5sponsored film-making said to have originated 
     6either with Mrinal Sen’s Bhuvan Shome 
     7(1969) or Mani Kaul’s Uski Roti (1969). 
     8Associated in the late 60s/early 70s with 
     9financial support from the FFC (see NFDC), 
     10making it the first major result of governmental 
     11support for feature-film production outside the 
     12industrial mainstream. Among its beneficiaries 
     13were FTII graduates like Kumar Shahani, 
     14Mani Kaul, Saeed Mirza and Ketan Mehta. It 
     15also generated technicians who pioneered 
     16aesthetic and technological innovations which 
     17had a substantial impact on the technical 
     18standards of the film industry itself: the 
     19camerawork of K.K. Mahajan in Hindi, Venu in 
     20Malayalam and Ramchandra in Kannada 
     21cinemas, the sound recording of Kuldeep Sud 
     22and later Hitendra Ghosh and P.C. 
     23Padmanabhan. Described by the popular press 
     24as a ‘new wave’ in a facile comparison with the 
     25French nouvelle vague, prompting Satyajit 
     26Ray to issue a somewhat dismissive response 
     27to the sector, ‘An Indian New Wave?’ (1971: cf. 
     28Ray, 1976). What shaped the new cinema most 
     29decisively was the cultural and political 
     30dynamic sparked by the mainstream industry’s 
     31massive opposition to it. While attacking 
     32‘financially unviable’ films, the industry also 
     33sought to exploit its aura of cultural value for 
     34its own purposes (cf. B.R. Ishara). The films 
     35that articulated an ‘official’ agenda were 
     36Pattabhi Rama Reddy’s Samskara (1970) 
     37and Shyam Benegal’s Ankur (1973). Both, 
     38like Bhuvan Shome and M.S. Sathyu’s Garam 
     39Hawa (1973), were low-budget box-office 
     40successes. Samskara gave a new dimension to 
     41the predominantly literary movements in 
     42Kannada (see Navya Movement) and 
     43encouraged the notion of ‘regional realism’, 
     44claiming Satyajit Ray as its major progenitor (a 
     45role Ray was happy to play) although 
     46Tendulkar’s theatre work offered a more 
     47credible source. This development was 
     48extended into the Malayalam cinema by Adoor 
     49Gopalakrishnan and Aravindan. In its later, 
     50post-Benegal phase, New Indian Cinema often 
     51drew on advertising capital and aesthetics for 
     52art-house film-making, legitimating a new 
     53definition enshrined in e.g. the parliamentary 
     54committee’s instructions, during the 
     55Emergency, to the FFC to grant loans on the 
     56following criteria: ‘1. Human interest in the 
     57story; 2. Indianness in theme and approach; 3. 
     58Characters with whom the audience can 
     59identify; 4. Dramatic content and 5. 
     60Background and capability of the applicant’ 
     61(Committee On Public Undertakings Report, 
     621976). This ideology became official cultural 
     63policy in the 7th Five-Year Plan and had a 
     64decisive impact on Doordarshan as well as 
     65shaping the NFDC’s and the Directorate of Film 
     66Festivals’ institutional priorities.