Fantasy of Modernity: Romantic Love in Bombay Cinema of the 1950s

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9781107117211: Fantasy of Modernity: Romantic Love in Bombay Cinema of the 1950s

Romantic love overwhelms 1950s Bombay cinema. Love and romance is evident in the themes, lyrics and visual aesthetics of films of the period, as it is in the publicity and gossip surrounding films and film stars. Love in cinema becomes significant when social reality constrains its quotidian experience and expression. By bringing a spectacular imagination of love to centre stage, the 1950s cinema deflected anxieties of 'Indianness' even as the new aesthetic and affect of romance offered an alternative engagement with the contradictions of modernity. Fantasy of Modernity: Romantic Love in Bombay Cinema of the 1950s explores the films, the songs, the stars and the extra-cinematic discourse of the period to read love and romance as its most productive trope that mobilized a dynamic and contested public sphere.

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This book offers a comprehensive introduction to 1950s Bombay cinema, contextualizing the theme of love within the discourse and reality of Indian modernity and nationalism on the one hand, and film theory and practice on the other.

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Aarti Wani teaches at Symbiosis college of Arts and Commerce in Pune, India. She is the founding co-editor and presently lead editor of the international peer-reviewed journal Studies in South Asian Film and Media. Her research interests are Hindi and Marathi cinema, literary criticism, cultural studies, gender and modernity.

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