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Behind the Scenes

Behind the Scenes
Contemporary Bollywood Directors and Their Cinema

First Edition
Edited by:
  • Aysha Iqbal Viswamohan - Professor, Department of Humanities and Social Sciences, Indian Institute of Technology (IIT), Madras
  • Vimal Mohan John - Assistant Professor, Department of English, St. Berchman’s College, Kerala

January 2017 | 424 pages | SAGE India

For those who think, read, teach, and write about Bollywood, this book is the release of the year! 

They are the ‘stars’ who sit behind the camera and create magic between ‘Action’ and ‘Cut’. Meet the directors of New Age cinema who with their themes, characteristic styles, and masterful storytelling are bridging the gap between commerce and content, commercial and art-house cinema. 

This book introduces you to the films they have made and provides a critical analysis of their craft, while remaining grounded in cinematic and popular culture theories. It shows the distinct ways in which they have handled issues of gender, urban culture, and social inequality.


Foreword by Rajinder Dudrah
Introduction by Aysha Iqbal Viswamohan
Part I: Cinema of Glamour and Celebration: The Post-Liberalization Bollywood Auteur
Main Hoon Farah: The Choreographer as Auteur Ajay Gehlawat
Mansoor Khan: Narrative and Aesthetic Impulses of a Director in ‘Self’ Exile Aysha Iqbal Viswamohan
Farhan Akhtar: Stardom of the Poster Boy of ‘New’ Hindi Cinema Aysha Iqbal Viswamohan
Aditya Chopra’s ‘Glamorous Realism’ Manjunath Pendakur
Authorship, Industry, and the Intermedial Relay: The Films of Vidhu Vinod Chopra Sudhir Mahadevan
Rajkumar Hirani: The Outsider Baradwaj Rangan
Sanjay Leela Bhansali: In the Realm of Innovative Cinematic Experiences Varsha Panjwani
Part II: Cinema of Commentaries and Interventions: History, Politics, and Society in Bollywood
In the Morbid Interregnum: Vishal Bhardwaj’s Realist Aesthetic and the Neoliberal Imaginary Jyotsna Kapur and Soumik Pal
Post-colonial Transgression in Deepa Mehta’s Feminist Quartet Alka Kurian
Sounding Dystopia: Anurag Kashyap’s Films and Relocation of Popular Tropes Madhuja Mukherjee
Globalization, Reflexivity, and Genre in Zoya Akhtar’s films Nandana Bose
Urban Dreams: Sudhir Mishra’s Representations of Social and Political Change Pavithra Narayanan and Clare Wilkinson
Ashutosh Gowariker: Narrativizing the ‘Nation’ Tutun Mukherje
Madhur Bhandarkar and the New Bollywood Social Ulka Anjaria
Part III: Gendered Cinema: Bollywood’s Women, Gender Politics, and Representation
Finding Femininity: Homi Adajania and Representations of Urban Womanhood Sharanya
Gender Politics and Small-town India: The Cinema of Abhishek Chaubey Krupa Shandilya
Women in the Dark World: Sriram Raghavan and Hindi Film Noir Swetha Sridhar
18. ‘There Is No Greater Joy than Telling a Story One Believes In’—Our Brother Onir Nandini Bhattacharya
Location and Agency in Crafting Habib Faisal’s Authorship Auteur Monika Mehta

A well-curated collection of insightful essays celebrating important new voices in contemporary Hindi cinema… [The editors] have embarked on a praiseworthy academic exercise, which chronicles the rise of several exciting new film-makers who have transformed Bollywood in many ways by bravely taking the road not taken.


Frontline, 5 January 2018

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Aysha Iqbal Viswamohan

Aysha Iqbal Viswamohan is Professor in the Department of Humanities and Social Sciences, Indian Institute of Technology (IIT), Madras. Her interests include film studies, drama and popular culture. She has a PhD in American Drama, was the recipient of the Canadian Faculty Enrichment Programme fellowship in 2009 and was attached to Simon Fraser University, Vancouver, Canada. She has published over 30 articles in academic journals of repute, including Cambridge, Oxford, Routledge and SAGE. She edited Postliberalization Indian Novels in English: Politics of Global Reception and Awards (2013). She is the organizer of Imaging Cinema,... More About Author

Vimal Mohan John

Vimal Mohan John has a PhD in film studies from the Department of Humanities and Social Sciences, IIT Madras. He was on an extended fellowship that was awarded to him by the department upon completion of his PhD. His work concerns study of the auteurial practices of film directors and how they mediate gender, cultures and representations. Apart from presenting papers at various national and international conferences, he also publishes academic papers. He teaches as Assistant Professor, Department of English, St. Berchmans College, Kottayam (Kerala). More About Author

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ISBN: 9789386062390