Cinemas Dark and Slow in Digital India provides a sustained engagement with contemporary Indian feature films from outside the mainstream, including Aaranaya Kaandam, I.D., Kaul, Chauthi Koot, Cosmic Sex, and Gaali Beeja, to expand the scope of film studies that have focused so far on the dominance of Bollywood. Gopalan assembles films from Bangalore, Chennai, Delhi, Kolkata, and Trivandrum, in addition to independent productions in Bombay cinema, as a way of privileging less studied works that deserve critical attention.
Through close readings of films and a deep investigation of film style, this book draws attention to the advent of digital technologies while remaining fully cognizant of ‘the digital’ and considering the change in the global circulation of film and finance. This dual focus on the techno-material conditions of Indian cinema and the film narrative offers a complete picture of changing narratives and shifting genres and styles.
Written with a cinephile's enthusiasm for world cinema, the book addresses scholars of cinema studies, media studies, and readers who are curious about the shape that media and mediums are taking in current times.
‘Lalitha Gopalan's sustained engagement with contemporary Indian cinema breaks new grounds by enabling us to comprehend distinct trends in digital cinema through its innate quality of continually affecting the material, processual, and aesthetical. The rare insight she provides at the intersection of years of fieldwork, research, pedagogy, and curation, in dissecting and theorizing the mercurial at the heart of the dark and slow cinemas of the new millennium fills a deeply felt void and is a gift for teachers, scholars, and students across disciplines.’
Swarnavel Eswaran, Associate Professor, Department of English and the School of Journalism, Michigan State University.