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Dwyer, Rachel (2016) 'Mumbai Middlebrow: ways of thinking about the middle ground in Hindi cinema.' In: Faulkner, Sally, (ed.), Middlebrow Cinema. Abingdon: Routledge, pp. 51-68. (Remapping World Cinema)

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Abstract

This chapter defines the middlebrow as occupying the middle ground between the highbrow, the arts that elicit intellectual responses as they may be challenging and uncomfortable, and the lowbrow, or cultural texts that elicit emotional, basic or bodily responses. The study of Hindi cinema as an academic discipline, often in prestigious Western universities, where serious attention has often been focused on the lowest-brow films, was initially viewed with surprise by Indian scholars, who generally favoured the study of highbrow cinema, which Chidananda Das Gupta famously described as ‘India’s unpopular cinema’. In India, the definition of brows is further complicated by the postcolonial status of English and the global culture associated with it. A style of film that developed in the mid-2000s became known as ‘multiplex cinema’, after the upmarket cinemas built in the country’s new shopping malls. The key difference between the middlebrow and the upper middlebrow is thus the shift from earnestness to knowingness.

Item Type: Book Chapters
SOAS Departments & Centres: Legacy Departments > Faculty of Languages and Cultures > Department of the Languages and Cultures of South Asia
ISBN: 9781138777125
DOI (Digital Object Identifier): https://doi.org/10.4324/9781315630564-5
Date Deposited: 17 May 2016 17:53
URI: https://eprints.soas.ac.uk/id/eprint/22433

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