Vibhushan Subba

BioScope Volume 7 Number 2, December 2016


We’re happy to announce the publication of Bioscope vol. 7. no. 2. Disregarded, disreputable, provincial, seedy, illicit, cheap, scrap, or just plain trash: there are many ways to describe the forms of screen culture that populate this issue of BioScope. From Bhojpuri action cinema to film paraphernalia sold by the kilogram by the scrap-merchant; from 1980s Malayalam soft-porn to “cracked” games consoles; these forms of screen culture inhabit a netherworld of disregard, disrespect, and, often, discontent. They are produced and circulated through intersecting infrastructures of illegitimacy…

Social Media Research Workshop, August 12, 2016


As part of the third and final cycle of Sarai’s Social Media Research Fellowship, since March this year, short-term research fellows have been studying different aspects of digital and social media. On Friday, 12 August, 2016 we are organising a workshop for the fellows to present and discuss their research with a select group of discussants. Limited seats are available to take part in the workshop. To register, please fill up this…

Embalming the Obscure: Unpacking Cinephilia Undead


The more I explore the cinephiliac circuits of obscure small budget films manifesting itself through networks of social media, the more I am reminded of an old curiosity shop stuck in the corner of a street with all kinds of valuable junk. In this room, the gathered and the collected, the scattered and the discarded, in this room the past and the present, the lost and the found, in this room the dead and the undead. This work of collecting and preserving the past is marked by the increasing importance of the fragmentary (the clip, the tribute, the ephemera etc) where many different pieces fit together, like in a puzzle, where the ludicrous, the ugly, the obscene, the erotic and the horrifying come together to construct a universe of the obscure…

Digital Ghosts: Spectral Presences on YouTube


Geert Lovink made it clear that we have started watching databases rather than films and TV. 2015 YouTube statistics seem to be in serious agreement with that statement with over 4 billion videos viewed every day, between three to four hundred hours of video uploaded every minute. The vast unregulated folds of the internet has created infinite avenues of accessing cinema by way of easy exchange, transfer, uploads and downloads which in turn has created a new cinematic culture. Everybody is contributing to this growing archive of films- fans, cinephiles, production houses, DVD labels and such. In this post I track the creation and sustenance of B-movie YouTube channels operated by fans…

Gunda, an unexpected journey: Tracking Cinephilia Undead


The search for a trashy film can turn into a steeplechase of staggering emotions, a cinematic odyssey ranging from blasts of stunt and fantasy, through a landscape of the dismembered and the splattered, the violated and the avenged, oozing with sleaze and smut and insatiable appetites, intended seriousness, unintended ham handedness and such. Yet, at the end of it all it still opens out into a rather variegated terrain of discourses and counter discourses of cult, trash, the bad object and cultural detritus…

The Returned: The Rise of B-movie Cinephilia


Picture first, in the murky blue of the sylvan night, one of the vampire’s minions in white satin with exaggerated face paint, false teeth and styrofoam wings flickers in front of you. She struggles to maintain her balance and as she is wheeled towards the camera her wings keep disappearing from shot to shot. Strangely though the disappearing wings seem to have little effect on the vampire’s flying skills. This haunting image is from Harinam Singh’s Shaitani Dracula (2003) which has become iconic in “B” cinephile circles…

Short Term Research Projects in Social Media: Selected Proposals 2016


The Sarai Programme is committed to developing a public architecture for creating knowledge and creative communities. In keeping with this commitment, we seek to develop a community of scholars, writers and practitioners who are motivated to make the materials and outcome of research available for public access and circulation, with the understanding that an imaginative… Read More