media, information, the contemporary

Tag: Cinema

  • 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 Wager on Cinema: Screening 3 – What The Fields Remember

    How do we estimate the value, aesthetic force, and meaning of cinema today? As media experience, technological change has transformed it beyond recognition, its material forms altered by analog and digital video formats, and the modes of circulating, viewing, accessing cinema and making it have expanded exponentially. And yet, the dream and ambition of cinema as we have known it has not dissipated, the desire to congregate audiences to participate in a distinct world of experience, whether to excite, amuse, to move or to solicit reflection and engagement, to bear witness and to mobilize…

  • 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…

  • Social Media Research Workshop, November 06, 2015

    Since March this year, short-term research fellows have been involved with The Sarai Programme, on themes that relate to digital and social media. On Friday, 6th November 2015, we are organising a workshop for the fellows to present and discuss their research with a select group of discussants. The workshop will be held at the Centre for the Study of Developing Societies, 29 Rajpur Road, Civil Lines.

  • Item Numbers in the Digital Age: From Cinema to a Landscape of Techno-Tactile Sensations

    This is the fourth and final research note from Silpa Mukherjee, one of the short-term social media research fellows at The Sarai Programme.

    In my introductory post I referred to the new phenomenon of online citation culture built around item numbers as the item number effect.[1] Amateur digital culture spawned by social networking and micro-blogging platforms, and online platforms that encourage user generated content build an archive of virtual signage associated with the item number that now bleeds out of cinema and becomes more than music. Here I signpost the registers of a new fan identity which often curiously blends with the star’s…

  • Media Encounters of the Nineties Romantic Song

    This is the fourth and final research note from Abhija Ghosh, one of the short-term social media research fellows at The Sarai Programme.

    “I’m a child of the nineties. An era when Rahul Roy was the country’s biggest superstar for a while…I’ve also lived through a time when the average person’s only contact with the outside universe was through newspapers, the radio and one channel on the telly- a channel that you couldn’t even watch unless you went to your balcony and repositioned its antenna every now and then.”[1]

  • Afterlife of the Nineties Romantic Film Song in the Virtual Public Sphere

    In this post, Abhija Ghosh, one of the researchers who received the Social Media Research grant for 2015, introduces her proposed work.

    In this project, I am interested in observing the popularity of nineties romantic cinema and music across several internet media streams such as video sharing platforms, online radio music channels, nineties fan sites and lists in order to map the registers of popular memory, affect and pleasure that mark an emerging cultural afterlife of this decade of Hindi cinema. Social media fan pages like All About 90s evoke cultural associations with the decade by regularly alluding to nineties media forms such as cassettes, video tapes and their object lives, or television broadcasts and their aesthetic convention, however it is the nineties romantic film song that seems to occupy a special space of nostalgia in the collective memory of such internet communities.