is an annotated online archive of Indian films. It was initiated by
Pad.ma and is operated in collaboration with a number of film studies
institutions in India. See: http://indiancine.ma/about. Its initial
index of films and metadata was based on Ashish Rajadhyaksha and Paul
Willemen's Encyclopedia of Indian Cinema, and has been updated to
currently more than 36,000 films.
starting focus has been to collect and build a compilation of films
that are in the public domain. This includes films that were made
over 60 years ago and are out of copyright. The attempt is to build a
complete and comprehensive list of such films, and to upload them
when available, along with ancillary material. A growing list of
films and annotations of such films is here:
are some of the films worked on by film scholars, students, and
researchers on a Pad.ma film histories fellowship, which have been
shared over the past few months on the indiancine.ma lists and other
film studies discussion lists. Indiancine.ma researcher Ananya Parikh
has put this condensed compilation together. Many of the original
posts were by Ashish Rajadhayaksha. (See previous postings at
very quick how-to guide: Each film can be seen in one of the
following Views, among others. View Info, where you get basic
information of the film, along with a short summary and other
details. View Player, where you get to watch the film
alongside with the annotations in the right column. To watch it full
screen, there is an expand icon on the top left corner of the video
window. View Editor, where you have the options of editing to
add time based annotations among other features. Type “H” for
help to keyboard shortcuts in Editor View.
explore all its possibilities and to add to Indiancine.ma, you should
register, here: https://indiancine.ma/signup
reading and viewing.
cinema's major hit and a legendary melodrama,
was the second film of Koshi-Kunchako Productions, made at the Udaya
Studio, along with a major star cast. Jenson Joseph, as a part of his
Pad.ma film Histories fellowship writes about the films' extensive
use of documentary footage as also its use of theatre. He also draws
our attention to the songs used in the film; four of which were a
direct adaptation from Raj Kapoor's Barsaat
scholar Gayatri Chatterjee's annotations for Kedar Sharma's 1949 film
Jogan starring Dilip Kumar and Nargis create a rich tapestry
both in and around the film. Her annotations include both a close
reading of the text- with its use of camera movement and lighting,
and also a placing of Jogan within larger cultural contexts.
Chatterjee provides interesting readings of songs in the film, again
drawing on larger musical Bhakti traditions and placing them against
the context of the film.
Mukherjee, as a part of a Pad.ma film histories fellowship, selected
and annotated a trio of major Franz Osten
Bombay Talkies films, Achhut
Kanya (1936), Prem
and Nirmala (1938).
Debashree introduces us to a large and varied group of characters
around the films.
writes about her selection and annotation strategy here
Three Bombay Talkies Films from the 1930s and presents an interview with Peter Dietze, grandson of Himanshu Rai
with rare images from his Melbourne collection.
Bengali classic films: Alibaba (1937), Adhikar (1939),
Chandidas (1932), Chinnamul (1951), Jighansha
(1951), Hanabari (1952), have been annotated by Pad.ma
film histories fellows Pritha Chakrabarti, Maharghaya Chakraborty and
Utsab Sen at the Media Lab, Department of Film Studies, Jadavpur
University. Extensively annotated, the resources include publicity
material, song books, photographs, adverts and reviews from
contemporary journals of that time in Bengal.
Chakrabarti for his fellowship has annotated Avatar (1941)
written and directed by Premankur Atorthy.
Baidurya has also translated the immensely important text by Atorthy,
from the Days of Silent Cinema.
Originally written in a set of
serialized essays in Basumati weekly
between 1951-53, these personalized memoirs are a useful contribution
to the growing body of literature on India's silent cinema.
Thrillers in Bengali Cinema
Chatterjee in a short essay entitled “The
Bengali Mystery-Thriller Film in Post-Independence Era” introduces
a series of popular film in the aftermath of Independence that are
'infused with horrific, supernatural and crime related ingredients.'
His introduction also includes a growing filmography of crime
thrillers of post Independence Bengali cinema. Some of the films he
introduces have been annotated and subtitled by Maharghya Chakraborty
and Utsab Sen (Media Lab, Jadavpur University)
Chhaya (Premendra Mitra,
(Premendra Mitra, 1952)
Generation Realist Films
has put together five 'first
generation-realist' films. While all these films are well known
examples of Indian cinema, seeing them together and heavily annotated
and discussed by film scholars brings to light new ways of thinking
about Post War realism in film. Four of the films- Kalpana,
Dharti Ke Lal, Neecha
and Dr. Kotnis Ki Amar Kahani
were officially war efforts films
under the prevailing 1942 Defence of India Rules.
annotations for the films bring together theoretical writing,
interviews, and other material to create an interesting conversation
between the film text and all the ancillary material.
Anand’s debut film reveals both strongly
expressionist influences and those from the Soviet cinema. Subtitled
and annotated by Ashish Rajadhayaksha, the annotations bring into
focus the use of dance in an otherwise strongly ‘realist’ text.
As Rajadhyaksha points out that an astonishing aspect was the
presence of dance in many of the realist texts of the period
including Dharti ke Lal
and Neecha Nagar.
He uses interviews with Zohra Segal by C.S. Lakshmi (Mirrors and
Gestures: Conversations with Women Dancers, 2003) to develop this
point in the annotations.
original cinematic rendition of the Bijon Bhattacharya’s Nabbana,
a major IPTA play about the Bengal Famine, Dharti ke Lal by K
Abbas is considered to be one of the major realist works of Indian
cinema. The annotations by Ashish Rajadhayaksha use the writings
of Amartya Sen ('Famines', World
Development. Vol. 8, pp. 613-621,1980), Malini Bhattacharya on the
Indian People's Theatre Association, specifically on Bijon
Bhattacharya's Nabanna ('The
IPTA In Bengal', Journal of Arts & Ideas, no. 2, 1983) and Abbas'
'I am Not an island'. The film has been subtitled by Dr Preet
Hiradhar (Lingnan University).
Kotnis ki Amar Kahani
on her 2008 essay entitled 'Immortal Tale or
Nightmare? Dr Kotnis between Art and Exploitation', Neepa Majumdar
(along with Ashish Rajadhayaksha) takes her discussion of the film
further to ask new questions of the film's ability to navigate
between conflicting interpretations: as a war movie, a movie about
Indian nationalism, a solidarity film with China and one that reveals
the brutal face of the Communist state.
Shankar’s dance classic Kalpana, has been subtitled and
annotated by Ashish Rajadhyaksha. The annotations bring to attention
the strongly operatic nature of the realism in Kalpana, and
its strong investment in both tragedy and melodrama. Rajadhayaksha
had used to major sources on the film including
Abrahams unpublished dissertation The
Life and Art of Uday Shankar, (NYU
PhD Thesis, 1985: pg 119-120) and Urmimala Sarkar Munsi's writings,
especially her 'Imag(in)ing the Nation: Uday Shankar's Kalpana'
(in Munsi and Stephanie Burridge ed. Traversing
Tradition: Celebrating Dance in India,
New Delhi: Routledge, 2011).
Moinak Biswas’s essay 'The City and the Real: Chhinnamul and the
Left Cultural Movement in the 1940s' (2006), Biswas and Maharghya
Chakraborty annotate Nemai Ghosh’s all time classic about a family
of peasants who move from Naldanga, near Dhaka, to Calcutta in 1951.
The film includes the famous Sealdah station sequence shot in which
the actors merge with documentary shots of actual refugees on the
station. The film is also known for being the first cinematic work of
at the National Film Archive of India (NFAI) on copyright law and the
Legal researcher and film scholar Lawrence Liang conducted a two-day
workshop with staff at the NFAI regarding copyright law in India and
the role of the state archive. Beginning with an engaging history on
the role of the archivist and the many possibilities of the archive,
Liang laid out a fertile ground for a discussion on the state
archives position vis-à-vis copyright law. He addressed how the
question of archives has not been directly addressed in the act, and
built a conversation between the traditional archive; in this case
the Government run archive with newer forms of archives as imagined
across the world. This was followed by questions and queries from
the staff on their experiences of working in the national archives.
Seminar on Writing Histories for Indian Cinema: Chapter Two
of Film Studies, Jadavpur University
Banerjee Memorial Hall, Jadavpur University main campus
2014 annual seminar organised by Department of Film Studies, Jadavpur
University, wishes to revisit the theme of our 2009 seminar on
Writing Histories for Indian Cinema. Apart from continuing the
debates on Indian film history and historiography, this year's
seminar will focus on the ongoing archival initiative
http://Indiancine.ma with which the Department and The Media Lab, JU,
has become closely associated. While that platform promises to be a
valuable research and teaching aid it has also generated debates
about methodologies as well as the intellectual content of the
discipline of film studies.
first of this two-day event shall focus on historical questions
pertaining to periods, genres, regions, institutions and inter-media
relationships. The second day will begin with reflections on
contemporary practice and then shift to the idea and practice of
digital archiving, bringing on board questions such as
conceptualizing regional cinemas or reconstructing filmographies
against the new digital horizon. Practitioners and researchers who
have worked on the http://indiancine.ma platform shall critically
reflect on their experience, followed by Cinemathon, a hands-on
workshop to acquaint students with the processes of digital
annotation. More here: https://indiancine.ma/news/P