Brain fodder: Bookshelf devoted to movies, culture (IANS Books this Week)

Last Updated: Sat, Sep 29, 2012 17:28 hrs

New Delhi, Sep 29 (IANS) The bookshelf this weekend tickles the intellectual, pampers the imaginative and helps the thinker rethink. Browse with IANS...

1.Book: "Housefull: The Golden Age of Hindi Cinema"; Edited by Ziya Us Salam; Published by Om Books International; Price: Rs.395

Mainstream Hindi cinema has travelled a long way from the days of the first generation of conscientious filmmakers like Bimal Roy, Mehboob Khan, K. Asif, V. Shantaram, Guru Dutt and Raj Kapoor to the contemporary dream moguls like Shakti Samant and Yash Chopra and the small bugdet cerebral storytellers like Vishal Bharadwaj, Ashutosh Gowarikar and Farhan Akhtar.

The book captures the movements of Hindi commercial cinema from the early 20th century to date through small essays on the men who shaped the movietones and the narratives of contemporary Indian cinema.

For the standalone theatres, colour palette, budgets, multiplexes and home cinema, the critics and film writers document almost every contour of the country's biggest soft power industry.

2.Book: "The Adventures of an Inteprid Film Critic"; Written by Anna M.M. Vetticad; Published by Om Books International; Price: Rs.295

The book tells of an adventure of a film critic who is on a mission to blog reviews of every single film released in the National Capital Region (NCR)- not just high-profile blockbusters, but the small-budget multiplex entertainers as well.

The writer watches and reviews 121 movies and interviews people involved in making them to depict the changing face of Bollywood, discovering the industry in all its faces transcending the "Vidya Balans, Priyanka Chopras and the Khans".

It is the canvas of the other Bollywood which movies are canned never to see the light of day and the characters who inhabit the fringe of the tinsel town - but whose contribution to the process of filmmaking is as important as those in the limelight.

3.Book: "Delhi Stopver"; Written by Tulika Mehrotra; Published by Penguin India; Price: Rs.208

A struggling actress in Los Angeles, Lila, visits her painter aunt and designer cousin in India after a break-up and is drawn into Delhi's coveted modelling circuit.

A fresh face, she is signed up by the most prestigious agency and she lands herself a bikini shoot for an Italian agency. To knock off a few pounds, she begins a regimen of harsh exercise and crash diet. The toll on her body pushes her to the edge, and to flirt with drugs... Lila is mired in a spiral of glamour and hedonism.

The book is a comment on life on the party lane that characterises the high-adrenaline fashion fraternity of India.

4.Book: "Jack is Back in Corporate Carnival"; Written by P.G. Bhaskar; Published by Harper Collins India; Price: Rs.150

The book takes off from where the author's first book, "Jack Patel's Dubai Dreams (Penguin 2010) ended. A private banker in Dubai, Jaikishan is desperate for a stable, well-paying job. It is not that easy in large corporations.

The reality sinks in while Jack and his merry men hop from one hilarious situation to the next across Dubai, Africa and Chennai. Every adventure is bizarre but the job looms like a mirage. A satire on modern day bankers and their bubble dreams.

5.Book: "Performing Heritage"; Written by Navina Jafa; Published by Sage Publication; Price: Rs.559

Centred in academic theory in the area of exhibiting culture, this book seeks to explore the art and politics of cultural representation.

While thus far this discussion has been restricted to the closed spaces of museums, exhibitions, cultural festivals and the like, here, this densely interdisciplinary problematic is approached through the unique and increasingly popular medium of Heritage Walks.

Focusing on the idea of the living exhibit, the author employs her decades-long career in the field of academic cultural tourism for engaging with cultures in a dynamic and performative manner.

The book argues that heritage walks are necessarily creative and academically invested, and can be an effective medium for rethinking the disciplines of history, sociology and conservation and the challenges they face in contemporary post-colonial India.

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