What is to engage with cinemas that are always on the verge of disappearing? Neither preserved in film archives or permanently available on digital platforms, yet the allure of these moving image works and the possibilities they hold out for us is sufficient to consider them, despite their own precarity, as the many cinemas of India. With a commitment to global hemispheric solidarity, the presentation will rely on the valency of Andre Bazin’s “impure cinema” for these works of art, and in a different direction that gestures towards future works, a reevaluation of alliances across a different map of avant-garde and experimental practices.
Lalitha Gopalan is an associate professor in the Department of Radio-Television-Film and affiliate faculty in the Department of Asian Studies and South Asia Institute. Her research and teaching interests are in the areas of Film Theory, Feminist Film Theory, Contemporary World Cinemas, Indian Cinemas, Genre Films, and Experimental Film and Video. Essays and books written by her include Cinemas Dark and Slow in Digital India (Palgrave Macmillan, 2021; Orient Blackswan 2021), Cinema of Interruptions: Action Genres in Contemporary Indian Cinema (London: BFI Publishing, 2002) and Bombay (London: BFI Modern Classics, 2005); and the edited volume The Cinema of India (London: Wallflower Press, 2010). Her current book project explores various experimental film and video practices in India.