Wednesday, 10 February 2016

Abstract on Digital devices and new narratives of Bengali cinema

Following abstract is from Prof. Kunal Ray

The depiction of technology in Indian cinema has undergone a significant transition. In films made since mid 1920s, science and technology has been largely portrayed as antihuman and undemocratic. However, a spate of recent films would suggest that digital technology enabled laptops, mobile phones; internet chat sessions have successfully transcended their primary function of communication and entered our personal space often holding a key bearing on contours of human relationships and imaginings not in the least way derogatory. It is almost rethinking the specific use of digital devices as an integral constituent of the film narrative helping in construction of personal and local histories thereby charging these devices with a hereto unseen agency.
This paper will endeavour to critically scrutinise the role of technological devices through close analysis of a cluster of representative Bengali films made after 2005 such as Dosar (2006), Antaheen (2009), Laptop (2012), Chitrangada (2012) and Bunohaash (2014).For instance, Laptop (Kaushik Ganguly, 2012) is a nuanced, delicate commentary on sexuality and human life revealed through the journey of a stolen laptop across different strata of society. This study will build on the work of culture theorists such as Gilles Deleuze, Walter Benjamin, Jean Baudrillard and Sherry Turkle in examining how these devices have helped in creating new producers and users ready to experience new possibilities of film language and representation.
Keywords – technology, digital, Bengali films, local, narrative

Kunal Ray
Chair, Centre for South Asia
Lecturer in English Literature
FLAME University
Pune - 412115 (India)
Tel: +91 020 6790 6172
Mobile: +91 9890765427

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