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Films of Adoor Gopalakrishnan

Films of Adoor Gopalakrishnan

A Cinema of Emancipation

By Suranjan Ganguly

The first comprehensive study of the feature films of India’s most distinguished contemporary filmmaker. This work offers a compelling analysis of the director’s treatment of guilt, redemption and hope within their socio-historical contexts.

Hardback, 178 Pages

ISBN:9781783084098

January 2015

£70.00, $115.00

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About This Book

Adoor Gopalakrishnan, India’s most distinguished contemporary filmmaker, has made eleven award-winning films and over forty documentaries, most of which are set in his native state of Kerala, in southern India. A 1965 graduate of the Film and Television Institute of Pune, his first film, “Swayamvaram” (1972), heralded the New Wave in Kerala. The region’s displacement from a princely feudal state into twentieth-century modernity forms the backdrop to most of his complex narratives about identity, selfhood and otherness, in which innocence is often at stake and characters grapple with their consciences. The films deal with eviction and dislocation, with the precarious nature of space, and the search for home. They are also about power and its abuse within a destructive patriarchy and the abject conditions of servility it breeds. At the same time, these narratives are usually placed within the larger frameworks of guilt and redemption where hope of emancipation—moral, spiritual, and creative—is a real one. This first comprehensive study of Gopalakrishnan’s feature films offers a compelling analysis of these issues within their socio-historical contexts.

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Author Information

Suranjan Ganguly teaches European and Asian cinema at the University of Colorado, Boulder and has also written a book on filmmaker Satyajit Ray.

Series

New Perspectives on World Cinema

Table of Contents

Introduction; 1. Things Fall Apart: ‘Mukhamukham’ and the Failure of the Collective; 2. The Domain of Inertia: ‘Elippathayam’ and the Crisis of Masculinity; 3. Master and Slave: ‘Vidheyan’ and the Debasement of Power; 4. The Server and the Served: ‘Kodiyettam’ and the Politics of Consumption; 5. The Search for Home: ‘Swayamvaram’ and the Struggle with Conscience; 6. Woman in the Doorway: ‘Naalu Pennungal’ and ‘Oru Pennum Randaanum’; 7. Making the Imaginary Real: ‘Anantaram’, ‘Mathilukal’ and ‘Nizhalkkuthu’; 8. The Dream of Emancipation: ‘Kathapurushan’ and the Triumph of the Individual; Filmography; Notes; Bibliography; About the Author; Index

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