Friday, June 11, 2010

New Book: Cinema Bhojpuri

Bidesiya, Balma 420, Nirahua Chalal Sasural, Gangotri . . .

If you haven’t heard of any of these blockbusters,

here’s your chance to discover the amazing world of Bhojpuri cinema.

Penguin Books India

is proud to publish

Cinema Bhojpuri

by Avijit Ghosh

Cruel landlords, crafty moneylenders, corrupt politicians, righteous heroes and uninhibited dancing girls—just some of the characters of a successful Bhojpuri film. Often considered kitschy and crude by ‘polite’ society, Bhojpuri cinema has had astounding success from the 1990s onwards, which can only be explained by its overwhelming popularity among the other half of new India. What is it that makes Bhojpuri cinema tick? What is the logic of its aesthetics? And most importantly, how did these regional language films become a profitable industry?

Answering many of these questions and written with a deep sensitivity for the genre, Cinema Bhojpuri is the one of the first studies of the history and themes of Bhojpuri cinema—the poor cousin of Bollywood. Basing his research on extensive personal interviews and analyses of trade journals from the 1960s onwards, Avijit Ghosh’s fascinating study unveils much about Bhojpuri cinema—from the making of the first Bhojpuri film, Ganga Maiya Tohe Piyari Chadhaibo, to the terrible lows of the 1980s when Bhojpuri cinema all but died, and right down to the present when the breathlessly-paced masala entertainers of Manoj Tiwari, Ravi Kishan and Dinesh Lal Yadav ‘Nirahua’ gave life to what Hindi cinema had left behind—rural India.

Penguin / Rs. 399

About the author

Avijit Ghosh graduated in history from St Xavier’s College, Ranchi and completed his Masters and M.Phil degrees from Jawaharlal Nehru University, New Delhi. Born in Agartala, Tripura, he grew up in the small towns of Bihar and Jharkhand—Dumka, Giridih, Arrah and Ranchi. He has been a journalist since 1991 and has worked with the Press Trust of India, Pioneer and Telegraph, and is now with the Times of India. Ghosh writes regularly on cinema and sports, and is the author of the novel, Bandicoots in the Moonlight, published by Penguin Books India. He lives in New Delhi with his mother, wife, and two naughty children, Abhishek and Diya.

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