Globalization and New Bollywood's Hat-ke (Different) Directors: Nation, Gender, and Identity in the Films of Vishal Bhardwaj, Anurag Kashyap, and Abhishek Chaubey
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The linked impact of globalization, economic liberalization policies, and the introduction of cable television in India introduced major changes in the popular and largely unregulated Mumbai-based Hindi film industry in the 1990s. It was formally recognized as a legitimate industry and with the backing of an economically and culturally powerful Indian state, it positioned itself as New Bollywood cinema offering slickly-packaged entertainment that gained global visibility. This project seeks to identify the defining characteristics and dominant concerns of a sub-group of experimental films loosely referenced as Hat-ke (different) films. It contends that Hat-ke films are an important category in New Bollywood cinema whose “experimentations” require further definition. Not much work has been done on these films as a specific movement. The project focuses on three directors, Vishal Bhardwaj, Anurag Kashyap, and Abhishek Chaubey, whose films emerge from the heart of commercial cinema and are central to Hatke cinema. The analysis details how these films, as products and participants in the process of globalization, imagine the nation, gender, and identity in the new millennium in unique ways that intertwine the local with the global. These directors are also very conscious of their position within their national cinematic tradition and self-consciously address their artistic choices and practices within their cinematic narratives. The chapters focus on three areas of the “mediascape” and “ideoscape” that enable the films to circulate globally and yet retain their local identities: adaptation practices (both textual and generic), translation moments on screen, and the production of song-and-dance sequences.