Metro-Bollywood at the Seattle Art Museum
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1/3/2015 at 7:21:45 PM GMT
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Metro-Bollywood at the Seattle Art Museum

Metro-Bollywood: New Hindi Cinema in New Delhi

Jan 9 2015

Seattle Art Museum

Plestcheeff Auditorium

7 PM – 9:30 PM

Join film scholar Ajay Gehlawat for a discussion and screening of the Bollywood film Band Baaja Baaraat (Wedding Planners, 2010), directed by Maneesh Sharma and set in India's capital, New Delhi. The film follows Shruti and Bittoo, two young, aspiring students at Delhi University who have plans to make it big as wedding planners. In this duo's brash and kitschy approach to staging Indian weddings, we see a vivid display of what anthropologist Purnima Mankekar calls jugaad, a colloquial term for the ability to come up with creative solutions on the spot, often with limited resources.

Band Baaja Baaraat explores the advent of enterprise culture in the new Indian metropolis, in which aspiring young people like the film's protagonists thrive in a world that now promotes success, growth, and progress. In the process of staging colorful, over-the-top weddings, Bittoo and Shruti discover that love is also refashioned according to the dictates of such an aspirational culture, as the duo's wedding planning enterprise, in turn, becomes the basis for their own romantic relationship.

Ajay Gehlawat is Associate Professor of Theatre and Film at Sonoma State University, California, where he also directs the Film Studies program. He is the author of Reframing Bollywood: Theories of Popular Hindi Cinema (2010) and editor of The Slumdog Phenomenon: A Critical Anthology (2013). His forthcoming book, Twenty-First Century Bollywood (2015), traces emerging shifts in Bollywood in relation to the changing dynamics of Indian culture.

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Society for Cinema and Media Studies
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