Author: Omar Ahmed

Genre, Iconography & Ideology: Imaginings of the Train in Indian Cinema – Part 5: Metonymy of the Train – Partition, Post colonialism and Trauma

The Partition of India completely reshaped the image of the train, refracting a myriad of real horror encompassing exile, separation and displacement: ‘The partition of the Indian subcontinent in 1947 was followed by the forced uprooting of an estimated 18 million people’ (Ali, 1985: 139). In a postcolonial India, the train merged with a new […]

Genre, Iconography & Ideology: Imaginings of the Train in Indian Cinema – Part 4: The Auteur and the Train – Satyajit Ray & The Apu Trilogy

So far my focus has been on Hindi cinema. I next want to turn my attention to Indian art cinema or alternative cinema, a genre unto itself, and the films of Satyajit Ray. Alloway’s view that ‘treating movies as personal expression and autobiographic testament has led to the neglect of the iconographical approach’ (Alloway, 1963: […]

Genre, Iconography & Ideology: Imaginings of the Train in Indian Cinema – Part 3: Romancing the Train

Whereas the action genre has used the train intermittently, it is the musical and Bollywood romance with which it has become synonymous. By the late 1950s and early 1960s song and dance had become firmly established ‘as the primary vehicles to represent fantasy, desire and passion’ (Ganti, 2004: 81) since ‘the Indian censor board, established […]