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Ranjani Mazumdar | The Geography of Color in 1960s Bombay Cinema
April 11, 2016, 2:00 pm - 4:00 pm
Bombay cinema’s transition from black and white to colour in the 1960s produced an affective force field that impacted on the choice of locations, forms of mobility, the role of music and the cultural politics of stardom. The world of objects in interior spaces had to be organized for its capture on colour film stock, slowly changing the perceptual economy of the frame. While in Hollywood the transition to colour was a gradual process, in India despite the existence of a small number of colour experiments, the transition is literally compressed within the decade of the 1960s. Between 1951 and 61 colour is rare, difficult to mount and a luxury that only a few filmmakers could indulge in. The entry of Eastman colour in 1960 proved to be decisive. Through the decade cinematic colour was viewed as new, wild and uncontrollable – simultaneously associated with fantasy, spectacle, deceit and obfuscation on the one hand and overwhelmingly ‘real’ and authentic’ on the other. This talk engages with the aesthetic tangle involved in the transition to colour in 1960s Bombay Cinema