At a Glance...



Independent India

Partition of India

Death of an Empire
(Ashis Nandy)

Partitioned Selves...

Partition of India-

Democracy & the Indian Polity

Cultural Politics of the
National Flag

Indira Gandhi

Rajiv Gandhi

Sonia Gandhi

Lal Bahadur

Abul Kalam Azad

Sardar Patel

Sweets and


Indians and the Guiness
Book of Records

Anti-terrorist legislation

Indian History










Hindi Cinema -- A Short Research Guide

Vinay Lal, January 2006


N.B.  A fuller, though quite skewed, bibliography until 2000 can be found in the Rajadhyaksha and Willemen volume, Encyclopaedia of Indian Cinema, cited below.  

*Recommended (though not always without reservations)

Ahmed, Akbar S.  “Bombay Films:  The Cinema as Metaphor for Indian Society and Politics.”  Modern Asian Studies 26, no. 2 (1992), pp. 289-320.

Aziz, Ashraf.  Light of the Universe:  Essays on Hindustani Film Music.  New Delhi:  Three Essays Collective, 2003.

Barnouw, Erik and S. Krishnaswamy.  Indian Film.  2nd ed.  New York:  Oxford UP, 1980.

*Chakaravarty, Sumita S.  National Identity in Indian Popular Cinema 1947-1987.  Austin:  University of Texas Press, 1993.

Chatterjee, Gayatri.  Mother India.  London:  British Film Institute, 2002.

Chowdhry, Prem.  Colonial India and the Making of Empire Cinema:  Image, Ideology and Identity.  Manchester:  Manchester UP, 2000.

Cooper, Darius.  In Black and White:  Hollywood and the Melodrama of Guru Dutt.  Kolkata:  Seagull Books, 2005.

Dasgupta, Chidananda.  The Painted Face:  Studies in India’s Popular Cinema.  New Delhi:  Roli Books, 1992.

Desai, Jigna.  Beyond Bollywood:  The Cultural Politics of South Asian Diasporic Film.  New ed.  London:  Routledge, 2003.

Dissanayake, Wimal and M. Sahai.  Sholay:  A Cultural Reading.  New Delhi:  Wiley Eastern, 1992.

Doraiswamy, Rashmi.  “Changing Narrative Strategies.”  Cinemaya 23 (1994), pp. 4-12.

Dudrah, Rajinder Kumar.  Bollywood:  Sociology Goes to the Movies.  Delhi:  Sage Publications, 2006.

Dwyer, Rachel.  All You Want is Money, All You Need is Love:  Sexuality and Romance in Indian Cinema.  London:  Cassell, 2002.

Dwyer, Rachel.  100 Bollywood Films.  BFI Screen Guides.  London:  British Film Institute, 2006.

*Dwyer, Rachel and Divia Patel.  Cinema India:  The Visual Culture of Hindi Film.  London:  Reaktion Books; Brunswick, New Jersey:  Rutgers University Press, 2002.

*Dwyer, Rachel and Christopher Pinney, eds.  The History, Politics and Consumption of Public Culture in India.  Delhi:  Oxford UP, 2001; Oxford India Paperbacks, 2002.

Gangar, Amrit.  “Films from the City of Dreams”, in Sujata Patel and Alice Thorner, eds., Bombay:  Mosaic of Modern Culture (Delhi:  Oxford UP, 1996), pp. 210-224.

Ganti, Tejaswini.  Bollywood:  A Guide to Popular Hindi Cinema.  New York:  Routledge, 2004.

Gokulsing, K. Moti and Wimal Dissanayake.  Indian Popular Cinema:  A Narrative of Cultural Change.  Hyderabad:  Orient Longman, 1998.

*Gopalan, Lalitha.  Cinema of Interruptions:  Action Genres in Contemporary Indian Cinema.  London:  British Film Institute, 2002.

Government of India.  Report of the Indian Cinematograph Committee 1927-28.  Delhi:  Central Publications Branch, 1928.

Government of India.  Report of the Film Inquiry Committee.  New Delhi:  Government of India Press, 1951.

Haggard, Stephen.  “Mass Media and the Visual Arts in Twentieth-Century South Asia:  Indian Film Posters 1947-Present.”  South Asia Research 8, no. 2 (May 1988), pp. 71-87.

Hardgrave, Robert L, Jr.  “When Starts Displace the Gods:  The Folk Culture of Cinema in Tamil Nadu.”  In idem, Essays in the Political Sociology of South India (Delhi:  Usha Publications, 1979), pp. 92-124.

Kabir, Nasreen Munni.  Talking Films:  Conversations on Hindi Cinema with Javed Akhtar.  New Delhi:  Oxford UP, 1996.

Kabir, Nasreen Munni.  Guru Dutt:  A Life in Cinema.  Delhi:  Oxford UP, 1996; Oxford India Paperbacks, 2003.

Kapur, Geeta.  “Mythic Material in Indian Cinema.”  Journal of Arts and Ideas, nos. 14-15 (July-December 1987), pp. 79-107.

Kaur, Raminder and Ajay J. Sinha, eds.  Bollyworld:  Popular Indian Cinema through a Transnational Lens.  New Delhi:  Sage Publications, 2005.

Kazmi, Fareed.  The Politics of India’s Conventional Cinema:  Imaging a Universe, Subverting a Multiverse.  New Delhi:  Sage Publications, 1999.

*Lal, Vinay and Ashis Nandy, eds.  Fingerprinting Popular Culture:  The Mythic and the Iconic in Indian Cinema.  Delhi:  Oxford UP, 2006.

Mandel, Peter.  Cassette Culture:  Popular Music and Technology in North India.  Chicago:  University of Chicago Press, 1993.

Manto, Saadat Hasan.  Stars from Another Sky:  The Bombay Film World of the 1940s.  Trans. from Urdu by Khalid Hasan.  New Delhi:  Penguin Books, 1998.

Mishra, Vijay.  “Towards a Theoretical Critique of Bombay Cinema.”  Screen 26, nos. 3-4 (May-August 1985), pp. 133-151.

Mishra, Vijay.  “Decentring History:  Some Versions of Bombay Cinema.”  East-West Film Journal 6, no. 1 (January 1992), pp. 111-155.

*Nandy, Ashis, ed.  The Secret Politics of Our Desires:  Innocence, Culpability and Indian Popular Cinema.  Delhi:  Oxford UP; London:  Zed Books, 1996.

Prakash, Sanjeev.  “Genres in Indian Cinema.”  Journal of Arts and Ideas, no. 9 (Oct-Dec 1984), pp. 23-33.  [Review of Vasudev and Lenglet, below.]

*Prasad, Madhava. Ideology of the Hindi Film:  A Historical Construction.  Delhi:  Oxford UP, 1990.

_____.  “Cinema and the Desire for Modernity.”  Journal of Arts and Ideas, nos. 25-26 (December 1993), pp. 71-86.

Rajadhyaksha, Ashish.  “Neo-Traditionalism:  Film as Popular Art in India.”  Framework, nos. 32-33 (1986), pp. 20-67.

_____.  “The Phalke Era:  Conflict of Traditional Form and Modern Technology.”  Journal of Arts and Ideas, nos. 14-15 (July-Dec 1987), pp. 47-108.

_____.  “The Epic Melodrama:  Themes of Nationality in Indian Cinema.”  Journal of Arts & Ideas, nos. 25-26 (December 1993), pp. 55-70.

*Rajadhyaksha, Ashish and Paul Willemen.  Encyclopaedia of Indian Cinema.  London:  British Film Institute; Delhi:  Oxford UP, 1994; 2nd ed., Oxford UP, 2001.

Sanghvi, Malavika Rajbans.  “Where Doubles Dare.”  Sunday (13-18 November 1998), pp. 76-80.

Thomas, Rosie.  “Indian Cinema:  Pleasures and Popularity.”  Screen 26, nos. 3-4 (May-August 1985), pp. 116-131.

Thoraval, Yves.  Cinemas of India (1896-2000).  New Delhi:  Macmillan, 2000.

Torgovnick, Jonathan.  Bollywood Dreams.  New ed.  London:  Phaidon, 2004.

Vanita, Ruth.  Dosti and Tamanna:  Male-Male Love, Difference, and Normativity in Hindi Cinema”, in Diane Mines and Sarah Lamb, eds., Everyday Life in South Asia (Bloomington:  Indiana UP, 2002), pp. 146-58.

Vasudev, Aruna, ed.  Frames of Mind.  Delhi: UBS Publishers, 1996.

Vasudev, Aruna and Philippe Lenglet, eds., Indian Cinema Superbazaar (Delhi:  Vikas, 1983).

Vasudevan, Ravi.  “Film Studies, New Cultural History and Experience of Modernity.”  Economic and Political Weekly (4 November 1995), pp. 2809-2814.

*Vasudevan, Ravi, ed.  Making Meaning in Indian Cinema.  Delhi:  Oxford UP, 2000; Oxford India Paperbacks, 2002.

Vinnels, Daniel and Brent Skelly.  Bollywood Showplaces:  Cinema Theatres in India.  London:  E & E Plumridge, 2002.

*Virdi, Jyotika.  The Cinematic ImagiNation:  Indian Popular Films as Social History.  New Brunswick, New Jersey:  Rutgers UP, 2003.