Celluloid Deities: The Visual Culture of Cinema and Politics by Preminda Jacob

By Preminda Jacob

Towering billboards that includes photorealistic images of renowned cinema stars and political leaders ruled the cityscape of Chennai, within the south Indian country of Tamil Nadu, through the moment half the 20 th century. learning the manufacture and reception of those billboards—known in the neighborhood as banners and cutouts—within the context of the entwined histories of the cinema and political events in Tamil Nadu, Preminda Jacob finds the wider value of those fragments of visible tradition past their speedy functionality as lovely items of advertising.Jacob analyzes the juxtaposition of cinematic and political imagery within the extra-cinematic terrain of Chennai's urban streets and the way this placement used to be pivotal to the elevation of local celebrities to cult prestige. while reading those photographs and discussing their political and cultural resonance in the Tamil Nadu group, Jacob attracts upon a number of views to provide applicable context to this interesting type of visible media.

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Such a tendency toward idealization 36 Chapter One is an indispensable dimension of portraiture in the Indian visual art tradition. 13 And while Europeans manipulated and retouched photographs, in the Indian case the over-painting was extremely thick, obscuring details of the photograph altogether. Even in the contemporary period Indian clients regularly request the photographer to include painted accoutrements, such as turbans or garlands, that were not present in the original photograph. The process of over-painting and embellishing studio photographs and that of enlarging and idealizing the film still in the banner and cutout medium can be viewed as a continuum.

Madhavan? Chennai’s Banner Industry 45 L: All of us learned by watching him. I wanted to paint like him. He provided the inspiration through which many developed. This “banner line” (trade) wasn’t so good in the beginning because there was no method. One could do the work in whatever way one pleased, as long as it was visually appealing. ” The pictures were correctly proportioned but plain. He is the person who introduced us to the technique of using several colors to create these effects. Seeing him we were all astonished.

4. During the early hours of the morning, while the city slept, laborers transported banners and cutouts from the banner studio to install them in public spaces of the city. In the orange glow of a few night lamps laborers resembled ants clambering up and down the dizzying heights of rickety scaffolding while they hauled into position the dismembered parts of a cutout advertisement for Thai Pusam. Shanti Theater, Anna Salai, January 1991. Chennai’s Banner Industry 33 Aspects of Style Among the community of banner artists, style mattered—it formed identity and promoted discussion.

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