House Full: Indian Cinema And The Active Audience

Paperback | August 31, 2016

byLakshmi Srinivas

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India is the largest producer and consumer of feature films in the world, far outstripping Hollywood in the number of movies released and tickets sold every year. Cinema quite simply dominates Indian popular culture, and has for many decades exerted an influence that extends from clothing trends to music tastes to everyday conversations, which are peppered with dialogue quotes.
            With House Full, Lakshmi Srinivas takes readers deep into the moviegoing experience in India, showing us what it’s actually like to line up for a hot ticket and see a movie in a jam-packed theater with more than a thousand seats. Building her account on countless trips to the cinema and hundreds of hours of conversation with film audiences, fans, and industry insiders, Srinivas brings the moviegoing experience to life, revealing a kind of audience that, far from passively consuming the images on the screen, is actively engaged with them. People talk, shout, whistle, cheer; others sing along, mimic, or dance; at times audiences even bring some of the ritual practices of Hindu worship into the cinema, propitiating the stars onscreen with incense and camphor. The picture Srinivas paints of Indian filmgoing is immersive, fascinating, and deeply empathetic, giving us an unprecedented understanding of the audience’s lived experience—an aspect of Indian film studies that has been largely overlooked.

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From the Publisher

India is the largest producer and consumer of feature films in the world, far outstripping Hollywood in the number of movies released and tickets sold every year. Cinema quite simply dominates Indian popular culture, and has for many decades exerted an influence that extends from clothing trends to music tastes to everyday conversation...

Lakshmi Srinivas is associate professor of sociology at the University of Massachusetts, Boston.
Format:PaperbackDimensions:312 pages, 9 × 6 × 0.6 inPublished:August 31, 2016Publisher:University of Chicago PressLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:022636156X

ISBN - 13:9780226361567

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Extra Content

Table of Contents

Acknowledgments
Chapter 1 Introduction
Chapter 2 Participatory Filmmaking and the Anticipation of the Audience
Chapter 3 Cinema Halls, Audiences, and the Importance of Place
Chapter 4 Audiences Negotiate Tickets and Seating
Chapter 5 Families, Friendship Groups, and Cinema as Social Experience
Chapter 6 Active Audiences and the Constitution of Film Experience
Chapter 7 “First Day, First Show”: A Paroxysm of Cinema
Chapter 8 Conclusion
Notes
References
Index

Editorial Reviews

“In House Full, Srinivas provides us with a rich, insightful, and evocative ethnography of cinema audiences in India, in a time when the place and role of cinema in this hugely diverse and dynamic country is rapidly changing as a consequence of the globalization of the multiplex. Far from being an individualized, anonymous experience, as is the case predominantly in the West, the cinema experience in India is pictured by Srinivas as a deeply social, collective, and performative act.”