Update Two from Akhil!

Andaz (1949)

Hello again! This is my second blog update on the summer research I am conducting with Professor Ramya Sreenivasan on early Hindi cinema and the emergence of mass culture in India. So far, it has been an amazing experience!

I started with films from the late 1940s and am slowly making my way through the films of the 1950s. Some of my favorites so far include Andaz (1949), Do Bigha Zamin (1953), Mr. and Mrs. ’55 (1955), and C.I.D (1956). I also completed compiling published box office data for each decade from the 1940s to the 1970s which has guided my film assignments for each week. Finally, I have started working on a database that lists the personnel and production crew for each film I watch, allowing us to notice patterns and connections among the networks of film industry workers.

It has been an absolute pleasure conducting this research for the past several weeks. I have been surprised and delighted by the writing, themes, and technical prowess of the films I have watched so far. While these movies are certainly not perfect and are dated in many ways, it is refreshing and rewarding to invest myself in this media. I look forward to gathering my thoughts and developing my opinions on every movie I watch, as well as being able to share them with Professor Sreenivasan. Moreover, I really enjoy discussing our varying thoughts on these films when I meet with her, especially considering our vastly different experiences with these films.

For the rest of my time doing research this summer, I hope to finish my work in the 1950s decade and continue updating the database. I look forward to uploading my final post in the coming weeks!

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About ukhil

Akhil Vaidya is a senior at the University of Pennsylvania studying communication. He is working as a research assistant with Professor Ramya Sreenivasan on a project about the making of mass culture in India.