New Release – Kumar Shahani: the shock of desire and other essays

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KS book cover

edited & introduced by
Ashish Rajadhyaksha

September 2015
9.25 x 7.25 inches
392 pages
Paperback with gatefolds
iSBN 978-93-82381-61-7
Rs 2000

The fifty-one essays compiled in this book were written over a forty-year period by India’s leading
independent filmmaker. They provide new insights into a turbulent era in modern India’s cultural history.
Although known primarily as a filmmaker, Kumar Shahani has taught, spoken and written on a variety of
subjects over this period, that include the cinema, but also politics, aesthetics, history and psychoanalysis.
In these essays Shahani addresses diverse political issues, aesthetic practice, questions of artistic freedom and censorship. There are also personal essays on filmmakers and artists including his teachers and colleagues. Shahani’s often polemical positions, as they occur in several previously unpublished essays and presentations, are essential contributions to film and cultural histories of the Indian cinema as well as of the New Cinema worldwide.
The book includes a comprehensive introductory essay, ‘Kumar Shahani Now’, by Ashish Rajadhyaksha.

Kumar Shahani (b. 1940) began his filmmaking career with the celebrated Maya Darpan (1972), which made him one of the most significant directors of the New Indian Cinema. He has since made feature films such as Tarang (1984), Khayal Gatha (1989), Kasba (1990), Bhavantarana (1991), Char Adhyay (1997) and Bamboo Flute (2000), which have received wide international recognition. Less well known is his work as a teacher and his interventions as a public intellectual. He has taught in several film schools in India and internationally, made short workshop films with students, and lectured extensively on academic and other platforms.

Ashish Rajadhyaksha is co-editor of the Encyclopaedia of Indian Cinema (1999), author of Ritwik Ghatak: A Return to the Epic (1984) and Indian Cinema in the Time of Celluloid: From Bollywood to the Emergency (2009).

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