Technopolis and the Ramayana: New Temporalities

Anustup Basu

in Bollywood in the Age of New Media

Published by Edinburgh University Press

Published in print September 2010 | ISBN: 9780748641024
Published online March 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780748651245 | DOI:
Technopolis and the Ramayana: New Temporalities

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Since the 1990s, erstwhile major formats such as the dacait (bandit) film and the rural melodrama that fashioned some of the greatest box office hits have been gradually relegated to B- and C-status or to regional industries, while others such as sci-fi, horror or sensationalist crime thrillers have been upgraded. This chapter analyses the interface between myth and science fiction, focusing on Mani Shankar's 2004 film Rudraksh (The Seed). Shankar's new age mythological does not cast tradition (the story of the indigenous self) and modernity (the story of the world) as overarching metanarratives locked in an agonistic battle. Rather, signs of tradition — the Vedas, the Puranas, the kundali or the swapna akash — become pliant and are brought into a state of informatic orchestration with those of the techno-modern: the Internet, the brain scan, Albert Einstein, the quantum zone. This chapter also discusses the notion of temporality and the sacralisation of special effects in Rudraksh.

Keywords: Rudraksh; The Seed; myth; science fiction; Mani Shankar; modernity; kundali; temporality; special effects; quantum zone

Chapter.  8698 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Film

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