Kumar Shahani: The Shock of Desire and Other Essays – Ed. Ashish Rajadhyaksha


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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 Shahani’s often polemical positions, as they occur in several previously unpublished essays and presentations, are essential contributions to film and cultural histories of the Indian cinema as well as of the New Cinema worldwide.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 its editor Ashish Rajadhyaksha.


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