'Remaking' the Genre Cinema of South Asia.

 
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Byline: Zubair Shafiq, Muhammad Muazzam Sharif, Wiqar Malik and Faraz Shafiq

Literature Review

Grant sees the genre movies as "those commercial features films which, through repetition and variation, tell familiar stories with familiar situations." (Grant, 2003, p. XV). AndreBazin and Robert Warshaw introduced the concept of genre through their essays for gangster and western films in 1950s. (Grant, 2003, p. XV). This concept of genre influenced the cinema industries around the world, particularly Hollywood. However, the South Asian film industries remained unexplored, thus faces deprivation for its genre assessment. Some of the literary light has been thrown on Indian cinema whereas, an oblivious eye has been shown towards Pakistani cinema. The current study is a discourse about how South Asian cinema endured the process of making of genre cinema. As mentioned earlier, Indian cinema has been widely discussed under the discourse of its respective genres.

Therefore, considering its close affinity with the Pakistani cinema, this paper will establish a link between both Pakistani and Indian cinema, which are the two most popular cinema industries of South Asia. The fact that Indian cinema and Pakistani cinema were both considered as 'Indian cinema' before the partition of 1947, is an essential part of the research. Rashna Richard(2011) talks about how Bollywood has been taking its prompts from Sanskrit drama and ancient religion text and then interweaved with the fibers of Hollywood. (Richard, 2011, p. 323). Pakistani cinema has gone through the same path with Indian cinema, likewise the restricted homegrown individuality to Bollywood cinema has cleared out its way to Hollywood, South Korean and Hong King Cinema. This "inspiration" (Thomas 1985) supports to adopt the close remakes of the films in Indian style, For instance, Bichoo (Scorpion) by GudduDhanoa.

The film is a remake of Leon(1994) by Luc Besson, as Leon denotes something as "unacknowledged", or a "disguised" remake. (Verevis, 2006, p. 9). The current formation of remaking process has risen more aspects and facets to the process of remaking. As Sheila J. Nayar and TajeswiniGanti have approached and brought into light the matters of preference and disaffirmance of certain foreign contents to maintain the Indigenous cinema industry. Richards (2011) has also addressed the aspects of cross-culturalism and cultural diversity in her study while explaining remakes of films. (Ganti, 2002; Nayar, 2004). The left-out element in these studies is the influence these non-indigenous genres have, like that of horror and science fiction, on the genre cinema. In the afore-mentioned context, this paper will aim at how the non-indigenous cinema of South Asia has been influenced by the Hollywood cinema's process of remaking.

The affiliation between the film genres and remakes is incarnated with a "corpus of works" in excess, "a set of textual structures" and the "existence of audience activity." (Verevis, 2006, p. 2). This relation between the two can be explored well along with another similarity that is commercial motivation for both. Ninety percent of films in Bollywood, according to Anupama Chandra (Nayar, 2004), were the remakes of Hollywood, being highly influenced in the year 1993. There were also the remakes of Hong Kong cinema and other Indian films. Thereupon, this research tends to analyze the compact relation between genre cinema, film industries and their remakes, the influence on the remakes and the establishment of new genres in the post-2000s. This research peruses theoretical groundwork of Rick Altman's model (2003).

The model examines "multiple connections between semantic and syntax" of a film. (Altman, 2003, p. 36). The study particularly emphasizes the semantic elements. It answers how the remakes of a genre links its semantic and syntactic elements.

Pakistani Cinema and Remakes

Pakistani cinema has appropriated Hollywood cinema contents. The example of which is Zinda Laash (1967) as a first attempt by Khwaja Nasim. The film was a reshaped form of Dracula by Bran Stoker. (Khan and Ahmad, 2010, p. 151). Zinda Laash has "unusually high production values. Elaborate fight and chase scenes with impressive stunts and camera work; state of the art special effects and costume design (including specially imported fangs); elegant wardrobes, and well-choreographed dance routines (Khan and Ahmad, 2010, p. 151). The film was impressively borrowed with artistic cinematic value which established the horror genre in Pakistan and it endured the process of adaptation in its own way. Another evident example is Sar Kata Insan (1994). The title literally meant a "Beheaded Man", which was also a remake of a Hollywood character "Headless Man". Pakistani cinema has not been promoting horror genre except Pashto films as put into discourse by Ali Khan and Ali Nabil in their essay.

Another noteworthy example is Zibahkhana (Slaughterhouse, 2007), that is "a witty translation of the modern Hollywood horror movie as it has evolved since the 1970s.... [and] draws heavily on The Texas Chainsaw Massacre (1974)" (Khan and Ahmad, 2010, p. 158). The remaking of these three films along with others on the broader terms explainhow the genre of horror is created through the process of remaking and borrowing from Hollywood and other film industries.

Bollywood and Remakes

The acknowledgement of Bollywood for remaking is evident with the assessment of Sheila Nayar (2004). According to Nayar, Bollywood has also been making and remaking its own context by taking tunes, the plots, dance numbers and even the titles. Thus, the frequency should not be considered here but the process of adaptation and remaking that gives Bollywood an individual value in cinema is what should be recognized by the audience and the critics. NeelumSidhar, while reviewing Bollywood remakes, demonstrates why foreign contents are adapted by Bollywood. She reckons it as "a product and vehicle of modernization, globalization and global post...

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