Advertisement

Cities of Neoliberal Future: Urban Utopia in Indian Science Fiction Cinema

  • Shiju Sam Varughese
Chapter
Part of the Palgrave Studies in Urban Anthropology book series (PSUA)

Abstract

Indian science fiction cinema, in this chapter, becomes a tool for understanding the cultural negotiation of futuristic urban spaces in the neoliberal era. An analysis of Love Story 2050, a utopian time travel film portraying the futuristic Mumbai of 2050, reveals the hidden desires and anxieties of imagining the urban technoscientific spaces as well as a crisis of collective life in the post-liberalization period. Political culture of neoliberal India embodies a desire to inhabit utopian cities of the future, but this desire coproduces cultural anxieties about the loss of the nation’s ‘Hindu essence’. Continuous alterations between the desire for and fear of the utopian city reflect an irresolvable crisis inherent to the ongoing political endeavor of blending neoliberal developmentalism with Hindutva ideology in the making of the global city.

Keywords

Time Travel Time Machine Science Fiction Global City Indian Cinema 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.

References

  1. Alessio, D., and J. Langer. 2007. Nationalism and Postcolonialism in Indian Science Fiction: Bollywood’s Koi… Mil Gaya (2003). New Cinemas: Journal of Contemporary Film 5(3): 217–229.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. ———. 2010. Science Fiction, Hindu Nationalism and Modernity: Bollywood’s Koi… Mil Gaya. In Science Fiction, Imperialism and the Third World: Essays on Postcolonial Literature and Film, ed. E. Hoagland and R. Sarwal, 156–170. Jefferson, NC: McFarland Publishers.Google Scholar
  3. Basu, Anustup. 2011. The Eternal Return and Overcoming ‘Cape Fear’: Science, Sensation and Hindu Nationalism in Recent Hindi Cinema. South Asian History and Culture 2(4): 557–571.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. Brenner, Neil, and Roger Kell, ed. 2006. “Global City Theory in Retrospect and Prospect”. Introduction to The Global Cities Reader, 1–16. London and New York: Routledge.Google Scholar
  5. Das, Diginanta. 2016. Sub-national Neoliberalism through City Restructuring and Policy Boosterism: The Case of Hyderabad, India. In Making Cultural Cities in Asia: Mobility, Assemblage, and the Politics of Aspirational Urbanism, ed. June Wang, Tim Oakes, and Yang Yang, 53–68. London and New York: Routledge.Google Scholar
  6. Datta, Ayona. 2015. New Urban Utopias of Postcolonial India: ‘Entrepreneurial Urbanization’ in Dholera Smart City, Gujarat. Dialogues in Human Geography 5(1): 3–22.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  7. Desai, Jigna. 2004. Beyond Bollywood: The Cultural Politics of South Asian Diasporic Film. New York and London: Routledge.Google Scholar
  8. Foucault, Michel. 1980. The History of Sexuality, Vol. 1: An Introduction. New York: Vintage Books.Google Scholar
  9. Jameson, Frederic. 1982. Progress versus Utopia; Or, Can We Imagine the Future? Science Fiction Studies 9(2): 147–158.Google Scholar
  10. Kaur, Raminder. 2013. The Fictions of Science and Cinema in India. In Routledge Handbook of Indian Cinemas, ed. K.M. Gokulsing and W. Dissanayake, 282–296. Abingdon and New York: Routledge.Google Scholar
  11. Lakkad, Abhishek. 2014. Cultural Imaginaries of Science: A Brief History of Indian Science-Fiction Cinema. Studies in South Asian Film and Media 6(2): 105–120.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  12. Mazumdar, Ranjani. 2007. Bombay Cinema: An Archive of the City. Minnesota: University of Minnesota Press.Google Scholar
  13. ———. 2010. Friction, Collision, and the Grotesque: The Dystopic Fragments of Bombay Cinema. In Noir Urbanisms: Dystopic Images of the Modern City, ed. Gyan Prakash, 150–184. Princeton and Oxford: Princeton University Press.Google Scholar
  14. Nandi, Swaralipi. 2011. The ‘Popular’ Science: Bollywood’s take on Science Fiction and the Discourse of Nations. In The Postnational Fantasy: Essays on Postcolonialism, Cosmopolitics and Science Fiction, ed. M.A. Raja, J.W. Ellis, and S. Nandi, 73–87. Jefferson: McFarland.Google Scholar
  15. Penley, Constance. 1990. Time Travel, Primal Scene and the Critical Dystopia. In Alien Zone: Cultural Theory and Contemporary Science Fiction Cinema, ed. Annette Kuhn, 116–127. London and New York: Verso.Google Scholar
  16. Prakash, Gyan, ed. 2010. “Introduction: Imaging the Modern City, Darkly”. Introduction to Noir Urbanisms: Dystopic Images of the Modern City, 1–14. Princeton and Oxford: Princeton University Press.Google Scholar
  17. ———. 1999. Another Reason: Science and the Imagination of Modern India. Princeton: Princeton University Press.Google Scholar
  18. Ray, Bharati. 2002. Early Feminists of Colonial India: Sarala Devi Chaudhurani and Rokeya Sakhawat Hossain. New Delhi: Oxford University Press.Google Scholar
  19. Sassen, Saskia. 2014. Expulsions: Brutality and Complexity in the Global Economy. Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  20. Sundaram, Ravi. 2010. Pirate Modernity: Delhi’s Media Urbanism. London and New York: Routledge.Google Scholar
  21. Suvin, Dako. 1977. Science Fiction and the Novum. In idem. Defined by a Hollow: Essays on Utopia, Science Fiction and Political Epistemology, 67–92. Oxford: Peter Lang.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© The Author(s) 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  • Shiju Sam Varughese
    • 1
  1. 1.Centre for Studies in Science, Technology and Innovation Policy (CSSTIP), School of Social SciencesCentral University of GujaratGandhinagarIndia

Personalised recommendations