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An Anthropology of Creation
Anand Pandian Foreword by Walter Murch
"Of the many unique things about Reel World, the most ambitious is Pandian's attempt to capture this moment of creation, in writing, composing, directing: the moment that the spark of inspiration connects the individual artist to the numinous forces around him."-Walter Murch, from the foreword
"Reel World thinks in and through the media of cinema and experience as things of the world. They are like fireflies whose paths flash and cut out. A chance encounter, a glance, or a gesture activates experiments in rhythm and voice, light and sound, a feeling of movement. Streets, migrants, flowers, bullets, children's textbooks, and bottlefuls of pills form ecologies of incipience. Ontological curiosity laps like an infinity wave in the craving for wonders now." -Kathleen Stewart, author of Ordinary Affects
"Decoding the phantasmagoria on-screen while navigating the labyrinthine networks of India's Tamil cinema calls for inspired writing. Thankfully, the cicerone who takes us through these oneiric protean worlds can reconcile the recondite with the banal, the sublime with the quotidian, and the real with the mythological... The taut prose, the espial documentation, and cogitations make Reel World a work of superfluous quality." -PopMatters - Kumuthan Maderya
"Pandian delivers an adventurous and boldly written pursuit of how ideas become the sights, sounds, stories, emotions, and realities that flicker onscreen in a movie." -Johns Hopkins Magazine - Bret McCabe
Reel World explores what happens to life when everything begins to look and feel like cinema. Drawing on years of fieldwork with Tamil filmmakers, artists, musicians, and craftsmen in the south Indian movie studios of "Kollywood," Anand Pandian examines how ordinary moments become elements of a cinematic world. With inventive, experimental, and sometimes comical zeal, Pandian pursues the sensory richness of cinematic experience and the adventure of a writing true to these sensations. Thinking with the visceral power of sound and image, his stories also broach deeply philosophical themes such as desire, time, wonder, and imagination. In a spirit devoted to the turbulence and uncertainty of genesis, Reel World brings into focus an ecology of creative process: the many forces, feelings, beings, and things that infuse human endeavors with transformative potential.
Anand Pandian teaches anthropology at Johns Hopkins University. His books include Crooked Stalks: Cultivating Virtue in South India, also published by Duke University Press.
Walter Murch is an Academy Award-winning film editor and sound designer, and the author of In the Blink of an Eye: A Perspective on Film Editing.
Duke University Press
November 2015 360pp 51 illustrations, incl. 1 in color 9780822360001 PB £19.99 now only £15.99* when you quote CSL216REEL when you order
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