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Melbourne, Indian Popular Cinema and the Marketing of An Enviable Cosmopolitan Lifestyle

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Melbourne, like other cities that aspire to a global status, has attempted to enlist Indian popular film as a means of attracting Indian investment, business migration, tourism and international students. Key to understanding the representation of the global city in Indian popular cinema is the much-marketed concept of the cosmopolitan lifestyle, and Melbourne's distinctive trams are used strategically to link consumerism with an urban lifestyle. Nonetheless, we need to look beyond the shopping malls to the other corporate spaces of what Saskia Sassen terms the glamour zone, to the offices, hotels and apartment blocks, if we are to understand how multinational corporations not only use Indian popular cinema to promote their corporate brand but also work with government agencies to promote city brands which aspire to resemble New York or London. By viewing Indian popular cinema through its representation of Melbourne as a global city, contradictions within the apparent embrace of globalization by Indian popular cinema are thrown into relief.

Keywords: Indian popular cinema; Melbourne; cosmopolitanism; global city; trams

Document Type: Research Article


Affiliations: Monash University, Australia.

Publication date: May 1, 2009

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  • Studies in South Asian Film and Media (SAFM) is the most promising new journal in the field. This peer-reviewed publication is committed to looking at the media and cinemas of the Indian subcontinent in their social, political, economic, historical, and increasingly globalized and diasporic contexts. The journal will evaluate these topics in relation to class, caste, gender, race, sexuality, and ideology.
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