Evolving Taste Publics in Contemporary Hindi Cinema
Cinema, a representative medium of signification finds true-blue expression in the eyes of the watching public. In a multi-cultural space like India, evaluating the audiences’ choice is a herculean task. There exists no hard and fast classification to compartmentalize the audiences to probe and understand the ‘taste publics’. The paper is an attempt to explore the complementary aspects of reception vis-à-vis production with specific reference to contemporary cinema in Hindi. The focus is on integrating production and reception as complementary elements in connection with Pierre Bourdieu’s theory of distinctions of taste in the context of contemporary Hindi cinema. The audiences and their distinctive choices initiated by their taste preferences encompass the broad field of reception aesthetics. ‘Taste’ as the basis for social judgements legitimizes social differences and distinctions, to fashion and disseminate multiple identities. Social distinctions in turn have a bearing upon the audio-visual representations, both their creation and reception. Sensibility and sensitivity, the stamp of middle cinema, cannot overlook the humanist receptiveness and the aesthetic impact on the ‘audiences’. The paper seeks to examine contemporary Hindi cinema and its emerging ‘taste publics’ in the wake of globalization and hybridization.