Thursday, August 18, 2005

(not quite) visual pleasure and narrative cinema

am writing a paper on multiplexes in/around delhi right now -
some of my source material -

From the Times of India, February 21, 1998
Constable held, suspended for masturbating on woman
A city police constable was arrested and suspended from service after he was accused of trying to outrage the modesty of a woman, who was watching a film inside the Anupam PVR hall in Saket, on Thursday night. Constable Manohar Lal, attached to the Malviya Nagar Police Station, was apparently sitting in a row right behind the woman, who was watching the night show of the film Bada Din with a friend, when he made the attempt.
…“I have never heard of a horrible act like this, where a man and that, too, a police official, masturbates on a woman while watching a film,” the woman said, adding she was not satisfied with his mere suspension.
… Anupam PVR officials said they were helpless in preventing such incidents in their hall, “Till the time the order which forces us to sell 20 percent of our tickets for Rs 5 is not taken back, these problems will continue,” a company official said. He said all kinds of people have been entering the hall because of the “extremely subsidised” rate of tickets that have to be sold…
As a counterpart to that, a story from an older cinema, now closed, Eros, where the soft porn morning show fascinated friend Kai Friese much -

from Delhi City Limits, August 2005 -

I knew I had found a fugitive, feral, cultural space of film buffs and buff films, of the ludic and the lewd. of common knowledge and Gupt Gyan. And I knew it couldn't last. In The History of Sexuality, Michel Foucalt tells us that the Greeks considered masturbation "a thing for slaves and satyrs, but not for citizens". And so it was in Delhi - One morning I looked up from my cinematic stupor to relaise that the aisles were being patrolled by lathi-weilding guardians, looking for KLs to PD. Policing Eros. When the apna haath of the demos meets the juggernaut of morality and capital, it's really no contest...

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