On November 17th, join us for the third installment of the Montreal Media History Seminar, featuring Dr. Ishita Tiwary’s talk Video as Intimacy: Biography of the Straight to Video Erotic Thrillers.
“In this presentation, I present a biography of the video film-making industry in India in the 1980s. I chart its rise to a successful form with the emergence of VHS technology, and its ultimate marginalization into oblivion. I will track the journey of the video film through a case study of a specific video production house, Hiba Films. I look at Hiba as an institutional structure that emerged broadly in response to the arrival of video, and specifically in relation to the rise of the video nasty and straight to video genre across the world. Hiba was the audio-visual sister of India‘s best-selling tabloid film magazine, Stardust, which promoted films produced by Hiba in its pages. The production house concentrated on the creation of female stars in order to attract its primarily female audience. The entry of satellite television and piracy led to its decline and the company was ultimately doomed to be forgotten from popular memory. The video-film as a commodity now becomes of academic interest for us. In this lecture, I tell the story of such an adjacent entertainment industry. The story of a new infrastructure and style located in the heart of Bombay.
In this presentation, video attempts to define itself as a medium opposed to celluloid. It is this otherness and attempt to define the medium that the presentation hopes to explore through a case study of Hiba. My biographical excavation of Hiba Films will move through legal regulations, tabloid journalism, film equipment, and the star system. I hope to generate through my method a complicated narrative about the unstable life of the video-film“
* Registration is required via the Eventbrite page.
** For this session, we ask you to read Dr. Tiwary’s text What is Video: Video and the Moment of Legal Disruption.
Ishita Tiwary is an Assistant Professor at the Mel Hoppenheim school of Cinema, Concordia University and Canada Research Chair in Media and Migration. Her research interests include video cultures, media infrastructures, migration, contraband media practices, and media aesthetics. She has published essays in Bioscope: South Asian Screen Studies, Post Script: Essays in Film and Humanities, Culture Machine, MARG: Journal of Indian Art, and in edited collections on topics of media piracy, video histories, and streaming platforms.