Hindi Films and Irish Multiplexes: Cultural Geographies of Bollywood in Dublin
Dublin Institute of Technology
(at time of presentation)
Giovanna Rampazzo is a final year PhD student in the Centre for Transcultural Research and Media Practice, Dublin Institute of Technology. The title of her thesis is ‘Formations of Indian Cinema in Dublin’. She received her BA in Film Studies from theUniversity of Wolverhampton in England, and in 2009 she was awarded a MPhil in Film Theory and History by Trinity College Dublin. She has presented her work across numerous film studies conferences including Alphaville Inaugural Conference, 'Cinema in the Interstices', University College Cork, September 2012; MECCSA 2013 'Spaces and Places of Culture', University of Ulster, Derry, Northern Ireland, January 2013; Ireland and Cinema: Culture and Contexts Conference, University College Cork, Ireland, April 2013; Irish Screen Studies Seminar at Trinity College Dublin, Ireland, May 2014.
This paper offers a critical reading of Cineworld Dublin − a multiplex located in Dublin’s inner city as the main public site of ongoing Hindi film consumption and exhibition in Ireland. The recent emergence of Hindi film in the Irish context can be seen as a manifestation of globalizing forces that allow Bollywood films to be increasingly available to audiences outside the Indian subcontinent, influencing viewers’ sensibilities and impacting local realities. Moreover, recent scholarly works have demonstrated how multiplexes can influence both the experience of cinema going and the urban area they occupy (Rai, 2009; Athique and Hill, 2010). Participant observation at Cineworld Dublin, together with interviews with Bollywood fans, Hindi film industry insiders and exhibitors in Mumbai, has enabled me to establish the relevance of urban settings in the overall meaning and perception of film and the cultural understandings that Bollywood films generate across urban localities. The wider context of this paper is my doctoral thesis on the reception, circulation and consumption of popular Indian cinema in Dublin and its contribution to a transnational perspective on Indian film. Drawing on studies of popular Indian cinema in diasporic contexts by Adrian Athique (2005; 2008) Lakshmi Srinivas (2005) and Rajinder Dudrah (2006; 2012), this paper assesses how urban spaces are directly linked to audiences’ experience, providing a compelling theoretical framework within withicn to examine the effects of the globalization of Hindi films at a local level.