Sociology Index


Articles and Interviews on Film and TV

Following is an extract of Secretary-General Kofi Annan’s introductory remarks at the lecture on “Why Music Matters” by Professor Leon Botstein in New York: From the first lullaby sung to us as newborn babies, music provides the “soundtrack” of our lives. So much so that I think many of us take it for granted -- just as we do the soundtrack of a film, which we often hear without listening to it. That is, we enjoy the film without realizing how much the music conditions our reaction. Throughout history, it has celebrated the triumphs and tragedies of life. As Plato said, music “gives soul to the universe, wings to the mind, flight to the imagination”. Music both shapes and reflects society. Dancers follow its beat; protesters use it to find their voice. It can promote ideals -- like peace and solidarity -- but it can also prepare armies for battle. It is part of almost every important personal and collective moment. In a world of diversity where often values clash, music leaps across language barriers and unites people of quite different cultural backgrounds. And so, through music, all peoples can come together to make the world a more harmonious place.

Symbolic Worlds of Real/Fictional Histories in the Culture of Popular Indian Films - Abstract: By Jyotika Virdi, George Washington University. For its hundred years of history, for its ranking as the largest and most prolific film industry in the world, for its singular dominance in the Indian scene of cultural production, we are in possession of remarkable little today by way of historical records and archival resources that document ths history of popular Indian cinema. 

Treated as pulp and scorned by the literati, practically no attention has been paid to this institution that otherwise has a pervasive and powerful influence. Many films, themselves a record of history in some sense, are lost, film records have been destroyed, even film lists and production details are hard to come by. How then does one write film history, trace culture and change, reconstruct our past? To a large extent we rely today on films themselves to speak a social history.

But when the film texts tend to be "formulaic." the sources we read must expand, the archival records we use to reconstruct culture must include the social text beyond the film. For this purpose I conceptualize film culture as a "continuous film text." By this I mean not only the narrative within the film but also those surrounding it: discourses on film among different fora, such as, film criticism by journalists, within the academy, but most importantly, the popular discourse of film and gossip magazines.

PRIME-TIME MURDER: PRESENTATIONS OF MURDER ON POPULAR TELEVISION JUSTICE PROGRAMS - Danielle M. Soulliere- University of Windsor - ABSTRACT - Entertainment television has long been fascinated with violence and murder. This paper examines presentations and explanations of murder in three popular prime-time television justice programs - NYPD Blue, Law and Order, and The Practice - and compares these mediated presentations with images presented by official statistics and established research findings.