Shadow Craft: Visual Aesthetics of Black and White Hindi Cinema

The years between Indian independence (1947) and the dominance of colour cinema (early 1960s) saw the emergence and fruition of a distinct, confident, and nuanced black and white aesthetic in Hindi mainstream cinema. Shadow Craft is an ardent and immersive study of cinematic craftings that emblematise the oeuvres of Kamal Amrohi, Raj Kapoor, Nutan, Bimal Roy, Guru Dutt, and Abrar Alvi. Films such as Aag (1948), Mahal (1949), Seema (1955), Pyaasa (1957), Sujata (1959), Kagaz Ke Phool (1959), Sahib Bibi Aur Ghulam (1962), Bandini (1963) remain formative to the visual psyche of generations of South Asian viewers. This enduring visual language demonstrates a minutely attuned and sympathetic camera, evocative pools of shadow, affect-rich atmospheric composition, and the visual autonomy of performance.


With seventy five rare and curated images from the archives, Shadow Craft offers for the first time a consolidated and intimate journey through this pioneering black and white cinema aesthetic at its most expressive and climactic moment.

forthcoming in December 2020: https://www.bloomsbury.com/in/shadow-craft-9789390176243/