ISSN (Print) - 0012-9976 | ISSN (Online) - 2349-8846

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The Item Number: Cinesexuality in Bollywood and Social Life

In trying to capture the power of Bollywood's commercial cinema, this paper looks at what is described in common parlance as an item number. The item number is a cine-segment comprising an item-girl/boy, a racy song, a vivacious dance and a surround of erotic and immanent exuberance. At one remove from the cinema hall, item numbers circulate as video clips and off-screen performances that recreate the cinesexual in social life. At this second level, the item number, re-fashioned through spectacular familial and social practices of the middle classes, draws its sense from diverse, gendered and changing micro- contexts of cine-heterosexuality.


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