Mysteries of the Mundane: The Films of Girish Kasaravalli
John W. Hood
130 x 190 mm
Year of Publishing
Territorial Rights
Orient BlackSwan

With a career spanning three decades, Kannada director Girish Kasaravalli has long been recognised and respected as one of the foremost filmmakers of independent cinema in India.

In Mysteries of the Mundane, John Hood presents an intensive discussion on Kasaravalli’s work—including his diploma film, feature films and two documentaries. Kannada literature, cultural traditions and a love for folk-theatre have shaped Kasaravalli’s storytelling and influenced his visual style. His films are firmly rooted in themes specific and local to Karnataka; however, their touching exploration of the commonplace shows that within the local, specific culture lie values, struggles, dreams and aspirations that are truly universal.

Across fifteen chapters, the author closely analyses and interprets Kasaravalli’s films, examining their stories, plots, characterisation, visual language and aesthetics, and commenting on their socio-political symbolism and significance. He highlights Kasaravalli’s ability to find deeper meaning in everyday life, which makes his films so inventive and exceptional, giving them a global appeal.

John W. Hood has spent most of his life studying Indian culture. He has written extensively on Indian art and independent cinema and is the author of The Films of Buddhadeb Dasgupta, The Essential Mystery, and Beyond the World of Apu, among others. He is also known as a translator of Bengali literature.

Introducing Girish
  1. Why Are You Always Looking Sad?
  2. I Have Never Been Able to Give You Anything
  3. As Usual, I End up Getting the Blame
  4. A House is a Stairway to Heaven
  5. I’ve Used up all the Stories I Had
  6. He Has Done Great Injustice to the Women of this House
  7. You’re Just the Means—God is the Force
  8. You Have Such a Good Husband and You Complain against Him
  9. We All Find the Truth We Desire
  10. One Movie, Many Dreams; Many Movies, One Dream
  11. Stars Will Fall from the Sky if My Dream Proves False
  12. Acting is Not in My Nature
  13. India is the Biggest Story of All
  14. One of the Finest Filmmakers in India
  15. And Finally . . .
Appendix I: Filmography 
Appendix II: National Film Awards
Mysteries of the Mundane by John Hood
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