Formal Innovation and Political Criticism in a Bangladeshi Alternative Film
Rarely do we see innovative use of complicated filmic techniques in commercially-motivated films, because in order to maximize profit commercial filmmakers always incorporate specific audience-pleasing elements which serve to amuse and entertain the spectators. By providing glamour and gaudiness, larger than life heroes, unrealistic solutions of social problems, and theatrical acting entertainment-based films hardly enable the spectators to critically perceive the roots of contemporary social and political problems. Rather, these films seem to offer temporary escape from the troubles and tensions of contemporary reality. Mainstream films thus often turn out to be status-quoist films.
Films produced outside the commercial film industry are referred to as alternative films. Unlike mainstream commercial cinema, alternative films are often made on a shoestring budget, and they do not draw on formulaic storyline and glitzy filmic components in order to reach the lowest common denominator audience. Alternative filmmakers make conscious attempts to negate the principles and aesthetics of entertainment-based commercial cinema. Filmic forms of alternative cinema usually become experimental and artistically innovative, and these films often demonstrate a penchant for exposing and condemning social and political problems. Instead of giving the spectators the opportunity to passively immerse in the illusive world of cinema and lulling them into a false sense of security, alternative films
Naadir Junaid, PhD is an Associate Professor in the Department of Mass Communication and Journalism, University of Dhaka, Bangladesh. Email: firstname.lastname@example.org