The moving image: Looped, to be Mukt!1 – the Cinemā Prayōga conscience | Intellect Skip to content
Volume 1, Issue 2
  • ISSN: 2045-6298
  • E-ISSN: 2045-6301


Cinema of Prayōga is a conceptual framework that locates the history of experimental film in India within an ancient pre-modern tradition of innovation, of prayōga. Cinema of Prayōga is a theory of filmic practice, which challenges the dominant forms of filmic expression in contemporary India, including the all-pervading contemporary Bollywood or the social realism of Indian New Wave. Cinema of Prayōga celebrates a cinematographic idiom that is deeply located in the polyphony of Indian philosophy and cultural imagination. It attempts to reconfigure the generally accepted notion of the experimental and the avant-garde in Indian cinema by conjuring the term ‘Prayōga’ from Indian philosophical thought. Etymologically, the term prayōga in Sanskrit refers to a theory of practice that emphasizes the potential of any form of contemplation – ritualistic, poetic, mystic, aesthetic, magical, mythical, physical or alchemical. In cinema, it is a practice of filmic interrogation that is devised as a quest toward a continuing process in time and space. This is a cinema that in contrast to mainstream formulations anywhere else in the world, employs Indian music, poetry, mythology and performance to examine the relationship between their status as filmic texts and the ‘fictions-in-progress’ of their subjects.


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  • Article Type: Article
Keyword(s): Indian film; Indian philosophy; prayōga; space; time
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