Cinema and Innovations
Regardless of whether this artform is on the way in or out, or if color photography presents a threat to the industry of darshan image-making, it is entirely related to the production of stellar images - movie stars. As Gerald James Larson suggests, actors and actresses who portray gods/godesses in cinema come to be satnd-ins for the gods in social life.14
"That some publishing houses have ceased producing god posters suggests that the god poster Industry has already peaked in this generation and is undergoing a subtle transition toward what may be the next phase of providing images for the masses"13 ||
Although images do relate to epic and puranic teachings, an arguable space is left open to artistic interpretation. Just how open and influential these artists have and can be is difficult to determine. Perhaps there were other factors which influenced how the goddess came to be recognized. Film stars' recognition as posessing powers of the goddess is just one of many examples of how the goddess interacts and is engaged with popular culture. As much as film stars might influence the apperance of the goddess, so is Devi a part of their own role playing - it is within this goddess tradition that social law is both formed and reformed.
More recent manifestations which have taken the popular world by storm are plentiful Santoshi Ma, from the film Ja Santoshi Ma is perhaps one of the best known. Another equally popular form is Vaishnoo Devi, from Jammu.
Even more striking and compelling, are the synthesis of goddess and god forms or when atributes of the dieties are adopted and adapted to create another diety, or aspect of Ma Devi. New combinations and derivations are created, and almost go unnoticed as such, especially in the hands of poster artists and movie makers. One example which David Smith points out is the "new Tumurti" of Ganesha/Lakshmi/Saraswati for Diwali puja, yet the typical Tumurti consists of Bhrama/Vishnu/Shiva. 15