Check it out. Bollywood, as the Bombay-based Hindi film industry is affectionately nicknamed, is the new cool in international cinema. The world’s most prolific film industry has always been regarded with dubious interest by Western critics, film professionals and movie-goers. What else can you expect from a genre that requires every film to have a young good-looking romantic lead couple, half a d...
File Size: 516 KB
Print Length: 96 pages
Publisher: Oldcastle Books (October 10, 2001)
Publication Date: October 10, 2001
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A necessity for Bollywood fans. A concise history and synopsis of Bollywood's best over the years. A perfect primer to get started with, too....
e lengthy songs lip-synched by actors to playback singers, costume changes every five minutes and an utter disregard for most film narrative conventions? In spite of these quirky peculiarities—or hell, maybe because of them—it has come out of the kitsch closet and taken its place alongside the most respected ethnic films on the planet. Partly it’s a numbers game. India has the fastest population growth rate in the world, the second largest population (over 1.1 billion at the last count) and one of the highest percentages of youth between the ages of 12 and 24. As any Hollywood mogul will tell you over his California champagne, that’s the magic age group that fills cinema halls and chews up the movie tickets and popcorn everywhere in the world. Look at some more figures... In 1985, a staggering 905 feature films were produced in India. This figure was split up into several different ethnic languages, the majority coming out of the Tamil-, Telegu- and Malayalam- speaking states of South India. 185 of the films were in the Hindi language and produced in the sultry Western Indian city of Bombay. It wasn’t the peak—that was in 1991 when a record 215 films rolled out of Bombay’s overworked processing labs—but it was still a mammoth output. More than the sheer number of films, it’s Bollywood’s impact which is immeasurable. If you’re used to Hollywood’s slick, overproduced product, Hindi films will seem corny, kitsch, even crude at times. On the other hand, if you like music with your movies, the way Australian whizkid Baz Luhrmann did in his spectacular Romeo+Juliet and Moulin Rouge, you’re in for a big treat. In fact, Luhrman flew to Bombay for the release of Moulin Rouge where he confessed candidly that the film was inspired by Bollywood.