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Mirch Masala: Bollywood Cinema from 1950s onwards Professor Nilufer E. Bharucha University of Mumbai.

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Presentation on theme: "Mirch Masala: Bollywood Cinema from 1950s onwards Professor Nilufer E. Bharucha University of Mumbai."— Presentation transcript:

1 Mirch Masala: Bollywood Cinema from 1950s onwards Professor Nilufer E. Bharucha University of Mumbai

2 The Beginnings… Cinema came to India almost as soon as it had been pioneered in the USA and in Europe Cinema came to India almost as soon as it had been pioneered in the USA and in Europe The first films were shown in India on 7 July 1896 at Hotel Watson in Bombay. The first films were shown in India on 7 July 1896 at Hotel Watson in Bombay. They were Arrive d’un Train a la Gare de la Ciotat and La Sortie de l’Usine – just six months after their world premiere in Paris. They were Arrive d’un Train a la Gare de la Ciotat and La Sortie de l’Usine – just six months after their world premiere in Paris. The first films made in India were short newsreels which started in 1897, such as The Races in Poona, A Train Entering the Station in Bombay. The first films made in India were short newsreels which started in 1897, such as The Races in Poona, A Train Entering the Station in Bombay.

3 Soon films were made on extracts from popular plays and on traditional dances and music. Soon films were made on extracts from popular plays and on traditional dances and music. By the first decade of the Twentieth Century, feature films from the West were being shown in India. By the first decade of the Twentieth Century, feature films from the West were being shown in India. Almost 1,313 silent films were produced in India in 22 years from , on religious, social, political and historical subjects. Almost 1,313 silent films were produced in India in 22 years from , on religious, social, political and historical subjects.

4 The first feature film made by an Indian was Raja Harishchandra in 1913 by Dadasaheb Phalke. The first feature film made by an Indian was Raja Harishchandra in 1913 by Dadasaheb Phalke. This film told the story of Harischandra, an ancient king of the mythical city of Ayodhya, who was supposedly born of the Sun and was an extremely truthful man. This film told the story of Harischandra, an ancient king of the mythical city of Ayodhya, who was supposedly born of the Sun and was an extremely truthful man. This film introduced the genre of mythological films in India which enjoyed a very long popularity. This film introduced the genre of mythological films in India which enjoyed a very long popularity. This genre looped over the colonial present to a pre-colonial Indian past. This genre looped over the colonial present to a pre-colonial Indian past.

5 This film also introduced the various ‘codes’ which Indian cinema has followed ever since. This film also introduced the various ‘codes’ which Indian cinema has followed ever since. These being – These being – the battle between good and evil the ultimate victory of good over evil The very Indianness of this film also paved the way for an Indian rather than westernised Indian cinema. The very Indianness of this film also paved the way for an Indian rather than westernised Indian cinema.

6 The run-up to the first Talkie: In the 1920s and 30s, Indian cinema spread from Kohlapur – Phadke’s HQ – to the metros, Bombay, Calcutta and Madras In the 1920s and 30s, Indian cinema spread from Kohlapur – Phadke’s HQ – to the metros, Bombay, Calcutta and Madras The studio systems were introduced and dominated the film-making scene till the 1950s The studio systems were introduced and dominated the film-making scene till the 1950s Also born in those decades was the ‘Star System. Also born in those decades was the ‘Star System. Thus right from these early years Hollywood influenced Indian cinema. Thus right from these early years Hollywood influenced Indian cinema.

7 The Introduction of Realism The 1920s saw the introduction of realism in Indian cinema The 1920s saw the introduction of realism in Indian cinema Baburao Painter’s Savkari Pash (An Indian Shylock) 1925 was a film that condemned wicked moneylenders exploiting the poor rural and also the urban people. Baburao Painter’s Savkari Pash (An Indian Shylock) 1925 was a film that condemned wicked moneylenders exploiting the poor rural and also the urban people. Such social films appealed more to the sophisticated section of the Indian audience which was not particularly attracted to mythologicals. Such social films appealed more to the sophisticated section of the Indian audience which was not particularly attracted to mythologicals.

8 The Western Collaborations… Early 1930s saw several global collaborations between UFA Berlin, a British company and Frantz Osten Early 1930s saw several global collaborations between UFA Berlin, a British company and Frantz Osten Most successful between Frantz Osten, a German director and Himanshu Rai, the Indian film maker Most successful between Frantz Osten, a German director and Himanshu Rai, the Indian film maker Fed the western market for Indian exotica Fed the western market for Indian exotica Prem Sanyas (Light of the Orient) 1925 ran for ten months in London Prem Sanyas (Light of the Orient) 1925 ran for ten months in London Shiraz, 1928, a Mughal romance Shiraz, 1928, a Mughal romance Parpancha Pash (A Throw of the Dice), 1929, had the first kiss of Indian cinema. Story about a good and bad king who stake their kingdoms on a game of dice. Parpancha Pash (A Throw of the Dice), 1929, had the first kiss of Indian cinema. Story about a good and bad king who stake their kingdoms on a game of dice. Films full of dance, duels, spectacle Films full of dance, duels, spectacle

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10 The Arrival of Sound… Alam Ara first Indian Talkie 1931, four years after first American talkie Alam Ara first Indian Talkie 1931, four years after first American talkie A historical which starred Zubeida, Vithal and Prithiviraj Kapoor A historical which starred Zubeida, Vithal and Prithiviraj Kapoor Shirin and Farhad a lavish musical also 1931 Shirin and Farhad a lavish musical also 1931 Indrasabha, 1932 had 70 songs Indrasabha, 1932 had 70 songs Anarkali 1935, the legendary love story of the Mughal Prince Salim and the dancing girl Anarkali Anarkali 1935, the legendary love story of the Mughal Prince Salim and the dancing girl Anarkali Kisan Kanya (Peasant Girl) 1937 first colour film, dealt with peasant revolt Kisan Kanya (Peasant Girl) 1937 first colour film, dealt with peasant revolt

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12 Formulas for Success Music became the defining code for films all over India Music became the defining code for films all over India Repeat value as a result of the songs Repeat value as a result of the songs Reinforcement of Moral values – good versus evil Reinforcement of Moral values – good versus evil Spectacle dances, duels Spectacle dances, duels Lost and Found Lost and Found Conflict between rich and poor Conflict between rich and poor Love and Romance Love and Romance High Tragedy and Emotionalism High Tragedy and Emotionalism Sex and Glamour Sex and Glamour

13 Postcolonial Cinemas 1950s The Golden Age 1950s saw different kinds of cinemas Neo-Realistic : Bimal Roy Socialist : Raj Kapoor Nehruvian : Mehboob Khan Modernist : Guru Dutt

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15 Bimal Roy : The Neo Realist Do Bheega Zameen Richly textured black and white cinematic language. Iconic scenes- the rickshaw race Do Bheega Zameen Richly textured black and white cinematic language. Iconic scenes- the rickshaw race Devdas High Tragedy and Emotionalism. Rise of the cult of the tragic hero Dilip Kumar Devdas High Tragedy and Emotionalism. Rise of the cult of the tragic hero Dilip Kumar Sujata Social Reform. Banishing Untouchability. Nutan as actor par excellence Sujata Social Reform. Banishing Untouchability. Nutan as actor par excellence Bandini Woman Centred. Critiqued Exploitation of women. Nutan again Bandini Woman Centred. Critiqued Exploitation of women. Nutan again

16 Raj Kapoor: From Socialism to Glamour Awaara 1951 Awaara 1951 Shri Shri Jagte Raho 1956 Jagte Raho 1956 Jis Desh Mein Ganga Behti Hain 1960 Jis Desh Mein Ganga Behti Hain 1960 Sangam 1964 Sangam 1964 Mera Naam Joker 1970 Mera Naam Joker 1970 Bobby 1973 Bobby 1973 Satyam Shivam Sundaram 1978 Satyam Shivam Sundaram 1978 Ram Teri Ganga Maili Ho Gayi 1985 Ram Teri Ganga Maili Ho Gayi 1985

17 Celebrating India… Raj Kapoor’s early films celebrated newly independent India Raj Kapoor’s early films celebrated newly independent India Mera Joota Hain Japani… song Mera Joota Hain Japani… song Created the persona of the tramp – the subaltern Created the persona of the tramp – the subaltern Romanced the lady – Nargis Romanced the lady – Nargis The trope of the lady as object of romance and desire The trope of the lady as object of romance and desire

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19 Mehboob Khan: Nehruvian Dream Mother India Iconic film on Nehruvian India Mother India Iconic film on Nehruvian India Showcased the Nehruvian Dream Showcased the Nehruvian Dream Agriculturally self-sufficient Industrially progressive Economically successful and Literate India Wrote the nation across the body of the woman Wrote the nation across the body of the woman Re-worked the Nation as Goddess symbol Re-worked the Nation as Goddess symbol Bharat Mata – Mother India Bharat Mata – Mother India

20 Guru Dutt: Modernist Disillusionments Critiqued the failure of the Nehruvian Dream Critiqued the failure of the Nehruvian Dream Used Modernist tropes of the nation as a wasteland Used Modernist tropes of the nation as a wasteland Cult following in cinematic circles Cult following in cinematic circles Pyaasa 1957 Pyaasa 1957 Kagaz ke Phool 1959 Kagaz ke Phool 1959 Chaudhvin ka Chaand 1960 Chaudhvin ka Chaand 1960 Saahib Bibi aur Ghulam 1962 Saahib Bibi aur Ghulam 1962 Created a muse in the actress Waheeda Rehman Created a muse in the actress Waheeda Rehman Committed suicide in 1964, aged 39 Committed suicide in 1964, aged 39

21 The Duttian Techniques and Tropes… Guru Dutt specialised in the aesthetics of failure. Failure a major trope Guru Dutt specialised in the aesthetics of failure. Failure a major trope Used self-reflexion as a narrative technique Used self-reflexion as a narrative technique Innovated camera and sound techniques Innovated camera and sound techniques Used lighting as a language Used lighting as a language Used silence as a sound Used silence as a sound

22 The Big Heroes of the 1950s and 60s… Dilip Kumar the tragic hero. Historical Star. Devdas, Andaz, Mughal-E-Azam Dilip Kumar the tragic hero. Historical Star. Devdas, Andaz, Mughal-E-Azam Dev Anand the light romantic hero. Stylised actor. Also later film maker. Guide, Hare Rama Hare Krishna Dev Anand the light romantic hero. Stylised actor. Also later film maker. Guide, Hare Rama Hare Krishna Raj Kapoor the comic romantic hero apart from being a film maker. Sapnon ka Saudagar, Around the World in Eight Dollars, Teesri Kasam. Raj Kapoor the comic romantic hero apart from being a film maker. Sapnon ka Saudagar, Around the World in Eight Dollars, Teesri Kasam. Rajendra Kumar. The Jubilee Star. Romantic Hero. Rajendra Kumar. The Jubilee Star. Romantic Hero. Manoj Kumar the patriotic hero. Purab aur Paschim, Upkaar. Manoj Kumar the patriotic hero. Purab aur Paschim, Upkaar. Sunil Dutt. Hero and film maker Sunil Dutt. Hero and film maker Dharmendra. The Macho Hero. Dharmendra. The Macho Hero. Ashok Kumar. Senior Actor. Acted from 1940s-1980s Ashok Kumar. Senior Actor. Acted from 1940s-1980s

23 The 1950s and 60s Big Heroines… Meena Kumari. The Tragedienne. Meena Kumari. The Tragedienne. Nutan. The Realistic Actress. Nutan. The Realistic Actress. Vijayantimala. The Dancing Star Vijayantimala. The Dancing Star Waheeda Rehman. The Excellent Actress. Waheeda Rehman. The Excellent Actress. Nargis. The Major Star Nargis. The Major Star Suraiya. The Singing Star Suraiya. The Singing Star Madhubala. The Ethereal Beauty Madhubala. The Ethereal Beauty Asha Parekh. The Tom Boy Asha Parekh. The Tom Boy Sadhana. The Sophisticated Lady Sadhana. The Sophisticated Lady

24 1960s : Colour Glamour Escapism Technicolour, romance, glamorous locations Technicolour, romance, glamorous locations New stars, new music directors, new locations New stars, new music directors, new locations Shammi Kapoor and the cult of the big, brash young man Shammi Kapoor and the cult of the big, brash young man Joy Mukherjee. The romantic hero Joy Mukherjee. The romantic hero Glamorous, westernised heroines; Sharmila Tagore, Babita, Saira Banu Glamorous, westernised heroines; Sharmila Tagore, Babita, Saira Banu Musicals set in Kashmir, Simla, Kulu Musicals set in Kashmir, Simla, Kulu Junglee (1961), Love in Simla (1960), Kashmir ki Kali (1964) Junglee (1961), Love in Simla (1960), Kashmir ki Kali (1964) Foreign locations – Paris, London, Geneva, New York Foreign locations – Paris, London, Geneva, New York in Evening in Paris (1967), Sangam (1964), Around the World in Eight Dollars (1967) in Evening in Paris (1967), Sangam (1964), Around the World in Eight Dollars (1967) Wafted the audience into an escapist universe away from the poverty, shortages and hardships of the India of the 1960s. Wafted the audience into an escapist universe away from the poverty, shortages and hardships of the India of the 1960s.

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26 The 1970s: New Directors New Films New Stars Shakti Samanta. The Musical Melodramas. Aradhna (1970), Amar Prem (1971) Shakti Samanta. The Musical Melodramas. Aradhna (1970), Amar Prem (1971) Created the new superstar Rajesh Khanna Created the new superstar Rajesh Khanna Hrishikesh Mukherjee. The Small Film Big Hits. Anand (1970), Guddi (1971), Mili (1975), Abhimaan (1973) Hrishikesh Mukherjee. The Small Film Big Hits. Anand (1970), Guddi (1971), Mili (1975), Abhimaan (1973) Ushered in the girl-next-door, Jaya Bahaduri Ushered in the girl-next-door, Jaya Bahaduri Ramesh Sippy. The Big Films. Sholay (1972), Seeta aur Geeta (1972), Shakti (1982). Ramesh Sippy. The Big Films. Sholay (1972), Seeta aur Geeta (1972), Shakti (1982). New stars Hema Malini, the Dream Girl, Amitabh Bachchan, the Angry Young Man, Rishi Kapoor, the Romantic Hero New stars Hema Malini, the Dream Girl, Amitabh Bachchan, the Angry Young Man, Rishi Kapoor, the Romantic Hero A mix of middle class realistic cinema and major masala films A mix of middle class realistic cinema and major masala films

27 Hema Malini: Female Superstar First major female superstar First major female superstar Earned the same amount or more than her male stars Earned the same amount or more than her male stars Called the Dream Girl Called the Dream Girl First film Sapnon ka Saudagar ( First film Sapnon ka Saudagar (

28 The Rajesh Khanna Phenomenon

29 Rajesh Khanna the romantic rage of the 1970s Rajesh Khanna the romantic rage of the 1970s Hairstyle, clothes, watches, shoes copied and worn by fans Hairstyle, clothes, watches, shoes copied and worn by fans Girls and women ‘married’ his photographs Girls and women ‘married’ his photographs Commanded a huge price Commanded a huge price First real superstar of Hindi Cinema First real superstar of Hindi Cinema Became stylised in his acting Became stylised in his acting Best films Anand, Aradhna, Roti, Bawarchi, Amar Prem Best films Anand, Aradhna, Roti, Bawarchi, Amar Prem Replaced by Amitabh Bachchan Replaced by Amitabh Bachchan

30 Amitabh Bachchan:The Mega Star Started small with Saat Hindustani (1969) Started small with Saat Hindustani (1969) Catapulted to fame with Zanjeer (1973) Catapulted to fame with Zanjeer (1973) Competed with Rajesh Khanna in Anand and Namak Haram Competed with Rajesh Khanna in Anand and Namak Haram Came into his own with Mega hits Deewar and Sholay in 1975 Came into his own with Mega hits Deewar and Sholay in major hits Amar Akbar Anthony, Muqaddar ka Sikander, Trishul, Don, Mr. Natwarlal, Coolie major hits Amar Akbar Anthony, Muqaddar ka Sikander, Trishul, Don, Mr. Natwarlal, Coolie Come-back in the 1990s with Shehshah, Agneepath, Khudah Gawah Come-back in the 1990s with Shehshah, Agneepath, Khudah Gawah Return to Stardom in 21 st Century – Kabhie Khushi Kabhi Gham, Sarkar, Baghbaan, Cheeni Kum, Last Lear Return to Stardom in 21 st Century – Kabhie Khushi Kabhi Gham, Sarkar, Baghbaan, Cheeni Kum, Last Lear Married to Jaya Bahaduri; Son Abhishekh; daughter-in- law Aishwarya Rai Married to Jaya Bahaduri; Son Abhishekh; daughter-in- law Aishwarya Rai Linked to Rekha Linked to Rekha

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32 Hema Malini: Female Superstar First major female superstar First major female superstar Earned the same amount or more than her male stars Earned the same amount or more than her male stars Called the Dream Girl Called the Dream Girl First film Sapnon ka Saudagar (1968) First film Sapnon ka Saudagar (1968) Major hits Seeta aur Geeta, Sholay, Charas, Jugnu, Lal Patthar Major hits Seeta aur Geeta, Sholay, Charas, Jugnu, Lal Patthar Directed Dil Aashna Hain (1992) Directed Dil Aashna Hain (1992) Come-back with Baghban (2003) Come-back with Baghban (2003) Bharat Natyam Dancer Bharat Natyam Dancer Member of Parliament Member of Parliament Married to Dharmendra – two daughters Married to Dharmendra – two daughters

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34 The 1980s-90s: GenNext New Film-makers: New Film-makers: Govind Nihalani, Ardh Satya, Aakrosh, Tamas, Hazaar Chaurasi ki Maa Shyam Benegal, Kalyug, Mandi, Trikal The Making of the Mahatma, Sardari Begum Ketan Mehta, Maya Memsaab, Mirch Masala Muzaffar Ali, Gaman, Umrao Jaan Mahesh Bhatt, Arth, Saaransh, Daddy, Dil Hain Ke Maanta Nahin Prakash Jha, Damul, Mrityudand Shekhar Kapoor, Masoom, Mr. India

35 New Actors New Actors Shabana Azmi Smita Patil Naseeruddin Shah Om Puri Sanjay Dutt Madhuri Dixit Anil Kapoor Sridevi Amir Khan Salman Khan Sharukh Khan

36 The Women Film makers… Vijaya Mehta, Rao Saheb, Pestonjee Vijaya Mehta, Rao Saheb, Pestonjee Sai Paranjape, Sparsh, Chashme Badoor, Sai Paranjape, Sparsh, Chashme Badoor, Katha, Saaz Kalpana Lajmi, Ek Pal, Rudaali Kalpana Lajmi, Ek Pal, Rudaali A Feminist reading rather than a Feminist methodology possible A Feminist reading rather than a Feminist methodology possible Woman centred films Woman centred films

37 Diasporic Indian Film makers… Distance, Nostalgia, Time warp, Periscopic point of view Distance, Nostalgia, Time warp, Periscopic point of view Meera Nair, Salaam Bombay, Mississippi Masala, Monsoon Wedding, Vanity Fair Meera Nair, Salaam Bombay, Mississippi Masala, Monsoon Wedding, Vanity Fair Deepa Mehta, Earth, Fire, Water Deepa Mehta, Earth, Fire, Water Gurinder Chadha, Bhaaji on the Beach, Bend it Like Beckham, Bride and Prejudice Gurinder Chadha, Bhaaji on the Beach, Bend it Like Beckham, Bride and Prejudice

38 Cross-Over Films For NRI and Wider Global Markets For NRI and Wider Global Markets Formula remains, melodrama toned down for non-Indian tastes Formula remains, melodrama toned down for non-Indian tastes Family values, glamour, love, conflict, emotionalism Family values, glamour, love, conflict, emotionalism Finding wider audiences Finding wider audiences Hindi films had audiences in the Arab World, Central Asia, Soviet Union, Eastern Europe Hindi films had audiences in the Arab World, Central Asia, Soviet Union, Eastern Europe New audiences in Western Europe and the USA New audiences in Western Europe and the USA

39 Aditya Chopra, Dilwale Dulhaniya Le Jayenge, Mohabbatein, Dil to Pagal Hain Aditya Chopra, Dilwale Dulhaniya Le Jayenge, Mohabbatein, Dil to Pagal Hain Karan Johar, Kuch Kuch Hota Hain, Kabhi Khushi Kabhi Gham Karan Johar, Kuch Kuch Hota Hain, Kabhi Khushi Kabhi Gham Sanjay Leela Bhansali, Black, Devdaas Sanjay Leela Bhansali, Black, Devdaas Aamir Khan, Lagaan, Rang De Basanti, Taare Zameen Par Aamir Khan, Lagaan, Rang De Basanti, Taare Zameen Par Shahrukh Khan, Hum Hain Na, Om Shanti Om Shahrukh Khan, Hum Hain Na, Om Shanti Om Rakesh Roshan, Kaho na Pyaar Hain, Koi Mil Gaya, Krrish Rakesh Roshan, Kaho na Pyaar Hain, Koi Mil Gaya, Krrish Shekhar Kapoor, Elizabeth, The Four Feathers, Elizabeth, the Golden Age Shekhar Kapoor, Elizabeth, The Four Feathers, Elizabeth, the Golden Age

40 The Actors of the 21 st Century… Global faces, glamour quotient Global faces, glamour quotient Aishwarya Rai. Miss World. Diasporic Films. Mainstream Hollywood. Provoked; Pink Panther; Bride and Predjudice; Mistress of Spices Aishwarya Rai. Miss World. Diasporic Films. Mainstream Hollywood. Provoked; Pink Panther; Bride and Predjudice; Mistress of Spices Rani Mukherjee, Black, Veer Zaara, The Rising Rani Mukherjee, Black, Veer Zaara, The Rising Preity Zinta, Kabhi Alvida Na Kehana, Last Lear Preity Zinta, Kabhi Alvida Na Kehana, Last Lear Saif Ali Khan, Parineeta, Omkaara Saif Ali Khan, Parineeta, Omkaara Hritik Roshan, Koi Mil Gaya, Krrish Hritik Roshan, Koi Mil Gaya, Krrish

41 In Conclusion… The journey from 1897, to 1913, to 1931 to the 21 st Century has been momentous The journey from 1897, to 1913, to 1931 to the 21 st Century has been momentous Bollywood from a Wannabe-Hollywood has begun to find its own space in the realms of World Cinema Bollywood from a Wannabe-Hollywood has begun to find its own space in the realms of World Cinema Diasporic film makers, Crossover film makers making dents in not just the NRI but also global markets Diasporic film makers, Crossover film makers making dents in not just the NRI but also global markets However, the major time-tested formulae remain intact, songs, spectacle, romance, glamour, fights, emotions and family values However, the major time-tested formulae remain intact, songs, spectacle, romance, glamour, fights, emotions and family values


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