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Sources used: “The Road to Bollywood” - Film Comment Magazine, May/June 2002 Bollywood Cinema.

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Presentation on theme: "Sources used: “The Road to Bollywood” - Film Comment Magazine, May/June 2002 Bollywood Cinema."— Presentation transcript:

1 Sources used: “The Road to Bollywood” - Film Comment Magazine, May/June 2002 Bollywood Cinema

2 What is Bollywood? Bollywood is the Indian Hindi-language film industry! Located in Bombay (a.k.a. Mumbai) Bollywood produces about 200 films out of India’s 800 a year (Hollywood only makes around 250) Famous Bollywood directors... Bimal Roy: Devdas (1935), Madhumati (1958) Raj Kapoor: Sangam (1964), Bobby (1973) Yash Chopra: Deewaar (1975), Dil to Paagal Hai (1997)

3 A typical Bollywood film... A typical Bollywood film usually consists of the following elements: Romance Comedy Drama Suspense Violence Family values Music and dance These films are “typical” Bollywood and are commonly referred to as masala films. “There is no division of genres, as exists in the West: no Westerns, no romances, no thrillers.” (author Chidanada DasGupta) Films are typically lengthy, running between 160 to 220 minutes Stylistic, melodramatic Between 5 and 8 song sequences

4 Filmmaking conventions Films are made differently in India... Use of dubbing techniques vs. sync sound “Broken up” shooting schedule Actors work on many films at one time Camera movement Use of the zoom lens Focus on color, “slick, high-gloss” Lagaan (2001) is one Bollywood film that recently broke through these filmmaking conventions

5 Bollywood and Indian culture Indian culture affects Bollywood’s plot lines, characters, and song sequences. The “Hindu Family Values” movie: Marriage Respect for elders, Hindu traditions, “Joint Family” Eastern vs. Western culture India as a country of many languages and sub-cultures Content is generally inoffensive, appeals to a mass audience Pride in India, appeals to NRIs Music permeates every aspect of Indian culture and religion. Therefore, it seems fitting that these films should devote so much screen time to song and dance. No kissing!!

6 Song sequences! “Yeh Ladka Hai Allah” - Kabhi Khushi Kabhie Gham Songs are a necessity in Bollywood cinema. Important to the commercial success of a film Playback singers Actors never sing the lyrics themselves! Bollywood musical numbers complement the narrative, they do not construct it. American musicals see songs as dramatic turning points in the plot, while Bollywood songs are generally used to expand emotion as a result of turning points in the plot. Viewers would most likely be able to understand a Bollywood film’s meaning just as well without the song sequences. During production, most time is spent filming the musical numbers

7 Song sequences, continued... Grand locales, montages Lovers’ duet Religious ceremonies Highly choreographed dance Emphasis on color and costume Typical Bollywood musical numbers: Bollywood film songs traditionally do not exhibit character development, but many recent movies have changed this convention. In Lagaan, characters communicate through subtext in lyrics, thereby advancing the plot of the film.

8 The future of Bollywood... Bollywood has adapted to modern culture in a variety of ways Dance club / music video song sequences to appeal to a younger generation Musical numbers staged in a character’s imagination are more believable Bollywood influence in Western cinema: Modern musicals like Moulin Rouge borrow certain Bollywood conventions to reinvent the American musical genre. + see also Dancer in The Dark


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