India: Culture “Bollywood” Introduction
India: Culture “Bollywood”
- India leads the world in film production, a staggering 1000 movies a year, in many different languages
- The Hindi movie industry based out of Mumbai (Bombay) is the biggest of these and is called Bollywood (Bombay + Hollywood)
- The whole movie industry spent $531M in 2001 which is lower than the cost of production of one Hollywood blockbuster
- A population of 1B but average ticket price of 20 cents results in low revenues
- The movie industry is more than 100 years old, but is still a largely unorganized industry with no formal source of public financing
- This has led to allegations that most of the money invested in the industry has its sources from the underworld
- There are few public companies today but there is still no bank financing, insurance against a flop is rare
Context of Bollywood
- Cinema evolved capturing social themes
- From movies capturing social injustice in the 1930s to exploring sexuality in 2005, the industry has seen it all
- The turbulent 70s were filled with anger and revenge dramas that were flavors of the day
- The 90s saw a revival of romantic musicals and Bollywood movies are notorious for 2.5 hr movies with 7-10 songs
- Sexuality and nudity are taboo topics and very few movies in main stream cinema have explored these topic.
What types of movies are made?
- Mostly musicals
- Include dancing and
- At least 5 sing along dance routines
- Plots often involve characters from different classes
- Produce action, drama, comedy and romance
- All include singing and dancing
- Very colorful with elaborate costumes
- Cinema is a medium of escape to the millions of men and women who toil all the day to earn less than $1 is a compelling aspect of the culture
- Movie stars attain demi-god status and often have used this charisma and fanaticism to become successful politicians
- Amitab Bachan is considered the greatest super stars Bollywood ever had
- Shah Rukh Khan, Aamir Khan, Salman Khan, Aishwarya Rai, Preety Zinta, Rani Mukherjee are main stars today
Aishwarya Rai (The L’oreal girl)
- The growing Indian diaspora in the US and rest of the world has made overseas market a lucrative market for Bollywood
- A few Indian movie personalities have made an impact outside India, Aishwarya Rai, Amitab Bachan, Deepa Mehta, Satyajit Rai, Ismail Merchant, Shyam Benegal are some of the most famous names
- Crossover movies such as Bend it like Beckham and others are the newest rage.
- Create a movie trailer for a Bollywood film (using a series of pictures), design a poster, write part of a script, create a photo essay on Bollywood, or present a paper on Bollywood.
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