By Kush Varia
While we now have get to grips with the assumption of "Bollywood" the following within the West, we all know little in regards to the industry's motion pictures past a definite occasion of kitsch. Bollywood, the most recent in Wallflower Press's brief Cuts introductory sequence, surveys this variety of filmmaking from its origins in colonial occasions to the current, tracing its impression on either the Indian and worldwide mind's eye. Chapters discover the historical past and workings of the undefined, the narratives and aesthetics of its movies, types in the style, the cultural connotations of particular characters, its larger-than-life stars, and its hybrid and remarkable fan cultures. Readings of renowned and largely on hand movies illustrate the significance of the cinema's conventions, which variety from romantic clichés to a continuing negotiation among culture and modernity.
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Extra resources for Bollywood: Gods, Glamour, and Gossip
In the popular imagination the snow-capped mountains, cool climate and green hills suggest wealth, leisure and fertility. The evocation of a romantic paradise comes across in the song ‘Gun Guna Rahe Hain Bhavre’ (‘Busy buzzing bees’) resplendent not only with buzzing bees but also vibrantly coloured bougainvillea and plenty of opportunities to roll around in snow and enjoy wide shots of mountain scenery. Similar scenes are seen in the song ‘Kora Kagaz Tha’ (‘This blank paper’) with the couple dancing between golden marigolds and trees.
Just as Bobby was Bollywood’s first teen romance film, Mr India was its first superhero film. It also indulges in the same hedonistic pleasures of Westernised music, dance and costume. However, the attitude towards Western morality is more ambivalent. The setting is no longer a society which needs to be held together via placing the bourgeois family back on path; here, the ideal of the family is defunct. Set in Bombay, the film’s central protagonist is Arun (Anil Kapoor), a loveable vagabond with a heart of gold who looks after a group of orphans.
It would be easy to judge such behaviour as typical of a naïve and superstitious audience unacquainted with the technologies of cinema and enchanted by the animation of their religious deities; however, this would dismiss Phalke’s cinematic brilliance particularly in the field of special effects which always maintain an allegiance to realism. For example, in Shree Krishna Janma (1918) Phalke portrays the evil King Kamsa imagining his death at the hands of his nephew, the god Krishna. Kamsa’s head leaves his body and hovers above it with mouth wide open; Kamsa simultaneously places his hands around his neck as if to check his head is still attached.