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Bollywood

This book gives a fresh understanding of the possible relationships between cinema and culture.

india Updated: Mar 11, 2006 13:42 IST
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Bollywood:SociologyGoestotheMovies
by Rajinder Kumar Dudrah
Paperback
Pages: 212 pages
Price: Rs 280
ISBN: 00-7619-3461-8

Engaging the discipline of sociology to study the phenomenon of Bollywood cinema, this book examines popular Hindi cinema as a global industry and its films as popular cultural texts. It also considers the relationships that are possible between cinema and its audiences. Though there have been theoretical accounts and textual readings of Bollywood films, this is the first book to study them from these combined perspectives. The author approaches Bollywood cinema through an interdisciplinary conversation with studies of the cinema drawn from sociology, film, media and cultural studies.

Here is an excerpt:

At the beginning of the new millennium Bollywood cinema's exposure became noticeably international. For example, the annual International Indian Film Awards (IIFA) were held in London at the Millennium Dome in 2000. The international press coverage and film industry media were discussing Bollywood cinema's potential as a viable alternative to Hollywood. Building on this momentum, the Bollywood film Lagaan (dir. Ashutosh Gowarikar, 2001) was entered in the Best Foreign Film category at the Oscars, the film Devdas (dir. Sanjay Leela Bhansali, 2002) was featured at the Cannes Film Festival, and Bollywood films began to regularly appear in the UK Top 10 and in the US Top 20 box-office listings ahead of many big budget Hollywood blockbusters. In 2002, the British Film Institute (BFI), London, launched its Imagine Asia series with films from the South Asian sub-continent in which the screening of its Bollywood films proved very popular. From the US and Canada respectively, Mira Nair's Monsoon Wedding (2002) and Deepa Mehta's Bollywood/Hollywood (2002) brought together the aesthetics of Bollywood and Hollywood cinema together for crossover audiences. Bollywood references were also prevalent in mainstream Hollywood films such as Moulin Rouge (dir. Baz Luhrman, 2001). The fascination for all things Bollywood seeped into mainstream Western music, theatre, fashion, television and the high street department stores of the West. Channel 4 in Britain aired the programme Bollywood Star during the summer months of 2004, shortlisting six British Asian finalists from the hundreds who had entered and auditioned. The competition allowed the winner a role in one of Bollywood veteran Mahesh Bhatt's forthcoming films. Much to the surprise of the programme's audiences, the winner was not a stereotypically slim or pretty girl or a handsome boy, but a large woman from Birmingham - Rupak Mann. Towards the close of 2004, Gurinder Chadha remade Jane Austen's novel Pride and Prejudice for the screen as Bride and Prejudice in explicit Bollywood terms. And on 26 March 2005, the non-terrestrial Zee TV channel aimed at global South Asian audiences held its Zee Cinema Awards at the Excel Arena in London's Docklands and broadcast this award ceremony throughout its television network. Perhaps this list of Bollywood cinema's arrival is fast growing.