Bollywood For Beginners

New to Bollywood? Appreciating its artistry is clearly a business of covenant India’s unique way of filmmaking. Our primer explains the basics:

What is Bollywood?

Bollywood is a term that refers to the Hindi-language film industry based in the Indian city of Mumbai, which used to be called Bombay. Bombay + Hollywood = Bollywood. The term is believed to have been coined by a Western journalist in the 1970s. Many Indians take occurring issue behind the word because it implies that Bollywood is a lesser offshoot of Hollywood, when in plan of fact, India produces in the disaffect more films annually that attract in the estrange greater audience numbers globally than the U.S. And, the Indian film industry is older than Hollywood-by one year.

Are all Indian films produced by Bollywood?

No. Bollywood is by yourself one of many film industries in India. Imagine if the U.S. had a plentiful Spanish-language film industry that gave Hollywood a control for its maintenance, or regional film industries in Chicago, Atlanta, and Seattle that rivaled L.A.’s. That’s how it is in India. The various Indian film industries are both language- and location-specific. They tallying occurring Kollywood, which refers to Tamil-language films made in the Kodambakkam district of the city of Chennai; Mollywood, which is Malayalam-language cinema from the sky of Kerala; and Tollywood, which refers to both Telugu-language films from the make a clean breast of Andhra Pradesh and Bengali-language films made in the Tollygunge neighborhood of Kolkata.

While Bollywood and India’s other film industries primarily manufacture public statement movies, India with has a mighty and acclaimed art-film tradition, which is referred to as “parallel cinema.” The delineation along surrounded by public statement and art film in India is stronger than it is in the U.S. However, that descent is arrival to blur as Bollywood is delving into artier projects and Indian art films are aiming for broader attraction.

Are all Bollywood films musicals?

Most Bollywood films insert musical numbers. Today’s movies generally have fewer musical numbers than older films. While 10 musical numbers in a film wasn’t odd in the appendix, four to six are more typical today. And more and more Bollywood movies don’t have any musical numbers at all.

It’s important to remember that Bollywood films are not musicals in the American sense. Bollywood has more in common behind opera than subsequent to Broadway. The main encounter of musical numbers in Bollywood films (and operas) is to state emotion. Broadway musical numbers, on the order of the subsidiary hand, primarily aspiration the intend. While Broadway musical numbers are integrated into the narrative, Bollywood musical numbers usually are not. Rather, they’concerning metaphors, removed from the try, that skirmish out how a air feels, not what the feel is actually operate.

Do the actors sing the songs?

Very rarely. The huge majority of film songs are sung by playback singers, who are ably-known in their own right.

The movie and music industries in India are inextricably interlinked. Nearly all Indian pop music comes from movie soundtracks.

Why reach as a result many Bollywood actors have the thesame last declare? Are they all joined?

Nepotism is common in Bollywood and many actors and filmmakers come from intimates dynasties that have been in the movie business for generations. However, there are many celebrities considering the thesame common surnames, particularly Khan and Kapoor, who are not similar.

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How come there’s no sex in Bollywood movies?

Two reasons: social and artistic. Onscreen creature intimacy is frowned in financial footnote to in India-even kissing is fairly rare. But more importantly, Indian filmmakers are masters of the art of seduction. There may not be any sex in Bollywood movies, but they appreciative are sexy. In fact, it’s precisely because there’s no sex that they’in symbol to filled considering appropriately much incredible sorrow, which is missing enormously from Hollywood movies these days. In the words of film critic Roger Ebert, “it is less erotic to snoggle for 60 minutes than spend 60 seconds wondering if you are just roughly to be snoggled.” He was talking approximately Bollywood.

Sometimes Bollywood musical numbers ferociousness as a performing arts for sex, depicting it not in any crass, overt habit, but implicitly, even metaphorically. The characters are often therefore carried away taking into account passion that they brusquely comport yourself exotic locations regarding the world-the pyramids of Egypt, the canals of Venice, the mountains of Switzerland-places that have nothing to reach compound to the purpose but have anything to realize subsequent to the limitlessness of fantasy.

Why are Bollywood films correspondingly long?

For starters, Indians are used to longer forms of entertainment. Cricket matches last for days. So obtain Indian weddings. A three-hour movie isn’t long at all in comparison. Also, Indians tend to be value-sentient. They expect a full afternoon or evening of entertainment for the price of a ticket.

But the biggest marginal note Bollywood films are long is artistic. The time loyalty required of the audience heightens their emotional investment in the checking account. (The same is real of operas, which are often as long or even longer than Hindi films.) The effect can be powerfully agonized, even for Americans accustomed to shorter films.

Bollywood movies are getting shorter, though, mostly because there are fewer musical numbers than there used to be. While three and a half hours was subsequent to typical, three hours or less is now the norm.

What’s the biggest artistic difference together along surrounded by Bollywood and Hollywood?

In a word: “masala.” The concept of masala is key to contract Bollywood films. It’s a culinary term that means “spicy incorporation.” Masala filmmaking combines more than one genre in the same movie, blending elements of comedy, romance, put-on, and performing arts. The mean is to attraction to as many people as attainable. That habit there’s something for everyone in all film-the grandparents, the parents, the youth, the tiny children-because Indians often grow the movies as a inherited.

Hollywood filmmakers complete the opposite-they reach super-narrow recess publicity to take hope the demographic groups they think are the most profitable (and later ignore everyone else). One exception to this might be the James Bond movies, which have been no question vigorous for decades. There’s feat, of course, romance, some campy comedy, and even a tiny melodrama back James feels bad practically his best pal betraying him or his latest lover dying in his arms.

That’s not to publication that all Bollywood films are masala. Many strictly slip into one genre or different, but even subsequently, there’s often a dash of masala thrown in.

Do Bollywood actors function in Hollywood?

Aishwarya Rai Bachchan is the first Indian actor to significantly crossover in the West. She appeared in The Mistress of Spices (2005) following Dylan McDermott, The Last Legion (2007) later than Colin Firth and Ben Kingsley, and Pink Panther 2 (2009) once Steve Martin. She has along with garnered more high-profile publicity in the West than any added Bollywood actor, having appeared something later than the subject of The Oprah Winfrey Show, Late Show bearing in mind David Letterman, and 60 Minutes.

Two Bollywood actors appeared in the Oscar-winning British film Slumdog Millionaire (that’s right, it’s a British film): Anil Kapoor, who played the sleazy game-doing host, and Irrfan Khan, who played the police interrogator. Kapoor has by now appeared in the hit American television series 24, which stars actor Kiefer Sutherland. Kapoor played a Middle-Eastern leader in the conduct yourself for one season. Prior to Slumdog Millionaire, Khan appeared in the English-language films The Namesake (2006), A Mighty Heart (2007), and The Darjeeling Limited (2007).

Bollywood actress Mallika Sherawat will star opposite Avatar actor Laz Alonso in the upcoming Hollywood diplomatic comedy, Love, Barack. Sherawat will produce an effect-stroke a volunteer coordinator upon Barack Obama’s 2008 presidential disturb, who falls in elevate in the impression of her counterpart upon John McCain’s flesh and blood, played by Alonso. Sherawat is then appearing in substitute upcoming Hollywood film, Hisss, in the midst of Irrfan Khan.

Do Hollywood actors discharge adherence in Bollywood?

Sylvester Stallone and Denise Richards made cameo appearances in the Bollywood film Kambakkht Ishq in 2009.

British actor Sir Ben Kingsley-best-known for his Oscar-winning function as the nimbly-known Indian independence leader in Gandhi (1982)-appeared in his first Bollywood film, Teen Patti, in 2010.

Western musicians are breaking into Bollywood, too. American rapper Snoop Dogg performed upon the title track of Singh is Kinng in 2008 and Australian pop star Kylie Minogue performed a manner in Blue in 2009. Senegalese-American music star Akon is reportedly recording a manner for the soundtrack of the upcoming Bollywood superhero accomplish film Ra.One.

Does anyone outdoor of India watch Bollywood movies?

Yes! Bollywood has fans all more than the world. It’s earsplitting in auxiliary parts of South Asia, of course-Pakistan, Bangladesh, Sri Lanka-as skillfully as the perch of Asia, the Middle East, and Africa. Bollywood is beloved in Australia, the quarters of director Baz Lurhmann (of Moulin Rouge fame) who’s a Bollywood filmmaker in simulation! Bollywood movies are routinely in the crate-office severity 10 in the U.K. And Bollywood is every one the rage in Brazil (thanks to a hit Indian-themed television undertaking there, called Caminho das Indias.) Finally, Bollywood is big in Canada, particularly in Toronto, which has a large Indian population. And Americans are finally starting to catch upon to what the in flames of world already knows-that Bollywood is wonderful!

Why don’t more Americans once Bollywood movies?

It’s human flora and fauna to mock what we don’t covenant. Americans are used to watching Hollywood movies, which reflect our cultural values, traditions, and storytelling techniques, and Bollywood movies reflect marginal culture’s values, traditions, and storytelling techniques, which are weird to us. We’ve unfairly maligned Indian cinema because we can’t believe it for settled after that we can our own. We actually have to reach a small thinking once we watch them. Some people locate thinking fun; some don’t.

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