Last night on BBC Four there was an excellent show presented by Sanjeev Bhaskar, around the history of Bollywood cinema. It was a great introduction and exploration into such a vast cinematic landscape. Perfect for a newcomer such as myself, where Bollywood can be difficult to know where to begin (with an Indian girlfriend too, I really should take more notice of this entire ‘genre’ of film!).
Splicing footage from the films, his travels round India and interviews with the writers, directors and performers themselves, it gave a great insight into the highs and lows of Bollywood. The future looks bright, as it is one of the few areas in the world where Hollywood popularity is decreasing, and homegrown talent can start right from the ground up. With films like The Lunchbox reaching audiences far beyond India itself, being met with critical acclaim, it’s fairly certain that this creative and vibrant film industry will continue to go from strength to strength.
The link to watch it is here, it’s up for a month. Those outside the UK may have to be cheeky and find another way to see it.
The BBC blurb is as follows;
Indian cinema has the largest audience of any art form on the planet.
With a population of over a billion, India has recently enjoyed an economic boom and its movie stars are treated like deities. Today theirfame stretches across the diaspora, in what has become a truly global industry.
As Indian cinema celebrates its centenary, Sanjeev Bhaskar travels across the subcontinent to get under the skin of the Indian movie business as never before.
From young hopefuls in the slums of Mumbai to superstars like Kareena Kapoor and Aamir Khan, he meets the stars of the silver screen and the people behind the scenes – legendary producers, directors, musicians and choreographers – exploring the stories behind some of the greatest films ever made.
Sanjeev grew up in west London, with Indian films providing the backdrop to his childhood, and in a warm and nostalgic live performance, Sanjeev takes us on a personal journey through the most chaotic and intriguing entertainment industry on the planet.