Indian Film Music

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Information about Indian Film Music

Published on June 26, 2007

Author: JJMiller


Slide1:  National Geographic magazineFebruary 2005by Suketu Mehta Photographs by William Albert Allard :  National Geographic magazine February 2005 by Suketu Mehta Photographs by William Albert Allard For sheer pizzazz—and number of pictures produced—India's over-the-top film industry, known as Bollywood, easily out-hollywoods Hollywood. So why don’t I know about Bollywood?:  So why don’t I know about Bollywood? Most Westerners have never even seen a Bollywood film. Yet India’s film industry is the largest in the world. In 2003 Hollywood produced 600 films Bollywood produced 1,100 films About one third were in Hindi, India’s official language Indian films draw an audience of 3.6 billion Hollywood films draw an audience of about 2.6 billion How do the films differ?:  How do the films differ? Most Indian films are about 3 hours long, big extravaganzas where stars frequently break into elaborate song and dance numbers Plots are far-fetched, built on coincidences and unrealistic expectations Actors change costumes (from saris to miniskirts, from business suits to kurtas) and locations (from the beaches of Goa to the mountains of Switzerland) multiples times within a single song Fans of Indian films want to enter a magical realm where the impossible is possible, where true love conquers all, and where history is defeated by sentiment Slide5:  Slum dwellers make up 60% of Mumbai's population, that is approximately 7 million people Greater Mumbai, including Salsette Island, occupies an area of 240 square miles and it has a density of 16500 people per square mile Slide6:  The films often never mention politics, show no poverty, and have no wars. The grim social realities of India are simply not ingredients in the Bollywood formula. The secret to Bollywood’s worldwide appeal (according to one famous filmmaker) is that its films are 'wholesome' Indian government gives awards for 'Best Film for Providing Popular and Wholesome Entertainment' To dream….:  To dream…. Every Hindi film has an impossible dream, but you like to believe that it’s possible…that you can go to a temple and if you’re blind, you’ll get your eyes back. Elements of Bollywood films?:  Elements of Bollywood films? Romantic plots Lavish costumes and sets Catchy songs sung in exotic locales In Hollywood, they call these films 'musicals'. Here every film is a musical. Unapologetic entertainment Wholesome?:  Wholesome? In most Bollywood films if two lovers want to thwart an arranged marriage, they can’t just elope; they have to win over the disapproving parents. New film: Veer-Zaara The two lovers never even touch each other except in a fantasy song sequence. No kissing even Veer Zaara  Veer Zaara The love story is between and Indian and a Pakistani The movie never mentions the politics of the India-Pakistan relationship Makes only passing references to religion Shows no poverty Has no wars or even fistfights Slide11:  Primping to look their best, dance students flown in from Chandigarh prepare for an elaborate Punjabi folk dance sequence at Film City, a movie-studio complex outside Mumbai (Bombay). The movie, Veer-Zaara, involves a young couple's thwarted courtship, a stock theme in Bollywood films. Slide12:  Cinematographer Anil Mehta prepares to shoot a scene for the film Veer-Zaara on a flower farm in northern India. As in most Bollywood films, music plays a prominent role. Songs are often written, recorded, and released long before a movie's opening. If well received, the tunes can help generate big box-office success. Amitabh Bachchan:  Amitabh Bachchan Famous Bollywood Actor 'Greatest star of stage or screen' in a BBC online vote in 1999; His is recognized by far more people in sheer numbers, on the planet, than any other film personality ever. Slide14:  Amitabh Bachchan   India's number one Bollywood hero more than 100 films over three decades made his name in the seventies as an action hero, but remains much loved today was born in Allahabad, Uttar Pradesh and became particularly known for thrillers like Sharaabi (1984) and Coolie (1983). When he was seriously injured during the filming of Coolie, much of the Indian public offered prayers for his recovery. retired from films for 10 years ago after a stint in politics he made a comeback with films like Lal Badshah (1998) and Mrityudaata (1997) From BBC article, 1999Your Top 10 Greatest Stars of Stage and Screen::  From BBC article, 1999 Your Top 10 Greatest Stars of Stage and Screen: 1.Amitabh Bachchan 2.Sir Lawrence Olivier 3.Sir Alec Guinness 4.Charlie Chaplin 5.Homer Simpson 6.Robert De Niro 7.Cary Grant 8.Buster Keaton 9. Marylin Monroe 10.Govinda Slide16:      The politician had spent hundreds of thousands of rupees buying puppies and training them. He had many books about dogs on his table. I asked Shah Rukh if he was expected to act as the dog. In answer, he scratched his ear rapidly with his paw.' -Suketu Mehta 'Hanging out with Shah Rukh Khan was great fun. He told me about the kind of bizarre scripts people propose to him. In one story idea given to him by a politician, Shah Rukh's character dies. But there is no human body available for reincarnation. So he is born again as a dog. After nine months, he falls in love with a woman. Slide17:  Hand-painted billboards—once heavily used to promote big hits—loom outside artist Balkrishna Vaidya's studio in Mumbai. Vaidya had a thriving business before technology eclipsed this diminishing art form. Most of the huge and ubiquitous billboards in India's major cities are now made on computer-printed vinyl. Slide18:  At a tent cinema in the village of Sangola, Bhiwaji Maane gets ready for the next show by manually rewinding the film. Housed in structures made of thick tarpaulin, tent cinemas provide entertainment to poor rural audiences in India's less populated regions. The theater has four screenings a day. Tickets are ten rupees—about 25 cents. Slide19:  He always played the bad guy—and the public loved him for it. Before his recent death at age 72 from a brain hemorrhage, popular actor Amrish Puri proved that you can go a long way as a villain. He was best known to American audiences as Indiana Jones's arch nemesis, Mola Ram, in Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom. But Puri preferred Bollywood to Hollywood. He was in 212 films during his more than 30 years as an actor. Bollywood adds spice to Austen :  Bollywood adds spice to Austen   Bollywood is not confined to the telling of timeless Hindi and Persian tales; classic English literature can also be given the Bollywood touch. As the October 2004 release of Bride and Prejudice proved, this twist can be highly successful. Upon release, the film whizzed straight to the box-office top spot in both the U.K. and Ireland.   As can be guessed by the title, Bride and Prejudice is an adaptation of the famous Jane Austen novel Pride and Prejudice. Though not a quintessential Bollywood movie (it is in English for a start), it proves that Bollywood-style movies are successfully breaking down the wall that separates them from their namesake Hollywood. A further testament to its success: Googling the film brought over a 100,000 hits.   Bride stars Aishwarya Rai, who is featured in our magazine article, a former Miss World and well-known Bollywood star. This was her first film entirely in English. No pasta required: strictly a curry Western:  No pasta required: strictly a curry Western The Western theme has been given many twists, most notably that of the so-called spaghetti Western. There is also the Indian, or curry Western, as embodied by the ´70s-era film Sholay. Though longer than John Wayne's swagger at over three hours, it bears all the essentials of Bollywood, including the trademark song and dance scenes. Amitabh Bachchan, the Bollywood superstar featured in our magazine, is one of Sholay's many stars.   When it was released on Indian Independence Day in 1975, Sholay proved any nay-sayers who thought the curry Western would never succeed absolutely wrong. It remained India's highest grossing movie for over 20 years.   Because its story line was relatively familiar to Western audiences, Sholay was one of the first Bollywood movies in what was traditionally a Hollywood genre to find success. Slide22:  Slide23:  Law number one is the simplest and, says Ashutosh Gowariker, the young director of Lagaan, is taught to all Indians in their infancy. 'Our mothers lean over us in the cot,' he tells me with a chuckle, 'and whisper in our ears, 'All movies shall have songs and dances.'' Your text says::  '…a curious and sometimes bizarre blend of East and West. Choppy and hyperactive melodies often in ‘oriental’ scales are belted out by nasal singers over Latin rhythms and an eclectic accompaniment…virtually all movies have songs that periodically interrupt the plot with MTV-like visuals in exotic settings or elaborate song -and-dance production numbers.' Your text says: Bollywood use of music:  Bollywood use of music All songs are lip-synced Actual lyrics are recorded by studio playback singers (often become musical stars in their own right) The soundtracks pave the way for the release of the films part of a pre-release blitz to build an audience for the upcoming film Asoka:  Asoka 2001 150 minutes (not so long!) Based on a true story, Asoka is the spectacular epic adventure of one man’s transformation through the power of love. As the Emperor of one of India’s great dynasties in the third century BC., Asoka is a brutal and unmerciful warrior monarch whose life is redeemed through the love of two women. Renouncing his violent past, he devotes the rest of his life to spreading Buddha’s message of love and compassion to the world. Filled with action, political intrigue, and a timeless romance, Asoka is a timely lesson on the power of war to change our lives forever. Rated R: violence is permissible, sex is not

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