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Bollywood History

A General History of Bollywood
by

Amber Johnson

on 21 April 2010

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Transcript of Bollywood History

The Beginning (1900) Around 1900, film had just barely begun to reach India. The movies were all short, silent and black and white.
In May of 1913, the very first full-length Indian silent film was made - called Raja Harishchandra. It is a story about a king who loses his kingsom as a test from the fairies to see if he is a worthy king - and eventually and wins back his kingdom. The film used 3700 feet of film! Raja Harishchandra is considered the start of Indian filmmaking. "Talkies" Sound film in the 1900s were called "talkies," and the first one ever created by Indian entertainers was called "Alam Ara." Alam Ara is a story about a king’s daughter (named Alam Ara) who is banished by the queen at an early age to be raised by nomads. Alam Ara must take back the crown with the help of her nomad family and friends, and eventually marries a prince. The film was a huge hit. The success of Alam Ara was what really started the film industry off in 1931. Social Unrest As sound film's popularity increased in the 1930s, and 40's, The Great Depression, WWII, and India’s gaining independence, were all causing a lot of turmoil in India. Many people used movies as a way to escape the realities of life, and there was no attempt to hide the “unrealistic” quality of the films; they were purely for 'getting away from it all.' The Golden Age The 1950s brought color films with it,
but people preferred the black and white!
It took about fifteen years before people
started to shift over to the color movies.
Most of the movies being made were
melodramas or romances – or both. Almost all Indian films use singing and dancing as their medium of storytelling because of the influence from Sanskrit dramas, which were traditionally told through dance and song. The 1960s The 1960s were much more focused on action and adventure than the 50s. The 60s relied on literature for their plots, and the film industry began to have a change in focus. Before, filmmaking was about making flashy, fantastic worlds. During the 60s the focus was on more enduring, sincere artistry. The Seventies Mid-seventies, the films began to get more violent, gritty, and often had plots centered around gang violence or mafia. Present Day! Bollywood has come far from it's origins; it has been known for it's huge output (about 1200 movies/year, compared to Hollywood's 700) and poor quality films.

Lately, however, Bollywood has begun to reach out to the foreign world, with special effects teams like the ones that worked on Godzilla coming in to help improve the quality. Bollywood has gone up in quality in recent years, and are even beginning to make a name for themselves outside of India with films like Blue, Om Shanti Om, and Krrish - India's first super hero movie. Influences include Hollywood and traditional Indian storytelling.. How "Bollywood" Came to Be "Bollywood" is actually is a term for the Hindi film industry in Mubai/Bombay in India. It is a mixture of "Hollywood" and "Bombay;" early in the 1930s, West Bengal cinema was called "Tollywood." Later, in the 1970s, the term "Bollywood" was coined after the tradition of the Tollywood naming. Bollywood was recognized only after it succeeded Hollywood in outputting movies. So when filmmakers saw how successful sound film could be, they all switched over to "talkies" right away. The first experimental sound film NEIGH. The "Golden Age" of Bollywood was between the late 1940s and the 1960s. The films produced in this time were popular and socially aware. They often commented on things like urban life and began to influence western culture. The 'classics' of Bollywood were produced during this time. Mostly the same actors and actresses circulated the film industry during the 70s and into the early 80s. The theme was similar in content - all were realitic, more down-to-earth films than previously. 80's and 90's Around this time, film turned back to the classic, family-centered and romantic plots like the original 30s. Realistic potrayal of life was less important than making a gaudy, flashy piece of art. This and independent films gave the rising generation a way of getting into the film business and making their own careers. THE END A HISTORY OF BOLLYWOOD (That's Maybe Longer Than it Should Be) (Sorry)
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