Thursday, March 1, 2018

Song and Dance Bollywood Style

The San Francisco Public Library is pleased to present Dhaval and Gunjan and friends who will rock the Koret Auditorium with their Bollywood singing, from the classics of Rafi, Lata, Kishore and Asha to great songs of the modern era, intermingled with a dance performance to get the groove going. Come sing along with the greatest melodies of all time at 3:00 PM, Saturday, March 3, 2018.

As such a recognizable word and global phenomenon, Bollywood is often incorrectly assumed to be synonymous with Indian cinema. The “Bolly” part of the term refers to Bombay film industry but only which is rooted in the Hindi/Urdu/Hindustani language, which is spoken and understood all across India and Pakistan, perhaps even some parts of Bangladesh. That’s a potential audience close to a billion and a half people, including generations of South Asians living in the global diaspora.

The actors and film playback singers of Bollywood are respected, loved, even revered by the masses. Due to language cross over between India and Pakistan, the Hindi cinema reminds both Indians and Pakistanis that there are things that bind them together culturally against the divisive rhetoric of the politicians. Even where linguistic and political tensions have threatened the unity of India, Hindi cinema, due to its language and magical, immortal songs, has acted as a glue that holds a nation together.

It's not clear who first coined the term Bollywood, but it came to prominence in the 1970s when Indian cinema over took Hollywood in terms of total movies produced each year. Today Bollywood movies are premiered in many western capitals due to the large South Asian populations living in those metropolitan centers. 

Those interested in checking out Indian films DVDs from our collection are welcome to browse our DVDs collection in the foreign language section or do an online catalog subject search  for:

Motion Pictures – Hindi; or
Feature Films – India.

We would like to recommend the following titles in our book collection for those who are interested in learning more about Hindi or Indian cinema.

Funky Bollywood: The Wild World of 1970s Indian Action Cinema: A Selective Guide by Todd Stadtman (FAB Press, 2015).

Encyclopaedia of Indian Cinema by Ashish Rajadhyaksha and Paul Willemen (British Film Institute, 1995).

Bollywood and Postmodernism: Popular Indian Cinema in the 21st Century by Neelam Sidhar Wright (Edinburgh University Press, 2017).

Indian Cinema: A Very Short Introduction by Ashish Rajadhyaksha (Oxford University Press, 2016).

King of Bollywood: Shah Rukh Khan and the Seductive World of Indian Cinema by Anupama Chopra (Warner Books, 2007). [also available as an ebook]
Fingerprinting Popular Culture: The Mythic and The Iconic in Indian Cinema, edited by Vinay Lal and Ashis Nandy (Oxford University Press, 2006).
The Kapoors: The First Family of Indian Cinema by Madhu Jain (Penguin Group, 2005).

Indian Popular Cinema: A Narrative of Cultural Change by K. Moti Gokulsing and Wimal Dissanayake (Sterling, 2004).