Some people don’t like the term Bollywood, feeling that it suggests that Indian cinema is just a kind of appendage of Hollywood. But it’s in wide circulation, sometimes taken to refer to modern Indian cinema in general, more specifically the output of the film industry based in the city of Mumbai or Bombay – hence the name – and particularly to a style of Hindi-language movie, exuberant, colourful, musical, spectacular, romantic, and enormously popular. Actually Bollywood dwarfs Hollywood in the number of films produced every year, and the passion they arouse in their fans, and Bollywood cinema is having a growing impact around the world, on audiences and on other film-makers. Today we explore Bollywood as a phenomenon, to ask where it comes from, and the part it plays in Indian, international and global culture.
Talking Bollywood with Douglas Kerr are Priyanka Jain, a Bollywood enthusiast who is familiar to RTHK listeners as one of the presenters of the programme Cultural Dimsums, and Richard Allen, Dean of the School of Creative Media at City University, a theorist and historian of film.