I alluded to money being a roadblock to amateur research in my post about Songkran and I would like to expand on that topic. I will be using the current pop cultural scene I inhabit. This past week was probably one of the worst to be an amateur anthropologist.
A glass of beer in any Indian bar is usually enjoyed beneath an elevated television screening back to back filmi music videos. In much of the country — particularly the north, the center, and in Mumbai — travelers can expect to encounter Bollywood at every turn. Taking the time to watch a few of the most popular movies is like finding the key to a secret box of delights; suddenly, there are names to those faces on the posters, songs to sing along to and friendly debates to be had over masala chai.
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No other art form is as effective in influencing public consciousness and as articulate in reflecting prevailing attitudes as cinema. Considering this power of the silver screen and its wide reach, a scan of typical portrayals of Russians in the two leading film industries of the world — Hollywood and Hindi films, aka Bollywood, indicates their perceptions of Russia. Sylvester Stallone starrer Rocky IV is a classic application of this formula.
Mr Wilson, a keen amateur thespian, initially agreed to help research Sir Arthur Conan Doyle's links to India and the role India played in a novel that has inspired several screen adaptations. In Viswanathan's Indian version, a detective called Prashant Saigal is investigating a series of murders but hits a dead end. He seeks inspiration from the iconic British detective and - in true Bollywood fashion - Holmes emerges from a misty river to come to his assistance, complete with cape and pipe.
All film lovers, amateur and professional, no matter how well-versed, have gaps in their movie knowledge. For me, one category in which I lack, and which nags at me the most, is Bollywood. Everything works out in the end. Regardless of the gravity of some of its situations, the movie maintains a consistent cheery glossiness and is lit in the manner of a particularly lifestyle-opulent hip-hop music video like the Notorious B.
Get your buns out of bed! Food for thought. Mix and match your falafel flavors when ordering a platter.
Posted October 16, The parade will be led by the New South Wales Police Band members who have been rehearsing Bollywood numbers for the night. Mr Parida left his home in Orissa for the bright lights of the Mumbai film industry when he was 18 because his family would not support his ambitions to become a dancer. Mr Parida, who had a storied career in over a dozen Bollywood productions, emigrated from India four years ago.