Play Live Radio
Next Up:
0:00
0:00
Available On Air Stations
KPBS Midday Edition

Cinema Junkie Episode 213: Hooray For Bollywood, Part 1

“Dilwale Dulhania Le Jayenge” (1995) played for more than a thousand weeks in one cinema, attesting to the popularity of Bollywood films.
Sony Network Entertainment
“Dilwale Dulhania Le Jayenge” (1995) played for more than a thousand weeks in one cinema, attesting to the popularity of Bollywood films.

Podcast defines Bollywood Cinema and looks to its golden age

There is nothing quite like a Bollywood film. It’s about impossibly gorgeous stars, deliciously overripe melodrama, spectacular production numbers, an explosion of colors, and music with such an irresistible beat that even someone with two left feet feels inspired to get up and dance. This month, in honor of Indian Independence, I look to Bollywood cinema. In order to tackle the huge expanse of Bollywood film I decided to invite the trio of Moviewallas podcasters --Yazdi Pithavala, Rashmi Gandhi, and Joseph Djan -- onto the show. In Part 1 we define what makes a Bollywood film and look to its golden era. For a list of all the films discussed, go to bit.ly/CJBollywood1. And joining us for Share Your Addiction and Cold Turkey is Nora Fiore, the Nitrate Diva. Plus, check out the latest Geeky Gourmet video where you can learn how to make Bollywood popcorn as you watch some Indian films. Here's the Geeky Gourmet playlist on the KPBS YouTube Channel: https://bit.ly/CJGeekyGourmet And if you'd like to contribute your own Share Your Addiction or Cold Turkey, then just email baccomando@kpbs.org and put Share Your Addiction in the subject line.

This month, in honor of Indian Independence (Aug. 15), I look to Bollywood cinema. I adore Bollywood films and the unabashed way they embrace certain tropes and formulas. They deliver exactly what you expect but in the most seductively over-the-top and wildly fun manner.

Bollywood films are quite simply intoxicating. They offer a kind of sensory overload as colors and music explode on screen.

With upwards of 1,800 releases a year, India is the world's largest producer of films and the second oldest film industry. Mumbai (previously called Bombay) is one of the largest film industries in the world. The Hindi film industry is referred to as Bollywood, a blend of the city's former name Bombay and Hollywood. Like Hollywood, Bollywood is driven by film studios, a star system and a desire to make pop entertainment. Bollywood does not refer to all films made in India but rather mostly to Hindi language films that offer escapist fare that is usually fueled by melodrama and spectacular musical numbers.

In order to tackle the subject of Bollywood Cinema I decided to invite Moviewallas podcasters Yazdi Pithavala, Rashmi Gandhi, and Joseph Djan onto the show. In part one of Hooray for Bollywood we look to the history of Bollywood Cinema and then in part two we look to modern Bollywood films.

Check out the companion Geeky Gourmet video and learn how to make Bollywood popcorn.

Geeky Gourmet: Bollywood Popcorn

Plus enjoy Nora Fiore, the Nitrate Diva, as she shares her rants and raves with Share Your Addiction and Cold Turkey.

If you would like to submit a Share Your Addiction or Cold Turkey, then email me at baccomando@kpbs.org and put Share Your Addiction in the subject line.

"Sholay" (1975) is often cited as the best example of Bollywood filmmaking.
Dimension Pictures
"Sholay" (1975) is often cited as the best example of Bollywood filmmaking.

Viewing list for Part One

• “Mahal” (1949)

• “Awaara” (1951)

• “Devdas” (1955)

• “Do Ankhen Barah Haath” (1957)

• “Pyaasa” (1957)

• “Mother India” (1957)

• “Naya Daur” (1957):

• “Madhumati” (1958)

• “Chalti Ka Naam Gaadi” (1958)

• “Kagaz Ke Phool” (1959)

• “Mughal-E-Azam” (1960)

• “Junglee” (1961)

• “Hum Dono” (1961)

• “Sahib, Bibi Aur Ghulam” (1962)

• “Bandini” (1963)

• “Sangam” (1964)

• “Guide” (1965)

• “Gumnaam” (1965)

• “Waqt” (1965)

• “Teesri Manzil” (1966)

• “Jewel Thief” (1967)

• “Pakeezah” (1968)

• “Mera Naam Joker” (1970)

• “Anand” (1971)

• “Aradhana” (1971)

• “Bobby” (1973)

• “Sholay” (1975)

• “Deewaar” (1975)

• “Amar Akbar Anthony” (1977)

• “Shaan” (1980)

• “Mr. India” (1987)

• “Dilwale Dulhania Le Jayenge” (1995)

• “Dil Se…” (1998)

• “Hum Dil De Chuke Sanam” (1999)

• “Devdas” (2002)

• “Swades” (2004)

• “Luck By Chance” (2009)

• “AndhaDhun” (2018)

Production kudos to podcast coordinator Kinsee Morlan, technical director Rebecca Chacon and director of sound design Emily Jankowski.