Author: Stephen Alter
ISBN/UPC (if available): 81-7223-696-4
Bollywood movies are glorious, colorful spectacles of romance, action, drama, song, and dance. The biggest film industry in the world, Bollywood puts out some nine hundred movies a year, which are watched by passionate fans around the globe.
Stephen Alter—a writer who grew up in India and has inside access to Bollywood—acts as translator and tour guide in this first hand look into the world of Bombay films. Following the making of a Bollywood version of Othello, he explores the enormous popularity of Hindi movies and reveals the actors, directors, musicians, and feats of artifice that make them so compelling and unique. From the blessing ceremony performed each time a movie starts shooting to the secrets behind the song- and-dance extravaganzas, Fantasies of a Bollywood Love-Thief is a beguiling introduction to the rituals and culture of a moviemaking industry so similar to and yet utterly different from the west
Indian cinema goes by the shorthand Bollywood, which refers to Hindi-language films produced in Mumbai. The style of filmmaking is distinct—elaborate plots, lots of song and dance and colorful costumes. It's got its own celebrities, and a fan base bigger than the combined population of Europe and America. Producing more than 900 movies a year, Bollywood is an exotic mystery to Westerners.
Alter lives and works in India; he's a natural guide into this complex world. He explains that Bollywood films are made by entrepreneurs rather than studios, with hit songs propelling the films, and along the way discusses the plots, the stars and the creators. Because romance is a key plot device, the love thief, a character who steals another's heart, boasts enduring appeal. Much of the book is devoted to the making of Omkara, an updated, uniquely Indian take on Shakespeare's Othello. Alter clearly loves the medium and sprinkles in a history of this fascinating industry
A Lively romp through the fascinating world of Hindi Cinema, this work tracks the making of Omkara, Vishal Bhardwaj's highly acclaimed adaptation of Shakespeare's Othello, from the hours-long script narration for the actors to the star-studied premiere, interspersed with interviews with Bollywood"s best-known directors, lyricists, producers and actors, including Gulzar, Javed Akhtar, Madhur Bhandarkar and the inimitable Dev Anand, Alter's account of behind the scenes Bolloywood is informative, insightful and often quite funny.
Alter is a natural guide into this complex world.
- Publisher's Weekly
Alter, the author of numerous nonfiction books on India proves to be a singularly intelligent and insightful guide through Indian cinema. His text will appeal to both general and more specialized audiences.
- Library Journal
Best of all is his analysis of how Indian filmmakers combine the classics of Western literature and Indian folk traditions to create the uniquely vibrant and tirelessly crowd-pleasing thrust of the typical Bollywood epic.
- Kirkus Reviews.
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