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Bollywood: An Introduction (Merrill Memorial Library in Yarmouth)
October 10, 2023 @ 7:00 pm - 8:30 pm EDT
India’s commercial Hindi-language cinema, popularly known as “Bollywood,” is the world’s largest film industry. Each year, it far outpaces Hollywood in terms of films produced and tickets sold. In fact, estimates suggest that compared to Hollywood, Bollywood produces hundreds more films annually and that its lead in ticket sales stretches beyond half a billion. Bollywood films are popular throughout the world including in the Middle East, Africa, and Asia, markets where Hollywood has struggled to find its footing. Yet, despite its global influence, many Americans have never seen a Bollywood film. Those that have often find their appeal elusive since their artistic norms differ so markedly from Hollywood’s.
This talk will introduce viewers who are curious about or new to Bollywood to the global power of this industry, its unique cinematic style, and its history. It will also consider the relationship between Hollywood and Bollywood and reject the notion that when compared to the west, Bollywood represents a lower form of cinema.
Jonathan J. Cavallero is Associate Professor and Chair of Rhetoric, Film, and Screen Studies at Bates College and the Founding Director of the Bates Film Festival. He has taught courses on Bollywood for 15 years starting at Penn State University and continuing at the University of Arkansas and Bates College. He is the author of Hollywood’s Italian American Filmmakers: Capra, Scorsese, Savoca, Coppola, and Tarantino, and his writing has appeared in many scholarly journals. He holds a B.A. from Georgetown University, an M.A. from Penn State University, and a Ph.D. from Indiana University – Bloomington. He lives in Yarmouth, Maine, with his family.