Saturday, February 5, 2011

Reading Bollywood--still

This image is what I conjure in my head when I think of Bollywood--or at least the type of Bollywood most folks know. This famous dance from the movie Dil Se by director Mani Ratnam is famous for many reasons--first off this train dance scene that was done on a moving train, and for the introduction of ARRahman to the Bollywood movie industry and then to the world.
This image is also one that I have tried to grab for many years--it also graces the cover of a book by Nasreen Munni Kabir. This book was published a number of years ago to accompany a BBC look at the Bollywood movie industry--it was written about the time many Bollywood movie directors/producers/actors had discovered that England was a great place to film movies--as well as with its diaspora population, a fertile ground for its movies. I had seen this book mentioned in many of the other books I had read, referred to by more authors than I could count--but it was forever elusive--it fetched over $100 at most used book sources--oftentimes it was running well over $200!!--a bit rich for my blood. Until the day I saw it listed, with shipping from England, for less than $20US!!! Well---even though my budget was tight, I knew I needed to grab it!! And am I ever glad I did.

Ms. Kabir's breezy and informative style has caused me to want to do yet more reading/re-reading of the many books I have on Bollywood---including some of those that I have, but were a bit dense to read--her references and interviews with stars and directors and other behind the scene folks has given me much insight. I have one minor complaint--as a historian, I love my footnotes, endnotes , and bibliography. Ms. Kabir will often quote pretty well know books and cite them within the context of her text--but I still want my stuff in easy access. Just ask my kid--when I get a new book that is non-fiction--the first thing I look at is the bibliography, then the notes then--I begin to read!

This is one great book for general reference and information--it will also give you many more movies you will want to see!

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