Masala films generally fall under the musical film genre, of which Indian cinema has been the largest producer since the 1960s when it exceeded the American film
industry’s total musical output after musical films declined in the West; the first Indian musical talkie was Alam Ara (1931), several years after the first Hollywood musical talkie The Jazz Singer (1927).
Hindi cinema can be insular, and relatives of film-industry figures have an edge in obtaining coveted roles in films or being part of a film crew.
Around the same time, filmmakers and actors from the Calcutta film industry began migrating to Bombay; as a result, Bombay became the center of Hindustani-language film production.
 Influence of Hindi cinema India Perhaps Hindi cinema’s greatest influence has been on India’s national identity, where (with the rest of Indian cinema) it has become
part of the “Indian story”.
Although most early Bombay films were unabashedly escapist, a number of filmmakers tackled tough social issues or used the struggle for Indian independence as a backdrop for
 Bollywood has long influenced Indian society and culture as the biggest entertainment industry; many of the country’s musical, dancing, wedding and fashion trends are
 Very few non-Indian actors are able to make a mark in Hindi cinema, although many have tried.
“ Contemporary mainstream films also use English; according to the article “Bollywood Audiences Editorial”, “English has begun to challenge the ideological work done
 Film critics polled by the British magazine Sight & Sound included several of Dutt’s films in a 2002 list of greatest films, and Time’s All-Time 100 Movies lists
Pyaasa as one of the greatest films of all time.
Bollywood fashion trendsetters have included Hindi films have also had a socio-political impact on Indian society, reflecting Indian politics.
 The most popular commercial genre in Hindi cinema since the 1970s has been the masala film, which freely mixes different genres including action, comedy, romance, drama
and melodrama along with musical numbers.
 Bollywood plays a major role, however, in Indian fashion.
During the 2000s, Hindi cinema began influencing musical films in the Western world and was instrumental role in reviving the American musical film.
Virdi notes that although Urdu was widely used in classic Hindi cinema decades after partition because it was widely taught in pre-partition India, its use has declined in
modern Hindi cinema: “The extent of Urdu used in commercial Hindi cinema has not been stable … the ultimate victory of Hindi in the official sphere has been more or less complete.
 Todd Stadtman identifies several foreign influences on 1970s commercial Bollywood masala films, including New Hollywood, Italian exploitation films, and Hong Kong martial
 Scholar Brigitte Schulze has written that Indian films, most notably Mehboob Khan’s Mother India (1957), played a key role in shaping the Republic of India’s national
identity in the early years after independence from the British Raj; the film conveyed a sense of Indian nationalism to urban and rural citizens alike.
 Themes from the Independence Movement deeply influenced Bombay film directors, screen-play writers, and lyricists, who saw their films in the context of social reform
and the problems of the common people.
 It brought back the template for Bollywood musical romance films which went on to define 1990s Hindi cinema.
 Before the Partition, the Bombay film industry was closely linked to the Lahore film industry (now the Pakistani film industry also known as “Lollywood”); both produced
films in Hindustani (also known as Hindi-Urdu), the lingua franca of northern and central India.
 With a great demand for talkies and musicals, Hindustani cinema (as Hindi cinema was then known as) and the other regional film industries quickly switched to sound
 In 2017, Indian cinema produced 1,986 feature films, of which the largest number, 364 have been in Hindi.
Alongside commercial masala films, a distinctive genre of art films known as parallel cinema has also existed, presenting realistic content and avoidance of musical numbers.
 A film’s music and song and dance portions are usually produced first and these are often released before the film itself, increasing its audience.
 Most stars from the 2000s continued successful careers into the next decade, and the 2010s saw a new generation of popular actors in different films.
 Mehboob Khan’s Mother India (1957), a remake of his earlier Aurat (1940), was the first Indian film nominated for the Academy Award for Best Foreign Language Film; it
lost by a single vote.
 Hindi cinema is one of the largest centres for film production in the world.
Hindi cinema, popularly known as Bollywood and formerly as Bombay cinema, refers to the film industry based in Mumbai, engaged in production of motion pictures in Hindi
Its critical and commercial success led to the emergence of a genre known as Mumbai noir: urban films reflecting the city’s social problems.
 “Bollywood” has since inspired a long list of Hollywood-inspired nicknames.
 The film tackled contemporary issues, especially those arising from the Indian Independence movement, and went on to become “the longest running hit of Indian cinema”,
a title it held till the 1970s.
 During the late 1960s and early 1970s, the industry was dominated by musical romance films with romantic-hero leads.
 Written and produced by Dilip Kumar, Gunga Jumna was a dacoit crime drama about two brothers on opposite sides of the law (a theme which became common in Indian films
during the 1970s).
The blend of Hindi and English sometimes heard in modern Hindi films, known as Hinglish, has become increasingly common.
Many Asian Underground artists, particularly those among the overseas Indian diaspora, have also been inspired by Bollywood music.
 Although the art film bent of the Film Finance Corporation was criticised during a 1976 Committee on Public Undertakings investigation which accused the corporation
of not doing enough to encourage commercial cinema, the decade saw the rise of commercial cinema with films such as Sholay (1975) which consolidated Amitabh Bachchan’s position as a star.
Their critical acclaim and the latter’s commercial success paved the way for Indian neorealism and the Indian New Wave (synonymous with parallel cinema).
It is true that many Urdu words have survived and have become part of Hindi cinema’s popular vocabulary.
The industry is a part of the larger Indian cinema, which also includes South Indian cinema and other smaller film industries.
Bollywood films are also notorious for lack or less of Foley sound, due to which most of the times audience don’t experience all the sounds from objects on screen.
Golden age (late 1940s–1960s) The period from the late 1940s to the early 1960s, after India’s independence, is regarded by film historians as the Golden Age of Hindi cinema.
 After the success of Bruce Lee films (such as Enter the Dragon) in India, Deewaar (1975) and other Bollywood films incorporated fight scenes inspired by 1970s martial
arts films from Hong Kong cinema until the 1990s.
A large Indian diaspora in English-speaking countries and increased Western influence in India have nudged Bollywood films closer to Hollywood.
 The decade marked the entrance of new performers in art and independent films, some of which were commercially successful.
 Known since the 1990s as “New Bollywood”, contemporary Bollywood is linked to economic liberalization in India during the early 1990s.
Usually Hindi film’s makers do not write Foley artist’s name in end credits.
New Hindi cinema (1990s–2000s) Hindi cinema experienced another period of stagnation during the late 1980s with a box-office decline due to increasing violence, a decline
in musical quality, and a rise in video piracy.
Since many Bollywood films are shot abroad, many foreign extras are employed.
The films explored social themes, primarily dealing with working-class life in India (particularly urban life) in the first two examples.
 During the 2010s, the industry saw established stars such as making big-budget masala films with much-younger actresses.
 Studies have indicated that some people, unaware that changing fashion in Bollywood films is often influenced by globalisation, consider the clothes worn by Bollywood
actors as authentically Indian.
 Some of the most critically acclaimed Hindi films of all time were produced during this time.
 These events further consolidated the Bombay film industry’s position as the preeminent center for film production in India.
“ Although Bollywood plots feature Westernised urbanites dating and dancing in clubs rather than pre-arranged marriages, traditional Indian culture continues to exist
outside the industry and is an element of resistance by some to Western influences.
• Western musical television (particularly MTV), which has had an increasing influence since the 1990s.
While commercial Hindi cinema was thriving, the 1950s also saw the emergence of a parallel cinema movement.
Parallel cinema films tended to be less popular at the box office.
Its pace, camera angles, dance sequences and music may be seen in 2000s Indian films.
 Some of the best-known epic films of Hindi cinema were also produced at this time, such as K. Asif’s Mughal-e-Azam (1960).
 Another centre of Hindustani-language film production was the Bengal film industry in Calcutta, Bengal Presidency (now Kolkata, West Bengal), which produced Hindustani-language
films and local Bengali language films.
In more recent years, the distinction between commercial masala and parallel cinema has been gradually blurring, with an increasing number of mainstream films adopting the
conventions which were once strictly associated with parallel cinema.
 Mother India defined conventional Hindi cinema for decades.
 “Bollywood” was probably invented in Bombay-based film trade journals in the 1960s or 1970s, though the exact inventor varies by account.
Main distributors: AA Films, Dharma Productions, Eros International, Excel Entertainment, Star Studios, Red Chillies Entertainment, Reliance Entertainment, Tips Industries,
UTV Motion Pictures, Viacom18 Studios, Yash Raj Films, Zee Studios; Produced feature films (2017): Total: 364 The term Bollywood “Bollywood” is a portmanteau derived from Bombay (the former name of Mumbai) and “Hollywood”, a shorthand
reference for the American film industry which is based in Hollywood, California.
 Although the movement (emphasising social realism) was led by Bengali cinema, it also began gaining prominence in Hindi cinema.
 Some of the largest production houses, among them Yash Raj Films and Dharma Productions were the producers of new modern films.
 Characters may shift from one language to the other to evoke a particular atmosphere (for example, English in a business setting and Hindi in an informal one).
Matthew Jones of De Montfort University also identifies the Sanskrit concept of rasa, or “the emotions felt by the audience as a result of the actor’s presentation”, as crucial
to Bollywood films.
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Varia, Kush (31 January 2013). Bollywood: Gods, Glamour, and Gossip. Columbia University Press. p. 33. ISBN 978-0-231-50260-3. The specific use of Hindi/Urdu has shifted through
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not been stable… Although the shift was gradual and two generations communicated with each other through a blend of Urdu and Hindi, known as Hindustani, the ultimate victory of Hindi in the official sphere has been more or less complete… The decline
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