Monday, December 5, 2011

Dev Anand, 1923-2011

If you're reading this in the United States, you might well have missed the news of the passing of actor Dev Anand on Saturday, at the age of 88. I only heard it because I like to listen to international broadcasters and heard the report on All-India Radio's English service. The obvious reason that Anand would be almost completely unknown to American audiences is because he was a prominent actor in Bollywood.

Bollywood is a subject I don't know that much about other than the stereotypes of Indian cinemagoers loving lavish musical numbers in places of their movies where American audiences wouldn't expect one. I think my first exposure to a Bollywood movie came many years ago back when the local PBS channel was airing classic films from around the world in the late slot on Saturday nights. (I think that would be the same place where I saw The Cranes Are Flying and Ikiru.) I didn't stay up for the end of the particular Indian movie they were showing, largely because it didn't seem to make much sense to me. Granted, I was too young to get what was going on, and certainly too young to appreciate the musical numbers -- although, as I think I've said elsewhere, I'm still not the biggest fan of musicals.

The other aspect of foreign film I'd like to learn a bit more about is "Nollywood", which is the nickname given to the collect movie production of Nigeria. As I understand it, the most common means of distribution is direct-to-video, with movies having a shelf life of only a few weeks before pirated copies start to take over the market. This means that the movies have to be produced on a shoestring budget to recoup the production costs, and a large number of movies are produced. (I think the established production capabilities of Bollywood and Nollywood both produce more normal films than Hollywood does these days, although Hollywood's total likely doesn't include adult films, which are probably the biggest genre of movies produced.)

1 comment:

Sandeep said...

My love and best wishes to a soul who had charmed his way to the heats of every film lover. A Hero of Hearts we will remember you as long a Hindi movies exist. We loved you and will continue to love you.