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Bollywood Debuts on American TV

June 2003
Bollywood Debuts on American TV

The Turner Classic Movies - TCM Channel will air 12 Bollywood classics in June.

At Khabar, we have been calling this trend for months now, both in our editorials as well as our cover stories ? the trend of Bollywood's ascent into mainstream America. Now comes a groundbreaking manifestation of the trend as Turner Classic Movies celebrates the world of Indian cinema with a 12-film festival dedicated to "Bollywood".

Beginning June 5 and Co-hosted by filmmaker Ismail Merchant, the festival will focus on the prolific commercial film industry that began in India in the early 1930s and has since gone on to create the most-viewed films in the world. The films in TCM's festival, rarely available to American audiences, represent the grandest and most colorful Bollywood films, from tragi-comic melodramas to romances, containing the over-the-top operatic approach to filmmaking, use of color and elaborate choreography for which the genre is known.

The festival covers films from the early 1950s through the beginning of the 21st century. India produces more than 1,000 feature films and 900 short films every year in several different languages, and the country has the most productive film industry in the world. According to Ismail Merchant, "Bollywood has added a new dimension to entertainment audiences all over the world. It is full of energy and charge, and the TCM move to show these selected films is a great opportunity for viewers to tune into Bollywood."

Included in the festival is DO BIGHA ZAMIEN (1953), one of the most important films in the history of Indian cinema. This black-and-white classic, directed by Bimal Roy, represents an almost documentary-style film that captures the feel of Calcutta, as Roy disregarded the glossy look of the Bombay studios and shot it in the style of the Italian neo-realists.

MOTHER INDIA (1957), an epic melodrama, is probably the best-known Indian film, written and produced by Mehboob Khan. Its archetypal characters, use of music and dramatic template have become the blueprint of Hindi cinema. It was also the first Indian film to be nominated for an Oscar� in the Best Foreign Film category.

SHOLAY (1975), the undisputed all time classic not only defies classification, but rather offers all that is vintage Bollywood ? action, romance, comedy, melodrama, and high drama ? in one highly entertaining film.

DILWALE DULHANIA LE JAYENGE (1995) became one of Bollywood's highest-grossing films of all time and tells the classic boy-meets-girl love story but with a twist. RANGEELA (1997) is a prime example of Hindi cinema from the 1990s and showcases lavishly choreographed dance sequences and wonderful music by the top composer A R Rahman (who has sold more albums than Madonna and Britney Spears put together).



All Times Eastern

Thursday, June 5


11:30 p.m. BOMBAY (1995)

2:00 a.m. AMAR AKBAR ANTHONY (1977)

Thursday, June 12

8 p.m. RANGEELA (1997)

10:30 p.m. DIL CHAHTA HAI (2002)

2 a.m. SHOLAY (1975)

Thursday, June 19

8 p.m. PAKEEZAH (1971)

10:30 p.m. JUNGLEE (1961)

1 a.m. AWAARA (1951)

Thursday, June 26

8 p.m. MOTHER INDIA (1957)

11 p.m. DO BIGHA ZAMEEN (1953)

1:30 a.m. PYAASA (1957)

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