[lg policy] Language policy and practice in the Commonwealth: Linguistic Diversity in 'Bollywood' Cinema

Harold Schiffman hfsclpp at GMAIL.COM
Thu Mar 31 14:46:32 UTC 2011

Language policy and practice in the Commonwealth

Linguistic Diversity in 'Bollywood' Cinema - Monday 28th March 2011

by Lalit Mohan Joshi
documentary filmmaker and Indian film historian

Time: 12.30-2.00 Venue: Room 275, Stewart House University of London,
Malet Street, WC1E 7HU Map: http://www.sas.ac.uk/maps.html

RSVP: Dr Balasubramanyam Chandramohan Visiting Fellow and Series
Organiser, bala.chandra at sas.ac.uk

Cutting across regional linguistic barriers has been the main feature
of Hindi/Hindustani or 'popular' Indian Cinema made, largely, in
Mumbai (controversially called 'Bollywood' cinema).

Although Indian cinema presents a mosaic of productions in Tamil,
Telugu, Malayalam, Bengali, Kannada, Bhojpuri, Oriya and Assamese,
nationally and internationally (except in some countries), it is only
Bollywood that has earned the status of 'popular' Indian Cinema.

In spite of the strong presence of regional Indian cinema, what is it
that makes Bollywood so pivotal in its popular and commercial appeal?
Is linguistic inclusivity the secret of Bollywood? Is linguistic
diversity its key thematic feature or a mere façade for the box
office? What is the secret of the popular appeal of Bollywood in terms
of language? Is it the amalgamation of Hindi and Urdu or is there more
to Bollywood than meets the eye?

Lalit Mohan Joshi’s presentation will include PowerPoint slides and
clips from Bollywood films.

About the Seminar presenter: LALIT MOHAN JOSHI

Lalit Mohan Joshi is a documentary filmmaker and Indian film
historian. He edits South Asian Cinema journal and is the Director of
South Asian Cinema Foundation (SACF). His recent documentaries Jai Ho
Gulzar (2010) and Beyond Partition (2006) have received wide critical
acclaim. His books include Bollywood – Popular Indian Cinema (2002), A
Door to Adoor and India My India and other films by Yavar Abbas
(2010). Presently he is editing a book Light of Asia – Niranjan Pal
and making a documentary on Niranjan Pal.


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