Joined: 31 January 2006
Nice and right on the money. I saw it in today's Hindustan Times (newspaper) and felt like posting it here. He makes some valid points:
At the India Today Conclave, many people asked Karan whether he wanted an Oscar. Others wanted to know when India would produce a Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon or some kind of crossover film which would reach mainstream Western audiences. Karan's response was that, in his experience, when you tried too hard to cross, it was usually over.
I tend to agree with him. One of the strengths of Hollywood is that nobody bothers how a film will play in Hong Kong or Hyderabad. They make their movies for their domestic audiences. And if the rest of the world wants to enjoy them, they are welcome to buy tickets.
So it is with Bollywood. India remains the only non-American source of global popular culture. When Shah Rukh Khan travels to many Third World countries, it is as though a hurricane has struck. Even in New York, where Shah Rukh was recently shooting at Grand Central Station (for Karan's new movie), the authorities were blas about the security that would be required. After all, they said, Tom Cruise had just finished shooting for Mission Impossible 3 there and nobody had bothered the crew. As it turned out, the moment people — not just Indians, but Asians and Africans of all nationalities — found out that Shah Rukh was in the building, the crowds became unmanageable and the shoot had to be aborted.
It would be a mistake for Bollywood to change itself in pursuit of the Yankee dollar. To do so would be to compromise on the fundamental character of our movies and on all the things that make Indian popular culture a craze all over the world. Yes, all right, our films may not gross as much as Titanic. But they gross more than enough to keep our industry going. And each year, our producers find more and more global success.
My concern is that we sometimes deny Bollywood the credit it deserves as an ambassador for India. Ultimately, the reason America dominates the globe today is not because somebody like George Bush has the military muscle to launch an ill-advised invasion of Iraq. It is because American popular culture — from movies to music to jeans to pizza — has come to rule the world.
Its only rival is Bollywood. And I think we should celebrate that success. And take pride in it.
Read entire article, it is informative.
Joined: 19 March 2005
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