Bombay Cinema, A Rough Guide: An Introduction


A few months ago I noticed a bunch of people I follow on Twitter forwarding and commenting on a March Madness-style bracket someone had started to ostensibly determine the “Greatest Movie of All Time“*. No one participating in these things ever actually believes that the winner will be the greatest anything of all time but they’re fun and at least illuminating of the zeitgeist. Accordingly, I clicked over to the link that had the complete bracket and was immediately struck by the fact that there was only one Indian film in the bracket of 512 films**. Just one. India has one of the largest film industries in the world; Indian directors have won awards at the major film festivals since the 1950s; popular Hindi and Tamil cinema are as global as Hollywood. But this bracket has just the one, single, solitary Indian film on it. I’m not quite sure how to explain this except that the bracket was—presumably—created by one person and that person may have a subcontinent-sized blind spot in their knowledge of cinema. Continue reading