Art Directory India

Hundred Years of Indian Cinema


Indian Cinema is an art form, a result of dedication of a number of people.

Indian cinema has completed a century and prided itself on being a sole distraction, in a country where allied entertainment forms like music and the fashion industry are subservient to the glamour that cinema and its stars bring. From rock chic to glamour, from dress and design to creating indelible images, business, politics and sports, travel destinations and colloquialisms, violence and sexuality, hero-worshipping and icon-making, Indian cinema continues to provide templates and set trends.
The first Indian motion picture Raja Harishchandra was produced by Dhundiraj Govind Phalke and released in 1913, barely a year after the world’s first motion picture was made in 1912. The film is commonly believed to have been the first Indian featured length film which has inaugurated the Indian cinema and hence the journey begun.
India is producing more films across all its regions as compared to Hollywood. Despite of rising production costs, India continues to be in lead in numbers. Bollywood releases around 130 films in a year and the numbers from Telugu, Tamil, Malayalam, Kannada, Marathi, Bengali, Punjabi, Bhojpuri, Assamese, Gujarati and other north-eastern states takes the toll over a thousand of films per year.
As we know that the films are the mirror of society and film-makers also focuses on this. Let’s have a glance in the history, following the nation’s independence, the 1930s and 40s were marked by socialist themes and the fight against poverty and society for the marginalised. The 1960s brought global winds of hippie couture. The themes, however, continued to follow the rich versus the poor, the rural good guy and the city bad guy formula. In 1980s to 2000, Indian sensibilities that included family values, traditional and orthodox views of female sexuality prevailed, and good and evil were always in black or white. Heroes were valorous, heroines were gamine, and villains were leering. In the 21st century, things have changed. Bollywood, India’s most widely watched Hindi moviedom, is changing its plot. As Shoojit Sircar’s Hindi sleeper-hit Vicky Doner put it. We can say that Indian cinema is welcoming real and new role-casts for its stereotyped characters.
With the passing time many revolutions has been taken place in Indian Cinema and the major one is debut of outsiders. These are actors and filmmakers who do not belong to any film families or yesteryear studio honcho heirs. Vishal Bhardwaj, Anurag Kashyap, Dibakar Banerjee, Sujoy Ghosh, Tigmanshu Dhulia, Vikram Aditya Motwane, Reema Kagti, Zoya Akhtar in Hindi and Aparna Sen in Bengali, Revathi in Tamil are really working great and adding essence in the films.
From the silent pictures to the talkies, from black and white to multicolour, from cinemascope to hand-held gadgets, Indian cinema has kept pace with global cinema in its longevity.

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