My main motivation for the Bollywood501 web site is to fill some gaps.
When searching the web for information on Hindi popular cinema, or how it
is affectionately termed, Bollywood, the dearth of information is centered
on films and stars of the present day. However Bollywood has a brilliant
oeuvre and history that encompasses a vast galaxy spanning decades that
reaches out far past the present day. On the web I could find very little
information or images of Bollywood's past (I would call the 'past', pre
1990s) so in an attempt to fill that gap I created Bollywood501. This site
will also comment on 'present day' (post 1990s) Bollywood, as well as Indian
cinema's other regional cinemas and film movements such as Tamil cinema,
Bengali cinema, and parallel cinema.
This site is highly image based with a lot of photo captures from
the actual films. The reason for this is because I love to look. Another
reason is because presently on the web there are very few images of most
of the actors and actresses of pre 1990s Bollywood. The few images on the
web that one can find of these great stars of Hindi cinema's past are for
the most part, of low image quality, excessively redundant, or downright
exploitative. In large part, on the web, one can only find images of many
of Bollywood's actresses of the past portrayed in an exploitative and voyeuristic
manner. These great performers are lasciviously captured and 'displayed'
generally out of context in film frames of low quality where for a second
or two they, as is termed in Bollywood slang, 'reveal'. My Portrait's of
Evergreen Actors and Actresses is a reaction to this and is my attempt to
put these thespians into a context more deserving of their efforts.
I came to Bollywood films in 2000 and have been obsessed with Hindi
Popular Films ever since. Unlike the 1000s of millions of Indians, Asians,
Africans, people's of the Middle East, and their Diasporta's, who grew up
on Hindi Popular Cinema, my education on the films and stars is from the
standpoint of a Western raised viewer and recent convert. My background
is as an American raised in California. I am a student of film. I hold a
degree from the Motion Pictures/Television department UCLA. My critical
areas of study have focused on the silent film era, French New Wave, Japanese
Cinema, and now Hindi Popular Film. My knowledge of Bollywood and its films
is constantly evolving, and tinged with Western conceptions. As far as cinema
goes, I am highly influenced by a semiotics approach to film studies, and
the writing of Roland Barthes, Nick Browne, and Jean Luc Goddard.
Often as is the case with older Hindi Popular Films, the prints that
are used as transfers for DVD have become marred over time, or the technical
transfer to DVD lacks proper color correction. Consequently all of the images
on this site have been 'fixed' (retouched, and color corrected) by me in
order to bring a 'truer' sense to how the original images would have appeared
when first viewed. I used PhotoShop in this process.
This site is constantly evolving. I am also very intrigued by the idea
of 'hyper-text' and how it relates to the format of the web site. I'm building
my own little universe here. My hope is that you explore the links on this
site and they take you on a journey of information and images that will
spark your imagination to the wonders of Bollywood.
I love Hindi Popular Films and absolutely believe that they deserve
serious critical attention, but I am also just a huge pagal star-struck
fan of Bollywood, and the pure and sincere entertainment they give.