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Essay on “The Glorious Indian Cinema” Complete Essay for Class 9, Class 10, Class 12 and Graduation and other classes.

The Glorious Indian Cinema


Life in India would not be the same without the exuberance of cinema. Song and dance, melodrama, relevant messages—Indian films have them all and usually all together in one film! Lumiere brothers’ cinematography arrived in India on July 7 1896, to a truly dramatic setting. Natural and political factors had unsettled the country—floods, & famine: at Sholapur, a famine—afflicted 5000—strong crowd stole bags of grain, resulting in police firing and many deaths. Film shows became popular thereafter and on January 1,1900, Tivoli Theatre was the venue for a show of 25 pictures that included such titles as Japanese Dance by the Beauties and Fatima, an Indian Dance. The city of Calcutta held its first film exhibition at Star Theatre on October 2,1898. True to the contradictions that make up India, the factors that would have a profound influence on Indian cinema—silent and sound (talkie)—are those that happened before the advent of the motion picture. Bharatmuni’s Natyashastra, written between 200 B C and A D. 200 considers the dramatic form as a combination of natya (drama), nritya (pantomime, gestures) and nrrita (pure dance). These three remain vital to Indian cinema.

The other two factors occurred in 1853! First, the play lndrasabha by Amanat, written on the instructions of Wajid Ali Shah (the last Nawab of Oudh). Translated into several Indian languages, it determined the form of theatre and later of cinema: song and dance extravaganzas so proliferated in cinema that they were dismissed as ‘sing-song noises’ but later evolved into some of the most haunting melodies ever.

Second, the founding of the Parsi’Natak Mandali that established modern play theatres complete with English stage machinery and splendid costumes and sets. Madan Theatre in Calcutta boasted a revolving stage. Cinema continued the tradition . of fanciful sets .and costumes. The stock of negative film consisted of ortho-chromatic film that was unsuitable for the red part of the spectrum. The actors required pale yellow make-up applied with a heavy hand. Cameramen were reluctant to use the newly introduced panchromatic film by Kodak, but soon realized its advantages. The superior tonal separation and the inherent ability to photograph reds and blacks differently convinced them. Cameras themselves were of the hand-cranked kind and the cameraman could therefore adjust the speed of the camera according to the action. Motorized. cameras arrived with the introduction of sound. Developing and drying of the film was a laborious task—a rack frame with the film wrapped round it was placed in a large developing tray. The tray contained developing solution. Large wooden drums—again, hand-turned—were used to dry the film. In the Thirties, sound films required sound-proof studios, sound-recording equipment, artificial lighting became common-place and the total led to specialization in practically every area.

Human life and endeavour remain unchanged, only the details have undergone a transformation: new names and faces, new music, a different dress sense. These decades mark the advent of a talented lot—be they star children or outsiders to the film industry. Violence persists but romance is definitely back! The new superstars are equally at home in both genres—Shah Rukh Khan was undeniable in Darr and in Yes Boss; Kajol (daughter of yesteryear actress Tanuja) equally powerful in Gupt and in Dilwale Dulhaniya Le jayenge .The Eighties were the period of electronics—the threat posed by television and video was tremendous in terms of losses to the film industry. Nonetheless, films were made — 763 in 1982, 833 in 1984 and 912 in 1985. There was no longer a set formula that would guarantee success. Stories of social interest, love, family life, and fantasies–all tumbled out of the film-making machine. The decade opened with some very fine films and some very successful ones. Film making in regional languages began sometime later than Hindi cinema–not that it suffered for it! Mythologies and contemporary issues formed the subject matter of early films, and the interaction between film-makers ensured that all shared technical expertise. Studios and stars were the life here as they were in Hindi cinema.

Regional cinema became a force to reckon with due to the enterprise of certain individuals and more than that, due to the studios they established. Films were made in more than one language –thus they were important production centers for a wider scope of film-makers and audiences. The technical expertise and discipline allowed for a tremendous creativity and prolificacy. Producers and directors were unafraid of languages other than their


Of the numberless individuals associated with cinema, some are eternally identifiable. Their image and their hallmark style render them unforgettable–i.e. personalities–whatever their contribution to films.


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