The Guardian (UK) does a good job covering Indian and Bollywood movies, which have a much higher mainstream profile in Britain than they do stateside. This week the paper published a juicy package around the on-going Centenary of Indian Cinema.
Taken together, the pieces offer a solid overview of must-sees and good Internet-friendly lists of Ten, for any Bollywoodphile.
Pamela Hutchinson notes
that the event commonly chosen as marking the "Birth of India's Film Industry," the premiere of D.B. Phalke's silent epic "Raja Harishchandra" in Mumbai on May 9, 1913, wasn't the only early landmark worth celebrating.
And for Bolly-sceptics both at home and abroad, high-brow novelist Amit Chaudhuri explains
"How I Learned to Love Bollywood." He even enjoyed the gurgling gross-out comedy of the English-language hit "Delhi Belly."
One list, by Rahul Verma, counts down the best examples
of the staple element of Hindi cinema that many emotionally squeamish Westerners consider a deal breaker, the full-hearted lip-synched film song.
In another rundown, the eminent British Bollywood expert Rachel Dwyer lists
"10 Classics of Indian Cinema," selecting one per decade. Not quite a Ten Best list, in other words, but a must-see assortment designed to give a broad-stroke impression of the sweep of Indian film history.
Professor Dwyer's full explanations should certainly be read before you take issue with any of her choices. Which is of course your right as a free-thinking blog reader.
"Prem Sanyas"/"The Light of Asia" (Franz Osten, 1925)
"Sant Tukaram" (Sheikh Fattelal and Vishnupant Govind Damle, 1936, Marathi)
"Andaz" (Mehboob Khan, 1949)
"Pyaasa" (Guru Dutt, 1957)
"Mughal-e Azam" (K Asif, 1960)
"Sholay" (Ramesh Sippy, 1975)
"Jaane Bhi Do Yaaro" (Kundan Shah, 1983)
"Dilwale Dulhania le Jayenge" (Aditya Chopra, 1995)
"Lage Raho Munnabhai" (Rajkumar Hirani, 2006)"Gangs of Wasseypur I and II" (Anurag Kashyap, 2012)
Watch the must-see Bollywood clips below.