By Andrew Hassam; Makarand Paranjape
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Extra info for Bollywood in Australia: Transnationalism & Cultural Production
As such, the machinery of Western appropriation clearly functions with the support of an equally significant machinery in the Indian economy which sells the idea of India abroad. In this particular case, it remains to be seen whether the current flirtation with Bollywood will be just a passing fashion or an ongoing addition to the cultural repertoire of metropolitan Australia. In my final response to Samant, it is worth pointing out that the promise of an off-the-peg experience of authenticity is one of the primary strategies 41 Bollywood in Australia employed in the marketing of multiculturalism (and specifically mediaculturalism).
A more serious obstacle is the poor fit in market terms between the audiences already inclined to consume foreign-language films and audiences oriented around the kind of commercial entertainment typified by the Bollywood film: Where they are inaccessible is foreign language for a start, so you’ve got a foreign language film but it is obviously clearly commercial. So we’re used to seeing foreign language films that are designed for…we’ll more likely go for them that are art-house, you know. 23 Despite these difficulties, there have been a number of one-off festivals directed at mainstreaming Indian commercial cinema, such 29 Bollywood in Australia as Bollywood at Bondi (2002) and Bollywood at Cremorne (2003).
Of the respondents who did describe the Indian films viewed in favourable terms and even some of the more equivocal respondents, it was the musical interludes that seemed to emerge as the most popular element: It’s something different and Indian films seem to be quite entertaining. I also like the high levels of music and dancing. I thought the acting wasn’t too good, plots and story lines were kind of cheesy + fake but I did like the action and suspense and characters in some of the films. I also thought the ‘music video’ parts were interesting.
Bollywood in Australia: Transnationalism & Cultural Production by Andrew Hassam; Makarand Paranjape