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Bollywood Dreamsby Jonathan Torgovnik
Synopses & Reviews
Bollywood Dreams is the first book by the emerging and award-winning photographer, Jonathan Torgovnik. This expansive portfolio features over 100 new color photographs, which document the phenomenon of India's film industry affectionately known around the world as Bollywood. Paying tribute to stars, film makers, technicians and moviegoers, Bollywood Dreams puts a human face on the fantastical, spectacle-rich films that compels as many as fourteen million people to the cinema on a single day in India alone.
Torgovnik first went to India in 1992, and since 1997 he has travelled extensively throughout the country, capturing the entire spectrum of Bollywood. The films are full of color, light, and happy endings, yet his photographs show the radiance and beauty of a crumpled ticket stub, a ripped movie poster, and a cluttered cinema floor, alike.
As the worlds largest creator of feature films, India produces over 800 new films each year for a growing population of almost one billion. Song and dance from a 3,000-year tradition remain the bedrock of Indian cinema, and each films plots are structured around elaborate musical numbers. Each day Indias movie theaters are bombarded with over 14 million avid viewers, and the experience of going to the cinema is as much a part of the Bollywood phenomenon as are the stars themselves. Going to the movies is the only real cultural experience for the majority of the population, and the cinema is not just a form of entertainment, it is practically a religion. Movies stars in India are treated like gods literally no match even for American standards of celebrity obsession.
Torgovnik presents not only the private dressing rooms of the stars, but also the distinct perspective of the theatergoers and intimate behind-the-scenes glimpses of men stationed in projector rooms. Bollywood Dreams begins with a vignette of the touring cinema caravans that bring Bollywood on the big screen in portable tents to Indias villages. The journey continues with a visual narrative that reveals the many facets of the Bollywood film form. Seen is action on the movie set, up-close with the stars, directors, and crews scenes from inside the editing chamber to out on the streets where promotional posters collage the towns and cities and the multitude of both large and small cinemas around the country.
In addition to the introductory text by Nasreen Munni Kabir, an internationally recognized authority of Indian cinema, the book includes extended photo captions written by Torgovnik.
Jonathan Torgovnik documents India's love affair with the movies produced by the powerful film studios of Bombay and Madras, popularly known as Bollywood. The photographs document the vibrant colours and expansive settings of the film sets. and the profound way that Bollywood permeates Indian life.
About the Author
Born in 1969 in Tel Aviv, Jonathan Torgovnik lived in Israel until his early 20s. He began his career as a combat photographer in the Israeli army. After completing his mandatory three-year service in 1991, he then headed out on a major backpack journey through the Himalayas, Thailand, and India, which is when and how he discovered Bollywood. He currently is based in New York and works on assignment for American and European magazines.
Table of Contents
A way of life : an introduction to Indian cinema by Nasreen Munni Kabir — The touring cinema — On the set — The characters — At the cinema.
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