Rowman & Littlefield Publishers
Trim: 7½ x 10¼
978-1-4422-7798-4 • Hardback • December 2018 • $59.00 • (£45.00)
978-1-4422-7799-1 • eBook • December 2018 • $53.00 • (£41.00)
Rohit K. Dasgupta is program director and lecturer in global communications and development at Loughborough University. He is the author of Digital Queer Cultures in India (2017) and editor of Queering Digital India (2018) and Friendship as Social Justice Activism (2018).
Sangeeta Datta is a filmmaker, educator, and cultural commentator. She is the author of Shyam Benegal (2002) and Tagore: At Home in the World (2016) and coeditor of Rituparno Ghosh: Cinema, Gender and Art (2016). Datta is also the director of Baithak Arts, a not-for-profit company which promotes and celebrates the rich legacy of South Asian arts.
Films A – Z
Appendix: Films by English Title
About the Authors
In 100 Essential Indian Films, Dasgupta and Datta offer a careful selection of notable films. The volume sheds light on the fascinating narratives of both ‘popular’ and ‘parallel’ cinema in various languages of India. This volume serves as a useful introduction for understanding the discursive space of Indian cinema by exploring its kaleidoscopic dimensions instead of attempting a reductionist homogenisation. Overall, the book provides a compendious study through various plot summaries and thematic concerns, but it stops short of analytical arguments and discerning observations.— South Asia Research
Starred review: Media academic Dasgupta and documentarian Datta have lovingly assembled an impressive list of 100 Indian films worth seeking out. Of course there are Bollywood smashes such as Lagann (2001) and Sholay (1975), but the duo’s picks span all genres. They cherry-pick the best of the best, showcasing terrific movies throughout Indian film history. Sweet romantic comedies such as 1965’s Guide and 2013’s The Lunchbox, the 2016 wrestling biopic Dangal, the gritty 2012 Gangs of Wasseypur, and 1975’s vigilante thriller Deewaar, as well as meatier work like 1964’s Charulata (from Bengali auteur Satyajit Ray), are just some of the remarkable movies waiting to be discovered. Dasgupta and Datta give plenty of room to the backstory, plot, and impact of these films, making for an insightful and informative book that never feels rushed. Westerners whose perception of the Indian film industry begins and ends with splashy Bollywood musicals are in for a delightful surprise here, as this is an outstanding survey of a wildly inventive and frequently fascinating area of world film.— Publishers Weekly, Starred Review
Recommended: Indian cinema started in 1913, but the 1950s was the golden era of Indian films. Indian cinema known as Bollywood is the largest film industry in the world. It is based in Mumbai and produces about 230 films every year in Hindi, the national language of India. In addition, more than 700 films are produced in regional languages, including Bengali, Bhojpuri, Gujarati, Malayalam, Marathi, Punjabi, and Tamil. In selecting films for this volume, Dasgupta and Datta watched films in all these languages, including regional films, and interviewed actors, actresses, film directors, music directors, and others involved in Indian filmmaking. They arrange the book alphabetically by Indian title, including English translation and the film's date of release (the earliest 1935, the most recent 2017). For each entry, the authors include information about the director, author of the story, producers, cast, language, length of the film, whether the film is in color or black and white, and other important information. Each entry includes a list of further reading and is supported by notes and a bibliography. Many black-and-white photographs are included. An excellent Introduction provides a history of the film industry of India and its achievements, including awards won by Indian films. — Choice Reviews