update: Ok, ok. ok. Now, I am in it for the glory. We shall compile the Top 25 of Indian Cinema for a newbie. The movies should be representative of genres, influential directors or stars, cultural themes or epochs, and regional film industries. They should have had popular appeal. They should be available on DVD in the states [with subtitles if possible]. Consider this list a must-see starting point for any exploration of Indian cinema. Post your picks in the comments, I will compile and release for the sake of humanity by Monday. We can wiki the post, later.
Cleaning out my desktop, I came across this list that was compiled over a few pale ales on my back porch. Dman asked for a list of movies that can be considered influential in Indian film history, culturally or artistically. Basically, a must-see list for a newbie to Indian cinema. The list below was made by the help of some fine connoisseurs and I was gonna do a longish post about the movies, and their reason for inclusion. Like THAT will ever happen. So, in the interest of public discourse, I am pasting the list. Tell me if it is missing something or has something amiss with it.
- Barsaat, 1949 – seminal Raj Kapoor.
- Piyasa, 1957 – seminal Guru Dutt.
- Mother India, 1957 – Not a big fan but obviously a seminal movie.
- Mughal-e Azam, 1960 – seminal everything.
- Pakeezah, 1971 – I love this movie, so there.
- Bobby, 1973 – This was one of the “forbidden” movie of my youth.
- Sholay, 1975 – Perhaps the most influential movie?
- Amar Akbar Anthony, 1977 – The birth of more than a few genres.
- Mr. India, 1987 – Sridevi!
- Bombay, 1995 – Mani Ratnam.
- Dilwalay Dulania Lay Jaingay, 1995 – Kids liked this one.
- Hum Dil De Chuke Sanam, 1999 – Quintessential Bollywood.
- Lagaan, 2001 – Bollywood goes international.
Hmmm… missing anything recent. What gives?
I will return soonish. I think. I do have a goody for those Mangal Panday fans among us. I will post that in a day or so.