Rejoice Readers !! Because in this post Filmmakers Fans is going to tell you about 10 Great Books to read on Indian Cinema. These books are not only knowledgeable but also fun to read with interesting anecdotes and stories that may both humour and inspire you. So without a further ado, we present 10 great books on Indian cinema.
Top Ten All Time Books on Indian Cinema
1 – The Eye of the Serpent
(Author: S Theodore Bhaskaran)
Written by a prominent Indian historian S Theodore Bhaskaran, this book is a quick introduction to the history of Tamil Cinema. However its not recommended for a casual reader because the information in the book has less exciting factor and more de-facto style as it reads like an encyclopaedia combined with the style of film reviews.
2 – Stardust: Vignettes from the Fringes of Film Industry
(Author: Roopa Swaminathan)
Where most books are written about the filmmakers and stars, this rare book gives us a glimpse into the lives of the so called ‘extras’ and technicians who make the industry move further. The book features the accounts of lives of fans, extras, dancers, crew members and character artists who despite living in the shadows are an integral part of the Indian cinema.
3 – From Raj to Swaraj: The Non Fiction Film in India
(Author: BD Garga)
This book can be called the Old Testament of Indian cinema. Beginning with an account of the early works of peope like Hiralal Sen, JF Madan and Harishchandra Bhatwadekar, who pioneered newsreel, this book goes on to tell the history of how filmmaking in India evolved from news reporting and developed into a fully functioning industry. The book is very rare but can be purchased from Amazon for a special price.
4 – Hindi Cinema ka Itihaas – Book on Indian Cinema
(Author: Manmohan Chadhha)
The title of the book describes it the best. Starting from the early days of silent filmmaking, the book talks about the pioneers who started it all and the major players who changed the game. This book can be considered a quick encyclopaedia for both enthusiasts and casual readers.
5 – From Rajahs and Yogis to Gandhi and Beyond: Images of India in International Films of Twentieth Century
(Author: Vijaya Mulay)
Before Indian cinema came into existence, the cinema about India was already popular. The global audience were fascinated by this mysterious country of snake charmers, Rajahs, and Tigers. This book talks about how this image of Indian cinema helped the actual cinema of India discover its own image. Its like a coming of age story of our very own Indian cinema.
6 – Sinemayee Bhasha Aur Hindi Samvaadon Ka Vishleshan
(Author: Kishore Vaswani)
Kishore Vaswani explains the language of cinema and then analyses the dialogues of Hindi films in an attempt to make an allegory connecting the psyche of Indian masses that influences our cinema.
7 – The Moving Image: A study of Indian Cinema
(Author: Kishore Vallicha)
This book has a textbook approach that can really help a film student writing a thesis. Despite its complex language and structure, the book has some great insight providing the author’s analyses of Indian cinemas while comparing it with the global cinema. A must for a PHD student of filmmaking.
8 – Sholay: Making of a Classic
(Author: Anupama Chopra)
Its a book that describes the making of a specific film and so doesnt offer any insights on Indian cinema or its history. But it does tell you how a film in India is made. The book contains anecdotes from behind the scenes and production that tell the readers how even the likes of Big B and Dharmendra were once young and ambitious actors. This book is a wonderful read even if you are not a Sholay fan (like the author of this article).
9 – Bollywood Melodies
(Author: Ganesh Anantharaman)
Any study on Indian cinema is incomplete without learning about its songs and music. Bollywood Melodies fills this specific void with its delightful history of the music of Indian cinema, and how it shaped its era.
10 – Silent Cinema – A Book on Indian Cinema
(Author: Pasupuleti Punachandra Rao)
The Hindu called this book “.. an exhaustive study on the silent cinema worldwide, including India.” The book begins with the Lumiere Brothers’ first exhibition of moving pictures in India and how it spread the filmmaking bug in a handful of Indians. The author follows a chronological style and also reviews important films in each year.
Have you read any of these books? Please let us know what you think of it in our comments. Also, if you think this list is missing a book, please mention it in the comments and let us and others know.
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