Shekhar Kapur talks about Bollywood's influence in the West
Bollywood is our new culture and its influence is being felt in the West, eminent filmmaker Shekhar Kapur said. Speaking at the sixth Pravasi Bharatiya Divas here, the director of films like "Bandit Queen" and the Oscar-winning "Elizabeth", said: "Here, people cringe at some of the dresses in the Bollywood movies, but there in Hollywood, I am told that Indian music videos are becoming the best in the world."
"We have to accept it, Bollywood is our new culture," Kapur added.
Kapur reminisced that during his youth, after graduating from St Stephens, he was completely immersed in American culture - aspiring to join Harvards, wearing jeans and listening to the Beatles.
"Now, when I wonder why I was so enamoured by American culture, I realise that their culture is the most aggressive in the world, because they have the financial structure to back," he said, adding that there was "no difference in American culture than McDonald's" in its financial and distribution structure.
"But the good thing is that this is changing," said Kapur. "It is likely that the next "Spiderman" sequel will rake in one billion dollars, with 700 million dollars in Asia alone. And when he removes the mask, it is more likely to be a Chinese or an Indian."
He said that culture is important when consumerism is rising as it leads to self-confidence and feel-good factor. "The first expression of pride is in the culture," he said.
Kapur asked, "Why was Aishwarya Rai dubbed by Hello magazine as the most beautiful woman in the world?" That's because, he argued, it was due to her winning the Ms World Title, which is a brand based on consumerists entitlement.
With a large portion of the world's teenagers in India, he said that if all of them were wired to the global Internet system, the will form the tipping point to create a new global culture. "This culture will not be our heritage, but will be all theirs," said Kapur, pointing out that "Indian culture has never stood still."
At the same time, he said there was a philosophical difference between the West and the East, with the latter having a more mystical and metaphysical aspects.
Indo-Asian News Service