September 13, 2010

Bollywood!

Zorro (India, 1975)
There is probably no film genre on earth that I know less about than Bollywood - but what I have discovered is that India had a history of using lantern slides to advertise coming attractions.
Geet Gaaya Pattharone (India, 1964)
Baazi (India, 1968)

I recently came across this handful of Indian slides, advertising film titles with release dates ranging from 1964 to 1983.

 This tiny sample can provide only the most meager clues as to the extent that slides were used to advertise in Indian cinemas, but at least it's a beginning.

One aspect of this collection is that it slightly expands my global time-line.  Prior to finding these slides, the most recent commercial slide I had encountered was a 1982 Australian slide for PoltergeistSati Naag Kayna now expands the time-line to 1983 and a I have a feeling additional slides will inevitably turn up that extend the envelope even further.

Film production in India began during the silent era.  Is it possible that slide advertising for Indian produced films could reach that far back? 

Khel Kilhari Ka (India, 1977)
Sati Naag Kayna (India, 1983)
Physically, the slides are manufactured using two-pane construction and measure 3 ¼ inches square - the same dimensions used everywhere except the United States.  The thickness of the glass, however, is considerably thicker than was used in any other locale.  The glass two panes are taped together using either black or brown masking tape, and none of the slides in the group have any marks or printing that indicate the name or location of the manufacturer

Though I have had only this brief introduction to slides of this genre, I very much enjoy the graphic color and aesthetic design.  Aside from the Baazi, which looks like it could be any mid-1960s American thriller, the slides definitely have a style all their own.

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