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Everything Masala? Genres in Tamil Cinema

  • Michael Christopher

Abstract

At first sight, all Indian cinemas seems to follow the same aesthetic principles: excessively long movies, song-and-dance scenes and star-studded casts. Most call this phenomenon ‘Bollywood’ and assume all Indian film industries fall under this common name. However, the term ‘Bollywood’ covers only the Hindi-speaking film companies from Mumbai (Bombay). India is a multi-lingual nation: while Hindi is the most significant language in the North, the Dravidian language family is of particular importance in the South. Thus, the role of the Hindi-Bollywood cinema is not crucial in the southern regions of Tamil Nadu (Tamil), Andhra Pradesh (Telugu), Kerala (Malayalam) or Karnataka (Kannada). Significantly, these regional cinemas of the South produce more than half of India’s total output of films.1 And even if these moving pictures share some aspects of style in common with Hindi blockbusters from the North, it should be noted that South Indian cinema differs from Bollywood.

Keywords

Film Industry Genre Category Indian Cinema Horror Film Film Distributor 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.

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© Michael Christopher 2011

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  • Michael Christopher

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