Ever since cinema was invented in the West, it has seeped into diﬀerent parts of the world, exerting a globalizing inﬂuence. The earliest ﬁlms, produced by the Lumière Brothers, were shown in France to paying audiences in 1895 (Monaco, 1977: 199), and by 1896 were circulating in India and China. From there on, ﬁlmmakers in Asia and elsewhere have attempted to integrate the new technology of cinema with their local culture and thereby establish national ﬁlm industries. This chapter examines the progression of ﬁlm in its globalizing path from Hollywood
to Bollywood. These two terms are used as metaphors to suggest two diﬀerent and distinctive processes of the globalization of ﬁlm. Hollywood embodies the spirit of Western cinema, but more than that, it has come to be regarded as the cinema of all humanity. Its successful adoption of an industrial mode of production as far back as the early days of the silent cinema enabled it to outperform other cinemas based on more craft-based, less specialized type of production methods. The industrial mode of the Hollywood system comprising the setting up of studios, the promotion of famous stars, and the production of big budget blockbusters as eﬃciently and proﬁtably as possible have come to be the yardstick by which other media production systems are measured. Bollywood, on the other hand, embodies the spirit of Asian cinema and is treated as
the alternative cinema of humanity – a poor man’s Hollywood perhaps but one which is constantly climbing the ladder and aspires to the same universal dream. Bollywood infuses elements of Indigenous cultures with the Hollywood system of production adopted by Asian ﬁlm industries. Though the Hollywood paradigm is held to be the universal standard, it is modiﬁed by the diversity of cultures and economic regimes around the world creating a phenomena epitomized most obviously by the term “Bollywood”. My aim in this chapter is to demonstrate that the process by which Hollywood becomes Bollywood is quite complex, and that the globalization of ﬁlm is far from a one-track process.