The Musée du Quai Branly-Jacques Chirac in Paris, as always, invites us to embark on an exotic journey into other cultures. This time, you are invited to dive into the heart of the most prolific and fascinating film industry in the world with its exhibition, "Bollywood Superstars: A short story of Indian Cinema." You will be able to revisit a century of Indian cinema history, from its mythological and artistic origins to the fervent cult devoted to its actors and actresses, the new screen deities.
India, with its production of over 1500 films each year, is the undisputed leader in the global film industry. From the silent films of the 1920s, inspired by Hindu tales, to contemporary blockbusters led by indispensable stars, Indian cinema has always ignited unparalleled popular enthusiasm. This is an opportunity to explore how Indian cinema has developed and evolved over the decades.
The exhibition's journey offers an immersive experience that blends works of art, historical artifacts, and large-screen projections, all wrapped in a meticulously designed and detailed scenography. It highlights the significant connection between Indian cinema and popular performing arts. The early films borrowed elements from shadow theater, magic lanterns, and itinerant storytellers to create millennia-old mythological narratives. In the context of nation-building and India's independence, these films drew inspiration from gods and great monarchs, thus becoming the first blockbusters capable of uniting a diverse audience beyond regional and linguistic divides on the subcontinent.
The exhibition concludes with a presentation of Indian cinema's actors and actresses, who have become true icons, perpetuating the magic of the first cinema. These screen stars will forever embody the essence of Indian cinema, and the exhibition pays them a well-deserved tribute.
During your visit, you will have the opportunity to immerse yourself in dance scenes and explore the palaces of historic Indian films. Over 200 works, including paintings, shadow figurines, costumes, and photographs, illustrate the incredible diversity of popular arts, narratives, and artistic influences that have shaped the boundless world of Indian cinema.
"Bollywood Superstars: A History of Indian Cinema" was previously showcased at the Louvre Abu Dhabi from January 24 to June 4, 2023, demonstrating its international acclaim. This exhibition is a genuine invitation to discover a dazzling facet of Indian culture and immerse yourself in the flamboyant world of Bollywood cinema.
The Musée du Quai Branly awaits you to introduce you to this vibrant and colorful universe. So, are you ready to embark on this captivating journey through a century of Indian cinematic history?
Open until January 14, 2024. Open from Tuesday to Sunday, from 10:30 AM to 7 PM, with late-night opening on Thursdays until 10 PM.
Photo ©Kunal Parmar - Unsplash