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British institute to list top 100 Hindi films

By Krittivas Mukherjee, IANS

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Download Amitabh Bachchan WallpapersThe British Film Institute (BFI) is compiling a list of top 100 Hindi films since the days of the first Indian movie.

The list, expected to be released next year, will be contained in a book titled "100 Hindi Films" being written by acclaimed British film scholar Rachel Dwyer, who has authored several books on Bollywood.

"The BFI wanted to come out with a book on 100 top Hindi films and they suggested that I write it. The book should be ready by end-2005," Dwyer told IANS.

Dwyer has already finished drawing up the list of top 100 Hindi films since the days of the first Indian silent film "Raja Harishchandra" was released in 1913.

Download Shahrukh Khan Wallpapers"The list will not be a ranking of the top films, but only a representation in an alphabetical order of what I think are the top 100 films in Hindi cinema," said Dwyer, a reader in Indian studies and cinema at the School of Oriental and Asian Studies (SOAS) in London.

Said Dwyer, whose main area of research has been Hindi cinema and who is also an expert in Gujarati language and literature: "I think around 50 of the films that I have selected will be non-controversial. The rest 50 could be interesting and could be cause for debate."

Dwyer said the yardstick she used to select the films was popularity, historical significance and aesthetics, "not necessarily in that order though".

Various Indian publications, particularly film magazines, have come out with their own list of top 100 Hindi films, but this is perhaps for the first time that a book is being written explaining why the films chosen made the list.

"With every film that I mention I have tried to explain why it had found a place on the list. It's my personal opinion," Dwyer said.

Predictably, Amitabh Bachchan has the highest number of films mentioned in this list. "There are also many films of Dilip Kumar, Manoj Kumar, Raj Kapoor and Shah Rukh Khan," said Dwyer.


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