“The Hills are Alive with the sound of (Film) Music”: Bollywood’s Love Affair with the Alps

Szilvia Gyimóthy, Mathieu Narindal

Research output: Contribution to conferenceConference abstract for conferenceResearch

Abstract

This paper explores the role of Bollywood musicals in branding Switzerland as a utopian landscape forAsian and diasporic audiences. For five decades, Alpine landscapeshave featured in over hundred nonwestern productions, turning Switzerland intothe most preferred honeymoon destinations for Asian visitors (ETC MarketInsights 2015). Since the release of Sangam (1965), the Swiss countryside has become a favourite shooting locationfor Indian instructors, who regularly used snowy peaks, glaciers or pastoral meadowsas romantic backdrops in Bollywood musicals. In particular, the escapistcinemas of Yash and Adyta Chopra (e.g. DilwaleDulhaniya Le Jayenge, 1995 and BachnaAe Haseeno, 2008) were influential, fashioning consistent visualaesthetics, musical tropes and a plot framed around international travel. Inorder to assess their significance, the paper opens with the cultural historyof musicals in the Alps, reviewing the appeal of mountainous landscapes as asetting in romantic cinematography. Second, our analysis focuses on how Swisslandscapes are represented and acknowledged in the nine most popular Bollywoodfilms (that are also embedded in the Enchanted Journey tour packagefor Indian groups). Following a chronological template to deconstructBollywood’s take on Swiss landscapes, we identify changing artistic styles andpreferences to showcase three main cinematic fashion eras. We conclude that thescenographic and aesthetic choices of Alpine Bollywood films are equallyinspired by traditional Hindi oleographs, contemporary global advertising andself-referencing.  

Original languageEnglish
Publication date29 Sep 2017
Publication statusPublished - 29 Sep 2017
Externally publishedYes
EventLandscapes in television drama series - INCUBA, Århus, Denmark
Duration: 27 Sep 201729 Sep 2017
http://conferences.au.dk/fileadmin/conferences/2017/landscapes/Programme_Landscapes_in_Television_Drama_Series__Aarhus_University_Sept2017___25sept_.pdf

Conference

ConferenceLandscapes in television drama series
LocationINCUBA
CountryDenmark
CityÅrhus
Period27/09/201729/09/2017
Internet address

Cite this

Gyimóthy, S., & Narindal, M. (2017). “The Hills are Alive with the sound of (Film) Music”: Bollywood’s Love Affair with the Alps. Abstract from Landscapes in television drama series, Århus, Denmark.