For a few weeks this summer, we’re going to share some fascinating podcasts by our amazing alumni. Join us to hear more about some of the most entertaining content on the web!
This week we meet Matt Bowes (’08 BA, English) and Erin Fraser (’11 BA, Film Studies), who host a bi-weekly podcast on Hindi cinema called Bollywood is for Lovers (BiFL). BiFL examines the esthetics and conventions that define the Hindi film industry.
“Erin and I both briefly studied Bollywood during our time at the U of A,” says Bowes. “While this initial encounter didn’t immediately foster a love for Hindi cinema, it familiarized us with some of the film language and tropes. While she concentrated in Film Studies for her major, I also took a fair amount of Film Studies courses and we both developed a framework for analyzing cinema. Writing papers while working on our undergraduate degrees has certainly helped us learn how to articulate our feelings and opinions on narratives. Additionally, exposure to both world literature and cinema while at school opened our perspectives and broadened our horizons.”
A couple of years ago, they started watching a lot of Bollywood films. They realized a Bollywood podcast would be a natural progression, as both had podcasted previously. In particular, Fraser had been podcasting with another Arts alumnus, Paul Matwychuk [’93 MA, English and Film Studies, ’98 LLB] for the past five years on Trash, Art, and the Movies. And so Bowes and Fraser launched BiFL a year ago.
Bowes says, “The podcast has given us the opportunity and the impetus to explore a new cinematic landscape that even the most avid western filmgoers might not be familiar with. Bollywood can be very intimidating to get into and the goal with BiFL was to introduce people to this vibrant 100 year-old film tradition.”
Fraser points out that Bollywood has a global reach. “Hindi films are enjoyed all over the world and they play regularly here in Alberta — on average a new one comes out every week. Just last week the latest release, Sultan, was number 10 on the North American box office top 10, a considerable feat considering it was only playing in 283 theatres. Yet few film critics or entertainment news outlets outside of India cover them.”
Hear the latest episodes here: