Orienting Hollywood

A Century of Film Culture between Los Angeles and Bombay

272 pages

29 halftones

March, 2015

ISBN: 9780814789346



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Nitin Govil is an Associate Professor in the School of Cinematic Arts at the University of Southern California. He is a co-author of Global Hollywood, Global Hollywood 2, and the forthcoming book, The Indian Film Industry

All books by Nitin Govil

A new understanding of the culturally rich and historic relationship between Hollywood and Bollywood. 
With American cinema facing intense technological and financial challenges both at home and abroad, and with Indian media looking to globalize, there have been numerous high-profile institutional connections between Hollywood and Bombay cinema in the past few years. Many accounts have proclaimed India’s transformation in a relatively short period from a Hollywood outpost to a frontier of opportunity. 
Orienting Hollywood moves beyond the conventional popular wisdom that Hollywood and Bombay cinema have only recently become intertwined because of economic priorities, instead uncovering a longer history of exchange. Through archival research, interviews, industry sources, policy documents, and cultural criticism, Nitin Govil not only documents encounters between Hollywood and India but also shows how connections were imagined over a century of screen exchange. Employing a comparative framework, Govil details the history of influence, traces the nature of interoperability, and textures the contact between Hollywood and Bombay cinema by exploring both the reality and imagination of encounter.


  • “Impressively researched and astutely argued, Orienting Hollywood will no doubt change the way we think about and research transnationalism in film and media. Govil brilliantly integrates notions of aspirational practice, affective labor, contact tropes, industrial mirroring, and cultural echoing in a compelling and original analysis. Orienting Hollywood stands as an exemplary model of exactly the kind of integration between ‘cultural’ and ‘political economic’ research that many have called for, but few have realized. This book will be widely recognized and embraced as a key, innovative text in our field.”

    —John T. Caldwell, author of Production Culture

  • "In this compelling study, Govil traces the ways in which the two production entities have shared finance, production, and distribution concerns, and demonstrates that far from being a recent phenomenon, this has been going on for a long time.  Writing in a direct and accessible style with great economy and authority, Govil effectively delineates how Hollywood and Bollywood are, in fact, inextricably intertwined, and how this intermarriage will continue to flourish in the future.”


  •  “[…] Govil’s is a timely work and brilliantly executed, a good model to follow for media industry studies.”

    Journal of Popular Culture

  • Orienting Hollywood brilliantly remaps the relationship between Hollywood and Bombay cinema through a critical analysis of industry relations that pushes beyond traditional ‘national cinema’ frameworks and theories of cultural imperialism. Compelling and convincingly argued, Nitin Govil frames the century-long interactions between Hollywood and Bombay cinema as part of a complex and contradictory history, opening up new ways of understanding the transnational dynamics of global media industries.”

    —Shanti Kumar, author of Gandhi Meets Primetime: Globalization and Nationalism in Indian Television