Indian actor Amitabh Bachchan is the most popular film star in the world, the most recognized face, the biggest box-office draw. Yes, he's bigger than Tom Cruise, Will Smith, or Jackie Chan. No, that's not just my opinion but the result of a BBC survey which recently confirmed what most already knew.

After talking to a few friends who know much more about him, it became obvious that somehow Amitabh is still an actor first, then everything else. Much like Cruise he can't really do an art film anymore w/out drawing too much attention to himself but somehow he continues to appear in films that can't be classified as Bollywood fodder. Recent examples of that include his collaborations with Indian Parallel Cinema icon Govind Nihalani and the talented Sanjay Leela Bhansali.

Film Society of Lincoln Center has organized a retrospective in honor of this legend. It will take place from April 8th to the 19th at the Walter Reade. David Chute, an expert on Indian Cinema, also wrote an article on Amitabh in the latest issue of Film Comment.

More information is available at FSLC's website here.

I will talk about some of the scheduled films in a few weeks time.