Indian Films in Top 250

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I think the addition of an Indian Top 250 justifies the removal of all Indian films currently in the regular Top 250 (currently 3). There is a tendency for Indians to highly overrate Bollywood films and so their presence in the Top 250 is seemingly underserved. A separate list for Indian films definitely makes sense -but will IMDb now take this opportunity to improve their oft-maligned Top 250?
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Aaron

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Posted 3 years ago

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vhavnal

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The worst thing about indian films in the top 250, they are not necessarily the best films to be there, the better and more deserving films don't make the list because people don't vote for them and if they did, due to cultural differences (south films vs north films, vs Hindi films etc), "trolls" downvote them or "upvote" their version...one example, The Hindi version of Drishyam was far better than the Malayalam version of Drishyam but still it got a lot of downvotes from haters and even though it had 4 times more votes, is ranked below the Malayalam version.. ..Indian films rarely make the main Top250 (the best we had were 5 films once 5 years back) and a recent bug allowed atleast a dozen in (which got fixed) so i don't see a reason to remove them completely..remember a few asian (japanese, chinese and korean) movies are in the top 250, do you think they deserve to be there?
(Edited)
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Aaron

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I'm not opposed to any deserving Bollywood films being in the Top 250 -or films from any other country for that matter. Although I cannot claim to be very knowledgeable about Indian cinema, I'm not under the impression that '3 Idiots' (currently #105 and the only Indian film in the Top 245) is the pinnacle of Bollywood filmmaking.
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Tushar Raj

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@Aaron: 3 Idiots is as much a pinnacle of Indian movies as Shawshank Redemption is of World movies. Make of that what you will.
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RbDeraj

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It does bring up the issue of:

Why do they get the ability to be on both lists?
Why do they get their own list?
Why doesn't Japan or Korea or France get their own list?

It is an interesting addition, but also a little unfair and a little obscure for most of the rest of the world imo.
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Aaron

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I think that if the Indian Top 250 stays, it make no sense for there to be Indian films in the main Top 250 as well.
(Edited)
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Abhay Bhatt

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There is no 'tendency' to 'overrate'. You can't use the term 'overrate' because that defies the whole idea of the democratic setup of Imdb in the first place. Who are you to decide that they are overrated? I find many hollywood movies, especially at the very top, to be very overrated, but I don't claim that to be the truth, instead I just cast my vote and move on. You should be doing the same.
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Aaron

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The superb statistical analysis by Ijdoncel from https://getsatisfaction.com/imdb/topics/imdb-why-are-you-discriminating-against-indian-movies would seem to indicate otherwise. As would your comment from the same page where you said, 'many Indians overrate films [...] because they want a particular film to enter the Top 250'. Quite revealing.
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Abhay Bhatt

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I was talking here in context of regular user ratings, there I was talking with respect to general ratings, which you see on the movie main page.
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Abhay Bhatt

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On a different note, I found the idea of separate list for Indian movies very bad because it discriminates against Indian movies and tries to outcast them. It also shows that Imdb is deliberately trying to remove Indian movies from Top 250 and this step is just an implicit justification for doing that. Imdb might be trying to go against the democratic setup it is based upon, just for convenience. This is surely very hypocritical.
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Aaron

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It's simply a way for IMDb's Indian users to view their highest rated films -which makes sense given how little awareness there is of Bollywood films in other countries. However, I don't believe it's fair for Indian films to have their own list and be present in the main Top 250.
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Tushar Raj

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IMDb staff have said that the inclusion of many Indian movies overnight happened due to a glitch in their software update. Those movies were bound to be removed once the glitch got fixed. I speculate that IMDb knew this sudden disappearance would ruffle some feathers and that's why they released an Indian 250 to appease both sides. 
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Abhay Bhatt

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"how little awareness there is of Bollywood films in other countries"??? I suppose by other countries you mean the 'West'? Because u live in your own private well and have little knowledge what happens in the 'World' not 'West! FYI, Indian movies have been really popular around the globe. It was popular in Eastern Europe at some time. It has always been popular in whole of South Asia including Afghanistan, Middle East, North and Eastern Africa. I think population wise there isn't much difference in the number of people who watch Hollywood and those who watch Indian movies(and bdw, Indian and Bollywood are not the same)
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Aaron

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I'm still awaiting a response from IMDb explaining why there are Indian films, which have clearly been subjected to vote stuffing, present in the main Top 250. Moreover, it simply isn't fair to have Indian films in the Top 250 now there is also a separate Indian Top 250.
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Aaron

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Again, I would cite the statistical analysis by ljdoncel from https://getsatisfaction.com/imdb/topics/imdb-why-are-you-discriminating-against-indian-movies as an indication otherwise. In addition, films from other countries haven't been given their own Top 250. I mean no disrespect, however.
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vhavnal

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Maybe because the Indian film industry churns out over 800 films a year whereas Hollywood barely churns out 400 so them having their own list is justified in a way. Yes i'm aware of that thread and the voting process, IMDb has a complex method which it uses when adding titles to their Top250 list thus why titles appear and disappear from it from time to time. I actually reported 2 indian titles to IMDb staff before for vote stuffing and they were promptly removed and their eligibility criteria for inclusion in the Top250 was changed as well (min 25,000 votes was added)

There was this japanese film maker who vote stuffed his titles, and each of his titles had over 10,000 votes each with a mean average of 9.8 so yeah it did become an issue about 3 or 4 years back,  A  staff member explained it a bit here in a recent issue in relation to vote stuffing. You claiming that indian movies should not make the main Top250 list is hysterical. I admit 99% of Indian movies are BAD...some, really really bad, but 1% is quite good and that 1% of 800 movies a year is 8 movies and since the Indian film industry has been around since 1920, there are atleast 800 good indian movies out there and if 3 makes the IMDbTop250 list, Why do you think its there due to vote-stuffing? Its not like both are in the Top 10..infact there used to be three for quite a while, but Taare Zameen Par (2007)  apparently dropped out of the list recently, maybe due to people intentionally giving it a 1 to push it out cause according to you, IMDb includes titles which get vote stuffed, which includes those which get '1' ratings too..
(Edited)
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Tushar Raj

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@vhavnal: 400 people have given Taare Zameen Par 2 stars. In contrast, over 2400 people have given it 1 star. So you might be on to something.I don't think any fair movie critic would agree that that movie deserves 1/10 stars.
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Tushar Raj

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@Aaron. I think your campaign for banning Indian films from the main 250 altogether is misguided. I agree that having an Indian list is unfair, but it's not like Indians asked for it. A more sensible campaign would be to either support more country-oriented lists, or to remove the Indian list altogether. On a side note, the Indian list has only 25 movies released before 1990; so it's not exactly a fair or accurate representation of the best Indian movies of all time.
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Abhay Bhatt

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Its a very generalized and speculative argument that you are making that Indian movies are vote stuffed. I have read the statistical research, but that really doesn't prove anything. It could be that Indians vote this way naturally. Personally I think there is vote stuffing but in no way I think that is done by 'Regular IMDB users'. Because I know many shitty Indian films having a very high rating like 8.5-9.2, but they don't make it to the Top 250 because those fake users casting fake votes don't count in the 'Regular IMDB users'.
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Aaron

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Bump. Over the last 3 months, the title 3 idiots has risen 6 places on the Top 250. At #102 it stands out as some kind of an anomaly given that no other Indian film is in the Top 230. The statistical analysis I have repeatedly cited on this board clearly evidences how Indian films are disproportionately scored 10/10. It also remains unfair having a separate Top 250 for Indian cinema as well. My suggestion: keep the Indian Top 250 but remove Indian films from the main Top 250.
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Tushar Raj

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Banning Indian films from the top 250 altogeher seems an extremely snobbish thing to say, not to mention racist. I'd rather have the Indian list deleted. IMDb staff have spoken up about how the presence of Indian films in the main list was due to a glitch in their software update, rather than vote-stuffing.

If you're looking for anomalies, I call your attention to the fact that 'City of God' at #21 is the only Brazilian movie on there. 'The Kid' is the only movie before 1925. 'Incendies' is the only Quebecois movie. 'Scarface' is the only De Palma movie. 'Elephant Man' is the only David Lynch movie. 'The General' is the only Buster Keaton movie.

All of these categories have other movies that have received acclaim from other quarters but don't feature on the list (anymore). Are all of these undeserving of their current spot simply because they do not conform to arbitrarily defined patterns?
(Edited)
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Aaron

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In response to the multiple posts made by Tushar Raj...

Allow me to first of all clarify that I am not referring to the Indian films that appeared in the Top 250 following a glitch. Currently 3 idiots is at #102, Gangs of Wasseypur at #240, and Lagaan at #249. 3 Idiots is an anomaly because there are a number of Indian films that are rated highly enough to be on the Top 250 but are not, due to the filters put in place - these are the films that incorrectly appeared during the glitch. The films from Lynch or De Palma or Keaton that aren't on the Top 250 are eligible to be on there; they just aren't rated high enough. It isn't the same.

I am not just having some kind of unsubstantiated rant. There is statistical proof (https://getsatisfaction.com/imdb/topics/imdb-why-are-you-discriminating-against-indian-movies) that Indian films are disproportionately scored 10/10 compared to other countries. Realise that many films on IMDb show peaks at 1/10 and 10/10 since a number of people rate at extremes to try and affect a film's overall score.

I don't believe that Indian films receive the amount of global recognition that films from many other countries do, which is a shame as I'm sure there are some praiseworthy Indian films. I would imagine this means that most Indian films are viewed and rated primarily by Indians, so a separate Indian Top 250 allows these films to be ranked on a more consistent basis. However, it isn't really fair to have Indian films on the main Top 250 whilst simultaneously having a designated Top 250 as well - especially given the point I made regarding voting patterns on Indian films.

I appreciate your interest in my idea and stress that I genuinely mean no disrespect; I merely wish to reach a situation where IMDb has a more consistent raking system. I hope that this post clears my position up somewhat and explains my viewpoint in a respectful manner.
(Edited)
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Abhay Bhatt

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No they are not voted primarily by Indians! Most of them are, but some aren't. I know which movies have been very popular(atleast with the Indian crowd). There are many foreign places where Indian movies are watched, but for your convenience lets just ignore that fact or assume all of the foreigners who regularly watch Indian movies and rate them, as Indians. Now, you can see a pattern. Many popular movies atmost reach 20000 - 25000 votes. That means these are the regular Indian movie watchers. Any votes above that are from foreigners. For example, 3 Idiots has over 100,000 votes, so most of those votes came from foreigners! So, you shouldn't doubt the authenticity of that movie being in the Top 250 list. Like wise, there are many movies which have over 25000 votes, and any movie which is in top 250, has much greater number of votes, so I don't doubt that it had been somewhat universally appreciated. 3 Idiots, bdw, was a huge hit in China, Japan, and South East Asia. I suggest to you that before forming any racist or stereotypical opinion regarding Indian movies, increase your awareness, expand your horizons, and try to have an open mind capable of ambivalence. The World is not equal to The West and vice versa!
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Tushar Raj

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@Aaron. Let me start off by assuring you that no offence is taken. I don't think this is an unsubstantiated rant. I think this is a legitimate concern that many users might have and I thank you for voicing it. I, too, don't mean any disrespect.

Now that you've clarified that you're not talking about movies that appeared due to the infamous glitch, it means your beef is with the Indian films currently legitimately on the list. The number of these films is currently 3, and rarely crosses 5; as @vhavnal noted.

Putting aside the notion of whether the Indian films deserve to be there or not; this is a very small number. Your concern, though legitimate, would carry more weight had this number been, like, 20.

If you've made a mission to watch the 250 best films of all time and feel that 5 movies were robbed of their spot by Indian films, you can always find the 5 movies recently ousted using various lists or the site top250 informer.

If you feel you need to watch all films listed on the main top 250; but are not inclined to watch Indian campy movies; let me assure you that the movies that made it to the list; even during the glitch; are not standard cookie-cutter movies full of Bollywood cliches . They're actually good movies, on par with other movies on the list. I don't think a lover of world movies would regret watching any of those films.

Your idea to ban a specific set of movies from the list doesn't hurt me because I'm Indian. It hurts me because I'm a cinephile. The Top 250 list means something to a lot of movie-lovers. It introduces us to the work of filmmakers we might not otherwise know of. I think denying movie-lovers worldwide the opportunity to discover Rajkumar Hirani (3 Idiots) or Anurag Kashyap (Gangs of Wasseypur) is not in the best interest of anybody.

It can safely be assumed that the main list will always have more worldwide followers than the Indian list. If Indian filmmakers are banned from the list forever, it would cost them a lot of exposure.

I would be equally concerned if a Japanese list is made and Kurosawa/Miyazaki films lose their spot.

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Now, if you disregard the glitch movies, as you say you do, there are 3 movies on the list. This means that despite the vote-stuffing that your citation claims Indians are prone to, IMDb's safeguards are working. Those votes are not influencing the list. There's no danger of the list being diluted of quality movies. There's no call for 'improvement' because the list is not 'oft-maligned'. Fake votes are discounted. The movie that ARE there, DESERVE to be there... whether, you see it an an anomaly or not.

I concede your point about films of Lynch and Keaton not being rated high enough. I brought up that point because they did in fact have other movies on the list which eventually fell off.

However, there are other regional films with enough votes and rating that should make them appear on top 250, but they don't. So, India is not alone in this regard.

A few instances:

Underground (1995): 8.1 (over 44k votes) - Serbian
Le Samouraï (1967): 8.1 (over 31k votes) - Franch-Italian
Wings of Desire (1987): 8.1 (over 47k votes) - Franco-German
In the Mood for Love (2000): 8.1 (over 76k votes) - Hong Kong
3-Iron (2004): 8.1 (over 38k votes) - Korean

Maybe some of these films are rated so high because of vote-stuffing. Maybe they appeared on the list in the past, but eventually were ousted. Whatever the case, they're not on the list now; and they're not Indian.

It's also interesting to note that many atrocious 'Bollywood' movies produced by major studios starring bankable Bollywood heavyweights are rated, deservedly, below 3. Some of them even feature on IMDb bottom 100. I hardly think worldwide voter intervention alone made this happen.I think Indian voters had something to do with it too. So, your criticism for Indian overzealous voters isn't perfect.

Currently 5 Indian movies are in the bottom 100 - 'Himmatwala', 'Humshakals', 'Ram Gopal Varma ki Aag', 'Kya Kool Hain Hum 3' and 'Tees Maar Khan'. All had a major studio and at least one star with a huge fan-following behind it. Indiscriminate starstruck fans might be expected to rate the movies unfairly high, but they didn't.

5/100 is far more impressive that 3/250. I hope that helps quell some of your misgivings.

I really hope you'd stop begrudging Indian films their spot, my friend. Yes, it's unfair that Indian movies got their own list. But then, India is the most prolific film generator. I hope we get similar lists about Japanese or French or other movies in the near future. But till then... peace.
(Edited)
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Santaros

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Is it possible to remove listings from a certain country or view results only in your native language? There isn't that I can see, I am very unhappy that my search results are being flooded with indian movies. Don't get me wrong I watch numerous foreign films, and have watched/would watch an indian film about a subject that interests me. I don't want to view American Box Office or anything of the like, I'm happy to have foreign films in the list, I'm just finding the over-representation of indian films obnoxious.
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Aaron

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The films Like Stars on Earth, My Father and My Son (a Turkish film), and Andaz Apna Apna have suddenly entered the Top 250 at very high positions. This must be a glitch, since all 3 of those films have previously been removed from the Top 250 -- and it seems suspicious that they would all enter the Top 250 at the same time.

On another note, the addition of an English Top 250 is good to see and resolves one of the major problems I originally raised.

Edit: apparently this is not a glitch -- see https://getsatisfaction.com/imdb/topics/several-indian-turkish-films-break-into-top-250. What a joke.
(Edited)
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Aaron

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I am urging anyone who is unhappy with the recent influx of Indian and Turkish films into the Top 250 to express their dissatisfaction here: https://getsatisfaction.com/imdb/topics/several-indian-turkish-films-break-into-top-250. A Wednesday is the most recent entry at #127 - above some truly great films like Blade Runner, Trainspotting, There Will Be Blood... It is also the 6th Indian/Turkish film to enter the list in just as many days, which should be alarming for those who genuinely care about the integrity of the Top 250.
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DannyO MovieGuy

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Yes! IMDb has given them their own list and now its time to separate them from the IMDb Top 250. It makes no sense for them to get to be on both lists, and its extremely frustrating to see all these unknown Indian films surpassing well known classics, and in some cases, knocking them off the list.

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