Global Film: Towards Crossovers

A cross over film can be described as something which “encapsulate an emerging form of cinema that crosses cultural borders at the stage of conceptualization and production and hence manifests a hybrid cinematic grammar at the textual level, as well as crossing over in terms of its distribution and reception” This is that a film that is a cross over film is able to be viewed by a number of different cultures yet still maintain a message which is able to be cross-translated through cultures.

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An example of this is slum dog millionaire, which is set for a post financial crisis america, but able to “use[es] the specifics of indian locale to speak to a wider (global) concerns of personal responsibility in a heartless world; the need for agency in an alienated society and perhaps most critically, the renewal of ‘love’ as a category for understanding the self”. Through this, both cultural audiences are able to take away messages from the film as it is able to relate to both sides of the globe.

Through globalisation, this idea of crossover films will only expand as more and more films will be trying to break it into the global markets. For this to be done the film is needed to have appealed to a number of different cultural groups opposed to just the singular group.

References:

Khorana, S 2014, ‘Producing a Hybrid Grammar’, Lecture reading, BCM111, University of Wollongong, 31st August 2014,.

Global Film Beyond Hollywood: Industry Focus

When someone says Hollywood, you instantaneously think of the glitz and glamour of the film industry. Having been brought up in this westernised world, it can be easy to see how one would potentially see Hollywood as the only film industry in the world, as we are constantly bombarded with Hollywood films from the television screens, computer screens, billboards and even on the sides of busses, we are constantly reminded of what feature film is ‘coming soon’.

(Gone Girl 2014 Trailer)

However, “In the new millennium, scholars are increasingly predicting that Asian film industries, particularly those of India and China, will wrestle control of global film flows from Western dominance.” Through the constant development of the internet and globalisation of the world, including that of DVD distribution and cable TV, this idea of Asian cinema will continue to grow and develop into the western world, creating a hybridised structures from the growing demands, as a result of globalisation.

Krishna

James Cameron's Avatar

James Cameron’s Avatar

An example of this type of Hybirdisation of both the Western (Hollywood) and Eastern film industry is Ang Lee’s film, Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon (2000), the most successful foreign language film in America to date, which is described as an eastern film for the western audiences, and a western film for the eastern audiences. However, with this also comes the risk of co-optation or appropriation of ones culture. Through Canadian director James Cameron’s epic Avatar this idea of co-optation can be seen as no direct mention of the Indian (Bollywood) culture is explicitly stated, however, various aspects have been ‘borrowed from the Indian mythology’ (Mehra, 2010: 3:17–3:25). Examples include the blue colouring of the Na’vi characters, the same colour used for depicting the religious avatars Rama and Krishna. Having personally viewed this film before learning about the idea of co-optation I was unaware of the parallels between Indian culture and the film Avatar. This further proves to me the co-optation of the film as no direct message was stated in the film, informing the views of the similarities and parallels from the Indian culture.

(James Cameron’s Avatar)

References:

Schaefer, DJ & Karan, K 2010, ‘Problematizing Chindia : Hybridity and Bollywoodization of popular Indian cinema in global film flows’, Global Media and Communications, pp. 309-316.

International Education

Having the opportunity to tertiary education is a blessing that many young Australians are given, it is even more amazing to lean about the varying international experiences available to these students to further fulfil their educational experiences. Through international exchange, students are given the opportunity to participate in education within another culture, enabling the student to become culturally aware and gaining a sense of appreciation for anthers culture. Having given a lot of thought into doing an international exchange myself, I have never really thought about the international students coming over to Australia and the challenges they may face once they arrive.

Australian culture, specifically that of the Wollongong area is typically seen to be laid back and relaxed, this relaxed lifestyle complimented by the beach is often what draws international students far and wide to Australian University life. However, many international students being high achievers in their home country often find the transition into Australian culture quite difficult as they may not be so used to the relaxed nature of life. This idea of culture shock becomes quite present within the lives of the international students. Language is also an issue that causes a stress to not only non-english speaking individuals, but also individuals from english speaking countries such as the USA or England. This is because Australian colloquialism is often difficult to grasp. It was shown through this weeks reading that international students often ‘found ‘Australians’ hard to understand because they shortened words. Australians even shortened University to “uni” which tended to confuse students who were used to a more formal type of English’. However, this, I believe is all part of the exchange experience, emerging ones self in a foreign culture with hopes of gaining a sense of cultural relativism. That is, understanding that even though the two cultures may be inherently different, no one culture is superior towards the other.

References:

Sukhmani Khorana, 2014, ‘Internationalising education – cultural competence and cosmopolitanism’, lecture notes, BCM111, UOW, viewed 11th August

Globalisation

“The central problem in today’s global interactions is the tensions between cultural homogenisation and cultural hetrogenisation” – Appadurai

globalisation

The result of globalisation, has lead to the breakdown between cultural, technological, and trade barriers between nations. Globalisation has allowed for individuals to be largely exposed to cultures, values and norms that may not be largely present in their own country of origin. Through globalisation, it has lead to the increase of the American culture, which can be clearly seen through the popularity of the American film industry, fast food outlets, as well as typical americanised culture. However, as a result of this, a sense of culture homogenisation can be seen with the american culture. That is, through globalisation, a sense of cultural imperialism could potentially take affect.

Personally, Globalisation has allowed me to develop a greater knowledge and appreciation for the varying cultures of the world, allowing me to participate in a number of cultural customs, norms and values. For example, through globalisation, I am able to watch film and television created and aimed towards an American, European, or Asian audience, wear clothes not available within Australia, and eat foods not specifically from Australia. Through this, it has broadened my own understanding of not only the culture I am watching, but even my own culture. Through the boom of the internet, we have been able to connect in a way that was never before possible. Having access to a multitude of new information and mediums has truly allowed for globalisation to further expand.

However, we cannot ignore this aspect of cultural imperialism which has definitely taken affect around the globe. Although globalisation allows for the dismissal of cultural barriers, a result of this is also cultural imperialism and the destruction of other cultures. This idea of Americanisation and the growth of American culture is an example of this idea of cultural imperialism, as the booming, economically viable, companies such as Mcdonalds and Coca-cola have inevitably taken over the globe. It is important to see how through globalisation technology has enable the connection of cultures creating better lives for those able to participate, but also, this has lead to a greater separation between social classes, those able to connect, and those not.

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Globalisation definitely means different things to different people. It allows everyone to connect in different ways. For me, globalisation allows me to participate and live life in a way that I wouldn’t be able to if it weren’t for the connectivity of the globe.

References:

Sheel, A, (2008), ‘A Breif History of Globalisation’, The Economic Times, 25 July, 15th August 2014, http://economictimes.indiatimes.com/opinion/guest-writer/a-brief-history-of-globalisation/articleshow/3276531.cms

O’Shaughnessy, M and Stadler, J (2008) ‘Globalisation’ Media and Society (fifth edition) Oxford: Oxford University Press, pp. 458-471.

Is Education the Answer?

It is interesting to look back in nearly every aspect of life and see how there is always been a gap, big or small, between different groups within society. It is difficult to ignore that one of these major gaps between groups is shown through that of men and women. Ever since the beginnings of history, we have seen these issues time and time again, from the suppression of women, to when women were finally given the right to vote, many years after that of men. With the growth of social media and the internet, these issues are still so present in everyday life with women often experiencing this inequality through online harassment.

Online forum websites such as 4chan, Reddit, YouTube, or even everyday blogs, abusive users, referred to as online trolls, have the ability to mask their own identity underneath the veil of the internet. Often commonly referred to as key-board warriors these users attack their victims with appalling insults commonly death threats, abusive language or acts of sexual harassment without any sort of remorse as they are not physically abusing their victim face to face. Because of this ignorant nature of the attackers, many high profile women within the blogging or online community are subject to these threats and abuse from these trolls.

How is it that these issues are able to be overcome? With such large corporations being the platforms for this bullying, including Facebook and Google, I personally believe there is a way to better moderate and control what is being said and posted online. Education is also a key area that needs to be focused upon, and being billion dollar companies, these corporations may be able to donate to educational programs teaching ethics and addressing the consequences of these actions

References: 

Thorpe, Vanessa (2011) Women bloggers call for a stop to ‘hateful’ trolling by misogynist men, The Guardian, Sunday 6 November.

Dreher, T 2014, ‘#mencallmething: Identity and Difference Online’ powerpoint slides, BCM112, The University of Wollongong, viewed 13 May 2013 .

Slacktivism

Over the years the internet has weaved it’s way into every day life, to the extreme that it is now nearly impossible to go a day without using the web at all. Because of this massive online growth, it has led to companies and organisations world wide having to adapt and change the way they work to be in favour this new online world. It is though this growth that we as the audience as well as consumers, have had to adapt the way we also participate in the online world, and a huge part of this is that of activism.

Years ago, if you were really passionate about a social justice or political issue, to have your own voice heard, you would need to physically go out into the public and join a group, or ring an organisation to donate money, this required actual interaction with another person. However, since the growth of social media, it has become increasingly easier for people to join these groups and show support from the comfort of their own home. Just under two years ago, an activist group known as Invisible Children started the Kony 2012 campaign to bring freedom to the child solders in Africa, as well as the arrest of Joseph Kony. The thirty minute video, seen over seventy million times within the first four days proves how intense and powerful social media can be in regards to activism.

However, with this, it must be remembered that millions of people sitting at home pressing a ‘like’ button to show support to a cause, although creating exposure, does not necessarily help or resolve the problem. This term “Slacktivism” refers to users of social media passively supporting, rather than actively doing something. These slacktivist actions lack commitment which overall, does not lead to a positive change for the organisation.

References:

Jenkins, Henry. (2012). ‘The New Political Commons’. Options Politiques.

Strauss, Jesse. (2011). ‘Youth movement in a culture of hopelessness’. Aljazeera.com.

Transmedia

Represents a process where integral elements of a fiction gets dispersed systematically across multiple delivery channels.’ – Henry Jenkins.

Jenkins writes that there are ten ways in which a piece of media can be transmedia.

An media type that is an example of this is Harry Potter. Originally, Harry Potter was written in novel form along with a number of different sequels. As the story got more and more popular, it was then developed into a film, as well as all the sequels following, meaning that it was now both a novel and film, becoming a transmedia. The Harry Potter world also includes a website called Pottermore. Through this website, users are exposed to more information about the Harry Potter world which is not included in the film or novels. Harry Potter is again showed to expand through the development of the Wizarding World of Harry Potter, a theme park, and ultimately another media platform conquered giving a more in-depth insight into the world of Harry Potter.

In relation to Kickstarter, it can be seen as the platform often used to launch tansmedia. Individuals are able to develop and produce different types of media, whether it be a film, an illustration, or a novel, different from the original media piece. An example of this transmedia used within Kickstarter is the Veronica Mars Film. What was once originally a television show was able to be crossed over into a feature length film contained within the same Veronica Mars world, but exploring new stories. It is through the financial support and backing of this film that the Veronica Mars television show was able to cross the boundaries and become a transmedia.

References

Jenkins, H 2007, Transmedia Storytelling 101, Confessions of an ACA-Fan, webblog post, 22nd March, 20th April 2014, <http://henryjenkins.org/2007/03/transmedia_storytelling_101.html&gt;.