In the Shadow of Hollywood – Global Film

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For as long as I can remember, the Global Film Industry has always been dominated by the likes of ‘Hollywood’. This western film industry dominance has undeniably cast a shadow over other cultural entertainment exports such as their lesser rivals Nollywood and Bollywood. Hollywood’s success comes down to their major international reach, which can be better known as ‘Global Hollywood’. Global Hollywood refers to not only the ‘production, distribution, and consumption of Hollywood films around the world, it also encompasses the money, people, companies and places from all over the world which are now involved in film production with Hollywood partners’ (Goldsmith et al.2012).

With the increase of globalisation as well as cultural influences circulating around the globe, global film has in turn become more transnational. With this increase of transnational film, the global film industry has as a result changed, now allowing less dominate film industries such as Bollywood and Nollywood to ascend, capturing more of the global film industry market. Within Karan and Schaefer’s (2010) article, this process and concept is discussed, describing it as “Blurring the boundaries between the modern and the traditional, the high and low culture, and the national and the global culture.”

From the emergence of East Asian and Indian film industries, comes the growth of the Nigerian film industry. The Nigerian film industry, or better known as Nollywood, emerged in the early 1990s from the Yoruba travelling theatre tradition. This film industry, beginning from very little, has grown to become the third largest film industry in the world, behind Bollywood and Hollywood. Nollywood’s films are made direct to video and are never screened in movie theatres. With the growth of globalisation, Nollywood are increasingly making its mark outside Nigerian home turf. This mark is made through their efforts of taking on western values and techniques to expand their target audiences. Through doing this, Nollywood expands from their own nation as its audience, to appeal to a more greater and global market. Karan and Schaefer (2010) write that “Asian production centres will increasingly exploit cinematic contra-flows that draw upon structures of hybridity to meet increasing demand for glocalized content”, this is clearly seen in Nollywood’s development.

Another one of the top three powers in the global film industry is ‘Bollywood’. Bollywood is the Hindi language film industry, based in Mumbai India. This film industry is the largest in the world, even larger than the popular Hollywood. Within the lecture, Khorana stated “Bollywood is already … bringing its brand of glitzy entertainment not just to the Indian diaspora in the US or UK but to the screens of Syrians and Senegalese, who may not understand the Hindi dialogue but catch the spirit of the films, and look at India with stars in their eyes as a result”. From this statement, we can come to the understanding that there is a growth in culture shift from the Global South, with Bollywood now influencing Hollywood.

All in all, these three dominant film industries operate in a world where globalisation has shaped boarder crossing and transnational encounters, becoming more widely common and available. This results in the creation of equality and understanding of others cultures, further resulting in the encouragement of the hybridity of cultures.

References:

Goldsmith, B Ward, S O’Regan, T 2012, ‘Global and Local Hollywood’, InMedia, viewed 28th August 2014,
< http://inmedia.revues.org/114 >

Karan, K and Schaefer, DJ 2010, ‘Problematizing Chindia: Hybridity and Bollywoodization of popular Indian cinema in global film flows’, Global Media and Communication, Vol 6: 3, pp. 309-316, viewed 28th August 2014,
< http://goo.gl/6bXJ8j >

International Students

This weeks topic contains a reading by Kell and Vogl, focusing on the issues confronting international students in academic and social life in Australia. It is not through a lack of trying that the stereotype of international students only mingling with other international has arisen. In fact a number of studies suggest that many international students prior to coming to Australia have spent many years learning to speak English and thus have the ability to communicate efficiently within our culture. Although international students enter the country unaware of the extent to which local accents, fast speech and Australian colloquialisms are going to reduce their ability to speak and understand English in Australia (Scheyvenset al., 2003). It is not only the pronunciation of the English language that averts some international students from speaking and socializing with local students but a number of students mentioned that also knowing what is appropriate to speak about hinders on the issue.

Many international students identified that being aware of the colloquial language used by Australians can only better be improved through a more active social and cultural relationship with the local students. Individual internationals identified upon reflection that ‘the understanding and ability to use colloquial and non-formal English was key to initiating and maintaining social interactions within and outside their studies’ (Kell, Vogly 2007). While within the academy (place where internationals learn about the language and culture before embarking on their studies), a more formal type of English may have symbolic dominance. Although it seems the possession of a basic working knowledge of informal Australian English is important and may need to be brought into the system to help in reducing alienation, loneliness and homesickness and in turn bridge the gap in communication between internationals and the Australian students. The social and environmental benefits from knowing these informal queues seem to strongly outweigh the negatives in this instance.

In Kell and Vogl’s report, a number of common difficulties were identified in relation to international student’s adjustment and wellbeing. These difficulties include homesickness, financial difficulties, language difficulties, problems dealing with university staff and other authorities, loneliness, isolation from other classmates and anxiousness about speaking in the classroom in front of classmates and lecturers. On top of these issues, a major issue arose with international students perceiving Australians interactions with them as ‘locals not wanting to get to know them’ (Kell, Vogly 2007). Sadly many participants stated they were interested in getting to know Australians and were rather curious about their lives. International students identified they had difficulties in forming relationships with Australians as they did not feel confident talking to them (as was previously stated) and they also felt that they may not want to form relationships with them because of their own temporariness. However, some of the international students believed that it was not that local students were unfriendly but rather that they also did not know how to initiate conversations with them. A student mentioned that once the “ice was broken” then it had more to do with a student’s personality than their culture as to whether or not a relationship developed. Others found it hard as they felt that Australian students knew very little about their culture and countries of origin.

References:

Kell, P & Vogl, G 2007,’International students: Negotiating life and study in Australia through Australian Englishes’, Everyday Multiculturalism Conference,

Scheyvens, R Wild, K & Overton, J 2003, ‘International students: pursuing postgraduate study in geography: impediments to their learning experiences’, Journal of higher Education, 27(3) pp. 309-323,