In one of the BCM 111 International Media and Communications lectures, we learned about the revolution and changes across film making and production in various movie industries. Contemporary, four of the most influential movie industries are from Hollywood, Hong Kong, Bollywood and Nollywood. No doubt, Hollywood is the prime in the film industry for its rich cultural influence over the globe. Besides, it holds record of one of the highest gross earning with multiple mega blockbusters movies known worldwide.
Schaefer and Karan (2010) stated that more Asian film industries, particularly those of India and China, are increasingly dominating the new millennium of the global film flows instead of the Westerns. They further explain that this contra-flow phenomenon has led to the increasing glocalized content within the globalized distribution of network. As witnessed, the industry biz in Hollywood has created many adaptations of cultural influences from Hong Kong or Bollywood in movies. Some examples of these movies are such as The Rush Hour series (1998, 2001 & 2007), Slumdog Millionaire (2009), The Karate Kid (2010), etc. Interestingly, all of these film works were mostly directed and produced by the Westerners.
There are also movies that do not manifestly accentuate the typical norm of a culture, but rather just an emanation of its beliefs or values. Like what Khorana stated, crossover movies have become an emerging genre in its own right, which deliberates the unconventional value of a film deriving from various generic sources. For example, James Cameron, the director of “Avatar”, mentioned the inspiration behind this film was based on the incarnation of Hinduism; although at surface, the movie appears to be about a combat happening from two different worlds of humans and aliens (avatars) for survival. (Wadhwani, 2009)
Image: The Hollywood Reporter
As more and more films containing foreign cultural elements are co-opted by the Hollywood industry, the term “hybridization” no longer becomes uncanny. These types of movies can cater to a wider audience in both Eastern and Western countries. Some may go against “hybridity” in films as they argue the lack of originality or the culture absorbed is only for profit making. However, I personally think this new genre in films paves a new form of creativity from the producers and provide new experience for the audiences.
Karan, K and Schaefer, D. J (2010) ‘Problematizing Chindia: Hybridity and Bollywoodization of Popular Indian Cinema in Global Film Flows’ Global Media and Communication Vol 6:3, pp. 309-316
Khorana, S (2013) ‘Crossover Cinema: A Conceptual and Genealogical Overview’ in Khorana, S (ed) Crossover Cinema: Cross-Cultural Film from Production to Reception Routledge, New York, pp. 3-13.
Wadhwani, S 2009, The Religious Backdrop to James Cameron’s ‘Avatar’, CNN Travel, India, accessed 3/11/2015, http://travel.cnn.com/mumbai/play/avatar-hindu-perspective-961455