Global Film (World Cinema) has allowed for the wide expression of cultural ideas, values and attitudes from different national backgrounds. The notion of this manifestation of globalisation in international film industries allows for the empowerment of different races and nationalities to tell their own stories in their own way.
Nollywood is quite broad in the way in which it uses real life stories from individuals living in Africa and turning these experiences into film. As one of the largest industries by production (produced 1687 features films in 2007) it would be expected that ‘Nollywood’ would have large budget and broad ideas of global reception and cultural integration, however it is quite the opposite.
To quote my tutor, Dr Charlotte Frew:
“Nollywood doesn’t care. They know it’s stupid. But that’s just they way they express their film industry. Films like this [spider girl] are meant to be entertaining and relatable, they are meant for the African/Nigerian audience, not us.” -Dr Charlotte Frew
Thinking of the Nollywood film industry in this light highlights the fact that in some ways, Nollywood is indeed working towards anti-globalisation.
“The entertainment bit is primary to the mode of representation in the industry, yet in that pursuit, one cannot forget its sense of mission, which is to produce culture from the bottom of the street, so to speak.” -Okome (2007, p. 2).
And that’s just the way they like it.
‘“I doubt that a white person, a European or American, can appreciate Nollywood movies the way an African can,” said Katsuva Ngoloma.’ –(Onishi, 2016).
On the other side of the coin, a industry that is becoming more and more so popular due to its expansion globally is that of Korean media being named ‘The Korean Wave’ or Hallyu. The Korean wave has been successful due to the integration of globally recognised features into their media. Examples of popular Korean media would be:
- Korean Video Games
- K-Pop (Music Groups and Bans such as Girls Generation)
- K-Drama (Korean Television Dramas)
- Korean Cinema
‘South Korea has become the seventh-largest film market in the world, with national film attendance totals by 2000 exceeding 70 million. In a phenomenon the Asian mass media have referred to as the Korean wave (or pronounced Hallyu in South Korean), South Korea is now a brisk exporter of music, TV programming, and films to the Asia-Pacific region’ -(Ryoo, p.139).
Reasons for Korea’s popularity globally could amount to:
- K-Pop: themes, the moves, the rhythm, local themes mixed with Western Dance moves, song titles in English/group name (makes it cross cultural).
- The high production cost of media in Korea, with the generous support of the Government to alleviate stress from the industry.
- South Korean shows and movies deploy themes that Asian audiences can relate to more easily than those of Western entertainment (such as family issues, love and filial piety in a changing society). This then allows for the melting of some cultural barriers, such as that of Japan and South Korea.
‘”They tend to discuss the relations among family members, culture, lifestyle, Korea’s development and so on,” said Sokharo Hang a 19-year-old media student in Phnom Penh.’ -(Choi, C & Nip, A 2012)
However, Korean cinema and film is quite different to that of other countries. The scenes of extreme violence are attributed to Korean cinema and can be highlighted in films such as Oldboy, PIETA and The Host. This uniqueness emits the ideals, attributes and values of Korean communities through film, as often dark images engage with problems and distortions of contemporary South Korean society.
In conclusion, global film can provide productions based globalisation and anti-globalisation.
Okome, O 2007, ‘Nollywood: Spectatorship, Audience and the Sites of Consumption’, Postcolonial Text, vol. 3, no. 2, pp. 2.
Onishi, N 2016, ‘Nigeria’s Booming Film Industry Redefines African Life’, The New York Times, February 18, viewed 7 September 2016 <http://www.nytimes.com/2016/02/19/world/africa/with-a-boom-before-the-cameras-nigeria-redefines-african-life.html?_r=0>.
Ryoo, W 2009, ‘Globalization, or the logic of cultural hybridization: the case of the Korean wave’, Asian Journal of Communication, vol. 19, no. 2, pp. 137-151.
Shim, D. (2006). Hybridity and the rise of Korean popular culture in Asia. Media Culture Society, 28, 25-44.
Choi, C & Nip, A 2012, ‘How Korean culture stormed the world’, South China Morning Post, 1 December, viewed 7 September 2016 <http://www.scmp.com/news/asia/article/1094145/how-korean-culture-stormed-world>.