#Communications

Crossover Cinema: A Hybrid Culture

 

Crossover cinema is used to 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’ (Khorana, 2013)

This idea of ‘Crossover cinema’ has allowed audiences to enhance their understanding of other cultures, through the inclusion of their own cinematic culture as well as others. The representation of diaspora through mainstream media and diasporic media allows those communities to maintain links to their origin whilst increasing their connection to the industrialised worlds and enhancing their confidence in different social situations. Although various positive outcomes exist when it comes to crossover cinema, it may also have a negative impact on an audience’s perception of another culture.

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Slumdog Millionaire (2008) is a prominent example of crossover cinema in Western culture. It is seen as an authentic representation of slum life in India from a Western perspective. “Slumdog Millionaire…literally crossed over to the main (nonforeign) group…The film’s cross-cultural affiliations no longer rendered it foreign, and this is an important indicator of its crossover production, content, and appeal.” (Khorana, 2013) The film’s director, Danny Boyle, is of British origin, which seemingly undermined the authenticity of the Indian life, as it contained large amounts of British influence and showed a mostly negative perspective of the Indian culture.

Essentially, whilst crossover films can have a negative impact on the way other cultures are perceived, intercultural communication and understanding can be improved through accurate representation and thus enhance the lives of diasporic communities.

References:

Khorana. S, 2013, ‘Crossover cinema: a conceptual and genealogical overview’, University of Wollongong Research Online, viewed 3 September 16 <http://ro.uow.edu.au/cgi/viewcontent.cgi?article=2020&context=lhapapers>

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Internationalising Education.

internationstudent.jpgThe globalisation of education is vital to the Australian economy and international relationships. International education can strengthen the ties between Australia and other countries, which assists our trade relationships as well as our understanding of global issues and our worldwide reputation.

Despite this importance, international students face a plethora of issues in regards to the exchange process and cultural experiences. “A crucial element in the achievement of success for international students is not only their academic adjustment but also their adjustment to the social and cultural environment.” (International Students: Negotiating life and study in Australia through Australian Englishes, 2007, pg. 2) This is made difficult due to the existence of a condescending attitude towards those who study internationally, where people assume that those who are not fluent in the English language lack intelligence, or are weak or helpless.

In reality, “studies suggest that many international students prior to coming to Australia have spent many years learning to speak English and thus enter the country unaware of the extent to which local accents, fast speech and Australian colloquialisms…” (International Students: Negotiating life and study in Australia through Australian Englishes, 2007, pg. 3) While international students are perfectly capable of speaking English in a formal sense, it’s the detachment from culture that gives off the impression of unintelligence.

This ultimately generates anxiety and uncertainty amongst international students. This attitude may deter individuals from studying in Australia or even in other countries, and thus damage the Australian economy and current international relationships. In order to prevent this demise, the perception of international students’ needs to change.

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Group of Diverse International Students Celebrating Graduation

These students are required to be motivated and empowered in order to succeed in a different cultural environment, hence they should be perceived for their reality, as opposed to what is assumed.

References:

Kell. P, Vogl. G, 2007, ‘International Students: Negotiating life and study in Australia through Australian Englishes’, Centre for Research on Social Inclusion, pg. 2-3

Global Film: The Nollywood Industry

In Western culture, a Global film is considered to be a production that is not made in the major western countries, such as the UK, the US, Canada, etc. The emergence of global film industries, such as Nollywood and Korean films, have contributed to the increasing globalisation of film.

Nollywood

Beginning in the early 1990’s, Nollywood has become the second largest film industry in the world, producing over 2000 films a year. These films are relatively low budget, thus producing fairly low quality films that are released straight to video, rather than being released in a cinema. This is due to the feeling of insecurity amongst Nollywood audiences, as there is a lack of safety outside of the home.

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These films have become vital to the economic and social growth of Nigeria as well as Africa as a whole, as it has become a cultural phenomenon amongst local audiences. While it has not entirely popularized itself outside of Africa, the production themes and characters have become central to the representation of local audiences in cinematic productions. “While there is no doubt that Nollywood exhibits the hybrid character that is obvious in many forms of African popular arts, it is its acute notation of locality that gives it an unprecedented acceptability as the local cinematic expression in Nigeria and indeed in Africa.” (Okome, 2007) The uniqueness of the production of Nollywood films provides a deeper insight to the Nigerian culture than would otherwise be visible in western culture.

These films ultimately generate a sense of community amongst the creators and audiences of Nigerian cinema, thus allowing it to thrive as a film industry.

References:

Okome. O, 2007, ‘Nollywood: Spectatorship, Audience and the Sites of Consumption’, Postcolonial Text, Vol 3, No 2, viewed 4 September 16 < http://postcolonial.univ-paris13.fr/index.php/pct/article/viewFile/763/425>