Crouching Tiger, Hidden Genre.

Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon was one of the first films in the new genre, cross over cinema. Kohrana explains cross over cinema as cinema that crosses cultural borders, but not exclusively in the manifestation of its audience like other similar genres (transnational film, world cinema). Cross over cinema truly is that because it crosses national borders in a multitude of ways including:

  • Conceptualisation
  • Production
  • Hybrid Cinematic Text
  • Distribution
  • Reception

It is important to think of cross over cinema in terms of what it means in an increasingly globalised world. Cross over cinema reimagines the boundaries that film producers may have faced. It is also important to examine how these creative practitioners comprehend this shift. They also need to examine how they produce content in this climate.

Take for instance the cross over hit, Slumdog Millionaire. Danny Boyle’s production spoke to viewers on a much deeper level because thematically it dealt with things that had universality. Kohrana defines this need for interconnection as:

Transnational appeal needs to be both globally and locally dispersed rather than invested in an elite Western milieu.

This explanation also draws attention to the idea that cross over cinema cannot solely rely on Western stories and opinion to define it. This description imbeds the idea that really good cross over cinema like all cinema relies on good story telling. Although it looks and feels genuinely different to stories that are inwardly focused it still must provide the viewer with as much substance.

NBN, National Broadcasting Network?

We are still talking about TV right?

This is the response I got from my mum, Janet, when I posed to her the question of “what is the NBN?”.

Needless to say, this technological advancement is at the forefront of what my parents need or crave in their lives. Instead the unveiling of the National Broadband Network would just be a delightful improvement on the services that they already have.

“If it improves our internet speeds a little bit then that is great, but it won’t really effect how or what we do in our home”, Janet said.

This sentiment would no doubt worry the government and the private investors of the NBN, who have guaranteed the connect-ability and functionality of the network.

Yet maybe it wouldn’t, instead imploring the idea that an older generation is not the target market of such an investment and rollout. However the fact that we have an ageing population, one that is increasingly becoming more technologically savvy seems unlikely. I think the issues in dealing with this population instead stem from a disconnect in values. Technology isn’t valued in this demographic as much as it is in the younger market.

“I’m old and don’t really care, as long as I have some access to the internet I’m all good”. Janet said, adding “If it is only going to speed things up I don’t think it will fundamentally change our lives”.

Somewhat naive perhaps, but I think it does reflect some of the traditional values that both my parents and the generation that they come from still try to up hold. This push to tradition, inhibits the way that they use and view technology in their own lives. A report by Cisco and Independent Age advised some of the reasons for this as;

  1. Lack of access to the internet
  2. Low awareness of what technology can offer
  3. Inadequate marketing
  4. Inappropriate design
  5. Anxieties

For my parents the problem connected to the rollout of the NBN in particular arise from points 2 and 3, low awareness of what it can do and inadequate marketing.

The lack of understanding of how it could change their lives definitely inhibits how my parents and (in general) their generation make use of the internet. It astounds me that my Dad, Al, has never had a Skype conversation with his brother and sister in New Zealand. I’m equally surprised that they are willing to wait until one of their favourite shows Castle comes back on television or DVD (yes, DVD) to watch it.

This is a far cry to how some other students parents, like Brendon, make use of their NBN connected households. Of particular interest was the idea that they would go without television in a traditional sense and simply stream all of their television viewing.

We no longer have a television signal in our house. Instead, we have a dedicated PC connected to the TV in the living room that is used for streaming or downloading content

I highly doubt my parents would ever take such measures to watch television. I think this fundamentally shows the different attitudinal outlooks towards not only the NBN, but technology in general. For my parents its to assist their lives but for others it is central to how they live.

Marketing the NBN as a key component to your life, has been the underlying message of the building and operating company NBN CO. Yet the continuing issue is the drag on effect that has occurred due to the change in government and change in philosophy of how the NBN should be delivered. This has meant that the idea and message of the NBN has been clouded. The disparity has also caused some disillusionment with the project for my parents.

“It was everywhere and then it was no where. It was one thing and then it was going to do another and I couldn’t keep up”, Janet said “They can come back to me with the NBN when I have town water, sewerage, proper guttering and reception on my mobile phone, until then I don’t really care”.

This disillusionment and subsequent attitudes are typified in the type of people who the Broad-banding Brunswick saw as non-adopters of the NBN in the area. In fact my parents could basically be the representation of their entire conclusion paragraphs. While this is not necessarily a bad thing I think it does speak volumes about the generational gap. In particular about the value and meaning of media and how we want to use it.

 

Iggy Failure.

Increased cultural awareness and interest in different cultures has shifted global trends of media consumption. No longer are Hollywood films the only viable mass market cinema culture. This “contra flow” against Hollywood has generally promoted industries from the South East of Asia and in particular India. Bollywood is the term to describe the Indian Film market that is concentrated in Mumbai. Its characterised by bright costuming, large choreographed song and dance scenes and an overwhelming sense of spirit.

However where this success and notoriety becomes problematic is the appropriation of Indian (and other) culture.

Iggy Azalea’s video for Bounce is rife with this cultural appropriation. Guha‘s assessment of this is spot on and prompts discussion on; cultural appropriation of the culture, how Indians are received (or not received) in western countries, co-opting Indian culture and sexualising its nature and then goes on to ask the bigger question of cultural appropriation.

Are we willing to sell someone else’s culture out to make money? 

Schafer and Karan (2010) best describe this as:

Bollywoodisation appears to have been absorbed into the conglomerate multicultural marketing toolkit, prompting us to question whose economic interest actually is being served by the soft power potential of the Indian film industry and its cinematic contra-flow

This frank assessment questions who really benefits from having other influences other than American in the culture market and how might western markets be benefiting from having a strong Bollywood culture or even a Bollywood culture that they can draw upon for advertising/marketing purposes.

Exploration of the misuse of cultures in promoting and distributing products is undeniably important. It is necessary for us as western producers and consumers to realise that using specific religious and cultural isn’t ok. What we should strive for is the acceptance and proliferation of different cultural aspects and honour them, without being offensive or horrid.

References

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, no 3, pp. 309-316.

Language and International Students

The presence of international students in a domestic university often brings up unique and significant challenges. Central to these challenges is the ability to understand and use the distinct vernacular that is used in each setting. Kell and Vogl (2007) present this idea as;

The possession of an understanding and ability to use colloquial and non – formal English is a key to initiating and maintaining social interactions with and outside the academy. (Kell & Vogl 2007, p.8)

There in lies the success to being an international student, get down with the lingo! (warning:expletive content) However this can be challenging as the departure from a more formal English to the colloquial rampant Australian English, coupled with a new set of cultural and societal norms can overwhelming.

While Kell & Vogl (2007) don’t necessarily delve deep into this interconnection, Kambouropoulos (2014) with her qualitative study looks to delve into these issues. The difficulty in integration is expressed over 3 broad groups; Adjustment, Academic and Social/Psychological. Most notably from these 3 groups is the understanding that some of these factors would have little to no bearing on domestic students. Issues such as parental pressure to the extent that is placed on international students is unparalleled. Although this study is limited by a low male response rate and location, it does give a good insight into the deeper effect that studying abroad can have.

What both papers do express is the need for further development by universities in relation to the connection between international students and their social and cultural experience. Although having English proficiency is necessary it is the connection to place that international students need to foster.

Simply addressing issues of standard and English proficiency in the academy disconnected from social and cultural aspects of student life will not adequately address the needs of an increasingly diverse student population. (Kell & Vogl 2007, p.9).

References:

Kambouropoulos, A 2014, ‘ An examination of the adjustment journey of international students studying in Australia’, The Australian Educational Researcher, vol. 41, no. 3, pp. 349-363.

Kell, P, & Vogl, G 2007, ‘International Students: Negotiating life and study in Australia through Australian Englishes’, Everyday Multiculturalism Conference
Proceedings, Macquarie University, Sydney,  28-29 September.

 

Touchdown! The Superbowl and Audience Measurement

The annual NFL Super Bowl is a particularly hallowed experience in an American context. Not only for the fact that sport has remained the pinnacle in the saturated American sport market but also due to the riveting advertising battle that takes place every year. That is right. The advertising is just as important, if not more important than the game itself. As Kay expresses it is a “pop culture phenomenon that is here to stay”.

But why would an advertising company pay $4 million dollars for an advertising spot? Well, simply it is due to the ridiculous market share that the Super Bowl has. The fact that your brand can broadcast to an audience of 112 million people, far greater than any other conceivable market share (highest rating show ever!!) is the great allure.

Yet is this an effective means of reaching your target market? Is an advertisers intended demographic being reached or is it simply lost in the wash of how vast the viewership is during the Super Bowl. CMO Network argues that the Super Bowl is about the safest bet in advertising that you can find. The appeal of the wide view share  and constant talk of the brand on social media gives you unprecedented “replay value”.

IB times however, questions the ability for the advertising to truly engage the market. They showed that the ads failed to actually sell product and produce brand recognition that would justify the price tag of the advertising. Cross Media found a similar issue with the advertising as only 70% of viewers actually attributed the advertising to brand recognition and within that only 30% intended to buy a product.

Here in lies why audience measurement is so important in a general sense. The biggest audience share garners the most expensive advertising spot. This is why our major television networks want a change in the amount of time they can spend showing advertisement. Without this attraction would audience measurement really be that important? It would be somewhat important to know who you are showing to, but maybe less so if you didn’t need to advertise to a particular demographic.

Regardless audience measurementt is here to stay, with a particular interest in who, what and why we are watching. Either way, I’m all for it, especially if I can continue to see puppies falling in love with horses.

 

A Royale With Cheese.

 “Glocalisation” of products is practically inevitable. Appadurai described it best as such;

…as rapidly as forces from various metropolises are bought into the new societies they tend to become indigenised in one way or another.

One of the great Tarantino scenes actually says a lot to me about how global/glocalisation actually works. The idea of how a major franchise will change its product pending on location speaks volumes to it.

The necessity of this from a business standpoint is unquestionable and expansion into global markets  would likely fail without it.

But what does this say about our new global environment? Does this make “McDonaldisation” a feasible  outcome for the growth and development of a global economy

OR

are we stripping away the very thing that makes the difference in our spatiality so unique and precious for  a quick buck.

I remember during my first degree Dr. Natascha Klocker asking what is a “developing” country really  needing to develop to? Is a western principle of how we should fundamentally develop our economy  suitable to many of these situations or is the loss of culture and tradition suffered too hefty a price to pay?

Inevitably this is always where globalisation debate will end up.

Utopian vs. Dystopian.

While I can’t be definitive  I have an inkling the right answer is somewhere in the vs.

77 Sunset Strip.

“WOAH! You got to watch 77 Sunset Strip!? That show was too racy for us”

That was the reaction that my Dad had over our discussion with my Mum about their television habits during their formative years. However, it seemed to be the only point of conjecture when they talked about how they would take in television. Which I found fascinating.

This fascination stemmed from the fact that my parents grew up approximately 2200 kilometres away from each, parted by the Tasman Sea. My Dad a New Zealand Ex-Pat(ish) and my Mum from Sydney’s suburban outskirts. The distance however didn’t seem to change how they watch or where they watched the television from.

Sitting on the lounge, silent and just watching from the news broadcast until it was time for bed was both how they consumed television. For both, their father was awarded the “best spot”. Which reflects in our family as Dad always has the spot right in front of the television, prime real estate!

Social etiquette also meant that the television was never on with company in the house nor was it on during the day. Unless it was for Saturday morning cartoons. Far cry from when I would wake up every morning and watch Pokémon/Dragon Ball z before school. Ah, bless Cheez TV.

When I pressed my parents further about this different type of consumption and what they thought when I watched TV with them, with laptop and phone at the ready, my Dad said this:

“It’s just a sign of the way we are now. Your whole social experience is on those two things. You’re mesmerised by them, just as we were so consumed with TV when it just came out”.

I think that may be the key point when we think about television consumptions changing nature. What other infrastructure will affect how and where we view television. Will a change to metadata law scare people into not downloading the new Game of Thrones and staying ahead of their friends? If this change goes through will we see a return to consumption from a more traditional means? Time and place are undoubtedly important to answering these questions.

Introduction V.2

My name is Peter and I’m a first year Media and Communication/Journalism Student. This is my second go around at UOW and am really enjoying how this course is panning out.

I’d never really considered media space as a thing before this subject, but the idea of using media according to space is interesting. I find that I am guilty of burying my face in my phone in public and constantly trying to engage in the social media sphere. I think it is exemplified by this photo…

My Media Space

My Media Space

I always watch my television like this, with laptop and phone in tow. But why? What makes you act in this way. I can’t possibly consume all of these things at once. I’m hoping that this subject will clarify this and bring up other interesting questions.

Troll Culture: The Celebrity Curse

We, society, are enthralled with the lifestyles of the rich and the famous. We need to know everything about them and we need to know it now. However this has led to a sense of entitlement when dealing with celebrities. People feel like they can say whatever they want. While some of it can be dealt with in a fun and humorous manner,

Most of it cannot. Particularly the level of hate perpetrated to female celebrities on the internet. The large majority of female based trolling is cruel and rife with misogyny.

Why is this?

The constant attention drawn to celebrities gives us a feeling of proximity to them. We feel like we know them. This lends itself to us, as more than a consumer, giving opinions that we feel are warranted. While negative opinion and public debate are fundamental in an internet culture,

Rape “jokes” are not. Physical violence threats are not.

When intelligent women, such as Lauren Mayberry, singer for the band CHVRCHES and singer Sky Ferreira need to pen op-ed pieces in hope that internet trolls will stop, we know that we have gone too far.

This in-sensuous level of internet trolling can have dire consequences.

The unfortunate death of Charlotte Dawson, a television personality who constantly dealt with internet trolling, highlighted the need for people to be more cautious and aware of themselves on the internet. It also sparked key debate on what can be done in an online environment to stop the constant abuse that celebrities, particularly female, are receiving.

They say any publicity is good publicity. Yet when this publicity stems from harassment and abuse it makes it hard to comprehend. While there is hope for a troll-less future, the doubt will not waver.

 

#OurABClicktivist.

260,043.

The Protect our ABC (#ourABC) campaign run by the GetUp! company has established this many signatories. Fuelled by the imminent cuts to the public broadcaster the mobilisation of this campaign has been predominately online. While this seems like a phenomenal amount of support, what does this number actually mean? Does it really represent the level of support for the campaign or is it just another example of an increasingly ‘Clicktivist’ society.

Clicktivism at its core is the use of social media to disseminate a message to a wide audience. The ease and pace of this transference makes it ideal for activist movements. The two most notable Clicktivist campaigns are Kony 2012 and Occupy Wall Street. Fronted by pseudo marketing companies these campaigns gained notoriety through a two layered approach, both online and physical. The question that this successful approach garners for the protect our ABC campaign is,

Can it create change without a physical presence? 

While the twitter hashtag shows that there is a certain level of physical activism, the level is nowhere near that of other successful campaigns. In fact it was dwarfed by the opportunistic demonstration shown by students on the television programme Q&A in regards to the deregulation of universities in Australia.

This display gained mass attention, particularly on social media and will continue to anchor this campaign. It will also continue to give this campaign a reference point, similar to a ‘make Kony famous’ or a ‘we are the 99%’ both catch cries of the aforementioned campaigns.

Time will tell through the Federal Budget whether this campaign was a success or not. However the plight of the clicktivist will continue. While online campaigning is now a necessity, it also seems an embodiment of this ideal is crucial to its success.