Global Film Beyond Hollywood. What is Bollywood and how did it come about? (Industry Focus)

Hollywood. Known for its blockbuster movies and overly excessive box office profits. Although, little known to the western world, there are other film industries. Two of the larger are India (Best known as Bollywood) and China. Of these two, Bollywood is essentially the most well known outside of Hollywood. Academic, D. Bose affirmed India as the 2nd biggest film industry, stating that ‘the best chance of challenging Hollywood’s hegemony in the movie making world’ (2006: 195).

The manipulation of culture is essential when making movies for your country. Producers must convey their culture in such a way that it is relatable and easy to digest. This post will briefly explore how film industries use their culture to appeal to audiences locally (such as China). As well as how industries (such as India/Bollywood) sell their culture internationally, and how international film industries appropriate these cultural specifics.

Bollywood, by definition is a “Mumbai-based Hindi-language film industry in India. [Combining film industries;] Tamil, Telugu, Bengali, Malayalam, Kannada.” The plots are often melodramatic and have major song and dance sequences, mostly all revolving around central issues such as love, and conflictual struggles involving the parents. ( (You can read more about Bollywood Here:
The reason I have explored the context of Bollywood, is so I can explain Nye’s notion of ‘soft power’ (Nye: 2004) and the way that India culturally exerts this power (affirmed by Shashi Tharoor). The concept of soft power ( is the way in which India influences the US and UK. Through culture. Indian culture is fundimentally different, so when producers change Bollywood movies to suit a western audience, they are by extension changing Indian culture. This change is either known as co-optation or appropriation.

What is the difference between the two? When is it hybridity and when is it theft.

An example of Bollywood appropriation is the film ‘Bend it like Beckham’ (2002). It follows themes common to Bollywood; star-crossed lovers and conflicts fuelled by family members. It also includes Indian music, and an extravagant dance number at the end. However, it is appropriated through the use of the English language, and sexual contact between characters. This is a quality which is strictly explicit in Bollywood Films. So to appeal to the western audience, while drawing on Indian culture, producers had to include concepts appealing to both cultures. Which essentially, is appropriation in practice. Although, this also raises questions. How far is too far? Is it ok to use Indian culture, but add western specifics which oppose indian traditions, just to appeal to the audience?

American films appeal to audience who are accustomed to a certain type of film. Short, at about 90 minutes (compared to 3 hour Bollywood films), involving romantic and sometimes intimate scenes, and sensationalized plots. So how can American films, and Bollywood films – two fundamentally different genres – combine? Does this combination result in the fair appropriation of Indian cultures, creating a hybrid genre? Or are the American producers exploiting India culture?


I encourage you to leave comments in the sections below. Giving your opinions on the questions I have raised.

Thank you.

End of text reference list:
Nye, J. (2004) Soft Power: The Means to Success in World Politics. New York: Public Affairs.
Bose, D. (2006) Brand Bollywood: A New Global Entertainment Order. New Delhi: Sage.

Image Links:,d.cGU&psig=AFQjCNHmtDpr6gdRJxqK7gZtzlTcvhJDjg&ust=1413428563893138,d.cGU&psig=AFQjCNGR9DrTZU6Qt6ogXjWUJrjUg_EMUQ&ust=1413429130656344

Further Readings:

Goldsmith, B., Ward, S., & O’Regan, T. (Eds.). (2010). Local Hollywood: global film production and the Gold Coast. Univ. of Queensland Press.

Ahn, S. (2012). The Pusan International Film Festival, South Korean Cinema and Globalization. Hong Kong University Press.

Local Students and the Troubles of the International

This week’s lecture was based on the idea that international education is inadequate. Most English speaking countries appear to be Ethnocentric in that they feel superior and have nothing to learn from outside sources. However this shouldn’t be the case, we inadvertently make the transition to Australia a difficult one for international students, The international plays a role in many aspects of our lives, without us even knowing, so an adequate international understanding is crucial for us to understand the world, and the people in it.

With a better international understanding we would have a better understanding of global issues, and therefore, a better understanding of global media issues. But to understand the world, we need to understand its people and help these people prosper in Australia. Australia is seen as an ethnocentric country, this is because we lack the ability to help encourage and assimilate different cultures into our own. Without this, there can be no hybridity.

Novera states, that a crucial element in achieving success for international students is not only their adjustment to the academic work, but also their adjustment to society. Whereby the social and cultural acceptance plays a big role in the success of the students.

How can we encourage international hybridity in Australia if we can’t even welcome these international students? The following is an article by the Sydney Morning Herald, outlining an attack on Indian students, damaging Australia’s reputation.  – This sources discusses the research on international education, showing most international students want closer interactions with Australian peers. This is troubling when considering that one of Australia’s largest exports is Higher education. So why doesn’t a country that thrives in sending out students internationally, encourage international students to come and study in Australia? The text (linked above) continues by saying “it shows that most local students are not interested. International education is not the rich intercultural experience it could be. These patterns constantly recur in English speaking countries, and probably in some other countries. We have not been able to move beyond this impasse.”

These views by local students must change. For Australia to adapt to the diverse world as it changes, local students need to accept that the world we live in, is not an Australian-centred world, but a complex diverse one.

Let me know what you guys think about the treatment of international students in Australia, and think about how you treat international students. Thank you.



Further Readings:

Kazuhiro Kudo, Keith A. Simkin .(2010) . ‘Intercultural Friendship Formation: the case of Japanese students at an Australian university’. Journal of Intercultural Studies, Vol. 24, Issue 2.

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

Butcher, M .(2008). ‘FOB Boys, VCs and Habibs: Navigating Language in Culturally Diverse Sydney’. Journal of Ethnic and Migration Studies, Vol. 34, No 3. pp. 371-387.

Butcher, M .(2004). ‘Universal Processes of Cultural Change: Reflecting on the Identity Strategies of Indian and Australian Youth’. Journal of Intercultural Studies, Vol. 25, No. 3. pp. 215- 231.

The First of Many! Globalisation, Media flows and Saturation Coverage.

So this is my first blog of BCM111 (International Media Studies). So be kind when reading and critiquing my work. Just a heads up, the following 8 post will be reflections of my lectures and tutorials for BCM111 as I complete the course. Make use of my Blogroll (on the side of the page) or my hashtags (at the end of the post) to differentiate my BCM111 post from my other blog post. Hope you enjoy the Issues I raise, and I encourage you to comment on my work, and do further readings on the subjects I discuss. I will hyperlink to relevant sources wherever possible to help you do this. Thanks!

Anyway, now that the formalities are out of the way. Let’s focus on the issues covered in week 2 of my BCM111 course.

Globalisation was the concept being explored this week. Focussing on the ideas of globalisation and how these ideas are applied to the media. In my post I will be exploring information and a general understanding of globalisation, leading onto media flows and the dimensions in which these flows are made.

Beginning with globalisation, the Oxford dictionary defines it as “The process by which businesses or other organisations develop international influence or start operating on an international scale” (http://www.oxforddictionaries.

For Example; McDonalds operates on an international level. Critics of globalisation suggested that the introduction of foreign companies – like McDonalds – could affect the culture of certain areas. This then raises issues surrounding orientalism (clashes between eastern and western cultures. I will explore this issue in further blog post, but for now here is a link to a definition or orientalism: This can have negative effects globally.

Although these various actors’ effect cultures that they amerce into, it is worth mentioning that the actors and corporations that go into countries, themselves also get changed. This is known as multi-directional flows. Organisations will adapt to suit the culture, appropriating their advertisement, products and in essence how they deliver their brand (or message).

These examples of globalisation and multi-directional flows, work the same way in the media. Media is appropriated and changed from country to country, this is essential because different cultures understand information in different ways.

Global flows – linking in with globalisation – explores what influences international communities and cultures. Issues like Technology, economy, politics and military interest. From these issues comes the dimensions which define global flows

There are 5 dimensions of global flows.

  • Ethnoscapes
  • Technoscapes
  • Financescapes
  • Mediascapes
  • Ideoscapes

The definitions of these scapes can be found at this link:

These global flows also affect how media travels internationally. Which is a no brainer since this is the international media subject.

This week’s lecture was a basic outline of globalisation and the links it has to media flows. As the course progresses, I predict that we will explore these issues more in depth and focus on their relations to the media.

Thanks for reading. I encourage you to leave comments in the section below if you have any questions or feedback.

‘What is Hidden’ Proposal

It’s time to start thinking about my final JRNL102 assignment. I have had several ideas about how i should approach the ‘what is hidden’ task, but I have finally decided upon my subject.

I plan to do my story on my friend Braiya, whom struggled with body issues and mental illness during her time in high school. I myself did not find out about this struggle until recently, so I feel like it definitely fits the quota. I plan to focus mostly on Braiya but also get input from people who were around her during her struggle, and ask them if they noticed anything before she revealed her personal issues.

I plan to use mostly still imagery and of course audio. Accompanying them with suitable ambient sounds and background music to suit the nature of the interview.

Hopefully it all goes well. I look forward to planning it further!

Keeping Up With The ‘Journalist’

In this weeks web module we were asked to follow three journalist on Twitter. I followed the following three:

Margaret Sullivan – New York Times public editor. First Amendment true believer. Former exec editor, Buffalo News. Teaching (& learning) (

Bill Keller – Editor-in-chief, The Marshall Project, a non-profit newsroom covering crime and punishment in America  (

Dean Baquet – Executive Editor of The New York Times (

Initially i found that there was a clear distinction between 2 of the journalist, and the other one. Dean Baquet – editor of the NYT – you would expect him to be engaged in social media practices, trying to engage with his audience. Yet he did not post a single thing in the last few days, let alone the last few months. This was not the case for Bill Keller or Margaret Sullivan. Margaret uses her twitter religiously, linking in her own work, as well as stories by her own colleagues, and also other interesting articles she has found. Examples of this can be found here:

The same goes for Bill. He does not post as often as Margaret, although he does link to pieces by his colleagues (

Margret and Bill are both engaging with social practices, and spreading their articles to a broader audience in doing so. I hope to be further engaged by these editors, and be introduced to more trending articles this way.

Remember When I Didn’t Have To Blog

I will admit I have learnt a lot more from this blogging task than I initially anticipated. Honestly, my original thoughts were of displeasure and boredom. How hard can it be to write a blog? What can I possibly learn form a task like this? These were the questions I asked myself before diving in and researching the topics we received each week. This research, coupled with the lectures has enhanced my opinions and knowledge of the media far more than I originally thought possible.

We explored many different aspects of the media, including; what it is blamed for, who owns it, semiotics and the study of images, corporate paedophilia and the mediated public sphere.

Personally I found semiotics and the public mediated sphere the most interesting. Through researching semiotics I got to learn a whole new range of skills to help me denote and read the connotations of an image. Nevertheless, the public mediated sphere was my favourite topic, as I got to research a YouTube channel I love to watch. After this activity I found the public sphere to be significant, mostly because it is an area of the media where anyone can give an opinion about their desired topic.

Through self-analysis, I noticed my early blogs had a lot of my own opinions, as I tried to engage the audience more with my language rather than my material. I acknowledge that as I progressed in later weeks, and I began to research more deeply within my topics. This allowed me to express opinions more through my sources and materials.

Throughout this task I have mostly enjoyed reading other peoples blogs and learning about the topics this way. As well as receiving comments on my own post. The feedback from my fellow classmates has helped me critically analyse my own work, whilst helping me critic others.

Thanks guys, for sticking with me and reading all my post.


You Have To Spend Money To Make Fake Money

Corporate paedophilia is not restricted to clothing lines and Toys, but also extends over to all new media devices. As technology grows and new products are developed, the demand for rapid sales and growth increases. The latest form of corporate paedophilia revolves around Apple and its App-Store.

Parents are buying tablets and other devices for their kids at very young ages. It is now not uncommon for an 8 year old to receive an IPad for his birthday, for the purpose of playing apps. Kids at this age do not understand the concept of money and because of this they are spending hundreds of dollars on in app purchases, without the consent of their parents.

This new form of media paedophilia has sparked a lot of public interest, creating a number of media stories regarding in-app purchases. In February 2014, a five year old child in England recently spent £1,700 (AU$3,100) in ten minutes when playing the free app ‘Zombies vs Ninjas’.

A recent British survey by Microsoft revealed many parents are struggling with the problems surrounding in app purchases. “Of the 2,000 adults surveyed, 28% said that their little ones have made in-app purchases without their knowledge.” The parents estimated the average monthly bill was £34.18 or AU$50.25. (For more information on this survey visit:

After receiving thousands of complaints, apple has recognized the problems that these families are faced with. Apple has therefore agreed to refund all the purchases made without parental consent, totalling to an estimated 32.5million. “Today’s agreement with the FTC (Federal Trade Commission) extends our existing refund program for in-app purchases which may have been made without a parent’s permission,” the company said in a statement.

Corporate paedophilia is something all companies will attempt when selling their product. Children and Teenagers are an easy demographic to target, making it easy for companies to get quick sales and make an easy profit.