The movies are my culture.


Culture and cultural identity is no longer held solely in the societies people and practices just as it is no longer recognised purely on internal features. Instead, through movement of film production, content and people, the perceptions are being shaped globally. It is both possible for cultures to represent not only their own through film, but also a demonstration of others through incorporating the means of both Cross-over and Transnational Cinema characteristics.

Cross-over cinema is an encompassing term that describes how a films entity, from production, to casting to marketing, is supported from many areas in the globe. It is through this that text is shaped into a new hybrid culture, changing the reception of texts in both production values and consumption reach. In the case of Slumdog Millionaire (2009), as mentioned in my blog post ‘ Hollywood Who?’, was a film that at its very heart was an international film, however, in this case it is being recognised as a success globally, on its own merit and not in a sub category of ‘international film’. Cross over cinema can only purely be successful when the films identity is not bound by cultural identity, but is instead accepted within foreign environments.

Transnational cinema is an intrinsic weave between narrative and aesthetic qualities that connect to more than one cultural identity and community group. In this a hybrid of cultural content is created that moves across cultural borders with greater ease. These texts types are viewed as a platform between opposing cultures, as they bring together differences using them as feature elements.

These two identities, cross-over and transnational cinema can work together as one identifies the processes of an international community involved in film conception, production and support, while the other focuses on a more intrinsic value that identifies influences on subject matter and core elements.

The final concept is Diasporic Cinema being born out of a fractured and constantly moving and globalised environment. “Thus this category of film is neither linguistically nor culturally monolithic.” Which then leads to the question of whether diasporic texts are new genre of international film that breaches boundaries and blurs lines.

The three notions highlighted here, although similar carry out in different ways. Depending on which area of film is being discussed and in which manner will determine which concept will be highlighted. It must also be assessed how film and television shape cultural perceptions, disseminate stereotypes and enhance a constant lack of understanding.

The above video is a conversation of film and perceptions from a selection of culturally diverse students in a America. It explores how interpretations shape cultural identity and what factors come into play. A number of themes highlighted include:

  • Perpetuated stereotypes through repetitious news segments
  • The role of women in Western and Eastern societies
  • The identity of men and their need to protect
  • The showcasing of vast textual discussions to ensure well-rounded global identities

One key point raised in the clip was “Just because something is unflattering doesn’t mean it is illegitimate. This is an Egyptian director and he wishes to show us this facet of his country … it places a little bit of responsibility on the viewer to look at this, absorb it and then develop questions.” Film is used a supplementary avenue for discussion on international expression. However with an increased access to content through movements of contraflows, it is important for producers to be aware of the spread and to ensure their content does not feed an illegitimate facade.  It is through this that culture is projected to a wider audience and it for this reason that producers must be careful, or at least aware of what they disseminate.



Film Reference 2014, Diasporic Cinema, Accessed 13th of October 2014,

Khorana, S. 2013, Crossover cinema: cross-cultural film from production to reception, Routledge, New York




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