Another film brought to you by Planet Earth.

The video is captioned “Bollywood’s hilarious take on rugby”. The reason that some would consider it ‘hilarious’ is that rugby is not known to be a part of the Indian culture, but rather a part of the culture in places such as New Zealand, the UK, Australia and South Africa. Also, the representation that Bollywood has made of the game is, well, kind of inaccurate.

Now compare it to the trailer for the film Invictus.

Written by South African born Anthony Peckham, you may think this is a much better representation of rugby. But is this really a South African film if it is directed by American Clint Eastwood, and both of the lead actors, Morgan Freeman and Matt Damon, are also American? Or is this considered a transnational film? Does this mean that Invictus’ representation of rugby is no better than that of Bollywood’s attempt?

If you are a fan of rugby, like myself, I think you’d agree that Invictus does do a bit better of a job in acting out the game of rugby, but the point I’m trying to make here is that it is it is difficult to label a movie as being purely produced by a single country – say, an Australian film. For example, Australian film producer, screen writer and director Baz Lurhmann was the co-writer and director of “The Great Gatsby”, which is a film depicting the materialistic lifestyles of people in 1920’s America. Maria Lewis has an interesting point that “When you hear the words “The Great Gatsby” you don’t necessarily think “Aussie, Aussie, Aussie: Oi, Oi Oi!””, but something that is also interesting to note is that most of the film was shot in Australia. So, one question that arises is, is this an Australian film depicting America, or an American film written and directed by Australians? If only the question was this simple to answer:

Also is the case with the 1993 film “The Piano”, which is a film set in New Zealand and written and directed by New Zealander Jane Campion. This movie won the Palme d’Or award at the Cannes Film festival, but was classified as an Australian film, as the executive producer of this movie, Jan Chapman, was Australian. It is hard to grasp the fact that a movie that is representing New Zealand and was written and directed by a New Zealander could possibly be classified as Australian. I mean, if “The Castle”, a movie that is considered one of Australia’s gems, was produced by a New Zealander, would you say it was a New Zealand Film?

So what can be concluded from all of this? Well, the main thing is that it is not easy to say where a film’s home country is. I think that a vast majority, if not all films today have some sort of transnational influence, whether it be an aspect of another country’s culture, or an actor/director/producer. What it comes down to is how it is interpreted – back to the Invictus example, which in my eyes, is a South African movie because of the fact that it is telling a story of South Africa.


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New Hollywood = Nollywood

If this is the first time you are hearing of the term ‘Nollywood’, then chances are, like I didn’t, you have no clue as to what it could be. Nollywood refers to the film industry of Nigeria, and in terms of output, it is the 2nd largest film industry in the world, only trailing the Indian film industry, Bollywood. Nollywood films are shot on a tight budget, varying anywhere from $10 000 to $50 000, and does not have the video quality of say a higher budget western produced film. The distribution of Nollywood films is generally done by selling them in the format of DVD on street corners or vendors, for a few dollars each. Because of the low budgets and high sales of films, film making is very profitable for Nollywood film makers. Although this doesn’t seem like a great amount, Nollywood has been great for the Nigerian economy, as it is estimated that 150 000 – 200 000 home made films are sold each day, and that Nollywood contributes to 1.4% of Nigeria’s GDP.

Now that the world has increased access to more affordable technology, such as internet and high quality video recording devices, it is worth considering that the Nollywood film industry has excellent grounds to increase the production quality of its films whilst remaining on a low budget, and to possibly even become the biggest film industry in the world. So what exactly is the future of Nollywood? Could it possibly become the New Hollywood?

If we look at how Nollywood has progressed during it’s lifetime, we can see that it has had an amazing growth. Onookome Okome tells us in his article ‘Nollywood: Spectatorship, Audience and Sights of Consumption’ about the origins of Nollywood, that a trader in the Idumota area of Lagos discovered a way of disposing VHS cassettes, using them to record local theatre performances for video film. As people caught onto this, Lagos quickly became the mecca of home video production. Currently, it is estimated that Nollywood produces between 1500 and 2000 home video films per year, and that in the years of 2010-13, the film industry generated in-between $300 million and $800 million. Also, in 2014, Nollywood was valued at $5 billion.

So how is Nollywood expanding its ventures in a modern day context?

Nollywood has begun to take advantage of the internet and social media as a means of distributing their films. iRokoTV, dubbed ‘the Netflix of Africa’, is a streaming service that is home to more than 5,000 Nollywood films. Alfred Joyner’s article exploring the future of Nollywood says that this will allow more people around the world to have access to Nollywood films as they are no longer exclusively available in a hard copy. iRokoTV allows anyone with an internet connection access to Nollywood films. There is also a youtube account titled ‘Nollywood pictures tv’, which is loaded with Nollywood films and has over 200 000 subscribers.

IrokoTV

So what does this mean for the future of Nollywood? Well, as Nollywood films are now accessible all around the world, it is sitting on great potential to become even larger than it already is. By utilising new technology, Nollywood producers can produce higher quality videos whilst remaining on a small budget, and can also use services like YouTube and iRokoTV to distribute films more vastly, and possibly one day become, the New Hollywood.


References:

  • Joyner A, (2014), ‘New Nollywood? The Future of World’s Second Largest Film Industry’, News Article, Viewed 2nd September 2015, http://www.ibtimes.co.uk/new-nollywood-future-worlds-second-largest-film-industry-1442857.
  •  Tolchinsky M (2015), ‘Nigeria’s Nollywood is putting Hollywood to shame’, News article, Viewed 2nd September 2015, http://globalriskinsights.com/2015/01/nigerias-nollywood-putting-hollywood-shame/.
  • Okome, O (2007). ‘Nollywood: spectatorship, audience and the sites of consumption’ Postcolonial Text, 3.2, pp. 1-21, viewed 31st April 2015.

Globalisation: What does it mean to communicate?

As time has passed and we as the human race have become more advanced, globalisation has changed the way we live our lives on a day to day basis. Things such as transport, communication, trade and accessibility to information have become such simple tasks that would’ve been much more difficult beforehand.

If we talk about how globalisation has impacted on the way we communicate with one another, the internet is something that springs to mind. Advances in technology have allowed us to easily communicate with anyone around the world via social media such as Facebook or Twitter, through a device that we can fit in our back pocket. In theory, communication via the internet is a means of bringing people closer together, regardless of how far apart we may be, and this makes the need for physical presence in communication redundant.

As we humans are creatures of habit, it has become one of ours to communicate without being physically present, via social media. A survey by Belle Beth Cooper in 2013 has shown that 25% of people surveyed can not recall a time when their phone was not in earshot, and 23% said they would check social media at least 5 times per day. As we are so reliant on using our smartphones as a means of communication, do we still understand the importance of people skills? Are our interactions in person the same as they seem to be through the internet?

This video is a perfect illustration of how technology can be over utilised to communicate with people around us. The narrator in the video reminisces about his childhood, playing with friends in the park, and how he has seen the ways that technology has changed the way in which we communicate as he has grown up. He expresses his opinion that we as humans are lacking physical social encounters with other people, making us anything but social. This concept is somewhat reflected in Kate Hill’s article for the ABC, which explores the ways in which people nowadays have their “eyes never lifting from the screen and not responding to a ‘hello'”.

In conclusion, it is true that the globalisation of the way we communicate has given us great opportunities. We can now share information, send important messages and even just talk to a loved one instantaneously, no matter how far apart we are, which is much more convenient than sending a message by mail. The associated problem with the advances in technology, though, is the way in which we have become reliant on this form of communication where we are not physically present. The reason that this is a problem is that we no longer see the need for highly developed people skills that are important for us to have, for things such as job interviews.. as such:

01-lotto-magic-social-69


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