Apr 5, 2010

When did Hollywood become the world's TV set?

“Paradoxically,” Martel adds, “American firepower doesn’t destroy local cinema or music” (though he doesn’t say what the effect of American culture has been on the form and style of the local arts)—but adds, “None of these [other] countries manages to export its musical or cinematographic productions, which are too ethnocentric to please everyone.” What he doesn’t say in this brief interview—and what I’d expect him to explain in the book—is why American mass culture has acquired international status. He hints that it’s not a matter of advertising budgets but of “values.” — Richard Brody, The New Yorker
This sounds interesting, although I want to know whether he entertains the opposing idea. With films like Avatar making 70% of their money overseas, the question becomes not (from abroad) "What are these big American Movies doing in our backyard?" but (from Americans) "Since when did the American film industry become the world's TV set?" How American is it any more?

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