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Cultural Imperialism or Economic Necessity?: The Hollywood Factor in the Reshaping of the Asian Film Industry
This paper contends that film industries in several Asian countries are in the process of reinventing themselves as traditional approaches to filmmaking are increasingly found not to be economically viable for the industry. Economic challenges to traditional filmmaking are attributed to economic and cultural globalization with the expansion of democracy around the world, which brings Western cultural influences and entertainment styles to increasingly economically well-off and educated people in Asian countries. The paper explains the appeal and adoption of these styles in Asian film industries within the framework of the theories of cultural dependency and media evolution. The paper says that, for now, there is a growing Hollywoodization of Asian films – marked by sexual depictions, scantily clad women, and violence-oriented scripts within the framework of a pleasure-seeking culture. The author contends, however, that evidence indicates the beginnings of a reverse influence on Hollywood for the same reason -- the profitability of commercial feature films -- that is influencing Asia by Hollywood. Hollywood is getting Asianized to some degree, with influences of the Indian, Hong Kong and Korean movie industries. The two-way cultural symbiosis is likely to grow to serve the entertainment and cultural needs of a cosmopolitan audience who is open to consuming and appreciating foreign cultural influences without entirely rejecting their own.
Kuldip R. Rampal
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