TRANSNATIONAL FILM THROUGH THE EYES OF BATMAN

Let’s face it, transnationalism is a mammoth concept to tackle. In fact anything ‘global ’ is.  This is all thanks to the fact that the earth we inhabit is a huge one and we are accompanied by over 7 billion other humans, and therefore a plethora of varying cultures, nationalities, traditions and customs are carrying on around us. But how cool is that? Transnationalism is all about transcending borders and going global. And one of the coolest and most creative forms of transnationalism, is transnational film.

Transnationalism is a social phenomenon and scholarly research agenda grown out of the heightened interconnectivity between people and the receding economic and social significance of boundaries among nation states.”

So if that is transnationalism, what is transnational film all about? Well, what better way to explain it than through one of our favourite characters…

bat

Image Source

Yes. It is he, Batman.

When we think about Hollywood films, we likely anticipate a very “Americanised” production, a classic box-office Hollywood money maker. And that’s exactly what this is; if we were to look at the end product. You see transnational film is all about integrating different cultures, and different nationalities, about the appeal and interests of not only one nation, but of a handful.

There is no denying, Hollywood is the main stage when it comes to western films, and as Ezra and Rowden  state “the performance of Americanness is increasingly becoming a “universal” characteristic in world cinema” (What is Transnational Cinema”) however as our favourite hero Batman teaches us, there’s a little more to it.

 

Our beloved Aussie, the late Heath Ledger as our favourite bad guy, The Joker, and Christian Bale, main protagonist, “The Batman” are both foreigners in America (Ledger hailing from down under and Bale a native of Britain). Michael Caine, another main protagonist is also British.

The actors themselves are an example of transnational film, reaching out to the interests of Australian’s and English alike. Not only do the lead actors hail from Britain, but also the director of the film, along with the costume designer, producer, and art director (aka most of the production team), making it a pretty good pitch for classification as an “English film” however the editors and cinematographers were from the United States, and the construct of the film is highly Americanised allowing us to see the mix of cultures and interests that are present.

And there we have it folks, hopefully this ironed out the concept of transnational film as much as it made you feel like stacking up on chocolate and watching Batman.

References:

Transnational Cinema and Online Culture – “What is Transnational Cinema” http://358695.weebly.com/what-is-transnational-cinema.html

Wikipedia – “Transnationalism” – https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Transnationalism

Image Source – http://i.kinja-img.com/gawker-media/image/upload/bdax36su2nbecapijz3l.jpg

Ageless Trailers (Youtube Channel) – The Dark Knight (2008) Trailer (Christian Bale, Heath Ledger, Aaron Eckhart) – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1ql0v5Lqn9E

THE DICE IS IN OUR COLLECTIVE, GLOBAL, HAND.

“The more you look at difference as potential, the less it looks like a problem” – the wise words of HSBC. Think about it, no-one ever grew or gained from ignorance. No-one ever bettered themselves because they deflected the ideas, thoughts and perspectives of people around them and solely focused on what they thought.  In our growing global community, we have everything at our fingertips. We have access stretching across every side of the globe, reaching so many fascinating cultures. Cultures which seem to be living historically, and cultures that seem to be one step ahead of the future, and what does this give us, more than anything? Ability.

What we do with this ability is in the hands of each of us; individually, as a group, a nation or collectively as a human race.

The effect can be both positive and negative.

Positive:


  • Economics

  • Technology
  • Culture
  • Growth
  • Transcending borders

Or Negative;


  • Exploitation
  • Terrorism
  • Inequality

Globalisation is happening to us, whether we like or not. Though it excites some, to others it incites fear about loss of diversity, among many things. The two terms often thrown around in this debate are homogenisation and heterogenisation.

With globalisation being such a young concept, it is hard to foresee it’s future effect on the world and our way of life, however the argument has been raised; will it celebrate and create diversity or destroy it?

“Globalisation could lead to the homogenisation of world cultures, or to hybridisation and multiculturalism’ (O’Shaughnessy and Stadler, 458).

So far, we’ve seen both. We’ve seen the development of ideas, “ideoscapes”; have both a positive and negative effect. Ideas have spread globally about the standard of human rights and empowerment of women in countries which were previously only subject to ideas of their own suppressive governments.

The video above is an example of the way ideas are globally transferred and global education is shared and supported through the movement of ideas across borders and nations.

However we’ve also seen, through mediascapes and the virtual world, extremist ideas spread globally, a current growing concern for our global community. Terrorism is unfortunately a current fear that has spread to many countries, due to an ideology spread that is sweeping across may countries through extremist groups and individual. With globalisation, comes this ability for the fast movement of ideas regardless of their value or nature which can in some negative cases be alarming.

The reality is, as these national borders are transcended and the world seemingly shrinks, we are faced with difference and ability. This difference can either empower us or divide us, the choice is in our collective, global, hand.

References:

CCTV Africa – “Somali Women Join Global Campaign To End The Violence Against Women – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BmREbbopkx0

Facebook (Youtube Channel) – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Kh_-jXimuWQ

Olivier Ejderyan and Norman Backhaus – “Homogenisation” – http://www.glopp.ch/A4/en/multimedia/homogenisation.pdf

The World of Labour – “Causes and Effects of Globalisation” – https://laboureconomics.wordpress.com/2012/05/14/causes-and-effects-of-globalization-6/

O’Shaughnessy and Stadler, 458 – (2008) ‘Globalisation’ Media and Society (fifth edition) Oxford: Oxford University Press

International Study: Aboard or Bored?

International students, there is an abundance of them. With globalization allowing for the rapidly growing and profiting International Study Market, it can almost be guaranteed you will come into contact with an international student in any course, at some point. So much so, that they are almost part of our culture. In high school, it was like Christmas came a little early when an anxious few of international students with high socks and neat uniforms walked in ready to amerce themselves in Aussie culture, throw back a VB and eat a very terribly portioned amount of vegemite. But just like Christmas, it lasted a day and we were over it. Think about it. I said they are almost part of our culture, yes. But you see, the problem is, they are not a part of our culture because we make an extravagant effort to include and amerce them, but because they hold their end as the vulnerable and stereotyped excuses to say we’re a “laid-back” and “accommodating” place whilst building one of our largest profiting industries at the same time.

But are we really giving them what we can offer for the billion dollars, arm, leg and right lung that they pay? Are we really being as hospitable as we like to be viewed? And is that as big of an issue as I’ve made it out to be? Well, that would depend on whether you like to embrace Marginson’s “self-formation” theory of International Students.

If any of you are like me, you’ve dreamt of going to college in America, the Friday night football games, drinking from a red cup with two team coloured stripes on each cheek cheering for your College with a bunch of cool-accented friends. And if you’re like me you’d be arriving with the idea that you are going to get on that plane home, a different person, with amazing cultural experiences because lets be honest, I wouldn’t be going there just for the education. So what would you do if that’s not what you got? This identity forming experience was hardly one at all. According to Marginson, International study needs to be viewed as a “self-forming” social experience, enhanced by ourselves, and the people around us rather than a purely educational one (did someone say boring, oh wait I did). So with a growing international market for exchange and abroad study, and a yearning for cultural experience in our quest for self-formation, the lack of cultural emersion is a huge issue, for everyone. Because any hosting country could learn a hell of a lot from the international student.

Last year at UOW there were 18, 194 local students enrolled and 12, 360 international students (Australian Universities). That means 40.5% of students were international, that is a HUGE statistic, and with that many international students, imagine the possibilities for cultural emersion that often go unutilised. At the University of Sydney 42,028 were local, and 12,278 International and 26.7% of UTS students were international. So the point I am making is, with global education comes the desire and opportunity for social experiences of cultural difference and emersion. Opportunities that benefit everyone involved and need to start being acknlowedged if we are going to help our fellow humans understand and experience the cultures of our greatly diverse, wacky and wonderful world. No-one ever came here excited to sit in the back of the classroom and learn about Australia on their own.

So…

If you dream of attending that college game, or skiing to school in Switzerland, or riding around Paris with your French Uni pals, then it’s your job to aid in the self-forming, socially nourishing, cultural experience of international students studying here. Show em’ what Australia’s all about.

References:

Marginson, “Morphing a profit-making business into an intercultural experience International education as self-formation” https://moodle.uowplatform.edu.au/pluginfile.php/455996/mod_resource/content/1/Week%203_Marginson.pdf

Australian Universities – “Student Numbers at Australian Universities” http://www.australianuniversities.com.au/directory/student-numbers/

Celebrities on Twitter: The Top 5 Celebrity Twitter Fights

As if we needed another reason to love baby-daddy, Ashton Kutcher, well here it is. Kutcher pioneered the celebrity move to Twitter after its birth seven years ago. He was one of the first celebs to gravitate towards the site and over the years the rest have followed swiftly behind him. So why are we thanking Kutcher? Well think about it, before Twitter it was virtually impossible to see celebrities interacting with each other online. I mean, of course you could like a Facebook page or become a “fan” of a group, but rarely did you witness an exchange between two celebrities and even more rarely would it expose the true online persona’s of our favourite stars.

*cue the birth of Twitter*

Twitter has given us a new insight. It has ultimately allowed us, as dedicated fans, to peer through the window into the everyday lives of celebrities. This has exposed the activists, the catty and the, well, shameless keyboard warriors. This next list is a collaboration of the craziest (and sometimes downright disgusting) online persona’s belonging to our favourite celebrities in “The Top 5 Celebrity Twitter Fights”

From public family feuds…

twitter fight 2 - family drama

To feuding celebrities (this one is addressed to the one and only Katy Perry after their albums dropped the same week).

twitter fight 4

To the very recent (and tragic) fight between One Direction band-member Louis Tomlinson and producer “NaughtyBoy”.

twitter fight 3 - band fights

And coming down to the ugliest online persona’s – former “Drake and Josh” star Drake Bell throwing a hell of a lot of shade onto an unsuspecting Bieber.

twittter fight 5

And worst of them all, and the most notorious online persona… Amanda Bynes.

twitter fight 1

Twitter has exposed us to the real persona’s of celebrities, even their stardom cannot shield them from the bluntness and frankness that comes hand in hand with a 140 character limit.

Image Sources:

http://www.helpfeedthetroll.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/07/Drake_Bell_Trolling_Justin_Bieber_Fans.jpg

http://cdn.popdust.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/05/Screen-Shot-2014-05-08-at-2.49.39-PM_2014-05-08_21-03-39.png

http://s3.gossipcop.com/up/2015/03/Louis-Tomlinson-Naughty-Boy-Tweets-400×305.png

http://cdn0.dailydot.com/originals/tweets.jpg

http://rack.2.mshcdn.com/media/ZgkyMDEzLzA5LzA5LzM1L0FtYW5kYUJ5bmVzLjVlNWYzLmpwZwpwCXRodW1iCTg1MHg4NTA-CmUJanBn/14340e8c/72b/Amanda-Bynes-Tweets-Rihanna-About-Chris-Brown.jpg

Instagram: Manipulating our Senses

So, in the beginning I really struggled to fully comprehend the depth and focus of this week’s topic and how to come up with an example that explained it well… until I realised that the answer is in front of us,  I see it every day.  It sounds funny to say “crafting our senses”, almost as if we are able to manipulate our engagement or experience with something, digitally. But it happens all the time, in fact I am about to do it right now. If you use Instagram then you are probably one of the biggest culprits of sense manipulation. Let me give you an easy example.

This is a photo I took while out at lunch yesterday…

photo 1

Now this is the same photo, just with the temperature editing option turned up high. Now if you were to just see this photo it would seem as though the sun is blaring through the side of that tree and straight onto my table. Nice, warm weather.

photo 2

Again the same photo, with the temperature turned down. The physical is being digitally transformed to appeal to different senses, if I accompanied the photo with a caption describing the cold weather it would appeal differently to our senses.

photo 3

This is what happens every time we chuck on a filter or meddle with the editing options before we upload our Insta pics. In short, we are manipulating or digitally altering the physical in a process of digital transformation. So next time you’re testing out which VSCO Cam edit looks the best, think of yourself as a transformer… (not the cool, blockbuster kind), but a “crafter”.. there, it still sounds creative.

Captured From the Heart of the Event; Citizen Journalism

There is no better way a story is told than than from those who experienced it first hand. So this Prezi takes a look at citizen journalism from the heart of the event. Come with me through major events in history and see how they were captured by citizens right in the middle.

The way history is captured is as important as the history itself. Take a look!

http://prezi.com/3ooax7bgvgrr/?utm_campaign=share&utm_medium=copy

References:

Earthquake in Nepal 2015 ||| Live Caught in Camera ||| Part 1 – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RKjU7vHk0KE –

Tsunami in Japan filmed by a driver from his car – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Sp2DP1cLXKM

911 second Plane hits second WTC tower – with sound – archival stock footage – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qZXgJ40iWAc

Image of Diomede in Alaska – http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Diomede,_Alaska#/media/File:Little_Diomede_Island_village.jpeg

POWER OF THE PEOPLE || I’M OFFICIALLY ON YOUTUBE!

So let’s not beat around the bush…. My first Youtube vlog is live! *cue happy, but also relieved and kind of nervous, dance* Well, my vlog and simultaneously my extremely late post on audience empowerment. I am so excited to start this project and I hope you’re just as excited to get on board (once you know what it’s all about of course)

Let me explain…

This video (and my whole series to come) focuses on the power of the people. The power of the people to speak up, to inform each other, to share opinions and to be apart of what is happening in our world. The contentious issues, the controversial events, the light hearted tales, anything and everything that is part of this wacky and wonderful world we live in. We, together, are the people, and the power is in our hands. So let’s get talking!

Pardon Me, Just Remixing My Last Post.

“Do I Wanna Know” is possibly one of my favourite songs. And this is probably one of my favourite covers/completely remixed and stripped back versions.

Ah the depth and density of our widespread remix culture. Do yourself a favour and listen to this.

Cover.

Original.

References:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Kn5f17YPfFo&feature=youtu.be – Christina Grimmie cover, “Do I Wanna Know”

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bpOSxM0rNPM – Arctic Monkeys -“Do I Wanna Know” From the AM Album.

Transmedia Trend: Glee in an Alternate Universe

Transmedia isn’t a small talk topic. It’s not something you can delve into while sippin some chamomile tea and pecking at an almond croissant. It is quite a dense concept. One which I am struggling to wrap my head around. Basically, from what I understand, it is a story told through a range of different media forms, each being important to understand the complete context and background of the story. Some versions could be different, others could be unofficial, but each piece is put together to create the ultimate trans-media story. Still confused? Me too.

So in order to help you (myself) get a better understanding of the construction of Transmedia stories I decided to imagine one and explore it.

So lets explore…

Lets think of Glee and the growing unofficial transmedia trend of Fan-Fiction; a world where previously developed characters are transformed and thrown into an ‘alternate universe’ which are then given entirely different versions their life that we see on screen.
Santana and Brittany for instance, two girls that were given a LGBT storyline because of fan-fiction, their characters forever expanded through blog posts, youtube videos and alternate realities that could never be understood fully without having watched their creation on Glee. These kinds of shows that explore the audiences opinion create communities which become invaluable in adding to the story through their own blogs, posts, youtube videos and start new trends of unofficial and interest specific transmedia.

Take a look at an alternate ending, in an alternate universe to the transmedia story of Brittany and Santana. Just skim the comments to see the magnitude of the universe.

Video Source

Just Like A Prayer. She Wants To Take Drake There.

Let’s face it, when we’re not talking about global issues or sensitive topics – which many of us try to avoid (kinda like seeing your old high school teacher grocery shopping or sitting next to you at sushi- I can never wrap my head around the fact that they have lives outside of school??) anyways, besides that, most of the public sphere, that is “a realm where opinions…are freely and openly exchanged between people, unconstrained by external pressures.” (Reference) is taken up by the most perplexing topic of all… the rich and famous. Nothing stirs up quality debate quite like Kylie’s rapidly growing lips, or the suspenseful – not quite – revelation of “A” (I’m sorry but who the hell is Charles).

So obviously when a “past-her-time popstar” attacks (arguable) heartthrob Drake with a make out sesh on stage and his reaction is similar to that of a 10 year old learning how baby’s are born, the public sphere lights up! 

It was at Coachella, 12th if April, just your average Sunday, when Madonna decided to plant a big juicy kiss right on the lips of 28 year old singer, Drake.

Just have look for yourself… if you haven’t already.

Youtube video – “Madonna plants kiss on Drake during…”

Now the public sphere, although Habermas defined it as “a virtual or imaginary community which does not necessarily exist in any identifiable space” (Reference), more and more is beginning to comfortably take form in the endless depths of world wide web.

To explore this point I took to Twitter, Youtube and Google to see how the kiss mediated the public sphere…

Drake and madonna

 The intensity of the reaction of the public sphere was straight away evident when I first typed in the word “Drake” on Google. Up came a huge array of posts by all different kinds of people from all different backgrounds highlighting all different issues and all different aspects of the highly covered “incident”. Was it even an incident at all? This controversial event sparked debate in the public sphere about issues of sexism, ageism, feminism, equality and everything in between. People arguing for what she did, against what she did, and some not caring at all.

The Sunday Herald got involved posting the article referred to below- (Check it out here)

Drkae Sunday Morning Herald – “What’s the big deal? Madonna kisses some guy who is 28 years younger than her and the world goes apoplectic? What a sexist, ageist world we live in”.

(Now if you could just spare me an opinionated line or two, to be quite frank, I don’t know why this is just a sexism issue for women and not for men too, I mean just think if the tables were turned and a young women was forcibly made out with by a man 28 years older in front of a large audience and then her reaction was scrutinised – Feminsim is about equality, not superiority I say… Anyways, where we’re we…)

Others claimed to know the “real reason” for his reaction. (See it here)

madonna - drake -

Youtube and Twitter were also doing their usual thing when something controversial hits the public sphere.

drake youtubeScreen Shot 2015-04-20 at 3.14.50 pm

Someone (with obviously way too much time on their hands) even posted an image of the kiss made completely out of emojis… Yes his arm is made of hamburgers and yes she has ears on her forehead.

Screen Shot 2015-04-20 at 3.12.13 pm

The endless amount of videos and posts about the kiss, say one of two things. 1. Millions of people are just dying to see Madonna lock lips, over and over again (I don’t think so) or 2. This is an example of how the controversies in the lives of celebrities catch fire in the public sphere, stirring up debates over a huge variety of issues. I guess the interesting thing to note here is the role of the media in uncovering and spreading the topics of the time and effectively being the mediator. The internet, my friends, is a beautiful innovation and has sparked and encouraged us (the public sphere) to keep doing our thang, keep sharing our opinions, keep talking about the things that interest us, and (whether we like it or not) keep sharing those Madonna make out videos!

References:

“Habermas’s Public Sphere: An Ideal for Open, Truthful Media” – By Dana MrKich – http://www.danamrkich.com/writings/essays/05/hps.html 

Habermas, Jurgen (1991), “The Structural Transformation of the Public Sphere: An Inquiry into a category of Bourgeois Society.” Trans. Thomas Burger with Frederick Lawrence. Cambridge, MA: MIT Press

“Jurgen Habermas and the Public Sphere”  http://www.media-studies.ca/articles/habermas.htm

Gossip Girl – “Here’s the Real Reason Drake was Grossed Out by Madonna’s Kiss” http://gossipgirl.alloyentertainment.com/drake-reveals-reason-grossed-madonna-kiss-41615/#1

Sydney Morning Herald “Why Madonna’s Drake Kiss is No Big Deal” http://www.smh.com.au/lifestyle/private-sydney/why-madonnas-drake-kiss-is-no-big-deal-20150418-1mkivg.html