Transnational cinema is the move away from distinctive nationalistic cinema, towards a more universal system of cinema. This ‘universal’ system is influenced by a greater control of western cinema, pushing towards ‘Americanness’ becoming the identity of global cinema. Nationalistic and cultural ideals can take a back seat towards what is financially and economically beneficial to the inner workings of the film industry. Much of this shift is due to the greater economic control of western cinema and capitalistic influences over cinema markets worldwide. This in turn, has built a global film industry in which the economic benefit not only controls what films are made, but how and where the film is made. A quote from the lecture in week 3 stood out as a great description of this shift:
“The cultural Industries, especially the film industry have always played a central role in the global strategy of the US. When “culture” is turned into an industry, its economic and cultural functions become intertwined. The export of cultural products creates new markets and profits; at the same time, cultural values are also exported through the medium of the commodity. In turn, the propagandist effects of cultural commodities accelerate the expansion of overseas market.”
Yin & Xio in Lee (2011, p. 34-35)
Looking at the last 3 weeks of films and the countries/cultures they are founded, (Japanese, Hindi, Chinese & Taiwanese) the shift towards transnational cinema is quite apparent. With the intertwining and exposition of cultural values towards a global market and how they relate tot he economics of transnational cinema as a whole. The spectacle of all these films Yojimbo (1961), Om Shanti Om (2007) and Crouching Tiger Hidden Dragon (2000) all are relative to their culture and nationalistic themes and how they also intertwine to western values. In this sense substance can be lost, but the entertainment factor and visual elements remains that connect them. From how the Samurai films of Japan such as Yojimbo can be related to the Western genre of Hollywood cinema, with their almost mythical/storied aura, iconic attire, ethos and way of life it is easy to see how these two genres can not only be compared, but influence each other. To Bollywood cinema and how the music, dance and iconic attire can be compared to the musical genre and way in which Hollywood cinema operates with its structures and formulas. Then to an even more extreme such as a Taiwanese film such as Crouching Tiger Hidden Dragon where some cultural accuracies and themes are sacrificed for the purposes of spectacle and marketability towards a more global audience. Which in a lot of ways is influenced not just by the filmmakers desire to market it globally, but from the funding of these films, which in the transnational cinema of today is funded by many companies over various countries. With the growing of transnational cinema, and American dominance over global cinema, it begs the question, will nationalistic cinema survive?