Peter Kramer, senior lecturer in Film Studies, had news for his audience at the Cultural Exchanges event (4/3/10): Hollywood is not really American; it’s rather a global network.
Who would have thought that?
Hollywood steals resources from all over the world. German directors, British novel adoptions, African culture or Canadian cities like Vancouver, used to resemble New York, just to name a few. Only two things are still American about the production – the monitoring body in Los Angeles, CA, and American scriptwriters.
This relates to the Europeanization of Hollywood that occurred in the 40s – 50s. Why? Because the global audience grew. Nowadays, ¾ of the revenue comes from outside of America, mainly Europe.
I never thought before about how Hollywood projects global concerns into its most successful films, which often deal with alien invasions and the global destruction.
Kramer hints that the American setting of so many films, which I always reasoned as pure egoism and self-praise of the US, is in fact supposed to represent all of humanity. In other terms, when we see America fight and win in films, America stands less for itself, but for the whole world.
This can be seen in the victory of human kind against aliens (Independence Day), against nature (2012) or itself in form of the Nazis in Indiana Jones. I enjoyed Kramer’s propositions a lot and I think it helped all visitors, not only the many attending Film Studies students, to see Hollywood from a different perspective.