Transnational Cinema

Transnational cinema is a term used to describe the effect global forces, such as cultural homogenisation and globalisation, have had on film productions around the world. These forces contain a series of negative impacts shifting the cultural diversity we can see in movies today. Hollywood is a huge influence when it comes to filmmaking and production. The immense success Hollywood films made have effected filmmaker’s perceptions. Instead of worrying about the way one’s country/ nation will be represented they are instead concerned about profits and global accessibility. This is ultimately why films around the world are highly impacted by western culture. An example of this is Bollywood. Bollywood is a popular Indian film industry that makes twice as many films as Hollywood. These Bollywood films are usually kept quite traditional in the religious and cultural aspects of India. However, it has increasingly become highly influenced by the western culture, such as Hollywood, possibly to appeal to a larger audience.


Although, Hollywood movies have seen extreme success their main goal is to continue to grow popular in the Asia Pacific Region and essentially expand their audience. According to Motion Picture Association of America, in 2014 U.S./Canada made $10.4 billion in the Global Box Office, while China came in second making a total of $4.8 billion. Hollywood is increasingly expanding their target market by appealing to China’s values and preferences, in the hopes of expanding their audience and achieve profit growth. Despite India producing twice as many movies as Hollywood, India placed sixth making 1.7 billion (MPAA, 2014). This result may be the main reason why Indian films are including well-known Hollywood characteristics.

We can see the impact western culture has had on other countries and their film productions. However, foreign films have also had an impact on Hollywood. It has not been uncommon for Hollywood to re-create and re-make international films into something of their own. In February 2015, Paste Magazine conducted a list called ’10 Foreign Films with Horrible U.S. Re-makes’. The list demonstrated the ways in which cultural appropriation can have negative outcomes. “Hollywood has often been criticised for its inability to come up with new ideas, instead offering a wide array of remakes and sequels that already have built-in audiences… too often they are so sanitized and pop-culture injected that there’s nothing left of the original film’s magic.” (Paste Magazine, 2015)

The list includes:

  • Gin Gwai/ The Eye (Chinese)Untitled
  • Taxi (French)
  • Ju-on/ The Grudge (Japan)
  • Death at a Funeral (British)
  • Oldboy (Korean)
  • Gojira/ Godzilla (Japan)
  • Anthony Zimmer/ The tourist (French)
  • Janghwa, Hongryeon/ The Uninvited (Korean)
  • Wings of Desire/ City of Angels (German)
  • The Wicker Man (British)

It is clear that cultures around the globe have been affected by the factors that make up Transnational Cinema. Globalisation and cultural homogenisation have highly influenced the way in which films are made and the characteristics involved. The integrating of cultures has had both positive and negative outcomes, however both are subjected to the alternate audiences.



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