Love Hate Relationship

Dan Glickman, head of the MPAA, often points out that Al-Qaeda hasn't attacked movie theaters or other symbols of Hollywood, arguing that US films are not even as much of a target as McDonalds.

This is not quite true.  Along with consistent enthusiasm for Hollywood films, one finds hearty opposition.  For example, in South Korea, the 1988 release of Fatal Attraction caused riots and vandalism, including spray-painted slogans like "Drive Out Yankee Movies," and (from one especially creative group) the placing of live snakes in theaters showing the film.

In 1993, the Disney animated feature Aladdin was released globally, and set off angry protests in Islamic countries for the song lyric: "I come from a land, a faraway place, where the caravan camels roam, where they cut off your ear if they don't like your face - it's barbaric, but hey, it's home."

To be fair, there have been more protests in favor of Hollywood films than against them.  Over the years, one of Hollywood's most effective tactics against foreign protectionism has been the boycott.  In 1947 the Motion Picture Export Association's threat to withhold US films from Great Britain caused the British government to knuckle under and agree to eliminate restrictions on the import of foreign (Hollywood) films.

This threat has worked many times since.  Even the Cultural Diversity Convention led by Canada and France has turned out to be toothless, because theater owners in most countries know that their business depends largely on American films.

Yet this could be changing.  Overwhelming demand is not universal.  In some countries - India and Turkey, for example - it does no good to threaten a boycott, because the audiences in question have never gotten hooked on Hollywood in the first place.  In such cases, the major US companies follow what for them has always been Plan B: instead of overwhelming rival film industries (Plan A), they buy them out.  "Runaway production" and "runaway investment" are not new concepts; they date back to the 1950s and early 1960s, when many of the "foreign films" gaining market share in the US were largely or wholly financed by Hollywood.

Back in 1969, the historian Thomas Guback argued that this strategy of US domination of foreign production would, over time, affect content by muffling foreign voices deemed unmarketable in the US.  Has this happened?  Or has the sheer size of foreign markets made the domestic US market less important?  More anon ...
May 13, 2008 9:24 AM | | Comments (0)


Leave a comment


PRC Pop 

The Chinese pop music scene is like no other ...

Remembering Elvis 

The best part of him will never leave the building ...

Beyond Country 

Like all chart categories, "country" is an arbitrary heading under which one finds the ridiculous, the sublime, and everything in between. On the sublime end, a track that I have been listening to over and over for the last six months: Wynnona Judd's version of "She Is His Only Need." The way she sings it, irony is not a color or even a set of contrasting colors; it is iridescence.

Miles the Rock Star? 

Does Miles Davis belong in the Rock 'n' Roll Hall of Fame? Here's my take on his career ...

Essay Contest 

Attention, high school jazz listeners ...

more trax

Me Elsewhere

Edward Hopper 

Painter of light (and darkness) ...

Dissed in Translation 

Here's my best shot at taking Scorcese down a few pegs ...

Henri Rousseau Revisited 

"Henri Rousseau: Jungles in Paris" appeared at the National Gallery of Art in Washington this fall ...

Paul Klee's Art 

Paul Klee was not childish, despite frequent comparisons between his art and that of children...

Our Art Belongs to Dada 

Rent my "Dadioguide" tour of the Dada show (before it moves to MoMA) ...

more picks


About this Entry

This page contains a single entry by Serious Popcorn published on May 13, 2008 9:24 AM.

More on Cultural Diversity was the previous entry in this blog.

The Best Channel of All is the next entry in this blog.

Find recent content on the main index or look in the archives to find all content.

AJ Ads

AJ Blogs

AJBlogCentral | rss

About Last Night
Terry Teachout on the arts in New York City
Artful Manager
Andrew Taylor on the business of arts & culture
blog riley
rock culture approximately
critical difference
Laura Collins-Hughes on arts, culture and coverage
Richard Kessler on arts education
Douglas McLennan's blog
Dog Days
Dalouge Smith advocates for the Arts
Art from the American Outback
Life's a Pitch
For immediate release: the arts are marketable
Mind the Gap
No genre is the new genre
Performance Monkey
David Jays on theatre and dance
Plain English
Paul Levy measures the Angles
Real Clear Arts
Judith H. Dobrzynski on Culture
Rockwell Matters
John Rockwell on the arts
Straight Up |
Jan Herman - arts, media & culture with 'tude

Foot in Mouth
Apollinaire Scherr talks about dance
Seeing Things
Tobi Tobias on dance et al...

Jazz Beyond Jazz
Howard Mandel's freelance Urban Improvisation
Focus on New Orleans. Jazz and Other Sounds
Doug Ramsey on Jazz and other matters...

Out There
Jeff Weinstein's Cultural Mixology
Serious Popcorn
Martha Bayles on Film...

classical music
Creative Destruction
Fresh ideas on building arts communities
The Future of Classical Music?
Greg Sandow performs a book-in-progress
On the Record
Exploring Orchestras w/ Henry Fogel
Harvey Sachs on music, and various digressions
Bruce Brubaker on all things Piano
Kyle Gann on music after the fact
Greg Sandow on the future of Classical Music
Slipped Disc
Norman Lebrecht on Shifting Sound Worlds

Jerome Weeks on Books
Quick Study
Scott McLemee on books, ideas & trash-culture ephemera

Drama Queen
Wendy Rosenfield: covering drama, onstage and off
lies like truth
Chloe Veltman on how culture will save the world

Aesthetic Grounds
Public Art, Public Space
Another Bouncing Ball
Regina Hackett takes her Art To Go
John Perreault's art diary
Lee Rosenbaum's Cultural Commentary
Modern Art Notes
Tyler Green's modern & contemporary art blog
Creative Commons License
This weblog is licensed under a Creative Commons License.