MS 190: Authorship is the course website for the Fall 2006 Media Studies senior seminar at Pomona College in Claremont, California.
a while ago, i made a post saying about how we haven't really discussed how digital technology is impacting other parts of the world, in a way that actually takes into account the specific situations of those parts of the world. one topic that may be an interesting example is the Nigerian film industry. When I went abroad to Cameroon, Nigerian films were pretty popular there, even though the area where I lived was a French speaking area and Nigerian films are typically in English (if in a Western language). For me, studying pop cultures of different countries is an interesting way to learn about that country and its culture, since so much of my personal experience has been shaped by Western culture. Also, what interests me is when countries are able to have a thriving pop culture of their own, in movies, in music, etc. and not be dominated by icons of the West, like Tomb Raider or Justin Timberlake (now i'm just trying to see how many times I can mention JT in a blog. I really don't like him THAT much, it's more that i'm really surprised that I like him at all so i feel like shouting in from the rooftops...but anyways). for instance, i'm a big fan of bollywood for that very reason. pop culture becomes a sign of resistance. also, it's interesting to see what topics and subjects are considered important, and what ways of addressing them. in Nigerian films, one could often see issues of HIV/AIDS, corruption, the occult, etc. that is specific to that country. in addition to that, i'm fascinated when pop cultures of one non-western country becomes really popular in another country, just because i'm curious about what leads to that, since western pop culture is so wide spread due to the specific reason of colonialism and imperialism. this is why nigerian cinema interests me so.
After getting some really helpful feedback from my partner in class Wednesday I thought it would be really beneficial to see what others think about my thesis:
I'm arguing that Hollywood manipulates the image of the Dalai Lama in three main ways:
1) Using the reductionist Hollywood framework
2) Humanizing him (by this I mean they deemphasize the fact that in Tibetan Buddhism he is an incarnation of the bodhisattva of compassion and considered to be the highest lama)
3) and exotifying him (and his culture and religion)
My question is, how do these three manipulations change the meaning of any resultant popularity of the Dalai Lama/Tibetan Buddhism/the Tibetan cause?
As i was reading the section titled the politics of authoship (pg 6-10)I was somewhat taken aback that at one point in time, critics did not acknowledge the Hollywood auteurs simply for working within a factory-produced setting. And when I got to the point where Gerstner mentions that what Sarris provided with his "three circles of auteurs" was the space to discuss the "possibilty of creative agency in the industrial arts" I found myself thinking about how working in a more controlled setting such as Hollywood certainly does have its limitations. Yet, I also began to think of the possibilities that working within a larger industry affords an auteur (ie a larger budget).