This week presentations focused on media in a global context, from X-Factor to the Golden Compass, I think the over-arching theme can be traced to making something truly "International". The X-factor group spoke about using this package (X-factor) and tweeking it to appear more culturally relevant. The show originally began in the U.K. and although it applies "glocalization" to their format I wonder if it really just boils down to the individual countries view of the West. The examples provided in class were the Middle East and China; the Middle Eastern X-Factor failed while the Chinese X-Factor flourished. I wonder if this has more to do with relations with the West and the Middle East. One need only to look at the history of U.S. and Middle Eastern relations to understand the hesitation to adopt Western....anything. The U.K. track record isn't any better. Although Western relations with China is sometimes turbulent, it has a lot more of a reason to embrace a program like X-Factor.
X-Factor has an interesting model because it plays a popular theme--a rags to riches story. Contestants come from all walks of life, all to compete for fame and fortune. The X-Factor also uses music to draw in the audience, and its quite easy to tweek the style of music used on each program to appeal to each market, but as the case in the Middle East demonstrated--cultural adaptation doesn't always equal commercial success.
The other group presented on creating a movie that was not only appealing domestically, but also internationally. The presentation made me think of the narrow view "international" or "foreign" markets are defined. The example brought up in class was of the Golden Compass; it tanked domestically but was hailed as a success internationally. The film was characterized as having "heavy dialogue" and "overly complicated plot"which was described as a barrier to success in an international market. It was later revealed that the success was due to the U.K. market, where the Golden Compass has a cultural connection.While outside of the U.S. the U.K. has a Western perspective. It makes me wonder about the definition of a "international success," is it really just that every other country outside the U.S. is lumped together and stamped with the title international? This doesn't take into account the cultural ties shared with the U.K. and the ease of cultural transferability. If this is the case I believe it is impossible to create something that is truly "international" because this definition is too broad, and can never truly be understood under the guise of us (U.S.) and them.
Many thoughts and theories can be put into practice when examining global media and it's successes and failures. Is media an assertion of nationalism? or globalization? Cultural relevance? or Cultural odor? Are we creating more global understanding? Or stonewalling and stifling smaller voices?