Low Budget Jeff wrote:
im really getting tired of this america is stupider than the rest of the world vibe.
Whoops, let me rephrase that. It did sound kind of America bashing.
In my experience, when I have tried to show certain types of media from another country, they usually just can't wrap their brains around the differences. Especially with humor. I'll use Eddie Izzard as an example. I love his act, and besides myself, I know zero other people that enjoy it. So I think the intelegence crack was based more on my personal experience rather then a objective opinion.
For a long time in America, all we were spoon fed was Hollywood. The fact that most Hollywood movies follow some sort of cookie cutter formula doesn't help the matter at all. Same with television. It's tattooed in our brains since childhood what makes a movie/tv show good, funny, or whatever. Hollywood knows that, so they have to make some alterations to the material to make sure the American audience will find it enjoyable. Not only that, but they usually put in a big name to draw more people to it.
Hope that clears it up.
It really boils down to capitalism and marketing (felt strange typing that...when did capitalism become a bad thing? weird). For instance, let's say you own the rights to distribute a popular book that comes from Britain. Yeah, it's in English, but the slang is obscure to Americans and it's printed in a goofy font. Instead of Times New Roman you have Old English Text MT. You could sell it 'as is' and hopefully develop a cult following, or you can change the words and adapt the font to suit American eyeballs. Now you have a cash cow with very little work.
I know, I know. Lame analogy, but it rings pretty true if you translate that into film and television.
I agree, it is a complete regurgitation of art with zero sparks of creativity. I don't think it's an inherent need to Americanize entertainment so much as the fact it reaches a larger audience and gives those who own the rights more bang for the buck.
I'm trying to think of a time where this has worked in favor of art...I know it's happened so maybe someone can make a suggestion. All I can come up with is Yojimbo and Fist Full of Dollars - which is Italian, but a good example of how the art of film can be reinterpreted into a standalone masterpiece. Any other examples?
At the same time I feel like Americans are growing up in their tastes for entertainment abroad. Take the success of Pan's Labyrinth for example. Would it be as widely accepted if it was made 20 years ago? Would we have even heard about it?
When investors and distributors develop a little more faith in the tastes of the American public then I feel like we will begin to see less repackaged, Americanized movies and shows. I would love to see cinema return to an outlet for artists and not just a source of income for some uninspired corporation. Damn that capitalism.