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Saturday, June 09, 2012

Global Film

Last night, I watched "Outsourced," a 2006 film that was the original source material for a short-lived television situation comedy of the same name. I never watched the TV program, but the film was well-reviewed, so I gave it a try.

"Outsourced" turned out to be an entertaining film about a young man working in phone sales (his shop fills orders) who must travel to India to train workers to replace displaced American workers. As a double ironic twist, the company sells mostly "patriotic knick-knack" that is made in China. It might make a good double feature with "The Coca-Cola Kid," a movie I last saw in the 1980s.

While I am unlikely to screen this movie in my "Global Politics Through Film" class, I will certainly add it to the list of acceptable films for students to review. The movie hints at the economic forces behind outsourcing, reveals interesting cultural aspects of globalization, and specifically addresses the notion that "globalization is Americanization" (or perhaps westernization).

Perhaps most importantly, the film reminded me of this chart I saw last month in the Atlantic Monthly:

In 2010, the U.S. had less than a one-third share of the world film market. A half dozen or so wealthy (and mostly western) states accounted for roughly another one-third of that market and the BRIC states were just under one-sixth (14.6%). 

The globalization of the film industry will undoubtedly continue to have a large effect on the content of movies -- influencing character development, narrative storyline, etc.

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