“I Made A Movie For The Whole World” (Rust, 2013)

Hi Digital Diary Followers

Within the article Problematizing Chindia: Hybridity and Bollywoodization of Popular Indian Film it exemplifies the popular film Avatar and how it was heavily influenced by Hindu culture.  One recent example that I drew upon and saw a similar connection with was the film Life of Pi.

Within Chris Higgins’s blog post Life of Pi – Globalisation in Action he writes of all the different cultures that were a part of the creation of the movie. The story originally comes from a Canadian author; the first and final screenplays were created by American writers, proposed and final director(s) originated from India, Mexico, France and Taiwan and the movie was filmed in India and Taiwan and was funded by an America studio.

The movie also makes a number of allusions and cultural references. Literacy references including Samuel Taylor Coleridge’s The Rime of the Ancient Mariner and Herman Meville’s Moby-Dick feature throughout the movie (Martel). There are also a number of Jewish, Christian, Islamic and Hindu citations. This gives the movie a far more global tone and creates a film that is accessible for a diverse range of cultures.

The film was described as:

“One of the most unexpected hits that took the world by storm — it was a global phenomenon” (Miller, 2013).

The movie was nominated for eleven Oscars and generated $570.9 million in worldwide ticket sales. However one of the chief factors that led to its success was its appeal to overseas audiences. The movie collected $461.6 million overseas, including $90.8 million in China. 80% of Life of Pi’s ticket sales came from outside America (Miller, 2013). 

Part of the movies international success however have also been accredited to the films many interpretations (Rust, 2013). Director Ang Lee, in an interview, explained how his films’ reception differed from culture to culture. He stated that people in the Asian demographic perceived Life of Pi as a “thinking movie” and particularly drew enjoyment from the third act in comparison to the European’s who used the movie as a springboard for the question of religion. Lee also noted the American audience were focused on the amazing journey that was undertaken by the lead character while within Latin American culture the movie centered on family nostalgia (Rust, 2013).

However to sum up the overall concept that the film encapsulated Lee stated:

“I think I made a movie for the whole world. There’s not a universal look at the film and I think the diversity of response based on the culture and personal life experience(Rust, 2013).

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