O my captain?

In a time when globalization is more than imminent and people from all over the globe are connecting in new ways, there is no possible way that we can expect success from a movie that is too blatantly “American.”

I know what you’re thinking, Chris Evans is hot.  And yes, he is, but he’s bringing attention to something even more important.  He’s bringing attention to the new nature of media- that’s too much in the favor of one country or another.  But it’s simple.

After working on a project that spoke to true and relative success of one media platform over another- I realize that we all have to be conscientious of what is going to appeal to a global audience.  We cannot keep doing what we’re doing and expect people to actually like us if we’re pushing our ideas on someone else.

And yes, I KNOW what you’re thinking: It’s a story of a triumphant underdog, one who works and works to come out on top.

I’m not discounting the validity of his story…I’m just asking why the movie had to portray one more example of America beating an enemy.  As if our image isn’t tarnished enough.

As Sooyun brought up in class, this is an epic failure of trying to translate this concept into one global audiences may enjoy…Especially because, as we know, translations are tricky.

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2011/07/05/captain-america-title-changed-three-countries_n_890987.html

This Huffington Post article really delves deeper into this to say what happens when you think of only your own country’s preferences.

I’m all for seeing a ripped Chris Evans, and I’m definitely all for superhero, action-filled movies, but I have to wonder why this movie had to be released in order for Americans to feel superior in one more way.

-Tara

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5 thoughts on “O my captain?

  1. You raise an interesting point about the changing nature of the film industry, and how the global market affects they way people perceive a films success or failure. I agree with the point someone brought up in class, when making a movie the movie industry focuses on the domestic market first. Films like Wedding Crasher may have failed internationally but was a huge success domestically, so is it considered a failure? It still made $209,255,921 domestically, while only spending 40 million to make, so I don’t think it was a failure.
    I don’t think Captain America was released in order for Americans to feel superior, but rather for a domestic audience, and to follow on the trend of making ever comic book character into a (often times bad) movie. The Captain America comic was created in 1941–a lifetime before a global media market, when nationalism was at it’s highest. I think the movie company knew this was gamble but was hoping the action theme, and the success of comic book films would trump the overt American theme, and I think it did, according to http://www.boxofficemojo.com/movies/?id=captainamerica.htm Captain America made more internationally than domestically ( just barely). I believe in the world of global movie making, action reigns as the winner.

  2. Ginnie, I think you’re right. We also have to remember that movies like Captain America were made because other films like Batman and Spiderman, that were also based on comic books, were popular and did really well when they were produced. So even if they don’t do well internationally they’re sort of guaranteed domestic popularity because of their predecessors. While I do think Captain America speaks to American nationalism and imperialism, I don’t think those were necessarily the reasons why the film was created.

  3. Tara-

    I think Fatemeh and Ginnie have hit the nail on the head with this one. I agree with a bit of what both of them said above. Particularly that Captain America was originally “created in 1941–a lifetime before a global media market, when nationalism was at it’s highest” and that “movies like Captain America were made because other films like Batman and Spiderman, that were also based on comic books, were popular and did really well when they were produced”. Both of these points illustrate exactly why Captain America was created in the first place. He was a superhero that provided a sense of pride and reinforcement that America was strong during World War II. And in the modern day, the current film came about because other superheros have done well in the past.

    I don’t think Captain America (the current film) was made to showcase American imperialism and I don’t necessarily think that this individual film was created with the global media market in mind. I honestly think that Captain America was created because this character is essential to the Avengers movie which is due out in the next year. And that is all about franchise. So, in a nutshell, I think that Captain America was created to lead to what could be considered an international franchise and success, which as we pointed out in our presentation, is something a production company should look into when trying to create an international success.

    ~Becky

  4. I can’t help but admit that while I enjoy comic book movies as much as the next girl who has never read a comic book, watching Spiderman (I have no idea which one) in France was an extremely uncomfortable situation. First, I had never really considered Spidey to be overtly “go America!” but I could not believe how often American flags conveniently flickered across the screen. It felt like weird propaganda that I had somehow been blind to before. I now see American flags everywhere, but its not as creepy when I’m watching them from the comfort of my living room here. The point is, I think Hollywood does go a little overboard on the American aspect of the films, but the American public likes it that way. Lets face it, we’re American. And people like stories in which they’re the main focus. We love our hero stories, the bigger the better, and that’s what sells. Even in the days of the pioneers, it was the “Tall Tales” that got passed on again and again- its in our nature. And as long as people queue up on Thanksgiving evening to watch it, Hollywood will keep making it.

  5. Tara, sorry that I am going to comment something similar to the Ginni, Fatemeh and Becky, but I need two more comments!! Haha.

    Now, you (probably) know I’m not a huge fan of having American ideals being shoved down my throat. I like your movies and TV, but when they try too much to convince me that this is “the best country in the world”, I get deeply annoyed.
    That being said, I do think that every country is entitled to tell their own stories, with their own people in mind (and that, of course, includes the US). It’s a globalized world, but that doesn’t mean that you have to lose what distinguishes each particular culture or place. If movie producers started only thinking about catering to a global audience, the whole world would lose because everything would start looking the same. And regional audiences would also lose because they wouldn’t have movies that truly try to represent them and their concerns.

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