Genres in Films and TV from Different Cultures

Movies shape cultures while they are the products from the culture. Cultures influence how we think and behave. Film and TV industries as a great part of popular media are, with no doubt, a great reflection of the society and culture that we live in.

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We can see from the picture of a visualization on movie references over the last 100 years that movies about history and war in America are quite a small portion compared to the whole. The data came from the internet movie database (IMDB, an online movie community with 42 million users) consisting of movie enthusiasts that linked movies by the references they made to other movies.

As Chinese, I was raised up with the education about greatly profound history of China. From my perspective, the most genres in Chinese movie and TV industries are history, war, and action(Kung Fu or ancient martial art). Chinese have really deep emotions about their history. And we could see that characteristic of them from most of the works made in China. They could always show a greatly magnificent scene in ancient empire of China. Of course wars come with the long history to get what the country is now. So there were many movies and TV shows describing the situation when China was in war and how they fought to manage the success and survive through. Also, the feature of martial arts (known as Chinese Kung Fu around the world) is another special one in movies and TV shows. Even for fantasy genres, there are still some reflection of history and martial art mixed within. Also, the characters transporting through time would land in somewhere in ancient China rather than in the future.

Startling by Each Step

In the U.S., people are more creative, adventurous and full of imagination about the future. We could learn those cultures from their movies and TV products as well. Those types of fantasy and Sci-Fi movies are something great about the developed movie and TV industry in America. Also, there are many great animation movies from America like Mulan and Kung Fu Panda. They contained Chinese factors in a very favorable way and got really good public praise globally. That shows the influence between cultures through media in different countries.

I once heard a statement about some Asian cultures, that Chinese film and TV industry is all about history and war; Korean all about romantic love stories; and Japanese all about dark reality in human society. It makes some sense in some ways, since this industry shows different traits and features under every various culture. However, there are still some similar traits in TV and movie works from different countries. For example, I realize that there are generally romantic relationships as thread through the works in most countries.

 – Lixuanpin Liu


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