Stars shine with a different shimmer

By Raymond Zhou ( China Daily ) Updated: 2014-11-29 06:42:47

Right now, if you could tailor-make a show for the fragmentary viewership of the mobile gadget, you would be able to win a viewer base unrivaled by any traditional media.

When debating cross-cultural appeal, two camps usually emerge: One is for sameness, and the other differences. The former argues that, despite our surface differences, human nature is fundamentally the same, which makes possible the appreciation of stories and characters from faraway lands; the latter values the things that set us apart and identify us as who we are.

Both sides, as I see it, have a valid point - if that point is not stretched too far. We may have different skin colors and speak different languages, but deep down we share so much. At the same time, we have all kinds of differences, not just from one country to another, but also from one village to another. If we churn out uniform cultural works, it would certainly facilitate communication - but at the cost of variety. At the other extreme, if differences are highlighted without the foundation of shared emotions and values, watching a foreign film would be like scrutinizing an archaeological relic.

The trick is in the ratio: When we go to an imported movie or stage show, we expect a certain level of unfamiliarity. But it should not be so much that the process of watching becomes arduous or even painful. On the other hand, a sense of ennui may arise if it does not contain anything exotic. That probably explains the failure of Disney's Chinese remake of High School Musical. It took the edge off the original, which had gained a loyal fan base in China, without adding any Chinese elements that would be deemed striking.

Editor's Picks
Hot words

Most Popular