A New Cultural Beginning


Semester two of twenty-nineteen and back into the swing of live tweeting to an array of films I have never seen before, but this semester it was with a slight cultural twist, Asia. A culture I have never quite delved into film wise. To be completely honest, a genre I have never been interested in pursing, until now.

In understanding why I have never been interested in looking into Asian films and pop culture can somewhat traced back to my cultural upbringing. I am Australian, born and bred in a small country town, in the middle of the outback. Broken Hill is a small mining town with not a lot of cultural diversity. In saying that, my Dad’s side of the family settled in Australia, from England, during the colonial era and on my Mum’s side, her Grandfather immigrated from Scotland during World War Two. So, as you…

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One comment

  1. Hi Olivia, I really enjoyed reading your insights about The Host in your blog post this week.

    You’ve clearly grasped the practice of autoethnography as evident through your reflection on your upbringing in relation to your association with Asian media. I understand your perspective on this as I have had similar experiences being from a Caucasian Australian family and growing up in a small town.

    Your paragraph about fact and fiction was interesting, as this was an aspect of the film that I picked up on as well. Similarly to you, I interpreted the monster as a representation of the ubiquitous U.S. presence in Korea, and particularly as a reaction to the McFarland toxic waster dump incident. Bong Joon-ho actually said, “When I heard of the McFarland case I knew it was perfect for the starting point of my story [The Host].”

    Your statement about the food and money motifs stood out to me. This is something I hadn’t picked up on until reading your response. You could have potentially unpacked whether or not America’s presence in Korea has been oppressive, as I’m gathering this could relate to the food and money motif. I like how you’ve linked Christina Klein’s article; I also read some of her research when trying to learn more about Korean films and Bong Joon-ho’s work in particular. In doing my own reading on the topic, I came across the article, “The Ideological Train to Globalization”. The author, Taylor (2016), comments on “the pervasiveness of the American empire” in Bong Joon-ho’s work, and notices that while The Host depicts an “ideological pivot towards the American film genre,” Bong Joon-ho maintains an ambivalent tone towards the U.S. throughout the film, and manipulates the typical Hollywood action film to approximate unique Korean-ness – subsequently creating a point of difference for us Westerners!

    Overall, your blog post was great! Although, it would be good to see some more multimedia included in your posts, or perhaps some links to your tweets. I look forward to reading more of your posts and seeing if we have similar interpretations of the upcoming screenings.


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