The Host Review

In the first week of BCM320, we watched a Korean horror, thrill film, The Host (2006). Now, before we discuss my understanding of the film, I would like to tell you the Asian culture related experience in my life.

As a Chinese who is studying in Australia, my cultural background definitely influence the way I proceed with the movie.
Here are some examples:
my family used to sit around a table and make dumplings together for the most festival;
I used to play XiangQi (Chinese chess) as a kid with my grandfather instead of playing the Monopoly;
and when I was in primary school, we were asked to practice calligraphy around age 7.

Apart from my experience as being Chinese, I also have encountered the Korean wave and Japanese soft power.

When I was in primary school, our local TV channel broadcast Japanese animation(cartoon) every day in lunchtime and after…

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Research and Realisations


as described by Anderson (2006), is a highly valuable mode of qualitative
research by which authors draw upon personal experience in order to comprehend
a greater cultural involvement. He defines the term “analytic auto-ethnography”
as referring to “ethnographic work
in which the researcher is (1) a full member in the research group or setting,
(2) visible as such a member in the researcher’s published texts, and (3)
committed to an analytic research agenda focused on improving theoretical
understandings of broader social phenomena” (Anderson, 2006).

Diversity is certainly characteristic of the world in which we live, and brings with it great importance and relevance to scholarly research. The broad range of experiences, backgrounds and proficiencies which different people possess is fundamental in constituting a diverse knowledge base and source of information upon which we form opinions about the world’s function. As Ellis et al elaborate, “different kinds of people possess…

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Akira (1988): A Reflection


Autoethnography is an approach to research and writing that seeks to describe and systematically analyze personal experience in order to understand cultural experience. 

Ellis et al. (2011)

This week, I watched an anime film for the first time. With my only previous experience of Anime being watching Yugioh at a young age, I didn’t approach this screening with much understanding of the Japanese culture or anime genre.

So, live-tweeting greatly enriched my viewing experience. In real-time I was able to learn fun-facts about the movie’s production, its cultural context, and how it has influenced both the Anime genre and Western popular culture. I was able to have discussions about the themes and make memes about what was happening [below].


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Autoethnography and Akira

Communications and The Media

Akira is a 1988 drama/thriller where a ‘secret military project endangers Neo-Tokyo when it turns a biker gang member into a rampaging psychic psychopath who can only be stopped by two teenagers and a group of psychics’ (IMDB).


I wasn’t looking forward to this film as it isn’t something I would normally watch, however I actually found it kind of interesting. As part of my research for live tweeting, I came to learn that there is continuous talk of turning this film into a live action, showing just how timeless and popular this film is.

The standout part of the film for me was the brother-like dynamic between Kaneda and Tetsuo. I found it interesting that this dynamic, in my opinion, eventually leads to the need for power for Tetsuo. Where Kaneda is always looking after him, he finally feels the need to break away and take more control for…

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Lost in the Stars


It’s my first week back at Uni and I must confess, I’ve been thrown completely in the deep end. An emergency brain surgery last week has set me back a solid amount, but it was perhaps the live tweeting experience during the South Korean film State of Play (2013) that proved a greater challenge, as I entered a territory in which I’ve truly never subsisted before.

Growing up
in a very emblematic White, rural, Australian family; the domain of Asian
cinema could not be more foreign to me. Coupled with my true absence of
knowledge about anything gaming related, the screening from last week was
challenging to say the least. After four years in a digital media degree, this
was certainly not my first experience with live tweeting, but it was the first
time I did not actually participate in the online dialogue, instead watching
along in perplexity from behind…

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The Autoethnographic Methodology: Two Schools of Thought

Sunny Commandeur

This post draws upon two works; Autoethnography: An Overview (Ellis et al 2011), and Analytic Autoethnography (Anderson, Leon 2006).

Autoethnography, as I have previously begun to explore, is an approach to writing that analyses one’s personal experience with another culture, in an effort to treat reseach as a socially conscious act. There is an acknowledgement of the writer’s personal context, and the way it shapes the findings, interpretation and presentation of the work.

As a combination of autobiography and ethnography, there are two main schools of thought regarding the author’s methodology: evocative and analytical. Much autoethnographical writing tends to exist on a scale between the two, but there are differentiating factors that can be used to categorise research.

Evocative autoethnography refers to a more autobiagraphical approach to writing. Ellis defines the process as:

  • A researcher experiences culture as a participant observer
  • They collate their experience using hindsight, looking…

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[BCM 320] Akira: An Autoethnographic Experience?


Hey guys!

This week in BCM 320 the class Live-Tweeted whilst watching ‘Akira’, a hugely-influential Japanese anime film released in 1988. Below is an overview of my experience and the insight and understanding I have gained as a result of my consumption of the film and simultaneous participation in a discussion with my peers. I will appraise my understanding of the concept of autoethnography in relation to my contributions to the Week 3 Live-Tweeting session.

In the words of Ellis et al, “even though some researchers still assume that research can be done from a neutral, impersonal, and objective stance, most now recognise that such an assumption is not tenable” (Ellis, 2010). In light of this, I feel it is necessary to first unpack my own subjective viewpoint and framework through which I entered into this research and Live-Tweeting session before going on to explain what I have learnt…

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Ellis et al (2001) states, “Autoethnography is an approach to research and writing that seeks to describe and systematically analyse (graphy) personal experience (auto) in order to understand cultural experience (ethno)”. 

A term somewhat foreign to me, autoethnography, to my understanding, requires me to have a sound understanding of my cultural background and forces at play. In having this understanding, I am able to better unpack why I am experiencing a new culture in a certain manner.

Ellis recognises that “stories were complex, constitutive, meaningful phenomena that taught morals and ethics, introduced unique ways of thinking and feeling, and helped people make sense of themselves and others”. Therefore, mediums such as film are large conveyors of culture and understanding of culture. Film in this sense, I believe, can portray two things that at times can be simultaneous. Firstly, cultural structure and norms, the…

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The Hostest with the mostest

The Host immediately situates itself in stark contrast to any western realm of film the general population has come to expect. Initially i was skeptical of the film, noting the acting was exaggerated and the plot was surface level, but as the film progressed i started to kick myself as the things i was so cynical about were the things that made the movie endearing and also different.

I already am pretty comfortable with watching a variety of anime and films produced and filmed in Asia. I think my interest spurs from the stylisation of Asian cinema, particularly the Japanese aesthetic. I find it highly intriguing, cool and a break from the over-commercialised western culture we are all too familiar with.

Born in Australia and brought up in Cronulla for the majority of my life, the people are all very like-minded in regards to leisure and aside from Asian cuisine…

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It’s not often i am put in a context where i am able to watch a movie i already love, in a genre i adore, at university, to learn, and then get to talk about it. But the stars have aligned and here i am.

Akira is one of the most influential films in existence, it being emulated and imitated in all stretches of popular culture. It is one of the few anime films that form a bridge between Asian and western culture and is one of my all time favourites.

Knowing that we were to be doing this blog post, i have put on my autoethnographic shoes and am…

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