The Travels of American Pop Culture


A few weeks ago, I sold a Cher mask from the movie Burlesque on eBay to someone in Germany. I also read a news story about two Australian Elvis fans and I found a blog entry about Ghanaian movie posters of American films.

Well, as you can guess, these things got the gears in my head turning. One would think that someone like Cher wouldn’t “translate” to audiences outside of the U.S. As for Elvis, while he did make movies and sang in said movies, he never toured outside of the U.S. What about the Ghanaian movie posters? You ask. I’m getting to that now. These movie posters were developed in the 1980’s as VCR’s and videotapes of American films became available. Entrepreneurs would drive to villages with a VCR, television and a generator, set up a mobile movie theater and charge admission. Local artists were used to create the movie posters that were used to promote the film. The Ghanaian posters are different than what the studios created for the film, yet they are very creative.  You can see examples of these posters here:

http://www.obsessedwithfilm.com/cool-stuff/cool-stuff-ghanaian-movie-posters.php

“Yeah, yeah.” You might be saying now. “American pop culture is found all over the world. Big deal. That’s old news.”

As someone who has visited relatives in Italy and Australia, I can testify to how well American culture travels. Yet, when I see or hear something American overseas, I reflect on how well our culture sells the U.S., even though American life isn’t as pretty as it looks in the movies. After all, we know that not everyone succeeds at what he or she wants to do, no matter how hard the person works, the guy doesn’t always get the girl (and vice versa) and the underling who stands up to the boss more often than not, finds him or herself without a job. Still, depending on the country and income level, foreigners either ignore it, see it as an example as why the U.S. is the great enemy of the world or take it for what it is—namely as a great fantasy.

Yet, a big draw of the U.S. and American pop culture is our belief that there are no limits, creativity and hard work lead to success and the guy gets the girl (and vice versa). Yes,  technology helps to spread our pop culture all over the world. Of course, if it wasn’t so appealing, it wouldn’t have travelled very far in the first place.

Sources:

http://www.obsessedwithfilm.com/cool-stuff/cool-stuff-ghanaian-movie-posters.php

http://www.abc.net.au/local/stories/2011/01/28/3124178.htm

Advertisements

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

3 Responses to “The Travels of American Pop Culture”

  1. The Enduring Appeal of Movie Posters « Just Movie Posters Blog Says:

    […] posters. While I mentioned these types of movie posters in a previous entry, (you can read it in The Travels of American Culture  February 10, 2011) to refresh your memory, Ghanaian movie posters came about in the 1980’s as […]

  2. Ilena Di Toro Says:

    Thank you for stopping by and putting my blog on your RSS reader. I hope my blog is entertaining and enlightening for you. It’s comments like your’s that make me feel that my blog isn’t just floating out there in cyberspace, rather someone is paying attention and enjoying it. So, thanks again.

  3. free music Says:

    i like it The Travels of American Pop Culture « honest Movie Posters Blog now im your rss reader

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s


%d bloggers like this: