Question:

Can you tell me about Western Movie Culture?

by Guest9434  |  earlier

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I am an American ESL teacher in China. I have been asked to present a lecture on "Western Movie Culture". Any suggestions? First of all congrats on the assignment. Now, tell me exactly how you want to work this. I am assuming we are not talking about Western movies, a.k.a., cowboys and Indians. I would love to help, but I need some direction here. send me a follow-up and let me know exactly how we need to proceed. How to proceed...that is the problem since then i am not really a movie buff. I absolutely have no idea of where to start when thinking of "Western Movie Culture". Western means movies from the West and not the East where I am located. All the Eastern students are amazed, surprised and fascinated by movies from the West. Our movies are much more open to fantasy, action, drama, science fiction, etc. Their movies are just beginning to evolve into other themes besides Patriotic or Kung Fu.
Anyway, I need something that helps a Chinese student from the East to understand the culture behind Western films. Now thats asking a lot, isnt it? By the way, my lecture date is April 28. Of course, I will give you credit at the lecture...send a picture...the students will have a blast knowing someone from the USA helped!

 Tags: culture, Movie, Tell, western

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1 ANSWERS

  1. Tom Reeds

    Almost think I would have to start with \"The Grapes of Wrath.\" Show the poor and downtrodden still looking for the America they know is out there... I would hold Tim Burton's \"Batman\" up as an example of our own mythology, vs. the Chinese mythology of the lone warrior fighting for justice. Definitely \"Rebel Without A Cause\" to show the disparity of the youth in the fifties, struggling to find their own place in the world. \"The Right Stuff,\" showing the building of the heroes of the modern era, turning a blind eye to the danger because the thrill of going faster, farther, and higher than anyone had ever dared.

    Now, go a bit further - introduce the aspect of horror and fantasy, showing how the West took the basic principles of myth and built on them, from Greek to Roman to Asian to Norse. Original \"Frankenstein\" with Karloff, Lugosi's

    \"Dracula,\" even the original \"King Kong.\" Ease into the Vincent Price/Colman horrors of the '50's that were done with a pinch of humor to make them easier to take, something we all needed after WWII and Korea. Into the internal horrors of the 80's and 90's, like \"The Shining,\" and maybe Carpenter's \"The Thing,\" where the horror is based more on not knowing who to trust or turn your back on, rather than some \"monster\", per se... fantasy? Got to throw \"Star Wars\" in, as it is the whole story of myth, as seen by Joseph Campbell's \"The Power of Myth.\" It has every element of any country's mythology wrapped into one story, and you can point to any of the ideals with a stick, they are so obvious. And, for my money, \"ET,\" which blends the myth into a children's story...
     

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