Continuum: The Australian Journal of Media & Culture
Vol. 5, No. 2, 1992
Film: Matters of Style
Edited by Adrian Martin

Too popular by far: on Hollywood's international popularity

Tom O'Regan

I Hollywood's International Popularity

Some things never change, at least on the surface. One of these is Hollywood's dominance of the international audio-visual marketplace for all but the first ten years of the 20th century. Irrespective of time-frame Hollywood has been able to obtain a significant 'market share' of between 40% and 90% of the national box office in Western markets, and an unrivalled international presence within television markets. In the private home, the VCR is re-creating Hollywood's film market shares; and pay-television is re-creating additional demand for Hollywood-produced programming over and above that already existing in television.

The attempt by various parent groups, political movements, intellectual elites, non-USA governments and their production industries to wind that dominance back also does not seem to change. No matter the time frame or media, similar arguments are marshalled. Hollywood's 'imperialising' presence demands action to ensure the survival of local traditions, the transmission of social values, or 'elite' culture. The underlying utopian vision is of national cinemas and television industries producing for their own markets and exchanging programming between each other as equals. The strategies of import substitution developed by governments and production industries to achieve these goals are also similar. Quotas limiting Hollywood screen presence have been a feature of cinema markets since 1920 to the present and are now integral to television. The syphoning-off of profits from the screening of Hollywood programming to assist in the development of a local production capacity is attempted in cinema, television and VCR markets. Foreign governments have created subsidy schemes, tax concessions and grants to encourage the production of local programs in the cinema and television. Such measures may well have assisted domestic production but have not been effective import substitution strategies.

Hollywood complains about these measures. Often it enlists the help of the USA government to pre-empt or to minimise their effectiveness. The Hollywood trade argues for 'free trade' and 'letting the market decide'. Consciously or unconsciously Hollywood promotes its product as international product for international consumers. Its utopian vision is of a completely integrated international system with headquarters in Los Angeles.

Both views encourage like ideas about the nature of Hollywood programming and the reasons for its international success. Hollywood product is assumed to build in its own transnational audience and is therefore a potent force in creating a global 'village' and integrated world market. Such product is assumed to be capable of by-passing, 'corrupting' or even 'erasing' cultural differences, depending on the view taken. As Guback put it in 1969:

Successful exportation . . . implies getting other people to 'like' the product, and this often leads to homogenisation, blurring the differences which are the sharp edges of distinct cultures. With film, this growing similarity . . . is taking a leap onto an international plateau where local idioms are erased or played down in favour of broader ones. In the United States, television has already blurred sectional achievements and differences. 1

Where these views differ is on the value each attaches to Hollywood and the existence of a local program production capacity. Local programming has the vice or virtue of being 'endemic' in that it is not ostensibly made for global consumption. Hence it is seen as more parochial or more responsive to its society or culture. Thus Hollywood films seem to circulate because they are non-culture specific; whereas the 'local' films of national cinemas circulate because they are 'cultural specific'.

These are the persistent political and rhetorical tropes of the international marketplace for Hollywood programming. These views also frame much of the secondary literature. Put these tropes alongside Hollywood's consistent share of the global box office and television marketplace and both a stable international market and Hollywood industry are conjured up for the better part of the 20th century. Decades become interchangeable with only slight reversals encountered due to world wars and the advent of television. Hollywood product seems to circulate in spite of cultural differences. It appears capable of discounting differences over the longer term leading to greater global cultural homogenisation or 'Americanisation'.

Such is the 'imaginary' that protectionists require to legitimate action against Hollywood, that Hollywood uses to claim its intrinsic popularity stymied only by foreign decree, and that film critics typically need to participate in their own international communication corridors. In each case the Hollywood text is a shared global sense-making resource with shared interpretative and sense-making protocols. A neat division of labour ensues. Hollywood works at furthering these texts and readings through time and space; film critics disclose the shared text and shared interpretations; and national cinemas disturb and supplement these arrangements introducing difference in screen form and/or diversity in interpretation.

These stories possess an element of truth but can also be turned inside out. Wildman and Siwek, for example, argue Hollywood programming circulates in different national markets because of cultural differences. 2 In their view Hollywood must negotiate different local conditions, languages with their own communication corridors, racial differences and cultural preferences; and it must mobilise these to its advantage. Hollywood does not by-pass these differences, but works with them. Support for this view comes from the audience research literature with its stress upon viewers customising shared texts.

Similarly the apparent stability of the international market masks an ever-changing marketplace. Hollywood exports to a collection of individual national markets with their own mix of media (cinema, television, VCR and cable) in different stages of development, regulation and capitalisation; it does not export to an overseas market. These factors dictate the opportunities that Hollywood finds in individual national markets. Hollywood's revenues closely follow the economic fortunes of countries and regions. The British market was the most important cinema export market for Hollywood up until the early 1970s when it lost its position with Britain's economic decline and its lack of investment in multiplex cinemas in the 1970s and early 1980s. By contrast Japan, which had been historically less significant to Hollywood than even the larger Western European states and Australia, became Hollywood's most important export market in the wake of its economic ascendancy in the mid-1980s. 3 And Latin America, once a relatively important market worth in the late 1960s and early 1970s 12-15% of Hollywood's export revenues, slipped by the 1980s to be only worth 2-3% of total USA film revenues in the wake of that portion of the world system's general economic crisis. 4

The same discussion which locates a 'stable' international market finds a unified, stable Hollywood at the top of the audio-visual system. While Hollywood's dominance is unquestionable Hollywood is itself a collection of tendencies and film making strategies which are being constantly renovated and transformed. There is no better indication of its variable nature than the fluidity of the concept of 'Hollywood'. It designates: a style of film making and a (popular and critical) generic marker; anything fictional produced in the USA; the whole USA film and television drama production and distribution industry; and the handful of multinational studio-distributors, the so-called Hollywood studios or majors, which capture the lion's share of the North American (including Canadian) market and significant portions of individual overseas audio-visual media markets. (These Los Angeles-based corporations make up the membership of the lobby groups the Motion Picture Association of America [MPAA] and the Motion Picture Export Association [MPEA].)

Hollywood is many contradictory and paradoxical things. It is synonymous with North American film and the North American film industry; it is the common carrier of films within the international system. Hollywood underwrites and distributes 'foreign' films which may or may not be identified by audiences as being Hollywood films (MGM's financing of some of the Italian director Michaelangelo Antonioni's works produced Italian 'art films', not Hollywood films). Equally, films - usually English language films - may be identified as 'Hollywood' films even though they are technically not the product of the USA industry. Think here of the number of Hollywood films the UK claims as its own (such as the Bond cycle). Simultaneously, Hollywood is a national film industry; an international film financing, production and distribution facility; and a name for globally popular English-language cinema.

It is easy to identify Hollywood with the Californian film industry but it is more than just this. 'Hollywood' films are made outside of California in the USA in places like Florida and New York; they are also made abroad. The 'majors' are not simply Los Angeles production companies producing North American films and television programs in California for the USA and world markets. They produce and/or finance films made outside California and the USA with or without various combinations of foreign studios, casts, producers and directors. Hollywood majors control and underwrite North American and 'foreign' product. Sometimes they are not the only, or even the principal, source of production funding. Additionally, the majors are international distribution companies. They do not only push their own product through their international distribution facilities but other USA and non-American product as well; they can even pick up product already released and take it to the USA and other foreign markets for distribution (this is, for example, what Paramount did with Crocodile Dundee after its successful Australian release). While predominantly North American, these are genuinely multinational companies and the principal international distribution groups able to routinely co-ordinate a film's release within the international audio-visual system.

There certainly has been a congruency between the different designations of Hollywood over the century. Hollywood was mostly the Los Angeles based Californian film industry. The style of film making was more or less the preserve of the USA film and television industry. Films were financed by USA groups. The production and distribution industry was USA owned and controlled. Even when Hollywood became involved in production overseas it was USA financed production with significant USA creative control. The Hollywood majors were principally concerned with ensuring sufficient product within their international distribution facility of their films and other USA made films.

The Hollywood film now has a 'fuzzier' appearance than it did in the 1970s. But it is a fuzziness at the edges of its film production activities. North American based film production is less Los Angeles and more North American based than it was. The Hollywood style of film making is not Hollywood's preserve. A proportion of the films made in the USA are now financed and produced by German, Canadian, Japanese and Australian investors (with some of these having 'foreign' creative control). Parts of the industry are presently controlled by foreign-based companies such as News Corporation and Sony (controlling Fox and Columbia respectively). Hollywood's association with overseas production is less directed by Hollywood major and USA finance than it was in the immediate past. These developments complicate the present picture, but do not represent a 'new era'.

The expanded North American production base has further integrated the Canadian market with the USA market. Overseas investment has not 'overtaken' the industry; nor has it pushed the industry in new directions. In some cases, as with Murdoch's acquistion of Fox, it has further integrated into the 'North American' system the already well-integrated English language markets of Australia and the UK. Further the 'Hollywood' films produced by Japanese, Canadian or European companies have yet to capture significant and consistent market shares of the international cinema and television marketplace. On balance then Hollywood is mostly the USA film and television drama production industry, particularly the dominant Hollywood majors, distributing North American popular product throughout the international system, and critically relying upon the USA domestic market.

Given this shape it should come as no surprise that Hollywood's international market lacks significance as a vital continuing production question for it. This state of affairs is exceptional. Elsewhere producers are obsessed by the question of exports from inception. A continuing problem for non-Hollywood producers is how to create a product which is both acceptable to local audiences and able to be internationally exportable. Such producers routinely re-cut films to meet the requirements of different markets. By contrast Hollywood producers tend to believe that what they do which is good for the North American market will be good for the rest of the world. This myopia has never inhibited the circulation of Hollywood product. It suggests that Hollywood's international popularity may have as much, if not more, to do with Hollywood's domestic orientation and the particularities of the USA market as with Hollywood's international strategies.

The presence of Hollywood on global cinema screens is not evidence of an identical and interchangeable audience from Rio de Janeiro to Munich but of Hollywood negotiation of cleavages (linguistic, cultural, political, racial) in the international market. The diversity of Hollywood output helps negotiate such cleavages whether between markets, as films are often more popular in some markets than in others (The Name of the Rose and Green Card achieved a greater share of the audience in Europe and Australia than both did in the USA); or within its markets, as films produced for America's segmented audiences find popularity in equally segmented audiences abroad.

Hollywood's preeminent market position reduces the need for a local production capacity in its overseas markets. The competition it provides affects the cinema and television output of those markets. It leads to a proportion of non-Hollywood production adopting Hollywood strategies (from the Indonesian Si Boy 5 to Australia's Mad Max cycle); and another proportion adopting various product differentiation strategies (art cinema, docu-drama, limited episode television series or program subject matter). In the latter case competition from Hollywood, in causing different kinds of programming to develop, may have increased rather than reduced the diversity of cinema and television. It therefore cannot be assumed that audio-visual diversity will issue from an increase in the number of countries producing films and a reduction of Hollywood market share.

The fact that Hollywood produces an international product made for domestic and international consumers makes any simple identification of Hollywood with the USA problematic. 6 But this does not preclude a more complex identification of the USA and Hollywood. With no single export market being as important to Hollywood as is the New York film exchange, and with Hollywood relying upon its domestic market for over half of its cinema revenues and some two thirds of its television program sales, Hollywood is, unsurprisingly, domestically orientated. This does not mean ignoring Hollywood's international markets, its 'location' film making in Europe, Canada and Latin America, or its underwriting of productions by foreign directors, with foreign actors, sometimes in languages other than English, 7 but it does mean placing these in the context of Hollywood's domestically orientated strategies. No one claims that those bizarre and often spectacularly unsuccessful 'European super-productions' created in response to Hollywood's perceived 'internationalisation' adequately describe the European production experience. Why claim the more 'international' production sectors of Hollywood as representative of it?

Viewed historically, internationalising trends in Hollywood were more significant in the late 1950s and 1960s with that era's 'run-away productions' and partnerships with overseas production houses than these trends were from the mid-1970s till the late 1980s. At the same time such internationalising trends in production and distribution do not necessarily imply the production of a singular transnational product for a transnational audience. Hollywood's internationalisation was a response to the culturally fragmented nature of the international cinema audience. Hollywood's economic control (i.e. where the money comes from) might lead in separate directions towards a recognisably Hollywood film set in a European location in Roman Holiday, or towards an art film destined for principally European and North American art-house circulation in Antonioni's The Passenger. If transnational circulation was intended it was scarcely the same kind of circulation or audience. 8 Neale has argued that the basis of the 'art cinema' was very much the exploitation of 'national culture' with an international market for 'quality' as opposed to 'demotic' cinema in mind. 9 Hollywood's international circulation may be considered an equivalent kind of exploitation of 'national culture' for international audiences; this time North American culture for 'quality' and 'demotic' cinema alike.

II Accounting for Popularity

The lesson to be drawn from the above discussion is that Hollywood's international success is located in the domestic and international orientation of both Hollywood and its export markets. Given that Hollywood circulates in different markets which have their own communication structures, cultural and social dynamics and languages, its success is reliant upon a mix of textual, economic, structural and cultural conditions. The argument here is that Hollywood's popularity owes itself to a mosaic of contingent factors which in their co-presence facilitate international circulation. The literature examining Hollywood popularity holds one or other of these conditions as pre-eminently responsible for its success. By contrast the approach advocated here finds Hollywood's success in the interlocking of these conditions. Accordingly, the explanations for Hollywood's success given in the literature will need to be adjusted to fit this aggregate stance.

Political economy approaches have dominated the study of economic and structural conditions for Hollywood success. In his landmark work Thomas Guback 10 centres the international distribution operations of the multinational Hollywood majors, Hollywood's foreign policy, and the various national film policies developed as a response to Hollywood's market presence. The combination of distribution and foreign policy are seen as principally responsible for securing international market advantage, audience acceptance and the squeezing out of smaller competitors. In keeping with these emphases internationalist elements in Hollywood's production process are foregrounded at the expense of the more dominant parochial elements. And both are subordinated to the international distribution process. Here the Hollywood product is mostly conceived non-aesthetically: as a tradeable commodity in an international trading environment advantageous to the USA. This is a problem because Hollywood's appeal as a symbolic good must reside in its aesthetic and cultural dimensions. Although structural and economic explanations say very little about the Hollywood text, operate with impoverished ideas about Hollywood product, and reduce that popularity to a combination of the iron laws of economics and politics, these explanations demonstrate the commercial environment and the commerce in cultural difference that so contributes to Hollywood's dominance. Accordingly the focus upon markets, trading arrangements, assessments of USA comparative advantage, and the importance of distribution all need to be taken up. Thus the limitations of these kinds of analysis as with the others encountered need not be a problem so long as the focus is upon the way in which such structural and economic arrangements facilitate international circulation.

Cultural industry notions of Hollywood's international popularity form a bridge between economic and structural explanations and more formal textual accounts. These use models of Hollywood production drawn from manufacturing processes. Hollywood's industrial processes are usually contrasted with artisanal approaches to artistic production or with the less systematic and open-ended construction available to overseas film producers. At base cultural industry analysis registers Hollywood's popularity as a consequence of its system: its production processes and its mobilisation of textual and human resources. Typically the transmittable aspect of Hollywood programming is associated with a production orientation towards "lowest common denominator" appeal, "homogenisation" of story elements, 11 and its system including industrial manufacture. Although discounted today as intellectual's disdain for popular culture, such cultural industry accounts dominated social science and film intellectual discussions of the Hollywood text for the first sixty years of this century. To be useful, cultural industry approaches will need to be modified to permit an account of the Hollywood production orientation and system which is alive to the particularities of symbolic goods production, to recognise the relatively open-ended nature and generative power of Hollywood's production and stylistic systems, and to discard assumptions about the correct conditions under which aesthetically valuable artistic production can be produced. It would need, in short, to follow Bordwell et al's injunction to "look at North American studio film making much as an art historian would trace the stylistic traits and business transactions of Parisian academic painting in the nineteenth century". 12

Textual strategies and reading protocols are the subject of contemporary film studies appreciations of Hollywood. These conceive the Hollywood text not as a commodity or industrial product but as a symbolic system. With international circulation seen to reside in textual matters and reading protocols, international circulation is largely assumed to be a consequence of shared textual and interpretative resources. Thus international circulation is presumed as achieved rather than as a central problem needing to be explained. Here notions of 'Hollywood magic' (however much to be lovingly described or derided) are implicitly relied upon alongside a general playing down of structural and economic factors. Textual accounts of Hollywood's international popularity tend to be developed as part of explaining something else: like narration, spectacle, pleasure and popular art. Consequently these explanations of Hollywood's international popularity pose a general popularity largely irrespective of culture, language and economic history. 'National' and 'international' issues are not the important fault lines for distinguishing between Hollywood and other cinemas. Rather, generalised cultural matters such as gender, sexual preference, political orientation, psychological type and social class constitute ready reference points in conjunction with aesthetically oriented discussions of texts. Yet for all these problems textual understandings of Hollywood centre aspects of the Hollywood text which permit transnational circulation, ready comprehension and attractiveness. Hollywood's international circulation is usefully understood as achieved through the sharing of interpretative, aesthetic and sense-making protocols and through the relatively dissonant differences of interpretation and pleasure produced as a routine consequence of cleavages in the international system.

Approaches which see Hollywood's popularity as an outcome of cultural conditions highlight dissonant and shared audience interpretations. Such divergent interpretations can be complementary to, antagonistic to or mutually exclusive of each other depending upon the circumstances. Where cultural and social differences between audiences at a national level are highlighted Hollywood's circulation has tended to be described as a threat to the maintenance of those differences. National cinema analyses have historically related local symbolic goods to their local social and ideological formations treating Hollywood (the 'global symbolic' resource) as a threat rather than a complementary element of the audio-visual mix. The routine claims of Hollywood's popularity based upon common human experiences of a familial, social and cultural nature stress complementarity and interchangeability of audience. By contrast 1980s audience research focuses upon particular 'local' audience formations and their use of 'global' and 'local' audio-visual resources for their own situated purposes. The discovery of this research is that the sharing of symbolic resources and some sense-making protocols has not turned audiences into surrogate North Americans or transnational consumers. This audience research is concerned with how viewers customise symbolic resources regardless of whether the program is a Hollywood series or a local news and information show. 13 This customising by viewers is often seen as antithetical to and even escaping the work of the producing institutions themselves. But it should be seen as a structurally necessary corollary of the production of symbolic goods purposely made to be circulated across diverse social and cultural formations within the USA and across other national formations.

Cultural explanations too often swing between broad international similarities, exclusive national differences and micro-level differences between parts of a social formation. In this situation a number of middle level institutional and self-identities are lost sight of: regional identities larger (e.g. a Latin identity) and smaller (e.g. a Quebecois identity) than nations; and the variety of nationally constituted identities available within any national formation. Just such a middle level construction that is critically important to Hollywood circulation is that of 'Americanite': the construction of an imaginary 'America' by different social formations. 'Americanite' is a cultural matter (the French version of America is not the Australian), it links 'local audiences' to 'global media product' and so facilitates Hollywood's circulation.

III Hollywood as Industry

Hollywood's popularity is partly an economic and structural consequence of its positioning in the international audio-visual system. The sheer size and wealth of the USA market gives Hollywood a domestic market edge not available to other national film industries. Hollywood is advantaged by the important structural position of English as the wealthiest of the largest languages and therefore the language to dub from in the international system. It has benefited from the existence within the USA of a media marketplace generally unfettered by non-commercial considerations. It has at its disposal the USA's preeminent political, economic and military position in the world economy to garner advantages to it in foreign markets. The Hollywood majors have seized upon these advantages. They have been able to exploit the size of the North American and other English-speaking markets. From this base they have been able to wield market power in other linguistic markets. Through their continuing overseas sales effort they have been able to function as multinational distributors in the international film, television and video marketplace. They have been able to protect their international position through North American diplomacy.

Let's focus in more detail on each of these advantages. The North American market is the largest and wealthiest cinema and television market in the world. Take television: the USA in 1980 was estimated to have some 29.5% of the world's television sets followed by the USSR with 17.5%, Japan with 5.9%, West Germany with 4.3%, and the UK with 3.8%. 15 Using the numbers of television sets as a guide, Japan's television market, the next largest Western television market, was only one fifth the size of the USA. Another indicator of commercial power in the television marketplace is expenditure on television advertising. Here USA television advertising expenditure in 1982 was over three times the combined total for Europe ($14.3 billion was spent in the USA compared to $3.8 billion for Europe) 16 despite their equivalent populations.

The size of the North American market is further extended by the inclusion of the English-speaking Canadian audience. Canada has since the 1920s been regarded as part of the USA domestic market in terms of exhibition and distribution of Hollywood product. 17 Since the Canadian English-speaking market is considered to be one tenth of the size of the USA market Canada's inclusion makes the size and dimensions of the 'domestic' North American market that much more significant within the world system. Thus in 1988 the USA/Canada screen total was 17,159 whereas West Germany had 3,284 screens and Australia 720. Within television the proximity of the bulk of the Canadian population to the USA border permits a degree of transfrontier broadcasting - further assisted by cable - which has built a Canadian audience into North American television station advertising rates. Overseas markets are at a competitive disadvantage here because, apart from Germany and Austria, and France and the Netherlands with regard to Belgium, they do not function as equivalent co-ordinated blocs.

In comparison to the USA other nations' film and television production industries operate in drastically smaller local markets and are faced with less integrated adjacent markets. Given the size of the North American market that portion of the world system should, structurally, 'have more say' in defining the nature of the cinema and television than do other markets.

The size of this market helps explain why Hollywood producers concentrate upon, and are responsive to, the North American market more than they are to any other single market or grouping of markets. It just would not make sense to ignore such a large single market which individually can be expected to make up anywhere between a minimum of 45% and a maximum of 67% of Hollywood's overall box office revenues. No single market is of comparable size nor has any single market (excluding Canada's 10% of US) accounted for a significant percentage of Hollywood's North American box office. Hollywood, whilst being concerned to export programs and films, has never had to be as directly responsive to changes in the media system in other countries as it has had to be to changes in its own market.

Hollywood is one of the few markets, and probably the only Western European market, in which the costs of film and television production are able to covered in the home market. After making a profit in the home market, export income becomes pure profit. Another less common way of putting it is that Hollywood is well placed to cover the additional costs of export because it can cover so much of the cost of the film in its home market. On this basis it would seem that Hollywood can, paradoxically, export because it does not have to. It must export then because, like all businesses, it is interesting in extracting the maximum surplus. 18 And yet Hollywood firms have gone to extraordinary lengths to to protect their overseas markets, 19 and it has been general practice since at least 1919 to build export revenues into the calculation of a film's budget. 20 Both would seem to give the lie to the argument that Hollywood exports because it does not have to. What sustains this apparent inconsistency?

Perhaps it is because for Hollywood the North American market functions in a 'gate-keeping' way. Because the North American market is so large it becomes a test arena: if a film is successful there it will tend to be distributed widely overseas. So concern for the North American market on the part of producers is part of their international orientation. Such a concern recognises the importance of success at the centre of the system to success at the periphery. As in all periphery and core relations there is a limited possibility that the flow from core to periphery can be reversed. This happened for French movies starring Brigitte Bardot in the 1950s, for the 'spaghetti Western' cycle of the 1960s, more routinely for British films such as Chariots of Fire and Ghandi, and more recently for the Australian film Crocodile Dundee.

Another argument, in linking the size of the USA market to Hollywood dominance of North American screens, stresses the disadvantage facing non-Hollywood foreign producers in not having access to the largest and wealthiest cinema and television market in the world. Because Hollywood producers have a far larger domestic market available to them than is available to producers outside the US, Hollywood producers are able to dominate their home market in a way that few other national producers can. The domestic market is large enough to sustain a production schedule capable of meeting the exhibition and distribution needs of the North American cinema, VCR and television industries. North American market size is then responsible for Hollywood's hefty production schedule in feature films and television series. Able to satisfy the needs of its domestic market with its own product, imported product is not needed to maintain cinemas or television station screens with product. Thus mainstream exhibition and distribution organisations are orientated toward promoting the domestic Hollywood product. This places them in a strong position to expand into overseas markets and places a formidable barrier in the way of competitor producers and distributors.

By contrast overseas exhibitors and television station managements do not have the same inbuilt interest in their local product. For them imports have been essential to maintaining cinema through-put, VCR rental structures and broadcast operating hours. As a consequence there is always a friction in Hollywood's overseas markets between domestic production interested in securing a greater share of the domestic box office or television screen time and locally owned exhibition outlets interested in a regular supply of through-put. Competitor producers to Hollywood are thus doubly weakened. They are without guaranteed access to local screens and are to all intents and purposes shut out of the most important cinema and television market within that world system.

A related argument based on size is that the USA market sustains higher production values than other markets and that it profitably delivers this value added programming and films at lower cost than can its competitors. USA market size guarantees higher returns and, as a consequence, increased production values per film and television programming unit. Wildman and Siwek note that USA budgets are typically 10 times higher than those of their other major competitors in France and Italy, and five to eleven times Japanese production budgets. 21 These higher budgets create a value added product that competitors have little chance of matching. The size of the USA market also means that production and distribution costs can be spread out over a much larger domestic market than those available to potential competitors. Thus high budget Hollywood product can be offered at cheaper rates than the competition and still make a healthy profit. Sometimes Hollywood is charged with unfair competition and 'dumping' product below its production cost. But this complaint is none other than the recognition of the huge economies of scale available to the Hollywood producer which can mean 'lower rentals' both in America and abroad.

Another advantage enjoyed by Hollywood is that it produces for wealthy and populous English-language speakers. This gives it immediate access to other English-speakers without recourse to subtitling or dubbing. Further, amongst these Western and industrialised language markets the English-speaking market is by far the largest and wealthiest. Wildman and Siwek argue that film and television produced in "languages with large and wealthy native-speaking populations" will, because of their large budgets, have "greater inherent audience appeal" 22 than product in other languages. The English language must then have significant comparative advantages over other languages. Hollywood dominance "can therefore be explained by the fact that the English-speaking market for video products has much greater spending power than do markets comprised of other linguistic populations." 23 The higher budgets of wealthy language groups in effect buy audience acceptance in other linguistic markets thus offsetting the natural preference for "material in native tongues". Thus filmmakers producing in the wealthier and more populous languages will be able to have even higher budgets and therefore higher production values than their rivals because they can count on other linguistic populations as part of their export market. A consequence of this is that, on a sliding scale, the less wealthy and numerous the linguistic population the further inhibited will be the capacity to circulate outside their linguistic groups, and the lower the budgets available to producers. It is easier to trade from the top down rather than from the bottom up. The poorer and less populous language group would therefore be a prime recipient of the product of the larger, wealthier language groups; and the larger and wealthier language markets would be consequently closed off as markets for product from poorer and less populous languages.

Wildman and Siwek argue for the existence of an enormous gap between the English-speaking market and other language markets. The problem facing competitor language markets is that these either possess the language but not the wealth, or the wealth but not the numbers. Hindu/Urdu has 86% of the number of English speakers but only 5% of English-speakers' GNP; Spanish has 64% of the English-speakers' population but only 15% of its GNP; 24 whilst Japanese, German and French have a greater proportion of English speakers' GNP but do not have as many speakers. As Wildman and Siwek note:

Japan, which has over 98% of the Japanese-speaking population, has a GNP only slightly greater than one quarter of the GNP of countries claiming English as an official language, and the Japanese-speaking population totals less than one third of the English-speaking population. The number of French speakers is 27% of the number of English speakers, and the combined GNP of French-speaking countries is less than 20% of the total for English-speaking countries. German totals are slightly less than 25% of the English totals on both counts. 25

English-speaking producers must by this reasoning dominate the international marketplace in film and television product. Not only are they able to invest in the image and the sound more than their counterparts; this investment will also ensure that their product can achieve a greater circulation. Hollywood's dominance is thus the structural outcome of the advantages accruing to English-speaking producers. Furthermore, as easily the largest market in the English language, it is not surprising that North American producers should dominate.

Wildman and Siwek claim that their model takes sufficient account of cultural differences within the world media system. They assume that "translation, whether performed by the viewer or provided through dubbing and subtitles, diminishes the audience appeal of a film or program." 26 But offsetting this they argue that "larger production budgets generally result in films and programming that audiences find more attractive". 27 Thus audience cultural preferences can, in effect, be counterbalanced by the value added product. Most important to their explanation then is that Hollywood achieves its global circulation because of these cultural differences rather than in spite of them. Here is how they explain it:

Somewhat paradoxically, American media products would not be disproportionately represented in other countries were it not for the natural preferences of domestic audiences for films and programs in their native tongues. 28

Support for this argument can be found in the European television system. Silj et al argue that the cultural preference of European audiences is for their home product first and North American product second. As Silj notes:

American serial fiction . . . is always the loser when competing with fiction produced by European countries; but . . . it wins the indirect challenges. If, in each country, national programs occupy the top positions in audience ratings, the public's second choice never falls on programs produced by other European countries. American is the lingua franca of the European market of television fiction. 29

Understood this way, Hollywood dominance is not, all things being equal, a function of first preference choice (although it can at times be so for English-speaking audiences in Australia and Canada), but is rather, particularly on television, an acceptable substitute when there are few 'quality' local programs available in the particular television genre.

Certainly the generally pessimistic prognosis for transfrontier broadcasting, at least in the short term, supports the Wildman and Siwek hypothesis. Collins argues that despite English being advantaged in international markets "it has not yet proven possible to establish English language television services across Western Europe". 30 Additional support for their position is found in the fact that no effective international rivals to the Hollywood majors have been able to develop in the eight decades of Hollywood major cinema dominance and the nearly four decades of television despite British and German efforts. Wildman and Siwek would presumably argue that to become a prominent international player, in the absence of competitor markets of equivalent size, non-American companies would need to operate successfully in English-speaking markets, and most particularly in the biggest and most profitable market within the English-speaking system and the world system: the USA. Such companies would need to export product to the USA or otherwise control USA product. Recent attempts by Japanese, French, German and Italian companies to produce in the USA on USA themes with European creative talent might be seen as just such an attempt to control USA product. Sony's involvement with a Hollywood major might also be seen as part of a similar strategy to control 'USA' product by buying 'out' the distribution facility of the Hollywood major.

Support for Wildman and Siwek's contention that 'cultural preference' is a live issue in the international film and television industry comes from the work of Hoskins and Mirus. Whereas Japan, they argue, has been successful at exporting "culturally neutral" goods and services to the USA in fields that the USA has historically dominated like VCRs, cars, radios and computers, with symbolic goods like cinema and television which are not culturally neutral to the same extent Japan has not been able to make significant inroads. 31

Despite the warnings and celebrations of a gathering internationalisation of audiences, cultural differences appear to have a major impact upon how programming circulates. It is no accident that North American film and television exports are primarily in the entertainment (particularly fiction) field, whereas Japanese exports are principally in 'animated' fiction. Fiction, because of its more generalised, less specific nature, will not be as culturally discounted as much as other forms of programming (such as informational and sporting programs). In cartoons physical and racial difference can be further downplayed. Even in Canada, the market culturally closest to the USA, USA dominance of Canadian television fiction viewing does not significantly extend to USA network news and information programming. It is only in the past decade that America's major sporting events like the Superbowl and baseball's World Series have gained wide international screening outside North America. But this has been to off-prime-time audiences.

Hollywood's dominance is thus a function of it being better placed to handle the diminishing value attached to programming when it circulates outside its home market. It follows too that the greater the cultural discount the further culturally and socially the program must be from the originating country. Thus no matter how cheaply the Hollywood program may be made available to a commercially oriented television system the cultural discount may rule out its screening. As an executive of the Taiwanese television network, CTV, told Georgette Wang in 1982:

The minimum cost for us to produce a half hour program is USA $1,500. To buy a program from the United States costs us no more than USA $175. But who wants to sponsor an imported program? You still see imported programs now simply because we can not find sponsors, but are obliged to fill the broadcasting hours. 32

In this case USA programming appears as filler for dead time awaiting commercial development. The cultural discount may thus impose real limits on the extent to which Hollywood programming can circulate in spite of high production values. This is potentially significant for important East Asian markets like Japan, South Korea, Hong Kong, Taiwan and Singapore, and the less developed markets of mainland China, Thailand and Indonesia. Evidence of the cultural discount further working against Hollywood is provided by the fully developed Hong Kong market where its internationally orientated domestic production industry accounted for 82% of box office receipts and the foreign film market share (principally made up of Hollywood movies) was only 18% in 1988. 33

Conditions within the USA and to a lesser extent other English language markets have encouraged a greater commercial exploitation of symbolic goods in comparison to other potential national or linguistic competitor markets. This commercial exploitation has been a crucial factor in that language market's dominance. Commercial structures generally and commercial communication structures particularly have been able to operate in a relatively unfettered environment in the USA. Compared to cinema and television markets elsewhere the USA has actively encouraged the full commercial development of these markets through government policy and constitutional right (the 'freedom of the press'). This enables USA cinema and television organisations to operate within their home market with a relatively free hand. This means that Hollywood and the networks can mobilise popular audiences and substantially set the agenda of development in cinema and television. As Maltby puts it:

In contrast to Europe, the private business sector in American history has been a more and more important factor in affecting activities, attitudes, and tastes for leisure . . . education or quality are not primary goals of business. The leisure dimension of American life, inasmuch as a portion of it is dominated by goods or services provided for financial profit, is efficiently served instead of purposefully elevated. 34

This commercialisation, however, became a particularly critical advantage in the context of the USA federal system because it was geared to the creation of a large continental market for goods and services. Not only do these circulate freely; barriers to the creation and extension of this market are removed by the courts. This was achieved principally through the free speech amendment and the prohibition of barriers to interstate commerce. This commitment to the development of an integrated North American market is an important aspect of Hollywood's capacity to produce a vernacular product capable of binding geographically and culturally dispersed communities together. Having few barriers to commercial expansion (and so integration of exhibition, distribution and production), vertical and horizontal integration occurred within USA cinema and television markets on a scale impossible to contemplate in the smaller, fragmented national markets of Europe, Latin America, Asia and Oceania.

The nations created in the 19th and 20th century were not continental in scope, nor as cooperatively integrated. Instead these nations were smaller, more homogeneous, and more jealous of their boundaries. Proximate countries were regarded as a greater threat to autonomy and security than the USA. As Schlesinger notes, notions of pan-European unity currently being advanced are "based upon a necessary forgetfulness about an awful past". 35 Thus, unlike the USA, 'nationalism' did not bring together proximate geographical and cultural communities but put them onto collision courses of mutual exclusion (Pakistan versus India, Malaysia versus Indonesia, Germany versus France and the UK). In the context of such collision courses communication flows were often terminated despite cultural proximity.

The impacts of these developments upon cinema and television were considerable. Outside the USA, national boundaries effectively provincialised the cinema and television system in an era of decolonisation, making it difficult for integrated markets of a size comparable to North America to emerge as competitors. Integration in geographically proximate areas was inevitably more difficult to secure in publicly sensitive areas such as symbolic goods than it was in more culturally neutral goods and services.

Certainly, national oligopolistic corporations were formed to horizontally integrate the exhibition market and, to an extent, distribution and production. But these groups were smaller and more inward looking. They tended their own 'cabbage patch' rather than become expansionist international corporations. Routt and Bertrand argue that the Australian cinema industry suffered as much from this thinking as from USA predatory practice. Australia had a horizontally and vertically integrated film sector at the same time if not earlier than the USA industry but chose to abandon an increased production schedule in the First World War at a time when there was a real product shortage and it was well placed to take advantage of that shortage. 36 In television this inward looking trend was intensified by the existence of public sector television institutions in Europe, Japan, Canada and New Zealand. Where there was a 'commercial television' an active interventionary role was often played by regulatory authorities or the government as in the UK and Brazil. Public television could be expected to see meeting local governmental obligations as ultimate rewards rather than the development of export markets. And something of this rubbed off onto the commercial television operators.

Outside the USA, a substantial role has always been played by the public sector in cinema and television markets. The direct involvement of the public sector in running television schemes in Europe, Japan and parts of Asia, coupled with the 'quality' mandate of much cinema production support world-wide, guaranteed that barriers to a commercially 'efficient' orientation were formidable in potential competitor markets holding back the development, for example, of long running series television. At the same time the national political sensitivities of production subsidy schemes ensured that international integration of continental markets could only develop so far.

To be sure, some non-American multinational exhibition and distribution interests did emerge. But these, until recently, emerged defensively, as much a cooperative response to Hollywood's international position as genuinely expansionist institutions. An example of this is the expansion through association by the UK Rank group immediately after the Second World War into Canada, Australasia and South Africa.

In the emerging national state system of the mid-20th century the USA was definitely strategically advantaged. USA international industrial expansion was aided by the existence of governments concerned with promoting individual national sovereignty at a time of the internationalisation of business activity and trading systems. As the largest commercial power and wealthiest nation state it had most to benefit from a fragmented international system.

Competitors to Hollywood in this view would need to find structural remedies in order to be successful. Either they would need to be able to secure large enough markets of sufficient wealth, numbers of language speakers and be able to adopt a fully fledged commercial orientation; or they would need to find political solutions to alter marketplace settings in order to compete in limited ways. It is a matter of record that in national systems political solutions have been adopted although of late commercial solutions are being increasingly favoured in Europe and East and South-East Asia.

These explanations need to be kept in perspective. They only demonstrate the commercial environment and the commerce in cultural difference that so contributes to Hollywood's dominance. But the Hollywood text and the production system and audiences have to be organised and mobilised in ways that permit such distribution machinery and comparative advantage to be operationalised.

IV Hollywood as Cultural Industry

The American cinema is a classical art, but why not then admire in it what is most admirable, i.e. not only the talent of this or that filmmaker, but the genius of the system, the richness of its ever-vigorous tradition, and its fertility when it comes into contact with new elements. . . Andre Bazin, 195737

Hollywood's advantage in international film markets is undoubtedly related to the controlled nature of its product. Its texts are the product of an advanced technological apparatus, industrialised system, and particular organisation of production. 38 Hollywood has been able to standardise the constituent elements of story and presentation in such a way as to produce a consistently developed on-screen spectacle of high-production values and a sophisticated technological apparatus over a large annual production slate. Critics as diverse as the French critic Bazin and the contemporary Americans Bordwell, Thompson and Staiger 39 argue that Hollywood systematised the organisation of the production process from script to screen through its division of labour, its rigorous attention to textual practice, and its incorporation of stylistic and technological innovations. It also 'systematised' the textual system itself not only into a regulated form of story-telling but also into particular recognisable 'types' of film, like the suspense thriller, the horror film, the science fiction film etc. The resulting 'system' (including the 'star' system) contributed to Hollywood's international power.

However, it is important to take care interpreting the Hollywood 'system'. This system routinely produces a transmittable product aimed at a wide cross-section of the public. But this popularity is often misunderstood in cultural industry arguments as "lowest common denominator" programming produced in a 'made to order' and least offensive kind of way. 40 But sanitising the product, downplaying complicating cultural and social references, and reducing the role that heterogeneous story materials can play is not especially a consequence of Hollywood's industrial conditions of manufacture. It is a general feature of most film making aimed at a general release audience. At the same time it must be noted that reading protocols associated with Hollywood films undoubtedly diminish on-screen cultural and social references as background noise rather than foregrounded story; and the cultural requirements of North American release given the large cultural, religious and ethnic divides separating regions and populations within regions from each other have encouraged a film making sensitive to these release conditions. But even here the argument of 'least offense' takes no account of the considerable domestic and international controversies 41 surrounding Hollywood's depiction of sex and violence - as the controversy around The Silence of the Lambs most recently testifies.

The Hollywood system can be seen as especially responsible for a consistency in the diversity of output. Hollywood produces diverse kinds of texts for differently organised audiences which expect different sorts of gratifications, from say a blockbuster with a 'kidult' audience in mind to a 'serious product' like Rain Man. To explain this diversity, consistency would need to be understood more as quality control than stylistic homogenisation, as Hollywood's demotic and serious product alike rely upon differently constructed bases of organisation of story material, such that popular product may be a chaotic mash of contending systems. 42 Part of this quality control is Hollywood's capacity to provide an attractive 'on screen' spectacle brought about by its considerable investment in the image and sound tracks. Hollywood superior production values routinely ensure spectacle, special effects, and an assemblage of internationally recognised personnel both in front of and behind the camera that other film and video industries can only irregularly attain.

But a system and image control are not Hollywood's exclusive preserve. Other film producers invest the same amounts of money, secure equivalent production values and sometimes, particularly if they are producing in English, gain equivalent access to the 'world market'. Non-Hollywood producers have been responsible for some of the most expensive and state of the art special effects films ever made, from Fritz Lang's Metropolis (1926) to the present. Hollywood's advantage lies in the fact that no other film production industry has been able to routinely commit such expenditure to the image. And this can be explained in the economic terms developed in the previous section. Hollywood's reliance upon a system is not exclusive to it. A system exists in India and is responsible for between 750 and 800 feature films per year. 43 Although India is an important supplier and exporter of cinema to some Third World countries its degree of generic codification and standardisation has barely permitted it to gain a place in the more profitable Western film markets. 44 Hollywood's advantage over the Indian film industry has to do with important cultural cleavages in the international market.

An interesting and recent contribution to the understanding of Hollywood's system has come via industrial sociology. Here Hollywood is seen to re-invent itself through a series of work-place models that are peculiarly appropriate to industry demands. For Christopherson and Storper Hollywood's contemporary market advantage has to do with its move towards post-Fordist regimes of flexible specialisation at the production level and away from the old studio system modelled consciously upon the automobile assembly line. 45 Hollywood retains its market edge because of its capacity to re-invent and re-shape itself to meet changing market requirements. Its capacity for adaptation and innovation constitutes an advantage over other production industries. This literature usefully suggests that Hollywood constantly innovates the different elements of its system whether the production firm, the technology used, the stylistic practices, the star system, the genres or the story telling techniques. The 'production system' can then be both the 'studio system' and the more loosely coupled specialised units of the period from the mid-1950s whilst still being a relatively coherent 'system'. It also provides another version of market success as inhering in this system.

But as Aksoy and Robins point out, this forgets that innovations are not self-creating and accidentally hit upon by their inventors; they are a response to and are conducted largely at the behest of market conditions in which centralised distribution and exhibition structures control the product and its financing, benefitting the most from these innovations. 46 The term 'cultural industry' usefully indicates this relation. Cultural industry was associated firmly with industrial manufacture 47 and often projected in opposition to artisanal, craft based practice, but with Hollywood's 'flexible specialisation' in the post-studio era it is possible to see that artisanal and craft based practices centred around loosely coupled and smaller production units can support the presence of a cultural industry of undiminished power and scope. The Hollywood system may owe its power as much to its capacity to incorporate such elements as to exclude them.

Insofar as the procedures, norms and practices of Hollywood that have been identified with its system are transferable rather than instrinsically the property of Hollywood, the failure of serious contenders to Hollywood to emerge in the West for the better part of this century suggests that the barriers to copying effectively the Hollywood system are as much cultural, economic and structural as related to fundamental 'know-how'.

V Hollywood as Textual and Aesthetic System

America was the only country where the unambitious film had quality. That remains a unique phenomenon. Francois Truffaut, 196448

The form and disposition of the Hollywood movie and television series have always been seen as contributing to its success with international audiences. A set of aesthetic concerns are here held responsible for international popularity; concerns of style and artistry, practice and form, pleasure and comprehensibility, and debates of value and type with regard to the art work. I will now schematically survey accounts of the Hollywood text with a view to establishing their usefulness in explaining international popularity.

At one extreme the Hollywood text is understood as a rational and purposive assemblage of interconnected elements which lays out a path for the viewer to follow; at the other it is understood as a more ad hoc and chaotic assemblage of elements, often jarring and contending with each other, thus permitting diverse audiences to have an affective stake in the film. Somewhere in between are a variety of positions accommodating both understandings. These divisions over the nature of the Hollywood text lead to different reasons being advanced for its popularity.

The 'rational' account of Hollywood argues that its reliance upon logical schema and unambiguous motivation, pictorial representation and variable framing not only secures legibility and therefore a transmittable product but also creates pleasure for audiences in the process. In this instrumental account the Hollywood text is seen as a kind of open ended artistic machine capable of endless permutations and combinations whilst retaining ready comprehensibility and varieties of aesthetic satisfactions. This view has its apotheosis in Noel Carroll and David Bordwell's descriptions of 'classical narration'. Carroll argues that Hollywood movies reliance upon pictorial representation enhances "transmissability" thereby significantly by-passing the need for literacy; whilst its use of devices such as variable framing produces an "unavoidably" clear, easily followed story line of "heightened intelligibility". 49

While Hollywood movies are for Carroll "almost automatically coherent and intelligible", 50 Bordwell sees in classical Hollywood the subordination of the stylistic system to the story. 51 The Hollywood text progresses horizontally in careful and co-ordinated sequence, always moving forward; and the stylistic system supports this movement. Additionally, Hollywood's reliance upon extrinsic norms - particularly generic templates - ensures that the fiction remains true to the 'probable' rather than to the 'actual'. This enables diverse audiences to comprehend the story without needing to resort to specific kinds of cultural and social information apart from the generic templates. Bordwell further argues that Hollywood adapted and transformed the standard story format found across Western culture to create 'classical narration'. In adopting this format it secured ready comprehension abroad despite linguistic and cultural boundaries. 52 Hollywood's achievement appears to be a thoroughly worked over, symmetrical, clear plot which is the outcome of an investment in time, detail and money at all the stages of production process. In a sense the Hollywood text becomes an engineered achievement. 53 In the quality, extent and appreciation of this engineering lies its international popularity.

When the Hollywood text is viewed more as an ad hoc and chaotic assemblage of elements, ritualistic and affective accounts are given. Here the text is more a kaleidoscope of spectacle, display, energy and vitalism, elan, pleasure and film performance. 54 Diverse ranges of pleasures may be associated as much with objects, special FX, actors, and style as with plot. In this view international circulation is achieved through the attractions of an inherently visceral kaleidoscope offering diverse kinds of bodily, emotional, psychic and vernacular pleasures. Raw energy and affective power are necessary corollaries of the intense cinematic experience the Hollywood movie provides its audiences. This view centres Hollywood as a form of entertainment. What is specific to Hollywood appears here to be the extent, direction and qualitative excess of energy and vitality of the Hollywood product. As Ed Buscombe describes it:

Hollywood has been able to produce films which present with a solidarity, concreteness and intensity no other cinema has rivalled the material of its national life. Everyone who has ever been exposed to the American cinema has not only a detailed sense of what America looks like, feels like (spectacle and identification) but also a vivid knowledge of the dynamism and force of its social life, represented in a style at once concrete and multifaceted. 55

In a related view the Hollywood text becomes pluralised into a number of texts and therefore readings held in tension. Robert Ray situates a contemporary Hollywood text equally available to ironic and naive readings; 56 whilst Raymond Durgnat can find in Witches of Eastwick a plenitude of generic forms criss-crossing the film producing a performance enabling the film to work "for spectators across a broad spectrum of ideologies: from radical feminism . . . to Neo-conservativism . . .; from Christian fundamentalism . . . to rational materialism." 57 The Hollywood text here does not go forward but vertically fragments, divides and sub-divides across a number of different pathways purposefully (and accidentally) laid out for diverse audiences. In such a view Hollywood is successful because in so marshalling its textual resources it can travel further through social space thereby maximising its readership. This constitutes its market edge: an industry peculiarly able to produce for fragmented domestic and international audiences.

Sandwiched in the middle between the extremes of rational and chaotic assemblage are a range of viewpoints typically taking bits and pieces from each. A combinatory position sees Hollywood as having a potent configuration of narrative and style, reality-value and spectacle-value. 58 Versions of psychoanalytic film criticism often seek to combine the affective and the instrumental in this way.

Another combinatory position has Hollywood construct a textual 'audio-visual world' - seamless, seductive and self-referring - which permits international audiences a hold on the story and a pleasure in its performance. 59 It is certainly the case that Hollywood's referencing of co-extant political and cultural events matters less to audience pleasure and comprehensibility than it would to European, Australian or Japanese product. Perhaps this is as much a consequence of scale and repetition as of pro-filmic qualities. Vietnam stories about American POWs become less over time about the nation's negotiation of its Asian defeat than a cycle comparable to the Conan films (bearing in mind that Conan may have been positioned on audience horizons in its time as a Vietnam allegory). Outside the USA such stories resemble other Hollywood texts and rely upon an 'imagined America' in the absence of a direct experience of American political and social culture. This can give an oscillating character to the understanding and positioning of action films such as the Rambo and Chuck Norris cycles. These films can be powerfully inserted into an American political force-field - such as when President Reagan suggested that "we should send Rambo in" - which can help explain the popular resistance in the USA to the normalising of USA-Vietnamese relations. Yet these same films can be also experienced in America and abroad as he-men action films of warrior heroes, right down to the oiled torso, the carefully torn clothing, and the graphic scars of bodily assault. Hollywood does not diminish social and political texts, events, etc. Rather these social and political texts and events need not be all that important in the viewing of such texts. In David Bordwell's terms Hollywood's viewers tend to rely upon powerful extrinsic norms (such as generic templates) to fill in story gaps and to render the story plausible and consistent.

Additionally, non-American viewing of Hollywood output may be more intertextually generated than is USA viewing of the same text. Social texts are more available to USA audiences as they have available to them a greater range of the cultural and social materials that the films draw upon. Significantly, notions of Hollywood as an intertextual system and imaginary unity developed most strongly outside the USA in France, the UK and Germany. This is usually explained by the disposition of North American academic and critical knowledges to see cinema as a social institution available to the social sciences rather than aesthetics. But this actually supports the case that Hollywood is appropriated in the USA more in relation to its social texts than its intertexts; as when these intertexts are addressed as evidencing social problems particular to the USA. 14 Non-Americans find such accounts uninteresting as they leave out what Hollywood means for them. Hollywood distributors and international audiences face a version of this same problem. The former have to localise the Hollywood text for particular international audiences through creating a tailored release and marketing campaign; the latter have to work at developing strategies of sense-making and gratification to make a pleasureable experience out of their viewing.

Hollywood uses textual strategies to facilitate the 'localising' work of audiences and distributors. Silj and his collaborators argue that a program like Dallas is typical of Hollywood television fiction in that it "contains no specific cultural markers or indicators, so that it is all the easier for other cultures to read." 60 Thus

In Dallas we are not even told who is the President of the United States in this or that period of the life of the main characters, and no mention is made of events or problems pertinent to American society. 61

But Hollywood does not minimise its social texts. Even in the most self-referring of genres such as the horror cycle, careful attention is paid to making cemetaries and crematoria look like an amalgam of famous (usually USA) cemetaries. Rather, certain Hollywood product minimises references to the kinds of political and social intertexts that are sometimes favoured in the output from other Western countries where a popular television serial will tend to reference coextant political and social events more explicitly. 62 It might, as the Australian A Country Practice once did, go so far as to have that country's own political leader appear playing himself in the name of a worthy cause. 63 Hollywood reliance upon certain kinds of social text on screen (relationships, family, places, objects) when taken in conjunction with its drawing of materials from other movies or television series, provides audiences with a set of textual reference points that are not available to the more 'one off' product of other countries in the international marketplace. 64 Such a favouring of intertextual connections can be accomplished equally through studio and location shooting, e.g. Detroit as the futuristic city of Robocop. Such a construction of a self-referring audio-visual world should assist international circulation.

Perhaps this characterisation of Hollywood helps us understand why it appears to be the only national cinema which is not a national cinema. But Hollywood movies do not disavow their 'Americanness'; rather their Americanness just does not typically appear to be what they are principally about. In this sense these films are unlike those produced by British, French or Australian directors which we usually think of as being typical of their output. This product is identifiably about being British (like Hudson's Chariots of Fire), or French (Renoir's La Marseillaise) or Australian (Faiman/Hogan's Crocodile Dundee). It is a cinema which highlights some important national moment or typical concerns, and/or some national characteristics including speech patterns, thereby presuming an international appreciation based on those "national qualities". 65 Thus the German television series Heimat was held to be successful in Germany and France because of its particularly German focus. 66

But equally a significant portion of French, English, German and Australian cinema aims not to be particularly known as British, German, French or Australian. Being French is not what Carne's Le Jour se LÉve is principally about; nor is being Australian what the Mad Max trilogy is immediately about. Furthermore, studio production is the sine qua non of all television series and serial production world-wide. Such 'abstraction' in the mise en scÉne and generality in the story-telling is also the property of long running series like Neighbours. Equally there are many Hollywood films which are resolutely about 'being American' and centre 'American characteristics' (Young Mr Lincoln, Top Gun).

Not principally centring being American is therefore a matter of both tendency in cinematic practice (and therefore a matter of degree) and of the kind of reading protocols routinely exercised by foreign audiences on Hollywood product. Such protocols favour generalising from specific American characteristics. Hollywood then is the only national cinema which is not just a national cinema.

Hollywood scriptwriters and directors, as a matter of course, internalise protocols and norms of scripting which facilitate overseas circulation. Note that I have not gone so far as to assert that Hollywood explicitly embraces these protocols and norms in order to sell abroad; rather I have suggested that these protocols facilitate international circulation. Whilst there is some evidence that concerns of export have contributed to the development of the Hollywood method and have impinged on the selection of its story materials, these concerns have scarcely had a determining impact upon the overall shape and direction of Hollywood practice. It can be just as persuasively argued that the generality of Hollywood's mode of address owed itself to factors internal to the USA: the need to reach a generalised American audience separated by vast distances, geography and regional cultural differences; 67 and the need to address newly arrived immigrant groups, many with minimal command of English and/or little knowledge of the local histories and traditions of the communities they entered. 68 Add to this the immigrant and international character of personnel and Hollywood appears to have developed an 'international' orientation just as much by virtue of American 'melting pot' conditions. 69 Arguably American conditions encouraged the development of a mode of address which would maximise the potential of communication and thus be peculiarly suited to international export. A common way of expressing the results of these conditions is that Hollywood is peculiarly able to produce popular vernacular entertainment. 70

These protocols of filmmaking and norms of scripting need not, as we have seen, be the sole preserve of the US. The incentive to reach a European melting pot was a part of both the ill-fated Film Europe movement and the present attempts to construct a 'pan-European' product. 71 Similarly, countries such as Australia and Brazil with their significant populations of ethnic minorities provide approximate melting pot conditions demanding more generalised forms of address.

These contemporary accounts of the Hollywood text are but variations on the standard tropes of Hollywood film criticism this century. The Hollywood machine with its calculating logic, its precision tooling, its attention to scripting and intelligibility, its division of labour and its modes of production has always been with us. The Hollywood system becomes something to celebrate in its apparent perfection or to lament in its "homogenisation" of elements and containment of the "heterogeneity" of "material practice" as Stephen Heath puts it. 72 At the same time the Hollywood 'magic' with its attachments to stars, directors and genres, its visceral pleasure in the mise en scÉne and performance has always suggested a Hollywood that is not rational but affective, not instrumental but sensational, not engineered but fundamentally excessive.

None of the textual attributes developed to explain Hollywood's popularity are Hollywood's exclusive preserve. Classical Hollywood story-telling can be found in Kennedy/Miller's Mad Max 2 (released in some markets as The Road Warrior and mistaken by Noel Carroll for a Hollywood film); in British cinema; and in the work of foreign directors (Alfred Hitchcock, Fritz Lang and Peter Weir) who made Hollywood classics without substantially altering their earlier style. 73 Relying on action, expression, gesture and even inarticulacy to tell the story rather than wads of dialogue is as significant for Hong Kong and Indian cinema. Both rely upon action, gesture and editing to achieve dynamic effects as in Hollywood cinema. The American film industry's remakes of popular non-English language film productions (Three Men and a Baby and The Magnificent Seven) and English-language television series production (All in the Family and Three's a Crowd) provide evidence that the same unabashed commitment to popular entertainment can be found in non-Hollywood product. Arguments that Hollywood's success has to do with an American propensity to be able to produce such 'appealing' product are unconvincing. Hong Kong cinema's popular product which supplanted Hollywood movies at its box office over the past two decades has popular appeal; 74 so too does the French and Japanese movies which capture on average 50% of their domestic box office; and the Brazilian and Australian television which circulates in international television markets alongside the Hollywood product.

These conditions and strategies of story-telling might help explain how global audiences are attracted to the Hollywood story with its greater engineering, spectacle, energy and vitality than other cinemas - particularly Western cinema - but it cannot explain why Hollywood should dominate this type of audio-visual production. As all of the accounts of the Hollywood text examined so far provide no particular necessity for Hollywood to be the creator of such texts, these can at most suggest that Hollywood creates such texts more routinely than do its competitors. Such descriptions of the Hollywood text therefore leave open the possibility of rival 'Hollywoods' and tend to be at a loss in ascribing the relative absence of competitors despite the money, talent and years of competition. This failure tends to be put down to various versions of incompetence or prohibition (whether aesthetic, political or cultural) facing non-Hollywood producers in developing such product. But such explanations are inadequate inasmuch as these mistake the failure to supplant the Hollywood product with local or regional product as fundamentally a matter of textual attributes. Does the The Seven Samurai lack the skill and panache of The Magnificent Seven? Surely the reverse! Textual expositions of Hollywood's popularity need to be situated in relation to the structural, economic, industry and cultural conditions underwriting Hollywood's international circulation.

VI Hollywood as Cultural Form

America is protean: one moment astonishingly familiar, the next incomprehensibly opaque to our European eyes. But in front of the screen my impulse has always been to stay as close as I could to that first perspective. The specifically 'Yankee' character of numerous Hollywood productions has never captured more than my superficial interest; it has excited my curiosity and stimulated my mind, but it has never completely won my heart. The finest American films which it has been my lot to see have more than anything else made me fiercely envious and sorry that France should have abandoned the pursuit of a claim to universality that it once - not long ago - affirmed so strongly. Eric Rohmer, 195575

Both "astonishingly familiar" and "incomprehensibly opaque", Hollywood is both the same and Yankee, generally identical and specifically other, global and local. Its interest lies not just in being one or the other but in being both simultaneously. Rohmer does however claim that there is a hierarchy between these 'interests' such that its pursuit of a "claim to universality" inevitably prevails over the "superficial interest" in the Yankee. Years later contemporary audience research came to a related conclusion albeit couched in a different language: an audience member used Hollywood for her own situated and local purposes thereby customising the shared symbolic resources of the Hollywood text. In the battle between the American producer and the local audience it seems we should, by and large, always back the local. Two different purposes: the cosmopolitan Rohmer using a love of Hollywood to worry about the insularity of French filmmaking; and the parochial viewer incorporating Hollywood into quotidian routines and life situations. Hollywood as specifically Yankee does not seem so important here. Rather it is Hollywood as a global resource for the transmission of transnational aesthetic values and as a resource for customising by varying audiences.

And yet so much audio-visual policy, cultural elite, leftist and populist audience response to Hollywood has been premised on the reverse being the case. These diverse projects identify Hollywood not only with the American but with an active and interventionist program of Americanisation in identities, culture, social values, material aspiration, and models of film and television production. What counts is that Hollywood is Yankee. It is as if a whole cohort watches the same movies as Rohmer but, unable to move towards Hollywood's claims to universality, stays with the superficial interest in the American, forming an identity, an imaginary America, and an orientation to that America. Such evaluations of Hollywood as American may be positive and negative; based on recognising similarities and differences alike. If some will make the passage to the universal here it will be only be by passing through these American characteristics, by being in some sense Americanised. This process can still be seen as a local appropriation of Hollywood for situated purposes and therefore can vary significantly. But Hollywood is inescapably seen and delighted in as American culture in this, 'the American century'. Hollywood and American popular culture generally have discovered "what world cultural tastes actually are" 76; in Jeremy Tunstall's words, the "media are American". 77

So the Yankee emerges as a multiple identity - what is passed through as a means to achieve universality and local resonance, and what is discarded in the act of viewing and interpretation in favour of its other claims to universality and cross-cultural communicability. It is a value and identity in its own right to be surveyed, celebrated and resisted. In being identified as American it makes its claim to universality and local resonance. Hollywood in its turn is simultaneously: the transnational screen form and resource for global audiences; the neutral common good property equally available to all who view it; the American cinema valued for itself; and a vision of international cinema on American terms.

Such apparently contradictory designations of Hollywood owe themselves to multiple determinants, the co-presence of different reading strategies persisting within and across social and national formations: the extent to which American and international audiences share and do not share situations, values, characteristics and identities; and the diversity of Hollywood output collectively and sometimes individually. These make it capable of being identified as American or transnational, and being customised as a local, an American, and a global resource. In this context it is important to opt for a more 'cultural' designation of the Hollywood text. I am inclined towards Routt's:

American popular culture . . . seems to me to be a grab-bag of identities, doubtless because of the historical heterogeneity of the place coupled with its relatively recent cultural ascendance and the peculiar tolerance engendered by popular culture's demand for novelty. Over time the variety has tended to increase even as the geographical source of that culture has become more and more dispersed. 78

If Richard Collins' argument is added that the USA melting pot "gave USA producers a kind of microcosm of the developed world's population as a home market", 79 then the Hollywood text is formed in such a way as to command the attention of that developed world. Hollywood is the developed world's common cultural resource in part because it was the sum of it. Rohmer's universality becomes Routt's internationalism of American popular culture, becoming a culture marking itself off from "other local ('folk', 'national') cultures precisely in its ability to cross boundaries, to make itself available globally". 80 Even the national prejudices of Hollywood need not constitute such an obstacle for international audiences, for USA national identity is an "ill-defined national identity of very little substance and conviction, despite its sometimes shrillness and self-righteous posturing". 81 So it is that Hollywood becomes, in Adrian Martin's words, a transnational "cultural phenomenon" 82; and so it is that we can still talk of an experience of Hollywood providing international audiences not only with shared aesthetic texts, and therefore common cultural and social resources, but also with shared values, interpretations and sensibilities. For Ian Jarvie "American values are universal values, the values so often reiterated of life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness." In doing so Hollywood is the "bearer of a beneficent ideology." 83 John Grierson in 1927 saw the pleasure of the experience of Hollywood narrative being enhanced by Hollywood's optimism and egalitarianism. 84 Indonesia's President Sukarno located Hollywood's material aspirations claiming that it preached revolution by showing a society in which ordinary people had houses with several rooms, and possessed automobiles. 85 Another 'values' explanation shared by Adrian Martin and Thomas Elsaesser sees Hollywood dramatising acutely "the problems of social experience and the difficult place of the individual subject caught between irreconcilable urges". 86 Hollywood creates in these terms a kind of common mythological space. It dramatises the same broad social and political issues facing the polity outside of America - issues of gender, family, divorce, race, ethnic identity - but refracted and displaced through the Hollywood prism. This can have a political resonance - for instance, the coldly unsympathetic monsters of 1950s exploitation films seen as a displacement of the Russian and McCarthyist threat during the coldwar era. 87 Hollywood may also promote shared sensibilities and styles - modernist and post-modernist - in aesthetics and culture.

But more than common values are claimed for Hollywood. Collins sees it as encouraging the formation of social and cultural identities persisting across nations. It creates "unities" horizontally across nations, "binding" together a popular constituency for its product and "mobilising the enthusiasms of popular audiences"; consequently it is a powerful agent for the "restratification of national cultural communities". In doing so it separates "elite from mass or popular taste and threatens the cultural hegemony enjoyed by national cultural elites". 88 Thus Tony Bennett finds that Hollywood and American popular culture generally provided a British audience with "a repertoire of cultural styles and resources which, in various ways, have undercut and been consciously mobilised against the cultural hegemony of Britain's traditional elites". 89 But equally contemporary 'development communication' notes the reverse trend: the preference for Hollywood and American product on the part of cultural elites in parts of Latin America and elsewhere, with this preference powerfully separating them from the 'masses' who predominantly consume locally produced product. Either way Hollywood becomes an agent, advertently and inadvertently, in the cultural mix of national communities, driving a wedge between formations in those communities. This is possible because Hollywood is not only popular culture: its movies are not just demotic; and popular culture is not so easily separable from elite and folk cultures.

Hollywood is internationally successful because it mobilises its textual protocols at the service of constructing (internationally) shared cultural, aesthetic and ideological concerns, maps and identities. In this it can have both a progressive and regressive force. Seiter and Kreutzner find USA soaps more open to feminist readings than equivalent popular German series which maintain "a more masculinist and authoritarian ethos"; 90 Shaheen notes Hollywood's complicity in projecting a degraded 'television arab' on North American and international screens. 91 Much energy has historically been invested in arguing whether Hollywood is on balance progressive or regressive. The evaluations vary from decade to decade, cultural politic to cultural politic. Deciding for or against Hollywood is part and parcel of being 'Hollywood minded'.

International circulation here relates to Hollywood's peculiar ability to lock into particular cultural, aesthetic and social configurations and aspirations that it shares with its non-American audiences. It seems as if here at least the American and international audience are largely interchangeable. But why can't other cinemas occupy as pivotal a cultural and ideological role? Is Rohmer right to blame it on a general failure (of talent and imagination) on the part of non-American cinema? Or has it to do with the fact that in order to sustain such diverse aspirations and configurations Hollywood sustains a commensurately diverse production slate?

But how much is shared, how much are we - Americans and non-Americans, women and men, English-speaking and non-English-speaking, caucasian and asian - interchangeable? How much are we not sharing with that broad American audience and its fragments when we think we are sharing in its "fun"? 92 How much does the locality of the non-American experience of Hollywood impinge upon the disposition and form of this collective experience? Eric Michaels tells a cautionary tale of Australians deluding themselves that they are becoming more American:

Australians have no idea: they think they're watching the same TV as the Yanks. . . They imagine they're becoming Yanks. And you're not allowed to tell them that they're actually becoming something more like Filipinos. 93

Michaels' contention was based upon the particular and distancing framing of American movies and series on Australian television, the relationship of that Australian audience to television's rhythms, and the legacy of a different relationship to style, race and ethnicity in the Australian body politic. If the emphasis upon the audience of the last decade has shown us anything it is that even within the culturally proximate English-language markets, similarities mask differences of varying degrees and natures. 'Internationalism', it seems, is often localised, acquiring a particular character even when it believes itself to be sharing more or less everything with those Americans and others watching the same program.

But the audience's gaze need not be the cosmopolitan gaze of a Rohmer or a Routt. It may also be a parochial one scavenging, modifying and customising as it sees fit. Here the interest in America qua America may not arise; nor its modernism, nor its post-modernism. Customising Hollywood may involve a routine accomplishment, a small routine adjustment on the part of viewers (there is no drama of shifting oneself out of what is, only an endlessly repeated convention being applied to all the more firmly sustain what is). So it is for the Australian children of Suzanne Pingree and Robert Hawkins' 94 research. These children accept the dissonance between their own cultural domain and that presented to them in USA television fiction as attributable to the operation of television convention in a way that denies the specificity of the American experience portrayed.

Viewers of all stripes do often stay, at least for a time, with Rohmer's superficial interest in the Yankee. When doing so an identification of Hollywood as Yankee prevails over more universal or international identifications. Out of the experience of watching Hollywood and reading its popular literature comes over time, perhaps inescapably, an imaginary America and a concern with Hollywood itself (its texts, processes, stars and directors). This America, this Hollywood, affects us. Pejoratively this process can be seen as Americanisation such that one country's 'local culture' supplants other, weaker local cultures. Less pejoratively it can be seen as globalisation such that Hollywood and Americanite become less an American property on loan to the rest of the world but, rather, a property of the rest of the world. Equally viewer concern might be with Hollywood, expressed in the cosmopolitan interest of the cinephile and the imaginary relationships with movie stars of some fans. Perhaps in the studio era it was easier to separate Hollywood from America; with contemporary American cinema's recognition of the diversity of USA regional cultures, landscapes and the like, it is harder now to dissociate the two. 95 How many overseas viewers project themselves comfortably in America by virtue of this Hollywood exposure; how much does USA tourism rely upon this with first stop Disneyland; how much does Hollywood's success rely upon such comfortable speculative projections on the part of its international audience? How many believe that through their experience of Hollywood movies and television programs theirs will be an encounter like David Thomson's?

I lived and worked in New Hampshire for a year. . . It was pleasant for me; I was never disarmed or perplexed by strangeness . . . My expectations of America were confirmed. I felt at ease in the country, partly because easiness is one of its treasured idioms, but also because the cinema proved a very useful training for America - I could see in the dark. 96

The relationship between this Hollywood, this America can, however, at some point face its own alterity. Thomson continues:

No one remembering as many American films as I did should have been allowed into America. It only encourages a superficial conclusion that one understands the country and ignore impudent 'warnings' that it might try to be a little more complicated. How swiftly my own hypothesis dissolves as I reduce friendly Americans to dismay and hurt. I should have listened to those who made moving pictures, and who were adamant that they were not to be taken seriously - even if making profitable pictures was a serious business. 97

America is known and yet not known through Hollywood. Hollywood permits non-Americans to map varying kinds of America; sometimes these maps coincide, sometimes not. Usually these systematically unsystematic differences are not brought into collision because America 'writes' while the rest of the world 'reads', with what is being 'read' being left in the cinema, in front of the television or in more informal networks of social interchange. In such circumstances consensus appear achieved and neither Hollywood, the USA tourist industry, nor USA governments particularly want to point out that these are after all your not their imaginings.

Moreover Hollywood is a property over which non-Americans have only a consumer right: that of watching or not watching. They remain unable to influence its form, its direction and uptake. So long as they stay consumers this is not a problem. The moment they try to affect Hollywood output Hollywood becomes other. It becomes 'Yank garbage' to be kept out by customs and the censor, or the foreign cinema and television that arrests local film making aspiration. The American screen presence becomes a foreign relations matter. Their love can, in short, turn to hate. John Caughie argues that this encourages a curious game of identification and non-identification such that the non-American "plays at being American" 98 with all the "tactics of empowerment" and "games of subordination" that this implies. 99

This imaginary Hollywood and America can project onto the American a figure of immense potence and power, leading to the kind of audience identifications with stars charted by Edgar Morin; 100 to Aboriginal identifications of Americans as saviours rescuing Aborigines from white Australians collected by Debbie Rose in Central Australia; 101 to letters to the editor in times of recession which urge Australia to apply to become the USA's 51st state; to Sylvia Lawson's poignant recognition of an imaginary landscape in which Americans and Europeans were filmmakers and Australians something else. 102 Sometimes this imaginary America leads to a desire to know the USA, embarking upon a 'personal USA studies program' to reposition Hollywood as really an American cultural form and therefore explaining its status and role without reference to the very non-American experience of Hollywood cinema and television programs that led to this USA interest in the first place. So Hector Crawford, in knowing the relationship between Hollywood and its North American audience, could project the necessity of an Australian screen narrative presence not as an offence against the USA but on the basis of a recognition of Hollywood's achievement with its American audiences. 103

Equally, in its mode of reversal, this play at being American can project the American as a curiosity, a monstrosity, or an inferior. Hollywood "may be marketing dreams which are dreamed in quite diverse ways, a fantasy of the other as quaint, perhaps, rather than as compelling object of desire". 104 Irony promotes here distance, engaged disengagement, and 'affected' superiority.

Perhaps then 'negotiation' is the better word to describe the relation between Hollywood and its international audience. Negotiations might be to the advantage or disadvantage of the recipient. Such negotiations assume a different character depending on the circumstance, the politics, the cultural formation. They actively promote or resist an easy assimilation of viewer to the Hollywood text. Negotiation means acknowledging that there may be a tendency towards similarity and interchangeability of interpretation and use - 'mainstreaming' - developed between populations, generations, ethnicities and nations with regard to Hollywood and encouraged by the international communication corridors of, for example, Hollywood publicity and film criticism. But it equally means that there is also a tendency towards difference, dissimilarity and particularity in interpretation and use encouraged by Hollywood's insertion in local, national and regional communication corridors. This typical dual movement can be seen in Eric Michaels' worry as to whether further experience of Hollywood by the Warlpiri in Central Australia will 'mainstream' this Aboriginal community into the broader Australian collectivity, eliminating the discrepancies between their local readings and the broader Australian and international readings of Hollywood programming. 105

Cultural accounts of Hollywood's popularity are caught in the web of these oscillating recognitions: simultaneously specifying Hollywood's familiarity and difference, mounting evidence for one that would contradict the other, keeping both in tension, intensely occupied with deciding between them. These different recognitions display the fundamental variety of Hollywood identities, varying from time to time, person to person, cultural formation to cultural formation. In this context Caughie argues persuasively for a "less systematic specificity [to American popular television], to be determined by local readings of texts and conditions and histories and objectives, and . . . a politics which . . . is open to historical conditions". 106 Such conditions are "enmeshed in the expectations, aspirations, and possibilities produced by particular histories of broadcasting and by particular legal, commercial and political arrangements of regulation and deregulation". 107 The same kinds of local conditions must also apply to the cinema and VCR. Aspects of such arrangements may be locality specific; others may bear a close family resemblance to arrangements in other localities or states. Hollywood's international popularity is not only a matter of so many individual variations but is also critically a collective matter. It involves a number of states sharing a common language, administrative programs, traditions of commercial and public broadcasting and the like.

Hollywood does not only develop its own global communication corridor; it also uses to advantage national and regional communication corridors. The audience research emphasis upon Hollywood's capacity to be congruent with and to affirm local circumstances and life situations, and therefore to provide for a large variety of interpretability and diverse uses for Hollywood programming, is related to Hollywood's insertion into such communication corridors and its capacity to negotiate a position within them. Audiences appropriate the symbolic resources made available to them through their local exhibition and distribution channels. Such channels also have a transnational character, as is evident from Hollywood's control of international film distribution. Yet international circulation is a contingent process needing work on the part of audiences and marketers to make over shared symbolic resources for particular local and shared purposes. Local expertise and orientations adjust USA market expectations and product within different regional, national and local frames. Hollywood's popularity owes itself to different - though related - communication and cultural networks than those used by international film criticism to develop its interpretative consensus.

Indian and Hong Kong success in the culturally distinct markets of the Indian sub-continent, Africa and East Asia suggest that 'Hollywood' is itself culturally specific to a general 'European' ('American') or 'Western' cultural frame. Understood this way Hollywood product is that 'European' product which circulates as the international product within the different markets of Europe, Australasia and Latin America. Certainly the USA was historically a conscious 'creation' of Europe. 108 By virtue of immigration it has tended until quite recently to see itself as the sum of Europe. Further, Hollywood has always partially defined itself in relation to 'Europe'. It has done so in terms of story-telling settings, literary properties, personnel recruitment, and revenues from export. Hollywood has always been closer to Europe, the geographical entity, than it has been to its neighbour Mexico, Japan (its second largest export cinema market), or Latin America. An admittedly crude marker of this 'Europeanness' is the 'race' of the characters portrayed and the settings for its stories: Hollywood is routinely a 'white' cinema. Hollywood generally goes on location in Europe. Hollywood's exploitation of physiognomy places no immediate obstacles to audience assimilation of story materials and acceptance of them in its major 'white' export markets.

But how different must it be for racial others? Hollywood confronts a Japanese with visible markers of cultural and racial difference. At the same time its accommodation of its 'others' - Hispanics and Blacks - are much more fraught and offensive than Australia's negotiation with its Asian neighbours through Turtle Beach and A Year of Living Dangerously, for which it suffers diplomatic complaint and trade retaliation.

There are not the differences between the USA and Europe that there are between the USA and other component parts of the world system. Understood this way we can understand the West as not only a geo-political entity but also a cultural and communication system. The Hollywood text has a broad cultural identity as 'European' product which can be contrasted with other cultural identities within the global system.

Hollywood's loss of audience in Hong Kong and India in the face of competition from a vernacular and popular local cinema suggests that there are other communication and cultural systems waiting to be commercially tapped in ways that Hollywood has tapped the West. The East Asia of Japan, Korea, China, Taiwan, Singapore and Vietnam might well provide one such system. Hollywood, as international European product, has problems competing successfully against a commercially orientated popular East Asian and Indic product. Appreciation of entertainment may well be a cultural matter. 109

But how can such an account explain Hollywood's success in the East Asian markets of Japan and South Korea? Is success there intrinsically different from success in Italy or France? Arguing for significant cultural cleavages suggests that Hollywood's Asian success cannot be explained in the same terms as its success within the culturally similar markets of Australasia and Europe. Hollywood's Japanese success can be seen, at the very least, as part of Japan's broader 'conversation' with the West and particularly America. Hollywood's success is a component part of Japan's outward looking stance which has not been at odds with its maintenance of an Eastern identity. Additionally Hollywood's success in Japan and Korea might have to do with the relative lack of development of a viable East Asian market, and obstacles to the emergence of a popular cinema and television industry dedicated to servicing such a market. This has much to do with the political legacy of Japanese atrocities during the Second World War throughout East and South East Asia. Hollywood may well have emerged as a major supplier in these markets by default rather than intrinsic advantage. By contrast Hollywood's European success is based, in part, upon such product being created in some sense 'for them' as audiences. Whilst Hollywood is not 'local' film in any foreign market (with the possible exception of portions of the English-speaking Canadian market), it still claims attention as a cinema trying to be just that.

But there are general problems with such formulations. Cultural differences are notoriously difficult to specify and asserting such differences must, perforce, presume a massive cultural divide separating East Asia and the Indian sub-continent from Western Europe and North America. Yet attempts to articulate a Chinese, Japanese and Indian aesthetic in film production have been mixed. 110 Certainly only some of the formal attributes of these country's films and television that can be pointed to as absolute distinguishing markers. As Robert Nery argues, Hong Kong cinema does incorporate a "calligraphic" visual style but it also hauls in plots and devices from all over the globe. 111Difference can be claimed in the relative balance of elements (more song in the Indian film and a mixing of generic elements in the Hong Kong film), a preponderance of certain techniques to accomplish transition, a reliance upon a different field of texts in the development of properties and so different sorts of contextual referents or templates that an audience brings to its consideration of film and television programming. 112 Problems involved in specifying an innate form to the popular art of India and Hong Kong do indicate, at the very least, that the cultures producing this art share much with Hollywood. The difference then would have to consist as much in the contextual and referential grids that audiences bring to the understanding of a film or television program as in formal attributes.

Hollywood's difference can be registered in culturally proximate markets and even within the USA market (with Hispanic and Chinese Americans). Some form of difference will be registered whenever a film crosses national, racial, and ethnic boundaries. This is a function of the nature of nations, race, and ethnicity and the various identities such boundaries frame. Posed in this weaker (and contingent) form Hollywood's difference in East Asia and India would form a continuum with its difference in Europe and Australasia. There could be no radical cleavage between the European and the East Asian, only matters of degree.

If the experience of difference cannot be just confined to such broad cultural cleavages as East/West or Indian/West they surely exist within Hollywood's overseas markets in Europe and Australasia. Audiences in France, the UK or Australasia do not necessarily forget that they are watching a Hollywood film. Inasmuch as this brand name is also the name for the American national film industry these audiences do not absolutely lose sight of its Americanness.

What seems to be suggested here is a world cinema and television system in which there are various imperfect cultural groupings whose memberships are locked into their grouping and other groupings - to a greater or lesser extent - depending on the country in question. These groupings do not form any necessary exclusivity. Take the European grouping as an example: Hollywood's circulation would stretch from the Canadian, British and Australasian (English-speaking) and to a lesser extent the Scandinavian and Dutch markets that can, to an extent, be regarded as surrogate English-speaking audiences, to the German, Italian and French markets for which Hollywood's cultural difference is arguably more evident. As such the idea of Hollywood and (but not necessarily) the idea of America will be differentially inflected depending on the social and cultural formations that a film or television program enters. Hollywood could then be expected to have a different value and status within particular foreign markets over time.

Hollywood has been perceived as a threat to the international preeminence of a tradition of transnational elite art within both Europe and America for most of this century. As the most visible form of a transnational popular art Hollywood was perceived as a threat to this cultural tradition. In Europe the Hollywood presence could be cast politically as cultural invasion whilst in the USA Hollywood's massive presence was cast in terms of the triumph of the worst over the best elements in American culture.

In Australia in the 1950s Hollywood was congruent with new ideas about social leisure and domestic space integral to the 'Australian way of life'. 113 Hollywood movies were part and parcel of the idea of modernity so closely associated with America. They not only provided disk jockeys with the means to acquire the valued American accent, but they also displayed designs and goods and services which could be subsequently incorporated into Australia. A demand was created for American-style goods and services in housing, cars, food, consumer items, finance and shopping malls.

Hollywood might then be recognised as different in foreign markets but these differences become more or less accentuated depending on the markets Hollywood films enter. In this way Hollywood would enter into a different constellation whether as part of Japan's negotiation of and accommodation with the 'West', or as the idea of 'Americanite' for the French. 114 Hollywood is not in the business of erasing the difference between it and its foreign markets, but turning it to its own advantage.

In these terms there is a varying gulf between Hollywood films and the cultural formations of its export markets with this gulf appearing to an extent integral to Hollywood's international success just as it sets limits to that success. Wildman and Siwek's earlier formulation can be expanded: Hollywood circulates internationally both because of its cultural difference and its similarities. Hollywood succeeds by negotiating differences and asserting similarity simultaneously.

Sustaining an interest in Hollywood are other non-text based considerations: Hollywood's prestige as the producer of popular high-budget movies and American cultural prestige in general in 'the American century'. The latter is sometimes considered important as a partial explanation for the global interest in America. American economic and political dominance in the twentieth century arguably conferred a prestige upon and an interest in the Hollywood product in overseas markets. The idea of America is a powerful one within many different countries and cultures. Whilst it is difficult to quantify the consequences of this valued status it undoubtedly creates an interest in American news, information and culture which transcends political, cultural and language boundaries. Hollywood can be seen to have taken advantage of this success. In this perspective Hollywood's international currency is due, in some measure at least, to its Americanness.

But if prestige is important, then America's relative economic decline must diminish Hollywood's cultural resonance. The emergence of Japan as a major economic power is seeing a similar interest in 'Japan' developing which is inexorably leading to a market for Japanese informational and cultural goods, particularly in East and South-East Asia. Could not Japanese cultural product be similarly advantaged?

Hollywood's international success can also be attributed to political and social decisions which favour Hollywood product as politically inoffensive product. Pakistan has been a buyer of Hollywood programming because it wished to discourage popular Indian product from its broadcasting and cinema outlets in the wake of its separation from India and subseqent hostilities. Culturally closer to India than to the USA, Hollywood product gained entry to the Pakistan market by default. Similarly, Hollywood product can be perceived as less culturally damaging than more proximate product. European rivalries not only hindered the formation of a market for each other's product in the inter-war period but also permitted the USA to function as an inoffensive program production source. Hollywood programming presented fewer problems to national identity and national culture (whether officially or popularly) than did other, more proximate European product. This is particularly so given the unstable nature of the national boundaries separating different countries and the existence of ethnic minorities in many different countries. It is not surprising then that many of the smaller countries in Europe rely on USA programming as culturally neutral programming less damaging to national identities than the more culturally proximate programming of the larger European states. In the same way French-speakers in Canada generally prefer USA programming to the English-language Canadian product. On a more micro scale Eric Michaels contends that Hollywood programming does not constitute as great a threat to the survival of traditional ways of life in Central Australian Aboriginal communities as the more proximate Australian product with an Aboriginal focus. 115 Whether the group is a small Aboriginal community or the larger unit of the nation, Hollywood output can be embraced as a form of cultural maintenance to ward off potentially more damaging forms of proximate programming.


Hollywood's international circulation is due to a number of factors acting in concert: Hollywood's textual attributes, its quality of the image, its system, its production in the English language, its commercial media marketplace, its various cultural and social attributes, and its reception and redisposition of texts in diverse locales. In each case Hollywood's advantage has been identified as something equally able to be exploited, given the right conditions, by other producers. Although Hollywood producers do not appear to have to work at exporting their product this does not mean that this export market is always already there for them. Insofar as those things which have been identified as being cumulatively responsible for Hollywood circulation are transferable rather than intrinsically the property of Hollywood it must be possible, given the right circumstances, for serious contenders to Hollywood to emerge. Paradoxically this suggests an international circulation which is both fragile inasmuch as this circulation is dependent upon this contingent mix of elements and resilient inasmuch as this mix has proven to be so historically stable.

Here I have suggested ways in which the market, industrial, textual and cultural characteristics of the Hollywood product may facilitate international circulation; and ways in which the Hollywood product gets into a position to count as culturally interesting in non-American networks of communication. In this view the diverse and contradictory explanations for Hollywood popularity indicate not a dispute demanding our adjudication but Hollywood's multi-faceted nature. Hollywood is so many different textual strategies and marketing strategies, diverse tendencies of film making and appeal (frequently opposed to each other), and fragmented strategies within texts. The lesson seems a deceptively banal one: we should attend rather more precisely to the diversity of Hollywood and the ways in which those of us who live outside the USA are Hollywood minded. Recognising this diversity in cinema and television and of style, engagement and purpose involves promoting an essential pluralism as befits those who so routinely 'play at being American' and who by virtue of the circumstances outlined above can expect to continue to be caught up in this play.

In Pitjantatjara country it is now commonly asserted that Rambo was able to win back Afghanistan from the Russians because of the fine camels he imported from Australia. 116

I would like to thank Adrian Martin for his close reading of and extensive comments on this article; Robin Appleton for her editorial work; and Toby Miller for his skepticism. The research on which this paper is based was principally conducted whilst a visiting research fellow at the University of Wisconsin-Madison and the Division of Cinema Studies La Trobe University in 1989. My thanks to staff and students in both institutions.


1. Thomas Guback, The International Film Industry (Bloomington: Indiana University Press, 1969), p.198.

2. Steven Wildman & Stephen Siwek, International Trade in Films and Television Programs (Cambridge, Mass.: Ballinger Publishing, 1988), p.8.

3. Japan became the most significant Hollywood export market for the first time in 1978. From 1985-1988 inclusive it occupied the number one position. See A.D. Murphy, "Film Universe Expanding: Record Rentals for US", Variety, 14-20/6/1989, p.11.

4. Randall Johnson, The Film Industry in Brazil: Culture and the State (Pittsburgh: University of Pittsburgh Press, 1987), p.181.

5. On Si Boy see Krishna Sen, "Si Boy looked at Johnny: Indonesian Screen at the Turn of the Decade", Continuum, v.4, n.2 (1991), pp.136-51.

6. Guback, passim. See particularly the concluding chapter, pp.198-203.

7. See Guback, pp.164-80.

8. Sam Rohdie made these comments on an earlier draft.

9. Steve Neale, "Art Cinema as Institution", Screen, v.22, n.1 (1981), pp.11-39.

10. See Guback, The International Film Industry; "Hollywood's International Market" in T. Balio ed., The American Film Industry (Madison: Univ. of Wisconsin Press, 1985), pp.463-86; and "Non-Market Factors in the International Distribution of American Films" in B. Austin ed., Current Research in Film: Audiences, Economics and Law, v. 1. (Norwood: Ablex, 1985), pp.111-26.

11. Joseph D. Phillips, "Film Conglomerate Blockbusters: International Appeal and Product Homogenisation" in Gorham Kindem ed., The American Movie Industry (Carbondale: Southern Illinois Univ. Press, 1982), p.335.

12. David Bordwell, Kristin Thompson & Janet Staiger, The Classical Hollywood Cinema: Film Style and Mode of Production to 1960 (New York: Columbia Univ. Press, 1985), p.xiii.

13. On Hollywood series see Ien Ang, Watching Dallas (London: Methuen, 1985); on local television programming see David Morley, The 'Nationwide' Audience (London: BFI, 1980).

14. A representative example here is Thomas Schatz's last chapter "Hollywood Filmmaking and American Mythmaking" in his Hollywood Genres (New York: Random House, 1991), pp.261-269.

15. Colin Hoskins & Rolf Mirus, "Reasons for the US Domination of the International Trade in Television Programmes", Media, Culture & Society, v.10, n.4 (1988), p.501.

16. Willam Howell, World Broadcasting in the Age of the Satellite (Norwood: Ablex, 1986), pp. 304-5.

17. Kristin Thompson, Exporting Entertainment: America in the World Film Market, 1907-1934 (London: BFI, 1985), p.xi.

18. For those adopting this line of reasoning a certain moralism is entailed. Hollywood does not need to export but it does. That is, it is parasitic upon smaller markets and brooks the development of domestic production capacities.

19. Guback's study provides good examples here.

20. Thompson, Exporting Entertainment, p.103.

21. Wildman and Siwek, p.88. Budgets quoted for 1982 and 1983 were: USA - $11.8 million ; Japan 1-2 million; Italy - 1.25 million; France - 1.16-1.3 million.

22. Ibid, p.8.

23. Ibid, p.8.

24. Ibid, p.86.

25. Ibid, p.86.

26. Ibid, p.69.

27. Ibid, p.69.

28. Ibid, p.8.

29. Allesandro Silj et al, East of Dallas (London: BFI, 1988), p.199.

30. Richard Collins, "Language, Culture and Global Information Markets: the Hardware-Software Relationship in Television", Policy Research Paper,

n. 4 (Melbourne: Centre for International Research on Communication and Information Technologies), June 1990, p.19.

31. Hoskins & Mirus, p.503.

32. Georgette Wang, personal interview of Yinne Wang Chang, Deputy Director of the Film Section in CTV, July 21, 1982. " Cultural Exchange through Television: Why Couldn't We Do it Better"?, Asian Culture Quarterly, v.10, n.4 (1982), p.40.

33. See Stanley J. Orzel, "Hong Kong pic industry had watershed year in '88", Variety, Cannes 89 Special Issue, p.342.

34. Richard Maltby, Harmless Entertainment: Hollywood and the Ideology of Consensus (Metuchan, NJ: The Scarecrow Press, 1983), p.25.

35. Philip Schlesinger, "On National Identity: Some Conceptions and Misconceptions Criticised", Social Science Information, v.26, n.2 (1987), p.223.

36. William Routt & Ina Bertrand, "The Big Bad Combine", in Tom O'Regan & Albert Moran eds., The Australian Screen (Penguin: Ringwood,Vic., 1989), pp.10-14.

37. Andre Bazin, "On the politique des auteurs" in Jim Hillier ed., Cahiers du Cinema: the 1950s, vol 1 (London: RKP, 1985), pp.248-59.

38. Phillips, pp.325-35.

39. Bordwell, Thompson & Staiger, The Classical Hollywood Cinema, passim.

40. Phillips, p.335. One of the most interesting arguments made in this area is by Hoskins & Mirus who argue that Hollywood programming, particularly television programming, is predicated not on being an intense first choice product but a kind of third choice which cumulatively would attract more of an audience than the smaller first choice output would. See Hoskins & Mirus, p.507.

41. The Australian film censor instituted a ban on Hollywood horror films in 1948 which was not lifted for more than a decade. See Ina Bertrand, Film Censorship in Australia (St Lucia, Qld: Qld University Press, 1978), p.141.

42. On this point see William Routt and Richard Thompson, "'Keep Young and Beautiful': Surplus and Subversion in Roman Scandals," in Tom O'Regan & Brian Shoesmith eds. History on/and/in Film (Perth: History and Film Association of Australia, 1987), pp.32-3. A revised version of this article appears in Journal of Film and Video, v.42, n.1 (1990), pp.17-35.

43. Manjunath Pendakur, "Film sausage factories of India show no sign of slowing down", Variety, Cannes 89 Special Issue, p.336.

44. Only Satyajit Ray's films (rather than the Bombay popular film) find their way onto Western film festival or cultural television line-ups. If cultural difference is one explanation another is the Western market for non-American programming which confines it precisely to 'quality' not demotic product.

45. S. Christopherson and M. Storper, "The Effects of Flexible Specialisation on Industrial Politics and the Labour Market: the Motion Picture Industry", Industrial and Labour Relations Review, v.42, n.3 (1989), pp.331-47. Cited in Asu Aksoy and Kevin Robins, "Hollywood for the 21st Century: Global Competition for Critical Mass in Image Markets", Cambridge Journal of Economics, v.16, pp.1-22; this reference pp.2-5.

46. Aksoy and Robins, p.8-9.

47. Theodor Adorno and Max Horkheimer, "The Cultural Industry: Enlightenment as Mass Deception", in J. Curran, J. Woollacott, M. Gurevitch eds., Mass Communication and Society (London: Arnold, 1982), pp.349-52.

48. See Claude Chabrol et al, "Questions about American Cinema" in Jim Hillier ed., Cahiers du Cinema: 1960-1968, vol 2 (London: RKP, 1986), p.179.

49. Noel Carroll, Mystifying Movies: Fads and Fallacies in Contemporary Film Theory (New York: Columbia University Press, 1988), p.211.

50. Carroll, p.204.

51. David Bordwell, Narration and the Fiction Film (London: Methuen, 1985), p.164.

52. Bordwell, Narration and the Fiction Film, p.157.

53. I take my licence here from Gerald Mast who says of Howard Hawks: "He built stories the way he built machines" (p.18). Hawks, he claims, made "the connection between the art of machines and mechanical art" (p.5). See Howard Hawks: Storyteller (New York: Oxford University Press, 1982).

54. On spectacle see Steve Neale, "Hollywood Strikes Back: Special Effects in Recent American Cinema", Screen, v.21, n.3 (1980), pp.101-5; on display see Routt & Thompson, "'Keep Young and Beautiful'", pp.31-44; on elan see Thomas Elsaesser, "Two Decades in Another Country: Hollywood and the Cinephiles", in C.E.W. Bigsby ed., Superculture: American Popular Culture and Europe (Bowling Green, Ohio: Bowling Green University Press, 1975), p.214; on energy and vitalism see Stuart Cunningham, "The 'Force-field' of Melodrama", Quarterly Review of Film Studies, Fall 1981, pp.347-64.

55. Edward Buscombe, "Film History and the Idea of a National Cinema", Australian Journal of Screen Theory, nos. 9/10 (1981), p.150.

56. Robert Ray, A Certain Tendency of the Hollywood Cinema 1930-1980 (Princeton, NJ: Princeton Univ. Press, 1985), p.366.

57. Raymond Durgnat, "Up Jumped the Devil or, The Jack In Pandora's Box", Monthly Film Bulletin, no. 644, September 1987, p.268.

58. See Thomas Elsaesser, "Innocence Restored", Monthly Film Bulletin, n.611, Dec. 1984, pp.366-7; Victor Perkins, Film as Film (Harmondsworth: Penguin Books, 1972); Raymond Bellour, "Nostalgies", Autrement, n.79 (1986), p.234; Pascal Bonitzer, "Les Images, le Cinema, L'Audiovisuel", Cahiers du Cinema, n.404, February 1988, pp.17-21.

59. I owe much of the following formulation to Bill Routt. See also, for a surrealist slant, Petr Kral, "Ameriques", Positif, n.341-2, July-August 1989, pp.26-33.

60. Allesandro Silj et al, p.51.

61. Silj et al, p.210.

62. For an elaboration of the difference between US serial programming and European see Silj et al, pp.199-218.

63. See Stephen Muecke, "Bob Hawke's Country Practice", Flesh: Intervention, nos. 21/22 (1988), pp.54-57.

64. Only recently has the examination of audience response to Hollywood and other product come onto the agenda of screen studies. See Ang, Watching Dallas; and Silj et al, pp.59-90; Ranggasamy Karthigesu, "US Television Programmes and Malaysian Audiences", Media Asia, v.18, n.2 (1991), pp.103-8.

65. For another version of this argument see Stephen Neale, "Art Cinema", pp.13-16.

66. Silj et al, p.208.

67. See Hoskins & Mirus, p. 506. Geoffrey Nowell-Smith makes this point in "But Do We Need It?" in Auty and Roddick eds., British Cinema Now (London: BFI, 1985), p.151-2; and so does James Carey for communication generally in the USA. See his Communication as Culture (Unwin/Hyman, 1989), p.4.

68. This is an argument advanced by Stuart & Elizabeth Ewen in Channels of Desire (McGraw/Hill, 1982), pp.81-105.

69. Robert Ray makes the point about Hollywood's "extreme cosmopolitanism" with reference to Casablanca. Of that film's principal contributors "only Bogart, Dooley Wilson and scriptwriter Howard Koch were Americans." See Ray, p.27.

70. Programming which Michael Tracey goes so far as to argue taps into "the realities of human experience" by successfully employing "certain themes, situations, and figures". See Tracey, "The Poisoned Chalice? International Television and the Idea of Dominance", Daedalus, v.114, n.4 (1985), pp.40-41.

71. Kristin Thompson, "The Film Europe Movement", in O'Regan & Shoesmith eds., History on/and/in Film, pp.45-56; Andre Lange & Jean-Luc Renaud, The Future of the European Audiovisual Industry, Media Monograph 10 (Manchester: European Institute for the Media, 1989), pp.321-343.

72. Stephen Heath, "Film and System: Terms of Analysis", part 1, Screen, v.16, n.1 (1975), pp.49-50.

73. On Mad Max as classical Hollywood narrative see David Bordwell & Kristin Thompson, Film Art (New York: Alfred Knopf, 1986), p.98; as Hollywood film see Noel Carroll, "Back to Basics" in Philip S. Cook et al ed., American Media: The Wilson Quarterly Reader (Washington: Wilson Center Press, 1989), p.120; on British cinema see Thompson, Exporting Entertainment, p.170.

74. K.K. Chadha, "Two Decades of Evolution for Hong Kong Filmdom", Variety, Cannes 89 Issue, p.336-7.

75. Eric Rohmer, "Rediscovering America", in Hillier ed., Cahiers du Cinema: the 1950s, p.88.

76. de Sola Pool cited in Richard Collins, Television: Policy and Culture (London: Unwin Hyman, 1990), p.215.

77. Jeremy Tunstall, The Media are American (London: Constable, 1977).

78. William D. Routt, "New Lealand Culture?", Continuum, v.4, n.2 (1991), p.223.

79. Collins, Television, p.214.

80. Routt,"New Lealand Culture?", p.222.

81. Ibid, pp.223-224.

82. Adrian Martin, "No Flowers for the Cinephile" in Paul Foss ed., Island in the Stream (Sydney: Pluto Press, 1988), p.137.

83. Ian Jarvie, "Dollars and Ideology: Will Hays' Economic Foreign Policy, 1922-1945", Film History: an International Journal, v.2, n.3 (1988), pp.207-22; this ref. p.220.

84. Grierson quoted in Jarvie, p.219.

85. Cited in Jarvie, p.219.

86. Martin, p.137.

87. Carroll, "Back to Basics" , p.114, 121.

88. Collins, p.214.

89. Tony Bennett, "Popular Culture and Hegemony in Post-War Britain", in Politics, Ideology and the Popular, Open University Popular Culture Course (U203), p.13. Cited in Andrew Higson, "The Concept of National Cinema", Screen, v. 30, n.4 (1989), p.40.

90. Ellen Seiter and Gabriele Kreutzner, "Not all Soaps are Created Equal", Screen, v.32, n.2 (1991), p.171.

91. Jack G. Shaheen, "Perspectives on the Television Arab", in L. Gross, J.Katz, and J.Ruby eds., Image Ethics (New York: Oxford University Press, 1988), pp.203-19.

92. Richard Collins, Culture, Communication & National Identity (Toronto: University of Toronto Press, 1990), p.344.

93. Eric Michaels, Unbecoming (Sydney: EM Press, 1989), p.62.

94. Suzanne Pingree and Robert Hawkins, "US Programs on Australian Television: the Cultivation Effect", Journal of Communication, v. 31, n. 1 (1981), p.104.

95. Brooke Jacobson, "Regional Film: A Strategic Discourse in the Global Marketplace," Journal of Film and Video, v.43, n.4 (Winter 1991), pp.18-32.

96. David Thomson, America in the Dark: Hollywood and the Gift of Unreality (London: Hutchinson, 1977), p.225.

97. Thomson, p.226.

98. John Caughie, "Playing at being American: Games and Tactics" in Patricia Mellancamp ed., Logics of Television (Indiana: Indiana University Press, 1990), pp.44-58.

99. Caughie, p.45.

100. Edgar Morin, The Stars, trans. Richard Howard (London: Evergreen, 1961), pp.71-96.

101. Deborah Bird Rose, "A Distant Constellation", Continuum v.3, n.2 (1989), pp.163-70.

102. Sylvia Lawson, "Towards Decolonisation", in S. Dermody, J. Docker, D. Modjeska eds., Nellie Melba, Ginger Meggs and Friends: Essays in Australian Cultural History (Malmsbury: Kibble, 1982), p.21.

103. Hector Crawford, Commercial Television Programmes in Australia (Melbourne: 1959, privately published), p.15.

104. Caughie, p.46.

105. Eric Michaels, "Hollywood Iconography: a Warlpiri Reading", in P. Drummond and R. Patterson eds., Television and its Audience: International Research Perspectives (London: BFI, 1987), p.123.

106. Caughie, p.56.

107. Ibid, p.57.

108. Claude-Jean Bertrand, "American Cultural Imperialism: A Myth", in Michael Emery and Ted Smythe, Readings in Mass Communication Concepts and Issues in the Mass Media (Dubuque: Wm. C. Brown Publishers, 1989), pp.259-271; 260.

109. See Chadha, p.336. It might be noted that this formulation of entertainment programming would not be at odds with an anthropological perspective. It would however cut across the elite response to the development of the popular arts of cinema and television which have tended to pose entertainment as in some sense a cultureless transnational good whilst retaining elite art's transnationalism as an intrinsic good. On this point see Routt, "New Lealand Culture", pp.218-224.

110. See Noel Burch, To the Distant Observer (London: Scolar Press, 1979) and David Bordwell, "Our Dream Cinema: Western Historiography and the Japanese Film", Film Reader, n.4 (1980), pp.45-62. Certainly Burch argues that 1930s and 1940s Japanese cinema produced works which which "are profoundly antithetical to canons of Western Cinema", p.17. But Bordwell, as ever, is more skeptical and more convincing.

111. Robert Nery, "Hong Kong Fireworks", Filmnews, May 1991, p.15.

112. For an elaboration of these templates with regard to Indian cinema see Vijay Mishra, "Filmic Narrative: Text and Transformation in Bombay Cinema", Continuum, v.2, n.1 (1989), pp.9-43; and R.S. Newman, "Talking about Hindi Films", Continuum, v.2, n.1 (1989), pp.90-105.

113. See Stella Lees and June Senyard, The 1950s . . . How Australia Became a Modern Society, and Everyone Got a House and Car (Melbourne: Hyland House, 1987), passim.

114. See Jim Hillier, "Introduction", Cahiers du Cinema: The 1950s, pp.7-8; and Elsaesser, "Two Decades", p.206.

115. On Hollywood see Michaels, "Hollywood Iconography", p.6; on Australian product with respect to Aborigines see "Hundreds Shot in Aboriginal Community: ABC Makes TV Documentary at Yuendumu", Media Information Australia, n.45 (1987), pp.7-17; and "A Model of Teleported Texts", Continuum, v.3, n.2 (1989), pp.22-23.

116. Annette Hamilton, "Review of Communication and Tradition," Canberra Anthropology, v.14, n.2 (1991), p.114.

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