Transnational Film

While the Internet encourages transnationality in film, it is not the only place transnationality is evident.  Hollywood has begun to become more transnational, using multicultural cast and crew as well as filming and producing films in many different countries.

Slumdog Millionaire (dir. Boyle, 2008)

The Academy Award winning masterpiece Slumdog Millionaire is a fantastic example of a transnational film.  As the picture shows, the film centres around a teenage boy appearing on the Indian version of 'Who Wants To Be A Millionaire' and goes on to explain how he knows the answers to all the questions.  This already makes it a transnational film because the gameshow is a Western gameshow that has become popular in Asia.  The cast and crew also add to the transnationality of the film.  Director Danny Boyle is English, as are the writer, producer and the leading actor Dev Patel.  Many of the other cast members are Indian and a lot of the crew are Western.

The Asia Pacific Arts Website notes that:

     As Variety writers Nick Vivarelli and Ali Jaafar have noted, films like Slumdog Millionaire interact more with and give more        cinematic space to the locals, locales, and/or their languages in a way that signifies more than ever filmmaking's global,           transnational, cross-cultural (or whatever you want to call it) impulses. Vivarelli and Jaafar rightly contrast the ever                  increasing practice of an interaction of languages, locations, and stories from the so-called "euro-puddings" of previous           decades, which were international co-productions consisting of an international cast, but whose "internationalism" was             lined by Hollywood-speak, making for some awkward posturing in the name of the "transnational." (APA Staff, 2008)

Here, Vivarelli and Jaafar criticise films such as Casino Royale (d. Campbell, 2006) using the term "euro-pudding", meaning that though the film has used an international cast and filmed all over the world it is still very much a Hollywood production which only uses such locations and foreign actors for exoticism and glamour, as supported by Said's argument on orientalism.
Slumdog Millionaire, then, could be applied to Spivak's 'Can the Subaltern Speak?' because the film allows those living in the Indian slums to express themselves and tell their life stories.  Also, the nature of the game show is to allow anyone to compete, even the subaltern, meaning that Slumdog Millionaire could be considered to be a more transnational film than Hollywood productions such as Casino Royale

Below is a clip from Slumdog Millionaire showing the central character appearing on 'Who Wants To Be A Millionaire'.


Slumdog Millionaire has also created transnationality within the music industry.  The signature song for the film Jai Ho (Rahman, 2008), written by A. R. Rahman, has been covered by the American girl band The Pussycat Dolls (Rahman, Fair, Scherzinger, 2009).  In the video they recreate the visual atmosphere of the film and dress in sahris.  A. R. Rahman's original won the 2009 Academy Award for Best Original Song and is itself a transnational song, mixing Hindu, Urdu, Punjabi and some Spanish lyrics.  The Pussycat Dolls version song reached number 3 in the UK charts.

Below are both versions of the song.
The making of The Pussycat Doll's video states that video was filmed in Vienna and that the marketplace was meant to be international and not represent one particular country or culture.  Nicole Scherzinger also states that there is "someone from every point around the world" dancing with them, making their video very transnational.
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