So the music is very dark. We use no violins. I use only the low side of the strings. And for brass, the same—so 12 trombones, 12 horns, three tubas. It creates an army of sound, dark and earthy. And I think that works pretty well for a film about desert war. I try to disappear with everyone else. Still, there was no limit to what he would do to work on a film about his idol, Alfred Hitchcock. For his current project, Elfman was so stoked to visit the Hitchcock set where they were shooting the Psycho editing-bay scene with Anthony Hopkins as Hitch and Helen Mirren as his wife, Alma that he asked if he could come back for a second day.
How much for the French horns? Also keeping Elfman at the top of his game is the company he keeps with offbeat directors who challenge him. At first, when Elfman heard Silver Linings Playbook was a romantic comedy, he resisted. I did a few early on in my career, and they were incredibly difficult. It was a total journey for him, and I learned with David, you just take that journey. Typically, during a scoring session, the composer is on the other side of the glass. Do more of that! The end result seamlessly blends with the source and the emotion of the characters.
I think that was the challenge, to find the voice of his music that would do that. As one of the few scoresmiths who can churn out a panoramic orchestral creation, Elfman will likely get his due from the Academy one day. And no matter what road Elfman embarks on musically with a director, it always comes back to Herrmann. For that is from whence I sprung. So seeing indie distributors making headway in the animation race is causing big trouble for the majors and their expensive tentpole toons that desire domination.
The company scours the world for titles appropriate not only for the festival but also for distribution. Now a big part of that process is picking films that might be Oscar friendly, as well. Still it makes sense. Last year, surprisingly, DWA got nominations for both their entries, Kung Fu Panda 2 and Puss in Boots, which likely split the vote, allowing Rango a clear path to victory. With hit toons from Universal The Lorax , Sony Hotel Transylvania , and Fox Ice Age: Continental Drift , there is a strong studio presence to fight off the new wave of indie love the nominating committee seems to have.
The animated field sports 21 titles that have been entered into the competition, meaning it is virtually certain there will be five nominees for only the fourth time in the history of the award. Here is a snapshot of the contenders for those five slots. The animated-feature lineup is seeing more independent distributors finding their way into the Oscar race and enjoying real success in winning those coveted nominations.
Jackson, it could be a sleeper. However, artistry just might be enough here to make the grade. The first Indian 3D animated film, in which a bunch of jungle animals team up to save themselves from human intervention, could remind some of the Madagascar franchise, but the Bollywood flavor sets the tone and sets the film apart. Christopher Lloyd and Jane Lynch are among the voices in the English-version indie to be released in the U. Another in the successful transformation of Dr. The set love story centers on a young couple hellbent on saving their high-school clubhouse from destruction.
A case of been there, done that, as far as Oscars go this year. It is one of the most distinctive entries this year, and Python fans should spark to the storytelling. Aardman strikes again with the fiendishly clever and engaging pirate saga. It was not a boxoffice smash for Sony in the U. Another GKIDS product from France, this s-set trifle concerns a rabbi and his talking philosopher of a cat, who gains the power of speech by dining on the family parrot. Clever, but weird. Last year, the company scored with a Sam Spade-like cat in the noir takeoff A Cat in Paris, so why not turn to the felines again?
The film is almost painterly in nature and, therefore, the artiest entry of all 21 films in contention. With animated worlds inside of each painting, Laguionie creates a unique visual look. A real threat to grab an indie slot and steal a spot from a major. Expect DreamWorks Animation to really make a play for the gold here.
A terrifically funny and clever toon about videogame villain Ralph trying to become a good guy for a change. Great voice work from John C. Reilly and Sarah Silverman, plus a really amusing script, make this one for the hip crowd and a potential spoiler in the race for the triumphant return of the Disney Animation label.
From Focus and Laika, the groups responsible for past nominee Coraline, comes the tale of Norman, who fights off zombies, parents, and other distractions to save his town in this clever horror spoof that is one of the best reviewed animated films of the year.
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Can lightning strike twice for Laika? Yet another in the direct-to-video Tinker Bell series for Disney. The company played it for a week in Hollywood to qualify, just to make sure there would be enough entries in the category to have the maximum five nominees. Shown in the original French-language version, this film has at least one awards consultant worried that it could charm its way into contention.
A possible sleeper? The result was so well received—even by absent lead actor John C. Reilly and executive producer John Lasseter—that the studio brought in producer Clark Spencer and a storyboarding team to kickstart the 3D CGI movie into full production. Thanks to that energizing read in , Wreck-It Ralph has become an animated hit for Disney, earning rave reviews since its Nov. The idea still appealed to Disney Features Animation chief Lasseter in , when he suggested it to studio newcomer Moore.
Clockwise from above: John C. Moore says they knew so early on they wanted Reilly, Silverman, McBrayer, and Lynch that they were able to tailor the characters to them. Positive reaction to the table read pushed the story from development into production. Moore says the animation process for a feature differs little from television, save for the amount of time available.
The filmmakers approached the story as though they had the rights to any game character they wanted, then Moore and Spencer themselves pitched the story to the game companies personally and got permission to use virtually every character they asked for. Reports that Nintendo turned the movie down on financial grounds are false, Moore says, stemming from a joke Reilly made during a ComicCon panel about Mario wanting too much money. Mario might get his chance to face Fix-It Felix Jr. It is a project Joyce calls his magnum opus.
He directed a Man in the Moon short film as proof of concept, but found himself turning down offers from the likes of Pixar before hearing exactly what he wanted from DreamWorks Animation chief Jeffrey Katzenberg. For Rise of the Guardians, he came on as codirector but had to step back into an executive producer role when his teenage daughter, Mary Katherine, was diagnosed with a brain tumor. She died at age 18 in , and Guardians is dedicated to her memory. Aliens Halloween TV special.
He joined playwright David Lindsay-Abaire, who wrote the screenplay, production designer Patrick Marc Hanenberger, and producers Christina Steinberg and Nancy Bernstein in developing the project, with input from director Guillermo del Toro. Del Toro was particularly helpful in restructuring the story, which incorporated an idea Katzenberg pitched to Joyce in their first meeting on the project: to introduce a new Guardian. Santa Claus, being a swashbuckling Cossack complete with Russian accent and tattoos.
Voice work was new to Pine, who says the one day he worked directly with Baldwin was surprisingly counterproductive.
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Steinberg says teams were assigned to each character, but by the end of production those styles were so well defined it was second nature for animators to work on any or all of the characters. Joyce, whose next animated project is the feature Epic, due out next year from Blue Sky Studios, is more than pleased with Guardians and has high hopes for a sequel.
Details are everything in animation, but ParaNorman producer Arianne Sutner knows all too well how difficult it can be to get them right. Her seemingly simple suggestion to add a shower cap in a scene in the 3D stopmotion film quickly became a question of balancing creativity and schedule. The trouble came when I remembered in stopmotion you can only do a minute a week. Being out of the critical eye of Hollywood meant fewer egos to deal with, but they knew that having a good story is important no matter where the production is based.
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They needed the right voice talent. We wanted naturalism and people playing the same genders. In another scene, Gypo sees an advertisement for a steamship to America and instead of the advertisement, sees himself holding Katie's hand on the ship. Wedding bells are heard along with organ music and he sees Katie wearing a veil and holding a bouquet.
In a later scene, the Katie theme plays as a drunk Gypo sees a beautiful woman at the bar, insinuating he had mistaken her for Katie. The theme is heard as the Captain throws the money on the table after Frankie is killed. The theme is a four note descending tune on harp; the first interval is the tritone. As the men are deciding who will be the executioner, the motif is repeated quietly and perpetually to establish Gypo's guilt and the musical motif is synchronized with the dripping of water in the prison.
As it appears in the end of the film, the theme is played at a fortissimo volume as Gypo staggers into the church, ending the climax with the clap of the cymbals, indicating Gypo's penitence, no longer needing to establish his guilt. Silent film mannerisms are still seen in Steiner's composition such as when actions or consequences are accompanied by a sforzato chord immediately before it, followed by silence.
An example of this is remarked in the part of the film when Frankie confronts Gypo looking at his reward for arrest poster. Steiner uses minor " Mickey Mousing " techniques in the film. According to composer and film music writer Christopher Palmer , Steiner's use of Franz Schubert 's Ave Maria at the end of the film was the score's only flaw. Specifically, the theme as Gypo dies in the church was too void of spiritual ecstasy and similarly ruined the ending of Disney's Fantasia. In , Steiner was hired by Frank Capra to conduct Dimitri Tiomkin 's score for Lost Horizon as a safeguard in case Steiner needed to rewrite the score by an inexperienced Tiomkin; however, according to Hugo Friedholfer, Tiomkin specifically asked for Steiner, preferring him over the film studio's then music director.
Selznick set up his own production company in and recruited Steiner to write the scores for his next three films. The first film he scored for Warner Bros. Steiner became a mainstay at Warner Bros. In , Steiner was borrowed from Warner Bros. Steiner was the only composer Selznick considered for scoring the film.
Because Selznick was concerned Steiner wouldn't have enough time to finish the score, he had Franz Waxman write an additional score in the case the Steiner didn't finish. To meet the deadline, Steiner sometimes worked for hours straight, assisted by doctor-administered Benzedrine to stay awake.
The composition consisted of 16 main themes and nearly musical segments. Selznick's opinion about using original scoring may have changed due to the overwhelming reaction to the film, nearly all of which contained Steiner's music. A year later, he even wrote a letter emphasizing the value of original film scores. Steiner explains Scarlett's deep-founded love for her home is why "the 'Tara' theme begins and ends with the picture and permeates the entire score".
Now, Voyager would be the film score for which Steiner would win his second Academy Award. Kate Daubney attributes the success of this score to Steiner's ability to "[balance] the scheme of thematic meaning with the sound of the music. Steiner would typically wait until the film was edited before scoring it, and after watching Casablanca , he decided the song " As Time Goes By " by Herman Hupfeld wasn't an appropriate addition to the movie and he wanted to replace it with a song of his own composition; however, Ingrid Bergman had just cut her hair short in preparation for filming For Whom the Bell Tolls , so she couldn't re-film the section with Steiner's song.
Steiner actually first composed the theme from Since You Went Away while helping counterbalance Franz Waxman 's moody score for Rebecca. Producer David O. With two exceptions, Steiner was less successful with the film noir genre due to the "modernistic" music those films often require.
The Big Sleep and The Letter were his best film noir scores. The main theme characterizes Leslie, the main character, by her tragic passion. Steiner portrays this scene through the jangling of wind chimes which crescendos as the wife emerges through opium smoke. The jangling continues until the wife asks Leslie to take off her shawl, after which the theme blasts indicating the breaking point of emotions of these women.
The theme for Philip Marlowe is beguiling and ironic, with a playful grace note at the end of the motif, portrayed mixed between major and minor. At the end of the film, his theme is played fully in major chords and finishes by abruptly ending the chord as the film terminates this was an unusual film music practice in Hollywood at the time. Steiner uses the contrast of high strings and low strings and brass to emphasize Bogart's feelings for Bacall opposed with the brutality of the criminal world. Steiner had more success with the western genre of film, writing the scores for over twenty large-scale Westerns, most with epic-inspiring scores "about empire building and progress,"  like Dodge City , The Oklahoma Kid , and The Adventures of Mark Twain Dodge City , starring Errol Flynn and Olivia de Havilland , is a good example of Steiner's handling of typical scenes of the Western genre.
Although his contract ended in , Steiner returned to Warner Bros. Steiner still preferred large orchestras and leitmotif techniques during this part of his career. There are also acetates of Steiner conducting the Warner Brothers studio orchestra in music from some of his film scores. Composer Victor Young and Steiner were good friends, and Steiner completed the film score for China Gate , because Young had died before he could finish it.
Steiner wrote into his seventies, ailing and near blind, but his compositions "revealed a freshness and fertility of invention.
This memorable instrumental theme spent nine weeks at 1 on the Billboard Hot singles chart in in an instrumental cover version by Percy Faith. In , Steiner began writing his autobiography. Although it was completed, it was never published, and is the only source available on Steiner's childhood. His lack of work in the last years of his life were due to Hollywood's decreased interest in his scores caused by new film producers and new taste in film music. Another contribution to his declining career was his failing eyesight and deteriorating health, which caused him to reluctantly retire.
Steiner died of congestive heart failure in Hollywood, aged In the early days of sound, producers avoided underscoring music behind dialogue, feeling the audience would wonder where the music was coming from. As a result, Steiner noted, "they began to add a little music here and there to support love scenes or silent sequences. For example, a shepherd boy might play a flute along with the orchestra heard in the background, or a random, wandering violinist might follow around a couple during a love scene;  : 57 however, because half of the music was recorded on the set, Steiner says it led to a great deal of inconvenience and cost when scenes were later edited, because the score would often be ruined.
As recording technology improved during this period, he was able to record the music synced to the film and could change the score after the film was edited. Steiner explains his own typical method of scoring:. When a picture is finished and finally edited, it is turned over to me. Then I time it: not by stop watch, however, as many do. I have the film put through a special measuring machine and then a cue sheet created which gives me the exact time, to a split second, in which an action takes place, or a word is spoken.
While these cue sheets are being made, I begin to work on themes for the different characters and scenes, but without regard to the required timing. During this period I also digest what I have seen, and try to plan the music for this picture. There may be a scene that is played a shade too slowly which I might be able to quicken with a little animated music; or, to a scene that is too fast, I may be able to give a little more feeling by using slower music. Or perhaps the music can clarify a character's emotion, such as intense suffering, which is not demanded or fully revealed by a silent close-up.
Steiner often followed his instincts and his own reasoning in creating film scores. For example, when he chose to go against Selznick's instruction to use classical music for Gone With the Wind. Steiner stated:. It is my conviction that familiar music, however popular, does not aid the underlying score of a dramatic picture. I believe that, while the American people are more musically minded than any other nation in the world, they are still not entirely familiar with all the old and new masters' works Of course there are many in our industry who disagree with my viewpoint.
Scores from the classics were sometimes harmful to a picture, especially when they drew unwanted attention to themselves by virtue of their familiarity. For example, films like — A Space Odyssey , The Sting and Manhattan , had scores with recognizable tunes instead of having a preferred "subliminal" effect. Steiner, was among the first to acknowledge the need for original scores for each film. Steiner felt knowing when to start and stop was the hardest part of proper scoring, since incorrect placement of music can speed up a scene meant to be slow and vice versa: "Knowing the difference is what makes a film composer.
I've always tried to subordinate myself to the picture. A lot of composers make the mistake of thinking of film as a concert platform on which they can show off. This is not the place If you get too decorative, you lose your appeal to the emotions. My theory is that the music should be felt rather than heard. Although some scholars cite Steiner as the inventor of the click track technique, he, along with Roy Webb were only the first to use the technique in film scoring.
Carl W. Stalling and Scott Bradley used the technique first in cartoon music. The click-track allows the composer to sync music and film together more precisely. The technique involves punching holes into the soundtrack film based on the mathematics of metronome speed. As the holes pass through a projector, the orchestra and conductor can hear the clicking sound through headphones, allowing them to record the music along the exact timing of the film. Popularized by Steiner in film music, this technique allowed Steiner to "catch the action," creating sounds for small details on screen.
With Steiner's background in his European musical training largely consisting of operas and operettas and his experience with stage music, he brought with him a slew of old-fashioned techniques he contributed to the development of the Hollywood film score. If Wagner had lived in this century, he would have been the No. He would also quote pre-existing, recognizable melodies in his scores, such as national anthems.
Steiner was known and often criticized for his use of Mickey Mousing or "catching the action. Steiner was criticized for using this technique too frequently. One of the important principles that guided Steiner whenever possible was his rule: Every character should have a theme. A good example of how the characters and the music worked together is best exemplified by his score for The Glass Menagerie : . It addresses a point made by Vitalis—that Egyptian films historically had a strong inherent advantage over their foreign competition. Cinema was part of a vernacular culture elaborated in countless films, songs, articles, and images, all of which deserve to be taken more seriously.
The sources for much of this vernacular culture were many, and the way it was constructed constantly changed, but at the same time it becomes naturalized to the point that origins become secondary to its local often national significance. Their hybrid origins may or may not be part of their intertextually elaborated identity.
But in a global perspective vernacular culture tends to disappear in favor of a well-regulated exoticism that paradoxically obscures real difference. The focus of this introduction has been on mass mediation and what it implies for the scale of social action, for the character of modern societies, and for sociological analysis. The chapters themselves all address mass media in the context of popular culture, which is, of course, a potentially problematic term.
Popular culture can be populist culture—populist in the sense of political movements Islamist, for example, or nationalist, or Nasserist. And in a Middle Eastern context popular culture has often been, and continues to be, associated with unmediated oral vernacular culture. Artistic prose in the vernacular e. Tribal oral narrative. Folk or traditional stories. Drama or other forms of performance in the vernacular. But, in fact, the popular culture analyzed in this volume is far more closely intertwined with the lives of contemporary Middle Easterners than is the popular culture of four of the five categories devoted to forms of vernacular culture not directly addressed here.
In the end there is no all-purpose definition of popular culture. Trying to arrive at one would be a waste of time. The forms of popular culture should arise from ethnography, not from preconceived packages. In the end a focus on popular culture gives the volume an internal consistency, but no author in the volume would be satisfied to have his or her chapter described as merely an attempt to legitimate or define the study of popular culture in the Middle East.
One aspect of our claim to newness in our approach to popular culture is that we want to shift our focus away from what it is and toward a focus on what it does. What it does is to create new scales of communication and new dimensions of modern identity. I have consciously not invoked a commonly used neologism that articulates with a great deal of the material analyzed here.
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The idea of public culture has increasingly crystallized around the analysis of flows of people, objects, and cultural practices, which are taken to constitute a pluralized modernity no longer seen as something created in Europe and disseminated to the rest of the world. But as much of the above discussion argues, public culture and its attendant concern with transnationalism and cultural flows have become a hegemonic insight. All the contributions presented here can claim to have escaped the straitjacket of the Oxford popular culture conference.
However, none of us can claim to have transcended the globalist perspective or to have overturned it. That is part of the anxiety of scale to which the volume responds. The mediated popular culture analyzed in this book falls somewhere below the radar of transnational culture but can never be understood in isolation.
This is perhaps a form of popular culture that mediates the homogenizing tendencies of global culture and the fragmentation of localism. The scale of such a mediation might well be described as national, and predictions of its demise may prove to be premature. This is, of course, not the same issue as that of the overall institutional health of non-European studies. The point is that, relatively speaking, the huge disparities in the vitality of area-defined academic specialization can be observed very easily in the job market.
Jobs created during the past decade for specialists in the favored areas—particularly Latin America, Asia, and Africa as well as U. Anthropology provides an excellent example. The November American Anthropological Association Newsletter advertised 60 tenure-track positions, of which 7 were earmarked for Asia specialists, 13 for Latin Americanists, 11 for Africanists, and 3 for Native Americanists. For Middle East specialists: 0. The three Native Americanist positions advertised for this one month—numerically the smallest area-defined category in the total—are equal to the number of Middle East positions advertised in the entire —99 academic year.
The —99 academic year offered the largest number of potentially entry-level Middle East positions in a single year since at least the early s. Jobs in academic departments may or may not have explicit connections to institutionalized area studies, and might or might not be associated with novel institutional affiliations such as ethnic studies. But whether it is in a department or an interdisciplinary center, a job for a Latin Americanist or an Asianist is by definition not a job for someone who studies the Middle East.
To make matters worse, not only are new jobs for Middle East specialists not being created, but old Middle East specialist positions will often not be replaced with the same specialization. Given this planned erosion of existing Middle East specialization, combined with the near-lockout of Middle East specializations in area-specific positions for certain disciplines roughly half the jobs listed in the sample AAA Newsletter cited above and often an even higher proportion of the total , the future for Middle East area studies looks grim. Barring the unlikely event that Middle East specialists are disproportionately hired in non-area-specific jobs, we can expect to see a continuing decrease in the institutional presence of Middle East specialists.
Americans only casually interested in the region also tend to see the Middle East through the Arab-Israeli conflict because of heavy media coverage of the conflict, to the disadvantage of any other issue conceivably connected to the area. Indeed, it is often Middle East specialists themselves who argue, implausibly, that their institutional marginalization is the well-deserved fruit of their own intellectual backwardness. The apparent self-loathing of some Middle East specialists is rarely, if ever, expressed in print. In the past two decades the hierarchy of academic area specializations has been restructured to the disadvantage of Middle East specialists.
There are no left-leaning or pro-Arab organizations with anything remotely approaching the resources of the Washington Institute. The official reason for the war—to defend Kuwaiti sovereignty—was without credibility. I do not mean to defend the war. The point is that the political rationale for the war was clear and conventional: it was about oil. As a component in a culture of consumption, the media is as dependent on oil as the automobile. Energy was the root of the war, not media.
Disputes over resources such as oil are very conventional in terms of national interests. If there was a role for media consumption in the war it was, at most, with regard to the mechanics of the conflict. The propaganda machine that sanitizes the true nature of war might be a feature of the twentieth century Fussell , but it was certainly not a novel feature of the Gulf War. For example, jobs for the study of Arab or Muslim immigrants are rare, if not completely absent.
There are individuals who study Arab- or Muslim-American communities, but their jobs are not necessarily structured around those subjects, and in terms of the formal criteria for new positions Arab- and Muslim-Americans have been virtually invisible, while the number of jobs for the study of the ethnic communities defined by the national census has increased dramatically.
But see Rasmussen for an analysis of how a musical aesthetic specific to Arab America has developed in Dearborn. Langlois shows how Algerian Rai music in France became autonomous from Rai production in Algeria. As in the Iranian case discussed here by Shay, political crisis contributed to the differentiation of French and Algerian musical styles. It would therefore be misleading to characterize her as intrinsically connected to the quasi-metropolitan aspects of Israel.
The literature premised on the demise of the nation-state and consequent rise of globalization is enormous and rapidly expanding. Globalization e. Within this framework a number of related topics have been elaborated, such as exile and diaspora cultures Naficy ; Pieterse , transnationalism Basch, Glick-Schiller, and Blanc ; Marcus , hybridity Bhabha , and the apparently decentralized medium of the Internet Marcus a.
Globalization and its related agendas also thoroughly dominate the academic job market, as well as popular usually business-oriented publications, guaranteeing that globalization discourse will continue to be reproduced in the short to medium term. Rouse highlights a rhetoric similar to that of Wired in advertisements by the MCI long-distance telephone company. All are aware of the congruence of business and academic rhetoric; all assume an ultimately different significance of globalization than would the typical business analysis. For more on Sonallah Ibrahim and his works, see Mehrez This is not to say that the attitude of commentators on globalization is uniform with respect to the potential of the nation-state to form a meaningful cultural identity.
For example, Featherstone leaves the door open for nationalism as a still-potent frame of reference. The general tenor of most discussion is toward viewing the world as a dialectic between homogenizing economic processes and fragmenting cultural identities formed increasingly outside the control of nation-states. Said argues that European languages, English in particular, can, indeed must, be co-opted by those with a counterhegemonic agenda. Ahmad b disputes this point vehemently.
He has, however, fared better in French, into which three of his five major works have been translated Mehrez , n. See my own contribution to this volume chap. Although the Arabic-language films most often seen by Arabic speakers living in the Middle East are overwhelmingly Egyptian, the English-language literature on Egyptian cinema is quite limited. Khan has written on the Egyptian cinema, but his book is now dated. In fact, outside the Egyptian cinema Arabic-language films are heavily dependent on either state funding in the case of Syrian films and those of a few other Arab countries or, more commonly, financing from metropolitan institutions e.
The only films that circulate freely in the Arab world are precisely the Egyptian commercial films that are most likely to be ignored in metropolitan literature. By contrast, most academic commentary assumes that core-periphery distinctions are not as useful as they once were and that inequalities between regions are fragmented e. Of course, the political right excluding some of its religious adherents does not recognize a distinction between the accumulation of wealth and moral or ethical concerns. With the exception of an interview with Paul Sagan, director of an interactive news project at Time-Warner Laughlin and Monberg , Connected says almost nothing about the commercial aspects of the Internet.
Most electronic messages are exchanged between machines rather than people, and generally for the purpose of managing money. And regarding the parts of the Internet that humans do use, its commercial proponents do not hesitate to advocate its promise. The logic, of course, is not unlike that of American television.
The choreographer of the Carioca dance was Hermes Pan. The Carioca number was the finale, and for many the most memorable part, of the film. The April 23 notice announced the imminent opening of the film at the Royale Theater. No advertisements for Flying Down to Rio ever appeared in al-Kawakib. Profits from Egyptian films did not find their way back to the studios that made them.
The main reason for this was the chronically weak relationship between film producers and distributors. Separation between producers and distributors prevented the horizontal and vertical industrial integration that characterized Hollywood film production during the heyday of the studio era before antitrust legislation in the late s broke up this arrangement. For the Egyptian cinema this was particularly relevant to the ability of the industry to exploit Arabic-speaking markets outside Egypt.
This was where crucial profits without serious foreign competition could potentially have been made were it not for the unfavorable arrangements among film producers, studios, and foreign distributors. The shared economic infrastructure of advanced industrial society and its inescapable implications will continue to ensure that men are dependent on culture, and that culture requires standardization over quite wide areas, and needs to be maintained and serviced by centralized agencies.
In other words, men will continue to owe their employability and social acceptability to sustained and complex training, which cannot be supplied by kin or local groups. This being so, the definition of political units and boundaries will not be able to ignore with impunity the distribution of cultures. By and large, ignoring minor and innocuous exceptions, the nationalist imperative of the congruence of political unit and of culture will continue to apply.
In that sense, one need not expect the age of nationalism to come to an end. Gellner made the above prediction in , when the age of nationalism, in scholarly circles at least, was just beginning. The topics that consumed anthropology in the s reflexivity, political economy, historicity, postcolonialism, and popular culture were framed, more explicitly than ever before, in relation to metropolitan, Western-derived social forms.
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The trend continues. Metropolitan intellectuals of all sorts, along with businesspeople and politicians, are now drawn to post modern, trans national images of community. As a site of cultural reproduction, the nation-state no longer seems big enough; its peculiar resources—industries, workforces, currencies, identities, ideologies—are constantly spilling across its boundaries. Among anthropologists the study of popular culture is now identified closely with transnational approaches,  a development more unusual than it might at first appear.
The media in which popular culture travels evolved alongside the nation-state; indeed, they exist everywhere in symbiotic relationships with ruling elites.
According to Gellner and Anderson, these relationships produce shared, literate, self-consciously modern cultures that exist or hope one day to exist under the protection of their own national governments. The kinks in the model are obvious. Elites are not motivated solely by national interests, and the demand for CNN, Rai music, and Hindi films is not limited any longer at least to Americans, Algerians, and Indians.
Popular culture flows across international borders alongside and often more freely than the people who consume, produce, and distribute it. The neat cultural boundaries favored by nationalists are now hopelessly blurred by a popular imagination that, the advertisers and analysts assure us, is virtually global in scope. The interweaving of simulacra in daily life brings together different worlds of commodities in the same space and time. But it does so in such a way as to conceal almost perfectly any trace of origin, of the labour processes that produced them, or of the social relations implicated in their production.
Harvey , In Arab Detroit the relationship between nation and culture is continually rendered problematic by the need to reterritorialize a community that exists across states, between identities, and out of place. The forces that sustain popular culture in Arab Detroit, I argue, are animated by a thoroughly modern, nationalist discourse. There are now roughly two hundred thousand people of Arab descent living in and around the city.
The vast majority are from Lebanon, Palestine, Yemen, and Iraq. They come to Detroit to live among the large networks of kin and fellow villagers that now exist there. Fifty or more Lebanese shops line both sides of a six-block stretch of Warren Avenue, where eight years ago there were only eight. Five bakeries and eight restaurants emit the culinary smells of the Middle East. Signs are in both Arabic and English. There is much activity on this strip. Men sometimes sit at tables on the sidewalk, women usually cover their heads, and many wear Muslim and village attire.
Children are seen rushing to religious and Arabic classes at the Institute. This broad range of lifestyles and levels of assimilation has made the Detroit Arab community hard to represent, both intellectually and politically. Despite its proximity to the University of Michigan, which houses one of the best Middle East studies centers in the country, very few Middle East scholars have worked in Arab Detroit.
A more visible and generally less accessible tradition of self-representation is found in the lucrative trade in Arab cultural commodities. Non-Arab Detroiters are nowadays quite familiar with Lebanese cuisine, but the trade in Arab cultural commodities has been oriented, until very recently, toward Arabic speakers.
It is fragmented along national, village, and sectarian lines in ways most non-Arabs can hardly understand, and attempts to weave this flow of goods and images into a common fabric of Arab-American ethnic identity have been made, by and large, only in the English-speaking sectors of the Arab community. The differences between Arabic- and English-speaking styles of cultural production add to the daunting complexity of Arab Detroit as an object of study.
As I argue throughout this chapter, both styles are tied closely to the idea of national communities. The English-speaking style, however, is more consciously attuned to the themes of ethnicity, multiculturalism, and diversity that circulate in the larger society. There is clearly something in the idea that distance lends enhancement, if not enchantment, to the anthropological vision.
Today most American anthropologists do their Ph. These new immigrant communities are not bereft of singularity. Still, it is hard to conceptualize this singularity using the old logic of place. Arab immigrants are often called mughtarabeen , or people who go West, and the Arab community in Detroit calls itself al-jaliya , a term that conjures up images of an ethnic enclave living far from its place of origin. The idea of an ancestral place—expressed in terms of nostalgia, estrangement, and enduring obligations—is a leitmotiv of immigrant experience.
It is especially strong among Arab Detroiters, most of whom trace their origins to about a dozen peasant villages in Lebanon, Palestine, Yemen, and Iraq. The new idiom of transnationalism, however, often seems designed to swamp these imaginative yet somehow too simple communions in a wash of cultural flows, fragmentation, mix-up, deterritorialization, and other splintering metaphors.
The rhetoric is relentless; one sees it everywhere, and everywhere it accentuates the same litany of themes. Migrations are producing cultural heterogeneity; diasporic conditions for increasing and increasingly large groups of people are redefining geographic loyalties and commitments; rapid and spreading urbanization is transforming traditional social relations and conceptions of selves; the communications revolution is redefining local and global relations, and the constitution of subjects. Identities, in the light of these dramatic changes, are tending increasingly to cut across traditional political boundaries.
Goldberg and Zegeye , 3. The sense of disruption and the lack of closure that mark the transnational metanarrative are positively valued by many of the analysts who invoke them Clifford ; Appadurai ; Bhabha , and this celebratory tone reflects the increased tactical mobility Western intellectuals and the college-educated metropolitan classes bring to their ongoing management of the borderlands between human communities.
Rather, it is the relentless spread of metropolitan social forms into postcolonial domains that makes global systems and narratives of globalization possible. But the emerging view is still notoriously fuzzy, with the result that, for the metropolitan intellectual , 1 cultural forms are no longer convincingly old or new—invented traditions flourish alongside cultural schemas of demonstrable antiquity—and 2 human communities are no longer categorically Other. Instead, they can be alien and admissible, remote and near to hand, all at the same time, all in the same place.
In his discussion of advertising agencies in Trinidad, for instance, Daniel Miller a suggests that local advertisers profit from the demand for global consumer products by convincing foreign companies that imported goods will not sell there unless they are attached to tastes and desires unique to the island. Only commercials produced in Trinidad, they argue, can secure such attachments. It alerts us, instead, to new hegemonies capable of re bounding local and translocal identities alike. The globalizing logic that Richard Wilk detects in the staging of beauty pageants in Belize is, not surprisingly, the logic behind almost all forms of cultural representation now available to the ethnographer: those made by groups and individuals, by selves and others, in public and in private.
The global stage does not consist of common content, a lexicon of goods or knowledge. Instead it is a common set of formats and structures that mediate between cultures; something more than a flow of things, or of the meanings attached to things, or even the channels along which those things and meanings flow. These contests follow channels that put diversity in a common frame, and scale it along a limited number of dimensions, celebrating some kinds of difference and submerging others. Wilk , In all frankness, the world today has seen the end of military conflict except for local regions in which the flames of war have not yet gone out.
With the end of the Cold War polarization, the contest among nations has become a nationalistic and cultural struggle even before it is an economic one, inasmuch as each nation has returned to itself, deriving its power at the expense of others. From all this we conclude that, as an Arab community, we need urgently to protect ourselves and our place under the sun because history shows no mercy. Berry a, 3; my translation. With these words of introduction, Ahmad Berry launched his new magazine, Panorama , a glossy monthly that mixes news of Arab Detroit with that of Lebanon and the larger Arab world.
Berry is producer, host, and owner of Arabic Time Television, one of the six local networks and sixteen independent Arabic-language programs currently shown on Dearborn Cable Vision. When Cable Vision Industries came to Dearborn in , it had fifty-four channels—far too many to fill. No one expected Arab immigrants to use the service. It was Lebanese and Chaldean programmers who eventually monopolized Ethnic Access. The Arabs surprised CVI management again by producing their own, Arabic-language advertising, thereby turning a nonprofit community service channel into a very healthy cash cow.
CVI altered its format accordingly. Today the P. Shows scheduled between P. The sixteen afternoon shows are supplied by local mosques, religious associations, and Lebanese social clubs; in the evening the six networks, all produced by individuals, take over. The monolingual nature of Arabic TV might seem commonsensical at first, but it runs counter to linguistic patterns dominant in the community.
The majority of Arab Detroiters are bilingual; many Chaldeans are trilingual speaking English, Arabic, and Aramaic ; and tens of thousands of Arab Detroiters speak only English. The latter population is an obvious growth market, but no local programmers are attempting to cultivate it as an audience. The programming on his Arabic Time Television, however, has not yet been affected by this trend. Much of it is pirated, and copyright law as understood in the United States is thoroughly ignored by the impresarios of Arabic TV. In an average night of viewing, one might see a Syrian soap opera, an Egyptian movie, a Lebanese variety show, an Iraqi sports program, and several shows in which a local host introduces footage from overseas.
The material is copied on videocassette, and the granular, jumpy quality of the tape suggests that the duplicates are themselves n th-generation copies. But techniques are steadily improving. Before Berry airs this material, he superimposes the Arabic Time Television logo over it. Whether this practice is or is not as illegal as it looks—Berry assured me that Future Television approved of his borrowings—it is standard operating procedure on Ethnic Access. Recycled material is not the only fare available to Ethnic Access viewers.
Occasionally the impresarios appear on-screen to interview Arab celebrities and political dignitaries who visit Detroit. Some programs have local anchormen who present summaries of Middle Eastern news, most of it derived from Arabic media abroad. TV Orient, a Chaldean network, regularly features interviews with people important in the local Arab community: school administrators, candidates for public office, bilingual teachers, doctors, and social workers, among others.
TV Orient also produces Afrah al-jaliya Community Celebrations , a popular show that consists of video highlights from local Chaldean weddings. The impresarios make their profit from videocopying; indeed, their programs could not survive without it. Commercials take up half the airtime on local Arabic networks. According to CVI monitors, spot checks of Arabic programming show that commercials consume about twenty-seven minutes per hour compared to an industrywide average of twelve minutes per hour.
In a CVI telephone poll many Dearborn viewers stated that they enjoyed the commercials, and I have been told many times that the commercials are more fun to watch than the regular programming, which is only in part a criticism of regular programming. In a community heavily involved in small business, the ads on Ethnic Access are a means of competition and a measure of accomplishment directed at the audience that counts most.
The people who appear in the commercials are well known to the community—they may, in fact, be fellow villagers or even kin—and the conclusion the Lebanese or Chaldean viewer draws from watching the ads is often a reassuring one: I am surrounded by a robust economic community of people like myself; almost all my needs food and clothing, health care, aluminum siding, floral arrangements, and cellular phones can be met within this community. Though I have never been able to obtain reliable figures, the financial arrangement between CVI and the Arabic media impresarios is no doubt mutually favorable.
The power of the impresarios became clear to everyone in , when they kept Arab Network of America ANA , a Saudi-backed subscriber station, out of the Dearborn market, lobbying for Dubai TV instead. Dubai had no desire to solicit local advertising, whereas ANA did. Moreover, ANA officials hinted that, should they enter the Dearborn market, they would sue local producers who videocopy and illegally broadcast ANA programming, a course of action that would quickly drive the impresarios out of business. After complex negotiations, CVI opted for Dubai TV, thereby protecting its local leased programming even as it added hundreds of monthly subscribers to its new Arabic satellite service.
The decision to do business with Dubai TV reinforced other trends as well. It ensured that Arabic programming in Dearborn would remain overwhelmingly monolingual relatively speaking, ANA has more English programming than Dubai TV, but neither has much. The trends I discuss above are recognized and widely criticized by the viewers of Ethnic Access, by CVI officials, and oddly enough by Arab media impresarios themselves.
There is general agreement, for instance, that the shows on Ethnic Access are imitative, poorly made, cut to pieces by advertising, and insufficiently attuned to community life in America. The Lebanese and Chaldeans feed us garbage. We eat it. There is nothing else.
Such remarks are colored, quite obviously, by nationalist prejudice. Yet even among Lebanese immigrants, there is a strong tendency to describe the impresarios as sham operators ghishshasheen ; certainly the impresarios describe each other this way, and the accusations sting.
In Arab Detroit media talk is morally charged. It was a surprisingly uniform idiom. When I asked Hamoud and Berry how they got into the TV business, for instance, neither said anything about learning to use a camera. They were eager, instead, to explain that they were litterateurs by nature and training. Nabeel Hamoud writes poetry, song lyrics, essays, and plays; Ahmad Berry does likewise.
Both men called my attention to their college degrees, which were not in communications. Television is simply the most effective pedagogical tool available to them in Detroit. According to Hamoud, We [Lebanese in Dearborn] are from a rural background. Most of us do not like to read. The old people are illiterate. They like images and sounds and music and singing. Television is the way to influence these people. It is the best way for me to serve my community.
My message has been the same since I began in to make our Arab community always united and stronger. Media is like education. It never ends. My responsibility is to the community and my own work and to provide better Arabic media for this community. Whoever has a talent, I would expect the same of him. Arabic is what I offer my viewers. We have tried English programming in the past,…but in our experience, no one wants to watch English programs on Arabic Time TV. We are 95 percent Arabic, and I think it should stay that way.
I suggested that Arabic is not the only link to the audience. Shared experiences in Detroit might also provide a basis on which to build a viewership, and much of that shared experience, especially among the young, the second- and third-generation immigrants, the U. The English-speaking market is growing, I argued, and Arabic TV could benefit greatly by tapping into it.
Nabeel Hamoud agreed that the dominance of English and the ongoing loss of Arabic speakers is a fact of life in Detroit, but he did not think it was right to exploit this trend, thereby speeding it along. The people in charge determine something like this. We have special shows for kids: cartoons, kiddie shows, educational shows.
We concentrate on upbeat music from the Arab world, directed at teenagers. So all members of the family have something in Arabic that is appropriate for their age. Yet beneath the urgent appeals to cultural preservation, there are more practical reasons for the absence of English-language programming. First of all, the impresarios would have to produce this programming themselves, and as we have already seen they are slow to produce original programming of any kind.