Hollywood & South Korean film industry trends

We’ve all heard of the first video to reach 1 billion views on YouTube. Yes, you’ve guessed it, in 2012, PSY, a South Korean singer has hit internationally by his song Gangnam Style,  which was our favorite for a certain time, till it just got annoying because it was just heard everywhere, nonetheless, Gangnam Style was very amusing but ” forget PSY, he’s just a drip on the massive iceberg that is Korean music, film and TV, stated on PolicyMic.

source: georgraphy.howstuffworks.com

source: georgraphy.howstuffworks.com

South Korea is a major power house, according to PolicyMic. Korean music, film, and TV, are not only popular within the country, but also domestically, being an entertainment center for China, Japan, and other southeast Asian countries.

Not only is South Korea quickly expanding domestically, but it has also reached international levels, supplying the middle east with entertainment of their famous Dramas, according to InAGlobal.

Although Hollywood may seem to influence other parts of the world in the film industry, there has been works that have been very much influenced by South Korean style of films.

source: Theguardian.com

Korean film director, Park Chan-Wook source: Theguardian.com

South Korea has been struggling to get across internationally, but as soon as PSY hit the market, Hollywood has very much noticed the Korean influence, with movies made in Hollywood such as Stoker  and The last stand, depicts  styles of Korean film of the so popular Korean film director,  Park Chan-Wook. With Chan-Wook’s work hitting Hollywood, according to the Washington Post, the Korean industry is expanding wider and wider, as the US takes on South Korean style of horror, suspense, action, and dramas. Not only is Chan-Wook alone being noticed, but many other South Korean directors, such as Kim Ji-Woon, Kim Ki-Duk, Bong Joon-Ho, Hong Sang-Soo and Lee Chang-Dong, have become visible in Europe and US in recent years.

According to PolicyMic, South Korea has set at rules to 40% of all films shown  in the country need to be domestic, resulting in a major change in profit in the past 10 years with Korean films having outstripped foreign films in terms of box office revenue and ticket sales. In 2012 alone, domestic films earned $44 million whereas foreign films brought in $35 million.

Source: allthingsfilm.co.uk

South Korean directed by Park Chan-Wook, widely accepted in USA (2003) Source: allthingsfilm.co.uk

Hollywood influence has not been much on the South Korean film industry. In an interview by NY Times to director Chan-Wook, he stated, “The commonality could be that compared with how bold we are in terms of subject matter. We are more classical in our style of filmmaking. In other words, we don’t follow trends, and we’re not dictated by trends. It’s not to say necessarily that’s what we can offer to American films, but how we are different, maybe that’s one way.” They may not follow trends, but their trends are definitely being followed as young Korean directors rise on the US and international market, and although US Hollywood has not been following Korean trends, in the near future, that may be subject to change.


Will bollywood soon influence more of the world than hollywood

Indian movie, Dabangg Source: Srimovies.com

Indian movie, Dabangg
Source: Srimovies.com

The western world has many influences around the world, ranging from foods, music, and sometimes even fashion but when it comes to film in India, Bollywood, the largest film producer in the world would beg to differ. Although India is very cultural oriented and does not practice much of western culture, you might see a few western hints in its food, music, and fashion but that does not mean it will take on Hollywood style for their films. India, known to be one of the poorest countries, has the number 1 top film industry that is well-known around the world.

source: ratemovieshare.com

source: ratemovieshare.com

Hollywood may sound more familiar to many people but Bollywood has made more films than Hollywood according to Davidson. Although the influence of the US is common in many areas, when it comes to film making, Indians seem to hold on to a lot of their culture. Watching an Indian Bollywood movie, and an American Hollywood movie, you would notice the differences in aspects such as the length of the film, the style of the film, in the sense of how the actors dress, and also the including of musicals which is widely common in Indian films rather than American. According to  PolicyMic, Indian films seem to be more upbeat and optimistic in nature, including family values and very little sex and violence because they are censored and regulated. Opposite of the American films, sexuality and violence is common and accepted in the Hollywood industry.

Bollywood , being the number 1 film producers in the world, according to Hubpages, produces about a 1,000 films per year, as Hollywood only produces half of that, 500. Although Hollywood produces half of the movies Bollywood produces per year, it may have a bigger influence on the outside world, but to reach Indian Bollywood, Hollywood may want to add a hint of Indian culture and style to their movies, as Bollywood is catching up quickly with the rest of the world.

According to Davidson, a study done on Indian movies shows a major influence on Indian citizens and the way they dress and even influence on the culture.

Bollywood Actress Aishwarya Rai Bachchan Source: idiva.com

Bollywood Actress Aishwarya Rai Bachchan
Source: idiva.com

Bollywood is also a big hit in the middle east, to the extend that there was a recent launch of a Bollywood channel that plays only Indian translated movies and songs.  Not only in the Middle East, but I have recently came across theaters in the US that shows Indian movies, so the expansion of Bollywood influence is not only reaching Eastern side of the world, but also the Western side. Despite Hollywood being the world center in the film industry, this may not last long, as India’s Bollywood is expanding and being noticed more internationally.


How far does Hollywood influence Nollywood


source:  Csmonitor.com

source: Csmonitor.com

Most people when thinking of directing a movie, it would take months and months to finish, but that may be common in Hollywood and Bollywood, but when it comes to Nollywood, films can be done in as little as 10 days! Ofcourse the outcome of the film in production and stunts and digitization will probably be different from a Hollywood or Bollywood movie, but that does not prevent Nigeria’s Nollywood from becoming the 2nd  largest movie producer in the world, according to Ibtimes. Nigeria may be  one of the poorest country in the world, but it has many accomplishes in the film industry, who with only one digital camera and two lights and a few thousand dollars achieved the world’s second movie industry title.

Nollywood_PosterAccording to Maps of the World, the Nigerian culture is multi-ethnic with over 250 languages spoken in the country, and although Nigerians hold on to their language, music, and arts, English is considered to be the official language although it is notable that not more than 50% of the population can speak English. In Nollywood, most of the films produced are in English, for better distribution, but still tell the stories of common Nigerian culture from everyday stories of love, romance, family, comedy, crooked cops to HIV/aids.  According to the documentary, This is Nollywood, it is said that Nollywood has grown from nothing into a $250 million dollar-a-year industry that employs thousands of people, from rising actors and actresses to stunt doubles and camera crew. The Nollywood phenomenon was made possible by two main ingredients: Nigerian entrepreneurship and digital technology.

Nollywood is quite different than Hollywood, in the fact that not only does it take much lesser time to make the movie and the quality is not as high as Hollywood movies, the distribution is also different. Nigeria, being a poor country, with many people not having the money to go to cinemas, if there is any theaters at all in the area. Since Nigeria is a group country, meaning people watch and live as a group or family, the films are made directly to DVD and sold for about $3, according to Csmonitor,  giving the movies a better chance to expand and reach a higher audience with cheaper pricing.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAAlthough Nigerian films may not be watched as common or more than Hollywood and Bollywood films, one thing for sure is they are certainly making big news. According to Ibtimes, actor Chiwetel Ejiofor, of Nigerian parents, known for his role in Oscar-winning movie, 12 Years a Slave, is said to be working on the most expensive film that will ever be made in Nollywood, “Half of a Yellow Sun,” which is a British/Nigerian co-production, said to be  budgeted at about £4.6m.

There has definitely been a change in the Nigerian film industry in the past few years, with about a 1,000 films being produced weekly, Nollywood is leading with second place in film production, but will it soon become the first? We’ll just have to wait and see.


women and religion in Egypt, Saudi Arabia, & Sudan


source: Globalrevival.com

The Middle East is known for its strict culture. When thinking of the middle east, most would think that it is all related culture, since most countries there share a common religion, Islam. Islam is a religion that is mostly practiced in the Arab world. According to the Islamic Bulletin, Islam is the belief of worshiping God (Allah), and was introduced by the prophet Mohammad.

Although Islam is the dominant religion in the Arab world, it is not the only religion, in countries such as Egypt, Sudan, and others, Christianity is still practiced by a small population of people.

Saudi Arabia, a country located in the Arab peninsula, is the home to prophet Mohammad, and is very special to the Muslim world, because it hold the two most holiest places for Islam, according to Wikipedia.


A Saudi Arabia young woman

There are many culture differences between Saudi Arabia and other countries in the arab world such as Egypt. According to Every Culture,  women in Saudi Arabia have lesser rights than men. With that being said, Women can’t drive and are not allowed to travel without a male guardian. They also must wear a veil, and can not interact too much, if any with men outside their family. Also, citizens or foreigners of non-muslim faiths are not allowed to worship in public, at least. Opposite of the Egyptian culture, although Islam is highly valued in the country, women have more rights in Egypt than Saudi Arabia. For instance, women are not obligated to wear a veil, and can drive and travel alone to anywhere in the world. They are widely accepted to hold high position and interact with men outside their family. There are also many churches in Egypt, and although the christian minority is often discriminated against, it is still acceptable to build churches and practice other religions in Egypt.

Source: Sudan.net

A sudanese woman on her wedding day

Another country that borders Egypt is Sudan, and although it is close to Egypt geographically, Sudan has a much closer culture to Saudi Arabia than Egypt. Much like the Saudi Arabian culture, Sudanese culture is strict with the practice of Islam. Sudanese culture, is a lot closer to Saudi Arabian culture more than it is to Egyptian culture, women in the Sudanese culture are perceived as beings only made to nurture and take care of house chores, rather than working and taking care of financial expenses, as that is a man’s job in the household. There are many differences between Sudanese and Egyptian culture. Although Islam is still dominant in both countries, Islam is highly more strict in Sudan and Saudi Arabia than Egypt. According to Every Culture, Women have lesser rights than men in Sudan and religion must be applied to all aspects.

Recently in Sudan, a religion controversy has hit big news,  Meryem,  a Christian woman who was sentenced to death because she refused to renounce her christian faith is in jail, waiting for the courts to take action. Because of Sharia law, strictly practiced in the Islam faith in many muslim countries, Meryem, was sentenced to death because she holds on to her christian faith. According to CNN, US congress has asked the court to release Meryem, and let her practice her religion freely, because it is a human’s right.

Now although it is possible for countries like Saudi Arabia and Sudan to apply such law, Egypt in the other hands, will not sentence someone to death for religion, but will take measures if someone of the Muslim faith denies and changes his or her religion to Christianity, and in that case they could be punished according to Sharia Law. Another aspect in Egypt that is not common in Saudi Arabia and Sudan, is that a Muslim man can marry a Christian woman and the kids will take the fathers religion, but it is not accepted nor is it common for a Muslim woman to marry a Christian man.

Overall, women rights differ from each Muslim country to the other. There are countries with strict laws on women rights and there are some that are more lenient. The Arab world is very similar in the practice of faith and culture, but to a certain extinct, some Arab countries give women more rights than others.

living between arab and american culture

There is no doubt that American culture is spread throughout the world. Many countries, especially in the Middle East, practice and live American culture daily.  Although there are many similarities in American and  Arab society, one thing is for sure, their culture is very different. Merriem Webster online dictionary defines Culture as, “the beliefs, customs, art, etc., of a particular society, group, place or time.” Which means, a group of people who define a way of living by their priorities and set of beliefs.

One major difference that I definitely recognized being an Egyptian-American being raised in both cultures, is that in the American culture, freedom is mostly valued over religion, while in the Arab culture, Religion tops all. There is no doubt that there are many people who practice religion very orthodoxy but, when it comes to individuals choosing, freedom has always been a priority in the American culture. While freedom is also a part of individuality in Arab culture, anything that comes into conflict with religion, will not be accepted. For example, someone having the same sexual preference would be widely accepted in America, but completely unaccepted in Arab countries, because it comes into conflict with religious beliefs, and religion is a major part in Arab culture.

Source: clubshare.org

Source: clubshare.org

Aside from religion, Arabs value their family very much.  According to PBS, “Family is a very important aspect in Arab culture.” In fact, family is a huge part of most Arabs daily lives. The practice of family gathering is normal and daily in an Arab household. The western world is often close to their intermediate family, consisting of parents, siblings, and sometimes grandparents. But in Arab countries, families are considered to be like a “tribe” which means, they tend to be close not only to their intermediate families, but also to their extended families, such as cousins, aunts, uncles, grandparents, etc. In some areas in certain countries like Egypt, there are families that live all in the same building. The oldest individual in the family often owns a whole building that is divided into condos on each floor, and each family has a floor, thus sharing all the same home, sort of. So, the building would carry all generations of the family, beginning with the eldest living in the first floor, to the youngest son in the last floor.

Another difference is, in the Western world is as soon as one turns 18, into adulthood, they traditionally move out, or start depending on themselves for financial needs and such. In the Arab world, the son and daughter of Arab parents can live with their parents, with parents fully supporting them, financially, until married. Mostly common for females, the father is required to take care of all expenses of the daughter until married, same goes for the man, except for he is more responsible to save money to be able to get married and depend on self. So as this arab vine would put it, in many cases, you pretty much don’t move out until you are married.

Source: searchengineland.com

Source: searchengineland.com

The western world is often very influential of the Arab world, and as much as you see McDonald’s, KFC, Starbucks,  and other American brands everywhere in the streets of Arab country, that does not change Arab culture but opens their minds to the western way of living. There are many more differences between Arabs and American culture, and although it differs from each Arab country to the other, one thing is for sure, they all share a similar culture due to their related beliefs. To understand one’s way of living is to understand their culture, because to understand culture, is to be able to communicate.

The ship of dreams

I’ve always been a fan of Leonardo DiCaprio, not only because of his charming looks but also because he is a well performing actor. We all were very familiar with DiCaprio when the classic movie “Titanic” came out. The film presented a powerful story that won everyone’s heart. Starting from Jack and Rose’s love story to the fall of the ship.

The heart of the Ocean

The movie begins with  “fortune hunters” who are looking for “The heart of the ocean,” an oval blue diamond necklace that belonged to Louis the XVI that is worth millions of dollars. As the fortune hunters  are searching the sunk ship Titanic,  they come across a safe that had Rose’s nude sketch that Jack drew. After, a 101 year old woman, who claimed that she was the woman in the sketch, saw the news on TV contacts the guy who found it. Soon enough they meet, and Rose begins to tell the story of the man who saved her life, Jack Dawson.

The journey

The start of Jack’s voyage


The first appearance of Jack was of him and his friend playing poker and winning a third class Titanic ticket to the US. Jack, who is a lucky guy, finds himself on a ship he had never dreamed of riding, sailing back to the US.  Jack lives his life as a free soul, traveling and going from one place to the other without worrying or bonding himself to anything, which is what began Rose’s interest in him.


Forbidden love

We can’t forget how the love story started.  Jack was indeed a lucky guy when he won the ticket to the ship, and caught it right before it left. Fortunate enough, he meets Rose, who is a jack-and-rose-titanicrich girl who he  saves  when attempting to commit suicide and soon enough they fall in love. Rose who is engaged to Cal Hockley, a rich arrogant  young man whom she doesn’t love, yet is forced to be with to save her family’s reputation of having no money. Despite her mother’s whining to marry Hockley and her family’s reputation is on the line, everything changes when she meets Jack Dawson.

I’ll never let go

There is no doubt that the film is so powerful in both acting and story telling, that every time you see the movie, you just can’t help tears flowing down your face, especially during Jack and Rose’s separating moment. The movie is so effective, even if seen 100 times, 17 years later, it’s still gives you goose bumps. There were two major scenes that really had me finishing my Kleenex box.

  1. The elder couple that held each other, knowing they’re destined to die while the ship was sinking.
  2. Jack in the water frozen.

The elder couple scene was definitely one of the most emotional scenes in the film. The couples were shown to lay next to each other in their bed, knowing that they were to die, and so they held hands until the ship was sunk. An interesting fact is that couple are Ida and Isidor Strauss. Does the name sound familiar?.. They were the owners of Macy’s department, of whom both died in the sinking.

The scene of Rose falling asleep and waking up to find Jack frozen in the water is really one of the best scenes in the movie. Although it is the end of Jack, and we are all crying our hearts out. The scene was well acted and filmed. The last words that left us all speechless, were “I’ll never let go..”


Jack, Jack!

Jack, are you sure you couldn’t have survived?


We’ve all heard many things about the making of the Titanic, but one thing that I taught was kind of fun, is that the best scene in the movie, the scene of Rose’s last words to Jack, “I’ll never let go,” is filmed in an inflatable pool? Well, all I want to say is that was never expected.



If Jack had lived

We all know the end of Titanic.. but have you ever wondered, what if Jack lived? In memory of the great Titanic, Motion picture has made the film Titanic II, released on Titanic’s 100th anniversary, is a story that shows the life of Jack and Rose, if jack had lived. Honestly, we all wished that Jack would have survived the tragic ending.. so thanks to Motion picture, they made us live the ending that we wanted.

Titanic, a love story that will never be forgotten

The Titanic is known for one of the greatest love stories. The movie is about 2 and half hours long, and even with that amount of time being spent watching the movie, you can never get bored of it and is willing to watch it again and again, right? how many of us seen the movie Titanic only once?… I don’t think so.

The film was made in 1997.  Titanic had dramatically high rated reviews, as “The best paramount movie ever made.” The movie shows the difference between two classes of people, and how two people fell in love despite all the differences they had. The story of the Titanic is about a tragedy that carried so many stories of greed, love, and sacrifice.

Romance at Disney World

Name of the Show: Mouse Chat

Topic: Romance at Disney World– Tips for an adult trip to Disney

Host: Steve GriswoldWalt_Disney_World_Resort_entrance

If you are planning on heading to Disney on your honeymoon or for a romantic vacation, here is your guide to the best places to go for couples.

The romance begins with the signature restaurants!


Top three romantic restaurants:

  • California Grill at the Contemporary Resort
  • Brown Derby at Disney’s Hollywood Studios
  • Disney’s Grand Floridian Citricos At the Contemporary Resort

If you are looking more for an adult dinning (Can be crowded) head over to EPCOT to the world show case and book in France or Italy.

Then experience the thrill with the most romantic rides in Disney!


The Best Rides:

  • Haunted Mansion at the Magic Kingdom Park
  • Carousel of Progress at the Magic Kingdom Park
  • Monorail at the Magic Kingdom Resort

Now for the Romantic things to experience!

Things to do as a couple

Top romantic things to do:

  • Riverside horse drawn carriage rides at Disney’s Port Orleans Resort (only at night and are outside the main lobby area)
  • Watching Wishes Fireworks on the beach from the Grand Floridian or Polynesian Resort (Free)
  • Disney Spas (couples massage)
  • Spend an evening at Jelly roles at Disney’s Boardwalk Resort (sing along, piano)
  • Lagoon walk in the EPCOT at night
  • Watch Illuminations at the UK pavilion
  • Attend the EPCOT International Flower and Garden Festival (seasonal- March 5- May 18)
  • Enjoy a hot air balloon ride at Disney Downtown
  • Attend the La Nouba by Cirque du soleil in the Downtown Disney area

Disney is the number 1 honeymoon destination in the US!

Plan before you go to Disney Resort so you don’t miss out on anything.

Find what you and your significant other wants to do and plan it so that you enjoy every minute of your Disney vacation!