From Global to Local: Global Hollywood as an Approach to Post-1997 Thai Cinema

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Jiratorn Sakulwattana


This paper focuses on the cinema of post-1997 Thailand, which in the existing literature is contextualised by the economic crash of Asian countries in 1997 and technological changes in the following decade—the rise of multiplexes in cinema-going culture and the popularised combustion of films onto other visual media, such as video and television. The scholarship on Thai cinema of the period primarily approaches the subject through a conceptualisation of two specific qualities—sakon (universal) and Thainess—and their conflicted relationship, which emerges on the films’ narrative level and at the industry level. Grounded in the context of a post-economic crisis, this conflicted relationship between sakon and Thainess (represented on the Thai screen) is interpreted as a cultural response to an abrupt economic change. To provide an extra layer to approach the cinema of this period, in this paper, I draw on the concept of Global Hollywood introduced by Toby Miller (2001). Global Hollywood is a term applied to define the changing nature of Hollywood as a film industry where internationalization of production, exhibition, and reception has become the industry’s dominant aspect. In relation to Hollywood cinema since the 1990s, the term Global Hollywood is also employed to define the contemporary film culture in countries outside the US, where Hollywood historically originated.


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Sakulwattana, J. (2020). From Global to Local: Global Hollywood as an Approach to Post-1997 Thai Cinema. วารสารศิลปศาสตร์ มหาวิทยาลัยธรรมศาสตร์, 20(1), 240-255.


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