Hallyu and the Hollywood Adaptation of My Sassy Girl

BCM 111


Stephens, J, & Lee, S n.d., ‘Transcultural Adaptation of Feature Films: South Korea’s My Sassy Girl and its Remakes’, Adaptation-The Journal Of Literature On Screen Studies, 11, 1, pp. 75-95, Arts & Humanities Citation Index, EBSCOhost, viewed 24 August 2018.

In this article, Stephens and Lee discuss the topic of transcultural appropriation in feature films by using the example of the Korean film ‘That Bizzare Girl’ (although more commonly know as ‘My Sassy Girl’) and comparing it to each of its remakes and adaptations. Stephens and Lee compare the original film both to its Korean sequel and other transnational remakes. Stephens and Lee make the point that when the original ‘My Sassy Girl’ “was released locally in South Korea, the box office success of My Sassy Girl exceeded that of Titanic, Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone and The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring.” The reason this film resonated so much with the Korean audience was that it was a modern retelling of popular folktales the ‘Gyeonu and Jiknyeo’ and ‘Fool Ondal and Princess Pyeonggang.’ This is why the focus of Stephen and Lee’s article concerns the folktale context of ‘My Sassy Girl’ and how this was translated into other cultures. Whilst Stephen and Lee highly allude to the fact that the folktale content of ‘My Sassy Girl’ was translated better in other south-east Asian remakes than it was in Hollywood through many examples, this point is not explicitly made.

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John Liu M, n.d, My Sassy Girl Lost in Hollywood’s Translation, Goldsea Asian American Perspectives, viewed 25 August 2018, http://goldsea.com/Text/index.php?id=3299

In this article, John Liu discusses the unsuccessful American remake of the Korean film ‘My Sassy Girl.’ John Liu discusses this topic whilst also bringing to light the issue of Westernisation. He makes this clear in his opening statement by saying; “There’s an idea that some of us subconsciously subscribe to that goes a little something like this: the rest of the world might have something mildly interesting going on here or there but the West is the center of the world and anything Westernized is automatically better.” By addressing the issue of Westernization within this film review John Liu is bringing to light the issue of not giving Eastern cinema, specifically Korean cinema the credit that it’s due. He is trying to break the double standard between Western and Eastern film where Hollywood can seemingly “put the best-looking actors with the best directors and screenwriters [and are] almost guaranteed international success!” John Liu deepens this argument by making specific references to the lack of care that Hollywood put into the Americanised remake. For example, the element of fantasy that Hollywood saturated the remake in, whereas the original was purposefully made to seem like a real story because it was based off a true story. Secondly, the female lead in the American remake was depicted as deranged rather than as sassy. John Liu further makes the point that in American culture, men typically wouldn’t continue dating a woman who causes so much physical, verbal and emotional abuse as this caharcter does without being sexually satisfied. Without keeping the significance, and motifs of the original film, and without then choosing to change some of these cultural themes to suit an American audience, the remake of My Sassy Girl essentially becomes just another poorly made romantic comedy.


Should we consider internationalising Australian Higher Education digitally?

BCM 111

Bell, M 2008, Internationalising The Australian Higher Education Curriculum Through Global Learning, n.p.: Research Online, Research Online, EBSCOhost, viewed 21 August 2018.

In this article Bell introduces the ‘global learning’ approach as a new way to internationalise Australian Higher Education. Bell’s method is founded on the understanding that students from low-economy countries can’t afford these exchange experiences, which results in these opportunities having a one way flow. Instead, Bell proposes utilising videoconference technologies to offer “a form of ‘virtual’ study abroad,” as a way to internationalise higher  education. Bells reasoning behind internationalising higher education is that “education is economic, framing education as a commodity existing within the ethos of trade agreements.”

To test her hypothesis, Bell conducted a case study involving students with students studying science from Australia, Ireland and America in regular videoconferences. Her findings concluded that the students enjoyed the unique opportunity to engage with one another and that the students felt that “the course supported them in developing understanding of the global perspectives of the debates around global warming and genetic modification, and on the positions taken within and between the three different student groups.”

Whilst Bells method for internationalising Australian Higher Education have benefits in internationalising education on a budget, there are limitations in her reasoning behind why we should internationalise Australian higher education. The biggest reason of why we should internationalise our higher education system should not be for economic benefit. Rather, it should be for the purposes of creating understanding and acceptance towards other cultures to help us function well as a global community. The emphasis should be on benefitting us as a connected globe, not on how we can benefit us as a singular country.

Gothe-Snape J, 27 April 2018, ‘International students are flocking to Australia, but the country’s infrastructure is not ready,’ ABC News, http://www.abc.net.au/news/2018-04-27/international-students-infrastructure-migration-housing/9693256

In this news article Gothe-Snape tackles the debacle of Australia’s infrastructure being inadequate to handle the amount of International Students studying in the country. With a 12 percent increase in International students from last year Gothe-Snape outlines the negative impacts that this has both in the International students and on the Australian public.

Firstly, Gothe-Snape identifies that the rise in international students has been the biggest factor of immigration growth. He backs up this claim by quoting demographer Liz Allen who said that “infrastructure development had not kept pace with the migration program in the past 20 years, and the blame fell on politicians.”


Secondly, this continues to impact International students through the issues of employment exploitation which effects their income and housing opportunities. One of the biggest issues that International students face is finding affordable and safe housing. As International students “are only allowed to work for 20 hours a week, and it’s usually at minimum wage, though a lot of them get paid even less than that,” (Searle, 2018)

Perhaps a digital option as suggested in Bell’s research could be a good way to encourage Internationalisation of higher education without the physical effects of income, infrastructure and even violence? Contrarily, are some parts of cultural understanding and acceptance only learned through physical interaction? Would a majoritively digital internationalisation program erode parts of this cultural understanding?

Globalisation= Westernisation?

BCM 111

O‘Shaughnessy, Michael 2012, ‘Globalisation’, in Media and society, 5th ed, Oxford University Press, South Melbourne, Vic, pp. 458-471

Michael O’Shaughnessy’s chapter ‘Globalisation’ in textbook ‘Media and Society’ predominately discusses the negative effects that globalisation has on issues such as poverty and culture. O’Shaughnessy uses the examples of the digital divide and subsequently cultural imperialism to showcase the negative results of globalisation. The Internet as a communication tool is what has shaped our globalised climate into what it is today.internet by income group.gif

O’Shaughnessy makes the point that having access to internet and global media is the key to having knowledge and power in todays society. The lack of internet access has created a digital divide, which further increases the gap between the rich and the poor. Consequently, lack of internet access can be very debilitating to developing nations as they are unable to contribute to the globalisation of the world. This then results in cultural imperialism, where the most powerful country/countries ‘globalise’ the world with only their products. This can result in a monoculture, which ultimately wipes out the traditional cultures and customs of other countries.

Ultimately O’Shaughnessy raises two important problems which root from globalisation, and explains the internet’s role in aiding these issues. However, by placing a very heavy burden on the internet- which is only one aspect of the technoscape and the mediascape he considerably narrows his argument. Although the internet does play a large role in cultural imperialism, there are many other factors which contribute such as the finsanscape, the ethnoscape, the ideoscape and other areas of the mediascape and technoscape. Furthermore, O’Shaughnessy only focuses on how globalisation causes the homogenization of society and doesn’t consider any alternative outlooks such as hybridization.

Bhattacharjee, A 2017, ‘Impact of “Cultural imperialism” on advertising and marketing’, Journal Of Intercultural Communication, 2017, 45, Scopus®, EBSCOhost, viewed 7 August 2018.

Bhattacharjee’s study the ‘Impact of “Cultural imperialism” on advertising and marketing’ focuses on how different nations and companies partake in marketing and advertising both on a local and global level. Bhattacharjee opens her paper by discussing the popular notion of globalisation and it’s supposed link to cultural imperialism. People have begun to regard the terms ‘globalisation,’ westernisation,’ ‘Americanisation,’ and ‘homogenization’ as synonyms, with many even going so far to say that through globalisation America is creating a ‘McWorld.’


Bhattacherjee challenges these popular opinions with her research findings of the marketing and adverting activities of different nations, companies and brands. Bhattacherjee suggest that what is taking place today is a hybridization of cultures rather than a homogenization. She states that “Global corporations like McDonald’s or Coke do not adapt to local preferences because of any philosophical commitment to global diversity. They do so because they have discovered that local tastes are not easily changed or homogenized.” Bhattacherjee concludes with the notion that what is taking place is multiculturalism and not homogenization.

Bhattacherjee’s method of focusing on the ideoscape by studying marketing and adverting patterns is a good way to measure how westernised the world is at this point in time. However, her study doesn’t identify or explore any of the negative effects that this marketing and advertising may have on people and their traditional cultures. Furthermore, Bhattacherjee argues that if a western brand adapts to the eastern culture it has inhabited there is therefore no westernisation taking place, such as her example of McDonalds. However, following that example, just because McDonalds adapts to accommodate the eastern pallet doesn’t disregard the fact that it has also brought the custom of fast food restaurant’s and it’s western brand monopolies into the eastern culture.

Too saturated for the truth

BCM 111, BCM 114, BCM 206

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After the invention of the telegraph people were forced to shift from the process of slow moving information to a word of rapid global communication. Shortly after people began questioning this shift, asking “What need is there for the scraps of news in ten minutes?” claiming that the invention of the telegraph had resulted in information spreading “too fast for the truth.”

The creation of the internet and the widespread access of it has only further propelled this notion of information spreading “too fast for the truth.” Now that everyone has the ability to instantly communicate information, ideas, and memes to a global audience we have entered an era of information overload. This information overload creates problems such as fake news, and an imbalance of useless to useful information ratio. Hence, my iteration is a representation of our modern information landscape which is, and perhaps forever will be “too saturated for the truth.”