BCM 111


Quentin Tarantino’s newest thriller opens it’s viewers up to a world that to it’s younger viewers is brand new but to some is a wave hello to a past time. Made in Hollywood, Tarantino creates an engrossing, kaleidoscopic, detailed nostalgic collage of a film, an epic tale of backlot Hollywood in 1969, which allows him to pile on all his obsessions. This also gives viewers a peak into ideologies of homogenisation/hybridisation, cultural proximity as well as the divide between the Global North and South. The question I asked myself before witnessing what this cinematic throwback is: will I be able to relate to events that didn’t happen in my time or country? The answer: Of course. Tarantino brings the 1960s Los Angeles to life with great detail so that we, at no matter what age or knowledge of the Manson family or 60s stars, can sense the spirit of what was at stake. Tarantino’s utilisation of modern stars such as Margot Robbie as Sharon Tate, Mark Moh as Bruce Lee and Leonardo DiCaprio as a struggling Western star dabbling in Italian film gives a new take on Hollywood while interspersing cultures and lifestyle to suit a global audience. 

Cultural Homogenisation/Hybridisation is an ideology which categorises films in the way in which they reach audiences. Homogenisation of culture refers to a one-way flow from richer to developing countries. Once upon a time in…Hollywood seems to take the opposite approach and utilises hybridisation through Italian film and Chinese culture interspersed in the film. ‘Spaghetti Westerns’ or ‘Euro Westerns’ are showcased which actually contributed greatly to the film industry in that time. More than five hundred Italian Western films were produced between 1962 and 1980, the time period showcased in OAAIH. Tarantino’s use of this different film culture in his primarily American feature parallels the idea that the ‘genre’s use of urgency and violence held a fascination amongst audiences around the world in the 60s’ (Fisher, 2011 p3) Tarantino therefore cleverly intersperses this historical time stop in our film history through the “de-westernisation of Western ideas” (Allen, 2010)

Fisher, A 2011,, Pearson Hall, Upper Saddle River, NJ.Radical Frontiers in the Spaghetti Western: Politics, Violence and Popular Italian Cinem, p3, London

Allen, C. (2019). BCM111, Lecture 3, Topic 3, Global Film  [PowerPoint Slides]. Retrieved from Univerisyt of Wollongong Moodle web site:

Quentin Tarantino delves into the Global North and South divide in his use of Chinese cinema and actors. The Global North/South divide is a line that divides the wealthy developed countries and developing areas. China falls under the south divide whilst America is one of the largest industries in the world for filmmaking. Tarantino intersperses the story of Bruce Lee and his motion pictures to educate the audience of a different culture therefore opening the film up to a relationship between different continents and blurring this imaginary line. Iwabuchi  (2002, p 23) touches on this idea of a transnational media flow in Asian movie culture in the sense that  the “emergence of Asian media practises since the 1980s reflect the fact that industries and cultural forms are playing a substantial roll in global cultural flows”. Tarantino is no rookie when it comes to this interspersion of Asian culture, Kill Bill for example. Tarantino has been utilising the growing Japanese and Chinese film movement since the 1980s and 90s, opening up audiences around the globe. Finally it is important to recognises that media is not only just made in America, Zhao (2007, p 145) stating that while America “has not homogenised the world, it has diffused a series of cultural formats in it’s industry”.

Iwabuch, K, 2002, Recentering Globalization, Popular culture and Japanese transnationalism, Duke University Press, London.

Zhao, Y, 2007, Global Communications: Toward a Transcultural Political Economy, p143, USA

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