It is apparent that media and culture today are of crucial importance to real life. During last half century, due to the rapid development of technology, a number of media tools appeared in the public, including radio, television, popular music, movies and some other forms of mass media. Especially, the rise of films makes the culture industry as an increasingly interesting topic. When we speaking of culture industry, we might think about the influence from mass media and what is the mass-produced culture. This paper will argue that a pretty popular film series, Transformers, fit into the “culture industry” in accordance with some “Frankfurt School” approaches. It will show this by the logical definition of “culture industry”, introduction about “Frankfurt School” and how the film series fit into the “culture industry” by three main different aspects.
The term "culture industry" originated from the studies to mass culture that based on the development of mass media which directed by the Frankfurt school. In the twentieth century, a group of German-American theorists was known as the “Frankfurt School” who aimed to develop Marxist studies and developed powerful analyses of the changes in Western capitalist societies (Douglas Kellner). The Frankfurt School created a critical cultural study which is a model to analyze some political processes, i.e. cultural production, cultural texts, political economy, audience reception and use of cultural artifacts (Kellner 1989 and 1995). As the key represents of the Frankfurt school, Horkheimer and T.W. Adorno did a lot of research about mass culture and they criticized that mass-produced culture aims to the entertainment whose purpose is appealing vast audience rather than making contribution to high art and it has a political implication as well which means that numerous forms of culture are produced for the business interests. So all in all, they defined the term "culture industry" as the intention of mass-produced culture to make the profit through the industrialization and commercialization (Horkheimer and T.W. Adorno, 1972).
As a controversial term, "culture industry" has been to be concerned a lot. From my own perspective, culture industry refers to that Movies produce identical ideas.
Movies no longer pretend to be art.
It is a direct business rather than a kind of high art and creativity. Producers make profits through industrialization and commercialization.
According to what I have understood about culture industry, the famous American film series, Transformers, are fit into the “culture industry”. These film series are fiction live-action movies based on the Transformers toy line and designed by Michael Bay. Basically, Transformers are identical, homogeneous, and similar with most other Hollywood science fiction action movies which are known for the exaggerated science, such as alien worlds and extraterrestrial life forms, and also high technologies, such as robots, spacecraft, and space travel. Meanwhile, the film series that based on science fiction novels are always along with thrilling action which makes audience feel excited and breathtaking. Moreover, the film-makers often make films with franchise which means that a series of films will appear to the public. Just like the first Transformers was released in 2007, followed by the second one in 2009 and the third one in 2011. Last but most important, Transformers are known as blockbuster which is often applied to entertainment industry in order to show the success about the production. Nowadays, blockbuster reflects a cultural phenomenon that makes audiences in response to such movies actively, which means that they would love to watch the movie in cinema regardless of the ticket price and talk about it afterwards as well just for the thrill. It is with the positive response...
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