Week 1: Rai Italia and Gojira (1954)

First week of University for the semester and l was absent. Instead, l was finishing my five week trip to Europe, where l was immersed in various cultures. It’s ironic that my first blog post for the semester is based on culture. My cultural background is Italian and Australian. l was born in Australia, however, my nationality is Italian, as both my grandparents were born in Italy. I was lucky enough to visit Italy on my trip. When reading the brief for the first blog post as part of my Digital Asia subject, l immediately reminisced about my childhood and growing up in an Italian family.

As a kid my favourite films were the iconic Disney/Pixar films such as Monsters Inc. and Toy Story. Even now my go to TV shows are the mainstream favourites, such as, Game of Thrones, Gossip Girl and Friends. Growing up with grandparents from Italy, however, l was introduced to the Italian channel ‘Rai’. Even though l didn’t understand the language, each time l visited their houses l watched the channel. I specifically recall watching Italy’s version of Ready Steady Cook and Deal or No Deal (my Nonno’s favourite show).

The task this week was to watch Gojira (1954) the Japanese version of the famous Godzilla.

The movie was in black and white and had English subtitles. Growing up with an older brother meant l had to enjoy watching and playing ‘Yu-Gi-Oh.’ This was my first exposure to Japanese anime and l must admit, the ‘Yu-Gi-Ohfilms were some of my favourite as a child.

When watching the film, it reminded me of watching ‘Yu-Gi-Ohand the content on Rai Italia. I especially saw correlations between ‘Gojira’ and ‘Life is Beautiful’, an Italian film l watched on ‘Rai’. It follows the story of a Jewish family during the events of WWII.

Similarly, to ‘Gojira’, which also references the events of WWII, with relation to nuclear weaponry. This correlation, aided in understanding the context of ‘Gojira’, as it portrays similar underlying themes of war and fear.

My understanding of media texts is framed by my exposure to various cultural texts as a child. It wasn’t until l wrote this blog post where l realised this was the case. Who thought all those years of watching ‘Rai Italia’ and ‘Yu-Gi-Oh’ would shape my perspective when analysing media texts in 2018?

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8 thoughts on “Week 1: Rai Italia and Gojira (1954)

  1. connormckechnie says:

    Hey Celena! Your upbringing and background must have created such a rich exposure of two very different cultures! I would love to know if there was a point watching ‘Rai’ that you were able to read or understand Italian more comprehensively, and how that impacted your trip to Italy. Was being exposed to this culture early on as a child helpful in your travels.

    Liked by 1 person

    • celenascava says:

      Hey Connor! I believe watching Rai opened up by views on Italian culture, unfortunately l don’t believe it helped me in comprehending the language, (l just really suck at understanding Italian). But l believe it definitely enriched my culture as a child, and has followed me to adulthood.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Eliza May says:

    Hi Celena, I could relate specifically to the point you made about perspective being shaped based on cultural background and upbringing, The exposure I have experienced to various different cultures has developed an accepting and curious nature for the unfamiliar. Your reflection on the Gojira film is one which absorbs rather than judges, this shows an appreciation for other cultures instilled within you as a child growing up in an Italian/Australian family.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Ryan Catbagan says:

    Hey
    Great post 🙂 I highly relate to the point you made about how cultural influences we are exposed to as kids really affect how we interpret and react to things today, such as we would react to ithe movie Gojira. Like how your Italian background had their versions of Ready Steady Cook and Deal or No Deal, my background (Filo) too had their own versions I watch every time I visit back home. Always fun to compare the similarities and differnces to the versions we are already exposed to in Western media.

    I reckon being both exposed to Western culture, and our own culture, that when we watch or interact with texts from other cultures, we look at it with a more broad perspective compared to someone who is fully Australian, or Fully italian, or fully Filo, and only are exposed to their own cultural texts.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. sophemacy says:

    Welcome home Celena! Ahh, I wish I was in Europe during the break…
    This post is really engaging as you compare aspects of different cultures. ‘Life is Beautiful’ is one of my favourite films as it humorous yet so tragic at the same time. I remember watching it in Italian with delayed subtitles. I began to ignore the subtitles as the acting alone was guiding me through the plot. This week’s ‘Gojira’ too had elements of the story where the body language could be the translator. It is interesting how facets of different cultures can translate from language to language. You used the example of an Italian ‘Ready Steady Cook’ (I can only imagine the talented chefs on there). With Italian heritage and being used to another language regularly being spoken, do you enjoy watching foreign films?

    Liked by 1 person

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