Upon hearing the term Nollywood for the first time and attempting to convey its meaning and background it rang absolutely no bells in my mind…until yesterday. In class a bunch of examples were shown in an attempt to familiarise us with the truly one of a kind filming and editing style that is Nollywood. That afternoon when scrolling through my Facebook feed, I came across a ‘meme’ myself and probably every other Facebook users has seen at least a million times, then it clicked:
So for some background, ‘Nollywood’ as it was named, is a form of Nigerian cinema who’s prominence in the early 2000’s led to it’s title as the 3rd most profitable film industry following of course, Hollywood and Bollywood. As mentioned, the unusual filming and editing style, categorised by poor camera quality and camera angles, rigidly edited inserts and storylines is what makes Nollywood, Nollywood. The most common similarity Nollywood has to both the Hollywood and Bollywood film industries, is the production occurring among real life settings. However Nollywood takes this more literally, by capturing real people in ‘real life’ situations, usually featured in the background unintentionally, making it so raw and their reactions quite humorous. Although not appealing or understandable for a western viewing audience, this style of cinema is one of high prominence in Nigeria, however not in the viewing style we expect. Most commonly Nollywood is viewed in a relaxed and casual format, such as at cafe’s and in the home, hence the choppy storylines perfectly accompany this viewing form. Nollywood films to me, are what seems to be a very poor attempt at soap operas, which are bad enough on their own. But the obsession with this style of film, lies within the humour, the fact that no one gets whats going on is the best thing about them.
To illustrate the exact uniqueness of this film industry, the above insert of a ‘Nollywood’ episode, “Pretty Liars 1” is a kind of spinoff of the well known Hollywood series “Pretty Little Liars”. And before anyone thinks to say ‘copyright?’…that concept obviouslyy does not prevail in this industry. In a nutshell this ‘episode’ (I say this because it is an hour long) revolves around 3 women who are living a fake lavish life, until another women beats them at their own game, resulting in a plot for revenge. Sounds pretty generic and of course it is, I mean after all it is Nollywood. If this hour of complete confusion wasn’t enough there are in total 3 sequels under this concept, ‘Pretty Liars’, ‘Unbeatable Liars’ and ‘Beautiful Liars’ which come in 2 parts each, and you guessed it, they revolve around an almost identical storyline.
Snapshots of the film:
Although it is unlike anything ever seen before, Nollywood has made its name and like me, millions of people are exposed to the wonders of Nollywood on a regular social media viewing basis, its just that they don’t know it yet.
- Full Movie (Youtube): ‘Pretty Liars 1’
- Images: Screenshots