Never underestimate the importance of local knowledge

Many years ago, I found a series of images in a magazine. It was an advertisement for a bank, as I recall, and I think it was probably Time or Newsweek. The slogan was “Never underestimate the importance of local knowledge.”

I cut out the images and used them in some of my classes, to get students talking about what is “common sense” to them and how it might differ in other countries and cultures.

Here’s one example from the series:

I was thinking about this activity when I saw this story on Open Culture this morning:

Gaze at Global Movie Posters for Hitchcock’s Vertigo: U.S., Japan, Italy, Poland & Beyond

It shows us the original movie poster for “Vertigo” (the Japanese title is 「めまい」= dizziness) and the sometimes very different posters that were used in a handful of other countries.

Here’s the original poster, followed by the one used in Japan.

Have a look at the others, too. Poland’s poster is particularly intriguing.

Writing prompts for today:

Can you think of some examples of what is “common sense” in your culture but different in another?

Have you seen “Vertigo”? Any other Hitchcock movies? If not, try renting one over spring vacation and write about what you think. What would your movie poster look like?

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