Media theories


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Slides for my A2 media coursework, primarily exploring the male gaze theory and represenation of women in music videos.

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Media theories

  1. 1. Music Video<br />Applying Theories to media products<br />
  2. 2. Goodwins Theory<br />Andrew Goodwin identified 8 main principles that distinguish a music video-<br />Link between the music and the visuals<br />Link between the Lyrics and the visuals (complimentary, contradictory, or Amplification)<br />Genre characteristics<br />Intertextual references<br />Notions of looking (objectification of men/women)<br />Voyeurism (direct gaze, usually with sexual connotations)<br />Demands of the Record Label (representation of the artist) including close ups.<br />Type of Music Video-Performance, Concept or Narrative<br />
  3. 3. Laura Mulvey-The Male Gaze Theory<br />A British film feminist, Mulvey is best known for her essay ‘Visual Pleasure and Narrative Cinema’ published in 1973.<br /> She was greatly influenced by the work of Freud and Lucan, which pushed her film theories to explore a psychoanalytical framework. By this, what is on the screen becomes the desire of the subject, or the viewer. The viewer can be offered identification by one of the characters (e.g. a male character), through which to experience the scenes.<br />The ‘gaze’ is ‘constructed’ by the film.<br />Mulvey takes the stance that the gaze of a male heterosexual is increasingly adopted by the mainstream cinema. The ‘male gaze’ she believes, takes over the ‘female gaze’ in this way. Mulvey argues that the relationship between viewer and what is viewed is unbalanced by this, as the objectification of women may encourage women to see this as the hegemonic norm for the benefit of men. <br />Some argue that the female gaze is actually only whereby women act as men in their objectification of others. However we also respect that women gaze at others of the same sex in an asexual manner, for example in their choice of clothes, body image and so forth. <br />Barbra Kruger comments on the relationship between viewer and subject here also. <br />
  4. 4. Applying Mulvey to Music Video<br /><br />This is one of the hundreds of YouTube videos exploring some of the ways in which women in particular are objectified in order to increase music sales. <br />
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  6. 6. Artists/Brands. <br />This photograph by Fiona Banner follows the idea of women as objects and being bar-coded or stamped. <br />In my own work, I want to explore how this idea corresponds with the representation of artists in the music industry and how they are forced to create a recognisable brand and identity which will insert them into a particular genre/style/attitude. <br />
  7. 7. Censorship-Counterproductive?<br />Lady Gaga has become one of the biggest sensations of the music world . She changes her look to each extreme. Her music video ‘Telephone’ was rumoured to have been banned by MTV, yet MTV claimed this was untrue and broadcasted the video regularly. This rumour had the desired effect though, by suggesting the video was unseemly or provocative thousands began watching it. As the telegraph recognised ‘It has featured on television news bulletins and the front pages of newspapers, as well as predictably tearing through the internet, breaking records on YouTube, trending on Twitter and inspiring frame-by-frame analysis and vigorous pro and anti blog commentary.’ Lady Gaga’s video ‘Lovegame’ was refused from being played on the Australian show ‘video hits’ for its explicit sexuality.<br />Ciara’s‘Ride’ was a particularly controversial and was subsequently banned from all UK television channels as it was ‘too sexually charged’.<br />
  8. 8. Post-modernist View?<br />However, today some take the postmodernist view that women have the right to expose their bodies and objectify themselves.<br />Also there is the argument that some artists do so in an ironic fashion. Lady gaga and Katy Perry for instance, play with and create crude innuendo through such explicit sexual content, sometimes for humorous/ ironic effect. <br />