Casting and Character as Embodiment of Ideological Values
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Casting and Character as Embodiment of Ideological Values

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This slideshow is from a lecture in Performance in Film and Videogames at the University of Calgary.

This slideshow is from a lecture in Performance in Film and Videogames at the University of Calgary.

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Casting and Character as Embodiment of Ideological Values Presentation Transcript

  • 1. Casting and Character as Embodiment of Ideological Values Daniel Day Lewis There Will Be Blood Meryl Streep Sophie’s Choice Marlon Brando Streetcar Named Desire
  • 2. The Pressure Cooker of Cultural Codes Within this semiotic “pressure cooker” that links producers, texts, and audiences: •Signifier, Signified, Sign •Denotation and connotation within “Reality” •Metaphor and “Representation” •Codes, demographic, “Ideology”
  • 3. “Semiotics” • The study of signs, representation (simulation/metaphor), codes, and emergent ideologies. This provides a model of understanding of the meaning of a cultural artefact or event. Casting and Character
  • 4. “Signs” • Signifier: any real thing that signifies something, e.g., jewellery, furnishings, location interiors. • Signified: the concept that a signifier refers to. Together, the signifier and signified make up the • Sign: the smallest unit of meaning. Anything that can be used to communicate (or to tell a lie). Casting and Character
  • 5. • Signifier: any real thing that signifies something, e.g., jewellery, furnishings, clothing.
  • 6. “Denotation and Connotation” • Denotation: the most basic or literal meaning of a sign, e.g., the word ”Trad" signifies a particular kind of beer. (The signifier) • Connotation: the secondary, cultural meanings of signs; or "signifying signs," signs that are used as signifiers for a secondary meaning, e.g., ”beer" signifies drunkenness/debauchery. (The signified) Casting and Character
  • 7. “Metaphor/Representation/Simulation ” • A connotation where one sign is substituted for a concept with which it is closely associated and used to refer to something that it does not literally denote in order to suggest a similarity. Casting and Character
  • 8. Electronic encoding: •“Mass Media redesign information by replacing the vantage point of the viewer within the frame provided by a cameraperson/editor/photographer.” - Lynn Hershman •Therefore, electronic encoding is a connotation device within the Pressure Cooker supersystem. Casting and Character
  • 9. “Ideology” • Ideological codes work to organize the other codes into a congruent, coherent set of meanings. • Serve the dominant interests of society, eg patriarchy, capitalism, race, class, materialism. Casting and Character
  • 10. “Codes” • A “supersystem” (pressure cooker), that functions as a map of meaning and belief systems • Imply views and attitudes about how the world is and/or ought to be. • Codes are where semiotics and social structure and values connect. Casting and Character
  • 11. Casting: •Actors cast to play heroes/villains are people whose images are encoded by our social codes. •Heroes are socially central types who embody the dominant ideology. •Classic Hollywood stars are bigger than their roles – films promoted by their real name not their character name (or writer or even director) Casting and Character
  • 12. John Fiske “It is in the aggregate of apparently insignificant encodings that ideology works most efficiently.”
  • 13. Daniel Day Lewis, (b. 1957) • Plays Daniel Plainview • There Will Be Blood (Anderson, 2007) Story focuses on a prospector in the early days of the oil boom. • Day-Lewis won best-actor Academy award in 2008 in this role. • Clip, 13:15 – 19:00
  • 14. Meryl Streep, (b. 1949) • Plays Sophie Zawistowska • Sophie’s Choice (Anderson, 1982) Story is about a Nazi concentration camp survivor and her ghosts and obsessions. • Streep won best-actress Academy award in 1983 in this role. • Clip 2:08 – 2:19
  • 15. Marlon Brando, (b. 1924 – 2004) • Plays Stanley Kowalski • Streetcar Named Desire (Kazan, 1951) A distressed woman moves in with her sister and brother. • Brando was nominated for best actor Academy award in 1952 in this role. • Clip 36:00 – 42:00