Introduce the three processes of spectatorship:1. Recognition2. Alignment3. Allegiance Apply the three stages of the spectatorship theory to our focus film “Film Metal Jacket” You will learn by the numbers I will teach you!
In our exam we must demonstrate how the filmas a whole has an effect on us and notconcentrate on the effects of individualelements or themesAt first the film focuses on Private Pyle but inthe second half its focus shifts to JokerWe are not analysing the individual charactersor their individual journey’s but the film as awhole You will learn by the numbers I will teach you!
The first thing we do when viewing a film is‘Recognise’ the charactersWe do this by translating the ‘construct’ of thecharacter in to a real, credible personThis is something we do automatically (most of thetime) unless the film is deliberately making itdifficult forcing us to adopt a more detachedpositionAlternatively our ability to recognise a characterwill depend on our knowledge and experience ofthe real world You will learn by the numbers I will teach you!
When a well known star plays a role there is adifferent kind of recognition which may havecertain consequences:Familiarity with the star provides us with an extrain-sightOver-recognition can make it hard for us to detachfrom the real world and engage with the fictionalworldCertain expectations are created and must bemaintained it we are to continue to engage withthe fictional world You will learn by the numbers I will teach you!
Watch the trailer for ‘Braveheart’ and note down howthe audience are intended to recognise Mel Gibson’scharacter?After listening to his famous phone call watch thetrailer to ‘The Beaver’ and note down how yourecognise him?Does your knowledge of his as a star and theknowledge of his personal life change your‘recognition’ of his character?Will audiences be able to engage with the fictionalworld? You will learn by the numbers I will teach you!
Once we recognise the characters we align withthem (or at least some of them)Classical film theory states that alignment is aninvoluntary and subconscious actionIf we have more access to the point of view andsubjectivity of a character we identify with them –in the sense of endorsing their behaviour and theirattitudesIt is perfectly possible for a film to align us with thepoint of view of a homicidal killer or a robot You will learn by the numbers I will teach you!
Watch the following extracts from ‘AmericanPsycho’ and make notes on how we construct andrecognise the character of Patrick BatemanSecondly, make notes on how we are ‘Aligned’ withPatrick BatemanHow does the director use the camera to align usand force us to identify and even sympathise with aserial killer? You will learn by the numbers I will teach you!
Allegiance:loyalty or devotion to some person, group, cause, orthe likeAllegiance, like alignment is constructed by forcesoutside of our controlWe are sometimes manipulated into allegiance withcharacters whose views are ideologically similar toours in the real worldWe may also form an allegiance with a character withPatrick Bateman – even though he is a repulsivecharacter You will learn by the numbers I will teach you!
Allegiance pertains to the moral evaluation of thecharacters by the spectatorAllegiance is another form of ‘identification’ with acharacter based on a wide range of external factorssuch as attitudes towards: Some people may•Class identify or experience ‘allegiance’ to Pvt. Pyle•Race having experienced•Nation bullying / intense•Age hostility themselves•Ethnicity•Gender etc You will learn by the numbers I will teach you!
Allegiance may be formed by our understanding or a charactersmotivation or a positive evaluation of their anti-social and anarchicmoral positions Cognitive:As a result Allegiance does raise a question: pertaining to the mental processes of perception,At which point does the conscious ‘cognitive’ memory, judgment,processes take over in the act of ‘allegiance’ and reasoning, as contrastedWe must ask ourselves: with emotional processes“What kind of appeals does a character have on us?” “What memories or fantasies are triggered?” You will learn by the numbers I will teach you!
Using your notes from the previous lessons answer thefollowing questions:• How does Kubrick construct the characters of Pyle, Joker & Hartmann in the opening sequences from the film? • What personal experiences have contributed to yourpersonal recognition of the characters and how you respond to them?• Which characters do you feel the most allegiance towards? • How is this allegiance created? (you must consider the micro elements and personal experiences) You will learn by the numbers I will teach you!