Theorists• John Belton identiﬁes 3 characteristics of post modern cinema: (don’t relate these to TV!)• It is based on a pastiche (borrowing and re-using in another context without changing) of traditional generic material• It is an imitation of images from the past, offered as nostalgic substitutes for any real exploration of either the past or for the present.• This referencing the past reﬂects the fact that for the modern ﬁlm maker, there isn’t much that hasn’t already been said. 4
John Belton• What was John Belton trying to say about pomo ﬁlm?• Can you think of three examples where you could relate John Belton’s thoery with pomo ﬁlms you have studied? 5
TV as a Postmodern Medium• In its resistance to simpliﬁcation or generalisation, TV is sometimes seen as one of the clearest embodiments of postmodernism.• TV provides a constant turnover of images and symbols.• TV is seen as central to the explosion of consumer culture – unlike Modernist Art, which was thought to be characterised by “integrity, authenticity and originality” and therefore stood against capitalism and consumerism, TV often focuses on these ideologies.• Jim Collins said about TV: “TV is frequently referred to as one of the main kinds of postmodern culture.”
Jim Collins Film as a Postmodern Medium• He analysed ﬁlms by saying:• There is a new divide in Hollywood today, between• the eclectic or ‘hybrid’ ﬁlm one one hand, smart and ‘knowing’ and• a more traditional kind of ﬁlm keen to endorse ‘authentic’ values and a solid, traditional sense of reality, as opposed to a playful sense of representations.
Jim Collins• Say that different ﬁlms operate on different levels:• Says that some explore a character adventure• And some make the text very self referential and ‘knowing’ and in that sense the journey is the texts’ journey.• The ‘text’s adventure’ can mean different signiﬁers from different genres, disconnected from their typical narrative structures.• Often there is a ‘knowingness’, a self-consciousness in deploying generic features and on the part of the spectators in interpreting them.• 8
2 layers to post modern media• Jim Collins was talking about ﬁlms, not TV programmes, and said you read a ﬁlm or TV programme on two levels:• One is the straight narrative layer• The other is the post modern layer which is ﬁlled with meaning, pastiche, parody, intertexual references, irony, humour and knowingness. 9
Hyperconsciousness• Simply – a text’s awareness of itself, its status, function and history.• A term used by theorist Jim Collins.• A hyper awareness on the part of the text itself of its cultural status, function and history, as well as how it will be received by an audience.• Jim Collins makes a distinction between the ‘knowing’ po mo text, the hybrid and the solid traditional ﬁlm.
TASK• What did Jim Collins say about pomo TV?• What did Jim Collins say about pomo ﬁlm?• Can you write a paragraph about how post modern ﬁlm is different to normal ﬁlm and relate this thought to Jim Collins theory? 11
Jean-Francois Lyotard• He suggests that grand narratives like religion, science, Marxism, capitalism no longer have the same importance in our lives. The concept of progress and the arts, technology, medicine and knowledge would progress to a greater good is now seen to be questionable.• The ‘death’ of the grand narrative, as it is known, is explored in ‘Children of Men’ 12
TASK• Why do pomo directors reinforce the idea of the death of the grand narrative in their ﬁlms?• What examples can you think of that do this?• More importantly - why? 14
Postmodern theory: Marshall McLuhan• As a background to postmodern theory it’s useful to look at the media theorist Marshall McLuhan (he wasn’t speciﬁcally a pomo theorist)• In 1964 McLuhan coined the phrase “the medium is the message”.• By this he means the way any message is communicated is more important than the message itself. 15
Baudrillard and simulacra• Simulacra - copies of historical events or landmarks.• Fantasyland at Disneyland - copies various Disney ﬁlms and books, eg Peter Pan, Alice in Wonderland, King Arthur, Pinocchio.• Umberton Eco said that ‘we enjoy a perfect imitation, we also enjoy the conviction that imitation has reached its peak and afterwards reality will always be inferior to it.” 17
Disneyland and Simulacra and simulation• Both Umberto Eco and Jean Baudrillard refer to Disneyland as an exemplar of hyperreality. Eco believes that Disneyland with its settings such as Main Street and full sized houses has been created to look "absolutely realistic," taking visitors imagination to a "fantastic past."• This false reality creates an illusion and makes it more desirable for people to buy this reality. The fake animals such as alligators and hippopotamuses are all available to people in Disneyland and for everyone to see. The "fake nature" of Disneyland satisﬁes our imagination and daydream fantasies in real life. Therefore, they seem more admirable and attractive.• In his work Simulacra and Simulation, Baudrillard argues the "imaginary world" of Disneyland magnetizes people inside and has been presented as "imaginary" to make people believe that all its surroundings are "real". But he believes that the Los Angeles area is not real; thus it is hyperreal. 18
Baudrillard• What was Baudrillard saying about reality and reproduction or about the blurring of reality and ﬁction?• His ideas are known to be very controversial. What do you think of his ideas - do you agree or would you challenge his theory? 19
Hyperreality• From Wikipedia:• Some examples are the McDonalds "M" arches which signify the material promise of endless amounts of identical food. In "reality" the "M" represents nothing, and the food is neither identical nor inﬁnite.• Hyperreality relates to consumerism, in respect of its reliance on signs.• Eg. Abercrombie and Fitch shows that one is fashionable• A Mercedes indicates ones wealth.• These can be seen to create hyperreality• Hyperreality tricks the consciousness so it doesn’t emotionally engage, and people enjoy artiﬁcial simulation, and endless reproductions without meaning. Essentially.• Fulﬁllment or happiness is found through simulation and imitation of a transient simulacrum of reality, rather than any interaction with any "real" reality.• Interacting in a hyperreal place like a casino gives the subject the impression that one is walking through a fantasy world where everyone is playing along. The decor isnt authentic, everything is a copy, and the whole thing feels like a dream. 20
Jean Baudrillard• Hyper reality is an exaggeration of something that existed into something that is so perfect its a fantasy. EG Disneyland• And he believed that the media reality is now the ‘reality’ of today. We all want an Xmas tree for Xmas, but not a ruffled pine tree from the forest, but a perfect one with perfect leaves.• We see images of women in magazines who have been Photo shop’d and touched up, so that you have a fantasy woman that is very far removed from what real women are like. 21
Jean Baudrillard• In the post modern world, media texts make visible and challenge ideas of truth and reality removing the illusion that ﬁlms, music videos or any media text can ever accurately or neutrally reproduce reality or truth.• There are competing versions of truth and post modern ﬁlm explores this. 22
Other examples of hyper reality• Films in which characters and settings are either digitally enhanced or created entirely from CGI (e.g.: 300, where the entire ﬁlm was shot in front of a blue/green screen, with all settings super-imposed).• A well manicured garden (nature as hyperreal).• Professional sports athletes as super, invincible versions of the human beings.• Many fake places around the world: Disney World; Dubai; Celebration, Florida; and Las Vegas.• TV and ﬁlm in general (especially "reality" TV), due to its creation of a world of fantasy and its dependence that the viewer will engage with these fantasy worlds. The current trend is to glamorize the mundane using histrionics.• A retail store that looks completely stocked and perfect due to facing, creating a world of endless identical products.• A life which cannot be (e.g. the perfect facsimile of a celebritys invented persona).• A high end sex doll used as a simulacrum of an unattainable partner.• A newly made building or item designed to look old, or to recreate or reproduce an older artifact, by simulating the feel of age or aging. 23
Hyper reality• What is hyper reality?• What does it mean?• Why is it relevant for us to study it in relation to pomo ﬁlm?• What do you believe about Baudrillard’s theories on hyper reality? 24
Umberto Eco – Neo TV• In an essay on Postmodern TV written in 1984, Umberto Eco argued that TV had become so self-absorbed that it had almost turned its back on the real world.•
Examples of Neo-TV Umberto Eco• Chat Shows• Awards ceremonies.• TV News items about TV Celebrities.• TV documentaries about making TV programmes.• TV Quiz Shows about TV shows.• TV shows that allow the public to feedback on other TV shows.• Ads which recycle or spoof older TV ads.• Games/Quiz shows with TV celebrities as contestants.
Examples of Neo-TV• http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Pz2j2- Fbhz4• http://www.youtube.com/watch? v=4iaWVV3ZQy0&feature=results_main&play next=1&list=PL71E7841D97ADAA30 27