Semiotics and the Practices of Looking (DAPS 6 and 7)
Last Week Genre Theory• What is it? A way of categorising film by recognising similarities.• Why is it useful? Good way to communicate meanings in film. Makes the information in films more controllable. Makes characters more predictable. Very easy to market a „genre‟ film. Audience knows what to expect – REPETATIVE.
Last Week Auteur Theory• Where did it originate? France!• Who developed the idea? French film critics.• Why? Bored with „dad‟s cinema‟ (traditional French cinema)• What did French New Wave look like? Casual, improvised, small budget, modern, natural setting• Example of an auteur…
Practices of LookingSeeing:• Something we do all the time.• “Did you see John at the weekend?”• “Have you seen that new film”• “Has anybody seen my marbles”Looking:• Involves more purpose.• Negotiate social relationships and meanings.• Relationship of power – if something makes you „look‟ or think a certain way, it becomes powerful.• Do you think that films are powerful? How? Why?
Practices of LookingMimesis:• The concept that representations of our world (paintings, photographs, film) are accurate imitations.Social constructivism:• The concept that we learn about the world through representations.Consider this:• How do you know the Arctic is cold?• How do you think people consider Manchester?• What are Americans like?• What does the moon look like?
Practices of Looking How do you know the Arctic is cold?
Practices of LookingHow do you think people consider Manchester?
Practices of Looking What are American people like?
Practices of Looking What does the moon look like?
Practices of Looking Viewers make meaning…• Look at the below picture. What do you see? Why might individual people look at this picture differently?
Practices of Looking Ideologies• System of beliefs that exist with in all cultures.• Shared set of values.• Inform our every day lives.• Subtle yet powerful.• Beauty, gender roles, sexuality, morality are all ideologies.Task• You will each be allocated a word.• You must create a visual mood board for each word.• Consider the general ideas surrounding your word and find images that you associate with that word.
Practices of Looking HEART• Think of words that you associate with the heart…
Practices of Looking• Denotation: Accurate to what we are seeing. The literal meaning of something• Connotation: Something that we associate with a word or image.Something that an image or a word represents.• Think about the genres we discussed last week and the typical traits of each one.• Horror – night time, knives, upside down crucifix• Rom Coms – Hugh Grant, flowers, holding hands• Comedy – Jim Carrey, trips, eccentric people• Action – Muscles, guns, explosions
Practices of Looking SIGNSSignifier: Image or Signified: Meaningsound Sign: Thought or action
Practices of Looking SIGNSSignifier: Yellow Signified: Caution /triangle with dangerexclamation markin middle Sign: Go steady!
Practices of Looking SIGNS IN FILMSignifier Signified(denotation): (Conotation): Horror,White mask and bad person negativeblack cloak Sign: BE SCARED!
Practices of Looking TASK: Music video analysis• Pick a music video from the list on the next slide and analyse using the theories and analysis strategies discussed this morning.• Consider; connotations, denotations, signs, social constructivism and ideologies.• For example, if you see a slender female in the video, consider ideologies and the way the notion of modern beauty has been socially constructed.
Practices of Looking TASK: Music video analysis• Katy Perry – ‘Firework’• Rage Against the Machine – ‘Sleep Now in the Fire’• Foo Fighters – ‘Learn to Fly’• Michael Jackson – ‘Stranger in Moscow’• Nirvana – ‘In Bloom’
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