Simulational culture in groundhogday


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Simulational Selves, Simulational Culture in Groundhog Day,
Brittany Quirk

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Simulational culture in groundhogday

  2. 2. SIMULATIONAL CULTURE Meaning: Industrialized cultures with capitalist economies that have a heavy dependence on electronic media for entertainment. Simulation: an experience that is selfcontained. Examples: video games, movies/television, spectator sports, shopping malls, theme parks, etc. * The self referential nature of an experience is key to simulations.
  3. 3. GROUNDHOG DAY Rhetorically critiques the simulational nature of culture today. Film suggests: Simulational cultures are built upon, and builds the simulational self. If we can not break out of a self referential loop, we are fated to be caught up in the same day to day narcissistic experiences.
  4. 4. 2 RHETORICAL CRITIQUES 1. Culture centered- what our simulational culture says about the way we live in the world. 2. Feminist- How the film suggests female empowerment as an antidote to an obsession with simulation.
  5. 5. PLOT A man finds himself as the only person in the world who is living the same day over and over again. After living what seems to be a decade of groundhog days in despair, he inevitably begins learning how to be a decent person and have genuine relationships with those around him. Film focuses its attention on the type of person of who is stuck in a habitual loop of self absorption and simulation. The main character undergoes a transformation after what seems like a unsettling amount of time of being narcissistic.
  6. 6. PHIL (PRE-TRANSFORMATION) Bad tempered. Ironic. Cruel, especially toward women. Bad humor. Self-absorbed Detached from others. Insulting . Frequently exploits women. Incapable of true companionship
  7. 7. TURNING POINTS/RECKLESSNESS Once Phil realizes that tomorrow doesn't’t exist, he understands that there is no consequence for his behavior. He starts eating poorly, stealing money, seducing women for self gratification, driving recklessly, etc. Life appears to have no meaning any more so Phil resorts killing himself several times. Of course, he wakes up in the same bed on Groundhog Day after every attempt.
  8. 8. TURNING POINTS-COMPASSION Phil learns compassion after spending the night with Rita after many attempts at seducing her and failing. Reason for Rita staying? He respected her and did not try to have sex with her. The next morning he awakes with purpose and starts living selflessly. Starts helping people of the town, saving lives, leaning languages, arts, and musical instruments, and starts treating people genuinely.
  9. 9. WOMEN IN THE FILM Phi’ls is dependent on women for wisdom and understanding , however he will never obtain wisdom and understanding as long as he exploits women. Rita: female empowered role who teaches Phil of equality. Phil makes several attempts to seduce Rita, and miserably fails because of his lack of understanding of equality/meaningful relationships with others. The film positions authentic relationships with women as an antidote to a simulational obsession. Film not only questions cultures simulational obsession, but offers reexamination of attitudes toward women as a way to overcome that obsession.
  10. 10. PURPOSE Advises recovery from simulation attachment. Phil’s life mirrors many of us. Peoples lives are too focused on themselves. We are obsessed with technology and entertainment. People are unable to make human connection. Dysfunctional relationships between men and women based on inequality. The real harm of patriarchy and simulation is of real human connection through inauthenticity of being, refusal of love, and ironic detachment.
  11. 11. DISCUSSION QUESTIONS What does an increasingly simulational culture say about children in future generations? In what ways do you think kids perception of the world is different now/in future generations? Do you think the nature of our relationships have improved or worsened since the popularity of social networks, texting, and other forms of non face to face interactions? How do you feel about simulation’s ability to distract a large group of people from becoming involved with social/political issues?