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FM4 Film Studies Exam


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A revision powerpoint on Urban Stories, Critical Study and Emotional Response.

FM4 Film Studies Exam

  1. 1. FM4 ExamWJEC GCE Film Studies Section A: Urban Stories – Power, Poverty and Conflict Section B: Spectatorship Topics – Popular Film and Emotional Response Section C: Close Critical Study – Fight Club
  2. 2. The Exam:• 2 hours 45 Minutes• Questions in Sections A and B carry 35 marks• Questions in Section C carry 30 marks.• Taken into account is quality of written communication used in your answers
  3. 3. Urban Stories Films:Main Films:• City of God• La HaineMinor Films (for reference only)• Bicycle Thieves• Central Station• Tsoti
  4. 4. Popular Film and Emotional Response Films:• Schlindler’s List• Million Dollar Baby• Sweet Sixteen• Reservior Dogs• Taxi Driver• Chien Andalou• The Big Shave
  5. 5. Urban Stories
  6. 6. Past Questions:• Compare the attitudes to poverty conveyed in the films you have studied for this topicOR• Explore how stylistic choices contribute to the representation of the urban experience in the films you have studied for this topic January 2011
  7. 7. Past Questions:• How far does the impact of the films you have studied for this topic depend on distinctive uses of film techniques?OR• How far do the films you have studied for this topic offer an analysis of the social issues they present? June 2010
  8. 8. A Grade Exam Response: What is the importance of cinematography and/or editing in communicating issues of power, poverty and conflict in the films you have studied for this topic?I am going to be writing about three Urban Story films, these being ‘Once were Warriors’, ‘City of God’ and ‘La Haine’. Although these films are all extremely different in terms of visual, and contextual styles, I feel they somewhat relate and send powerful, strong and moving messages to the audience. Urban stories films are like no other, they are made directly to tell a story, which holds a lot of truth about political, social, and cultural goings-on in certain countries. Within this discussion I am going to write about how I think editing and cinematography communicates issues of power, poverty and conflict in the previously mentioned films. The opening scene of COG is extremely powerfully visually. The scene shows harsh cutting shots of knives sharpening, already giving the audience a hint that this film is going to be about violence, and living on the edge of a knife. This editing is harsh and choppy, which goes, and suits the general style of the film. The opining scene is about a gang of hoods chasing a chicken, and again there are sharp extreme close ups of the chicken. Indicating to me that maybe humans are seen as poultry, easily disposed of and killed in cold blood. The film La Haine is shot in black and white, and I feel that this represents the lack of colour in life, and the oppression that people in the projects (who were promised employment) were facing. Time is another editing technique I picked up on, and it plays a very important part in the films.COG is based over three decades, starting with the 60’s, ending with the 80’s. Drug use is a big catalyst to the crime rates and danger the favela’s hold. After doing additional research on the social background of the film, I came across interviews of actual drug lords, who openly admitted that selling drugs and working for drug dealers ultimately gives you power, and places you above other locals, and earns you a good deal of respect. So the majority of people living in the Brazilian favela’s opt to work with instead of against it, as it will give them power, as the extent of the problem even manipulates the police, and is a way out of poverty, as working for drug lords will probably earn you more money than going out and getting a real job. The editing in COG backs up the power that drug dealing gives people, and it is clearly portrayed throughout the narrative; e.g. in the first decades of COG, the general feel of the film was mellow and relaxed. This was shown by long shots, and there wasnt any jumpy cuts of quirky shots to indicate otherwise. The reason for this is that the most popular drug around, that was commonly used in Brazil was marijuana, which give users a mellow, relaxed and usual happy high. However, as the film progressed cocaine took over, it was being more commonly dealt and started to control people. The editing I feel showed me this as the scenes were a lot faster, jumpier and the cuts were harsh, the style of the film seemed unsettled, like the effects of cocaine. Time is a reoccurring motif in La Haine, as the whole film is set in 24 hours, and there is a reoccurring ‘ticking’ noise throughout. The way time is represented in all these films communicates conflict with the audience as if there is something about to happen/take place.
  9. 9. Marking Advice:• An appreciation of the messages and values contained within the chosen films. An understanding of the relationship between form and content, possibly with a particular reference to distinctive stylistic features. An understanding of contexts, especially time and place.
  10. 10. City of God:Year:2002Director:Fernando MeirellesBased in:BrazilEra based:1960-1980’sHousing:Favela’s
  11. 11. Main characters:• Rocket – main protagonist, photographer, doesnt get dragged into corruption• Lil’ Ze – violent, pleasure in killing rivals, drug dealer• Shaggy – part of tenderness trio, shot by the police, him and bernice an item• Benny – Lil’ Ze’s long term partner in crime, friendly drug dealer, wants to get out of life of corruption, him and angelica an item, dies• Carrot – small scale drug dealer, friendly with benny, threatened by Lil’ Ze, arrested at the end• Knockout Ned – ladies man, Ze rapes his girlfriend and massacres his family, ned joins forces with carrot to retaliate against Ze, dies• Goose – part of tenderness trio, rocket’s brother, shot by Ze• Clipper – part of tenderness trio, gives up crime and later joins the church• Angelica – old friend and love interest of rocket’s motivates benny to leave the life of crime
  12. 12. Director: Fernando Meirelles & Making of Film• Born as middle class so wasn’t accustomed to Favela’s• Successful film maker prior to City of God• Read book COG in 1997• Challenging to make as has more than 350 named characters• Actors were non-professionals, chose youngsters from Favela’s• Won best director/nominated for it – won 4 Oscars• Low Budget Brazilian film• Bigger than ‘Star Wars’ in Brazil• Used music throughout film to create distance from action
  13. 13. Messages of the Film:• Each generation is learning from the last• Each years gets more serious and life threatening• Easily sucked into a life of crime and drugs• Loyalty• Cycle you can’t get out of
  14. 14. The narrative stories:• The story of the tender trio• The story of Lil’ Ze and drugs• The story of Knockout Ned
  15. 15. The two sides of Brazil: RICH: POOR:• Diverse culture • Favela’s• Wealth in Rio • 6.2 million in this• Vast rain forests community• Music-fuelled • Shanty town cities • Drug scene• Idyllic beaches
  16. 16. Tensions within COG:• Age• Setting• Drugs• Poverty• Violence• Generations• Gangs• Police• People• Trapped• Crime
  17. 17. Analysis of Opening Scene: Setting: Costume/Props: Sound: Market/Slum Blade Blades sharpened Dark Flip Flops Music gives pace Not up market Chicken and atmosphere Run down Guns Upbeat music Dark bland clothing Music indicates Camera distance chicken achieved Gang disappears – so does upbeat music Camera: Editing: Body Language: 360 degree shot Cross cutting Laughing at chicken Extreme close up Montage Violent Short shots Short shots ConfidencePans across ground Slows down outnumberedGet perspective of Long shot chicken Flash backs to 60’s
  18. 18. Analysis of ‘The Apartment’ Scene: Setting: Costume: Sound: Apartment is dirty, Bland, worn Non-Diegeticdeteriorates as time clothing goes on Camera: Editing: Hair, Make Up: Our perception Fading out as timecentred in middle – goes on, characters have view of fade from place to everything place in scene Connotations: •Camera angle – stays the same to focus on narrative and storyline •Deteriorates over time shows the Favela’s are getting a worse place to live •Character is like a camera through the ways its held and shot •Deterioration represents society as a whole •First the women sells drugs for her family, but when men come in, the apartment becomes less domesticated – all about money and the economy
  19. 19. Analysis of ‘Being in Charge’ Scene: (shooting Child’s foot) Setting: Costume: Sound:Dark dirty little Printed tops Crying children corner Camera: Editing: Hair, Make Up:Behind children Looks up at Ze, (spying), Down at Children Points of View Connotations: •Children crying loudly causing emotion to audience •Printed tops and shorts suggest children are still just little children, makes it seem more unfair •Looks up at Ze, Down at children makes Lil’ Ze look superior and the children vulnerable •Fast pace camera shows urgency •Zooms on gun – gives the audience an expectation of whats going to happen
  20. 20. Social Tensions in the Final Scene:• Social tension of: age/generations• Affects society influences younger generation and carries on through to next generation (final scene as evidence)• Todorov’s theory application: reinstatement as Lil’ Ze is dead BUT the runts take control so not 100% reinstatement of equilibrium
  21. 21. La Haine:• Year:• 1995• Director:• Mathieu Kassovitz• Based in:• Paris• Era based:• 1970’s• Housing:• The projects/suburbs
  22. 22. Main characters:Hubert Vinz SaidBlack Jew ArabOwns boxing club Druggy Sprays graffitiClub is burnt down Wants revenge Not as consumed for revengeTortured by cops Finds gun Tortured by copsTakes drugs Doesnt know how Owed money to deal with angerBrother in jail Paranoid Take drugsLives with mum Live with familyHas little sister Manic home life HERO VILLAIN SIDEKICK
  23. 23. Social Issues:• Drugs• Violence• Poverty• Racism• Police corruption• Unemployment• Man vs. society
  24. 24. Social Historical and Political Context:• The projects were up to 20 miles away from Paris – designed to keep the poor away from idyllic Paris• The projects had populations of 10,000 made up of 60 different nationalities• Stereotyped in the media as places of urban deprivation crime and drug use
  25. 25. Opening scene:• Falling metaphor: “its not the falling that counts, its the landing”• Non-diegetic music: Bob Marley and the Wailers “Burnin’ and Lootin’”• Some imagery from real footage• Maintains documentary feel• News report• Ironic – relatively calm song compared to topic/imagery
  26. 26. Said and Vinz Introduction:• Camera movement: close up to Said, behind shot, panning across police• Introduction to Said: not following society’s expectations, no society respect, American references, impersonation of USA star• Introduction to Vinz: dance scene• Vinz’ Room: posters, average teenagers room but not Paris norm• Vinz’ relationship with family: shares room with sister, protectie, Gran has a different sense of values
  27. 27. Hubert’s Introduction:• Took 2 years to get grant for gym• Wide angle shot but isolated within it, least looking for personal revenge – ironic, tough guy• His room: organised house, neat, tidy, americanised?• Relationship with family: close family, values school and education• His actions: pays bills, man of the house, key to his ideology is he wants to get out of the estate• What does he see when he looks out the window: poverty and grayness
  28. 28. Toilet Scene:• Using public phone in toilet – talking to snoopy• Use of mirrors: able to see all 3 main character, always see them• Vinz and Hubert argue: Vinz wants to kill policemen in revenge for Abdul, Hubert opposite• Biblical reference – not gonna turn the other cheek• Vinz is trying to act superior• Old block – lack of controlFATE
  29. 29. Tsotsi:• Year:• 2005• Director:• Gavin Hood• Based in:• South Africa• Era based:• 1960’s• Housing:• Shanty Towns
  30. 30. Similarities between Tsotsi and La Haine:• Title instantly tells use the mood of the film (La Haine = Hate) (Tsotsi = Gangster)
  31. 31. Similarities between Tsotsi and City of God:• Tsotsi and Lil Ze are alike: Both have lived a life of extreme social and psychological deprivation• The violence is brief but extreme: Tsosti beats Boston’s face to a pulp/shooting child’s foot in COG
  32. 32. Bicycle Thieves:
  33. 33. Similarities betweenBicycle Thieves and COG:• Location filming• Gang mentality is strong• Sounds is key/reflective to keep the mood Contrasts betweenBicycle Thieves and COG:• Family more close in bicycle thieves, COG not important• Respect for police still unlike COG• Context – BT made in 1948 where norm wasn’t violent films
  34. 34. Similarities between La Haine and Bicycle Thieves:• Editing is slow pace• Long duration of camera shots – saddens mood• Location filming• Concrete tower blocks/poverty
  35. 35. How is cinematography used to represent men in Urban Stories?• Stereotypical – men are either portrayed as either sexy or physical strength (weak isnt stereotypical – seen as vulnerable)Theories of Masculinity:• Multiplicity: Men in storyline are all different• Relations amongst Masculinities: relationships with other influence their behaviour• Collectively: Masculinity formed by gang share expressed cultural forms• Social Learning: Masculinity is learnt from someone older Use these Theories only BRIEFLY
  36. 36. Masculinity in French Cinema by David Hannah• Films centre on the ego’s of their young male protagonists and explore how each reacts to common everyday structures like authority and order• La Haine focuses on male identities of three ethnic minority French teens. The film follows social issues of unemployment, migrant class poverty (e.g. Within the neighbourhood in La Haine)
  37. 37. Applying Masculinity Theory to La HaineOpening Scene:• As soon as metaphor is over, reality hits hard through the use of a handheld camera, male dominated scenes before we even meet the main characters, females are secondaryToilet Scene:• When they are in eachothers face arguing, shows their is multiplicity as arguing about conflicting ideas• Old man shows the important of friendship – supports Social Learning as they do listen to him and stop arguing – lack of father figures in the Suburbs (e.g. Hubert’s home is him, his mum and sister, no father)
  38. 38. Representation of Masculinity: Masculinity is a concept that is made up of more rigid stereotypes than femininity. Representations of men across all media tend to focus on:• Strength – physical and intellectual• Power• Sexual attractiveness predator masquerading as a house pet• Physique• Independence (of thought/action) Males are often represented as isolated, as not needing to rely on others. Male physique is becoming more important a part of representations of masculinity. Men are finding it difficult to live up to their media representations because of the increased media focus on masculinity (e.g. Product promotions).
  39. 39. Representations of Femininity: Despite the changes in women’s roles, media representations remain constant; tend to highlight the following:• Beauty (within narrow conventions)• Size/physique (within narrow conventions)• Sexuality (within narrow conventions)• Emotional (as opposed to intellectual) dealings• Relationships (as opposed to freedom/independence) Women are often represented as being part of a context and working as part of a team. In drama, they tend to tend on the role of the helper (Propp’s Theory) or object, passive rather than active. Tend to be stereotypical, conforming to societal expectations – characters who do not fit this mould often seen as dangerous.
  40. 40. Stereotyping Theory:• 4 parts; appearance, behaviour, constructed to fit into a particular medium, comparison with normal behaviour• Helps construct values and assumptions that help construct the audiences perceptions, always about power• Involves a number of processes; 1. complexity/variety of groups reduced to few characteristics 2. exaggerated version of characteristics applied to everyone 3. represented through media language, dialogue, narrative
  41. 41. New Wave Theory:• Films and movements that are strongly youth-orientated• Recognises anti-establishment, political involvement, sexual liberation, fashion• Self Reflective• Each country has adapted their own type of new wave film (Brazil = Cinema Novo) Can use Cinema Novo as your HISTORICAL CONTEXT (only BRIEFLY)
  42. 42. Applying New Wave to City of God:• Cinema Novo speaks directly to Brazilian people rather than a national and international elite• Stereotypically about the poor, struggling, hungry, illiterate, neglected – fits City of God• Cinema Novo and City of God gave the people a voice – unforgettable• Self-reflective and focuses on difficult situations and depicts characters journeys, characters personal growth and self-discovery – Rocket’s story
  43. 43. Propp’s Character Theory:• Propp developed a character theory for studying media texts and production, which indicates that there were 7 broad character types in the 100 tales he analysed, which could be applied to other media.1. The hero (reacts to the donor, weds the princess, seeks something, central character)2. The villain (struggles against the hero)3. The princess (person hero marries, often sought for during the narrative)4. The donor (helps the hero in the quest, provides info/advice/object)5. The false hero (falsely assuming the role of the hero)6. The dispatcher (sends the hero on his way, typically princess’ father)7. The helper (aids the hero in the task of restoring equilibrium)
  44. 44. Todorov’s Narrative Theory:• This theory can be applied to many mainstream film narratives. Todorov stated that narratives are constructed in 5 conventional ways:1. A state of equilibrium in the outset2. A disruption to the equilibrium by some action3. A recognition that there has been disruption4. An attempt to repair the disruption5. A reinstatement of the equilibrium
  45. 45. Good words to use in the exam:
  46. 46. Popular Film andEmotional Response
  47. 47. How to answer the exam question:• Understanding of how cinema produced a range of responses through macro/micro elements• Knowledge of how spectators seek a range of different experiences• Knowledge of cinematic contexts
  48. 48. Popular Cinema and Emotional Response:• Usually Mainstream films• Manufactured/written/produced to create an emotional response• Responses are always varied• Related to genre and they are our expectations – e.g. Romcom is related to upset• Audiences surrender to film experience and allow themselves to be manipulated.• Identification with characters• Who you view the film with can change the way you respond
  49. 49. How is emotional response created?• Steroetypical generic conventions in terms of narrative/characters• Mise-en-scene• Cinematography• Editing• Sound Remember: all microelements are constructed to evoke an emotional response
  50. 50. Shock in Films:• Occurs as something sudden and unexpected so viewer is caught unaware• Sometimes achieved in a more long drawn out fashion• State of being stunned at what you’ve seen• Startled and surprised at what you have witnessed
  51. 51. Sweet Sixteen: Mi
  52. 52. Chosen Scene from Sweet Sixteen: Scene: Seaside Beat Up Personal emotional response: Horrible, cruel, unfair, uncomfortable, laughter at grandad Why?: He’s young, trying to do right by mum, unfair because of age, language used Mi Mise-en-scene: Poor area Scruffy clothing Cinematography, editing, Not glamorised Hollywood sound: fight – makes it more disturbing/realistic Other possible emotional Laughter? responses: Response after 2nd viewing: Can watch it fine this time, not graphic, more emotionalRemember your interpretation may be different to mine!!
  53. 53. Shock of Sweet 16:• Relationships: boyfriend and grandad callum chantelle friendship – pinball• No resolution at the end• Violence: self harm domestic (chantelle/liam)• Language used• Social situations in settings• Normality of drug use
  54. 54. Reservoir Dogs: Mi
  55. 55. Chosen scene from Reservoir Dogs: Scene: Ear cutting off scene Personal emotional response: Disturbing, shock, horrific, sick, sudden, slight humour so feel guilty? Why?: He finds it amusing – talks to the ear, see the hole in the head, throws it on the floor Mi Mise-en-scene: Suits, dancing makes it casual and unexpected Cinematography, editing, Empty echoing sound, radio sound: playing makes it casual, camera turns away Other possible emotional Laughter? cry? responses: Response after 2nd viewing: Look away – know what to expect, worse experienceRemember your interpretation may be different to mine!!
  56. 56. Taxi Driver: Mi
  57. 57. Chosen scene from Taxi Driver: Scene: Blood Bath at the End Personal emotional response: Horrible, strange, not shocked because he’s lost it, shocking he’s ordinary but goes on rampage Why?: Horrible they’ve been shot but keep on fighting, shocked because he’s still alive Mi Mise-en-scene: Blood everywhere, blood splattered on the white bed, Cinematography, editing, Horrible you can hear dripping sound: of blood, no editing – seen all the shootings Other possible emotional Laughter? Disappointed? responses: Unrealistic? Response after 2nd viewing: Turn away at close upsRemember your interpretation may be different to mine!!
  58. 58. Chien Andalou: EXPERIMENTAL FILM
  59. 59. Chosen scene from Chien Andalou: Scene: Eyeball slitting Personal emotional response: Sudden, shock, horrific, disturbing Why?: Its not edited out like usual films Mise-en-scene: Cigar, casual imagery of moon pre-empts what going to happen Cinematography, editing, Sharpening of knife, sound: soundtrack over top, cutting from scenes, close up adds to shock Other possible emotional Laughter? Not shocking at all? responses: Response after 2nd viewing: Couldn’t watch itRemember your interpretation may be different to mine!!
  60. 60. The Big Shave: EXPERIMENTAL FILM
  61. 61. Chosen scene from The Big Shave: Scene: The shaving scene Personal emotional response: Horrible, sick Why?: Its so casual Mise-en-scene: White clean bathroom, white clothes Cinematography, editing, Sound makes it seem like an sound: advert for Gilette, extreme close up, casual music makes you feel tense Other possible emotional Laughter? Unrealistic? responses: Response after 2nd viewing: Shuddering, Couldn’t watch itRemember your interpretation may be different to mine!!
  62. 62. Schlinder’s List• Spielburg (1993)• Real• Based on Real Events/true story• Shocking• Recent history• Extreme racism• Documentary feel (visits grave)• Range of emotions• sympathise
  63. 63. Pinpointing EmotionalResponse in Schlinder’s List• When Amon Goeth is shooting from his balcony with his top off – makes me feel physcially sick and full of hate• Shooting of the female architect – was so matter of fact• When a number of German soldiers attempt to shoot the man who was making the hinges in the factory – I find myself praying “please don’t work”, the relief causes emotion.• The rescue of the husband and wife – makes me go cold/goosepimples
  64. 64. Schlinder’s ListGenre/expected emotional Shock, distressing, upsetting, sympathetic, realistic – gives realisation that this actuallyresponse happened, despair, anger, moving, intense,Range of emotional responses graphic, traumaticEmotional responses of others Tarantino commented it left him “shaken” and received widespread acclaim from the criticsAlternative responseNarrative Schlinder is a vain, glorious man who becomes unlikely humanitarian amid the barbaric Nazi Reign when he feels compelled to save JewsCharacters Schlinder (German Businessman) Stern (Schlinder accountant/business partner)Identification/alignment Goeth (Main antagonist, SS Officer) Helen (Goeth’s housekeeper)Music: Very powerful, composer originally thought it would be too much of a challenge to write after being so moved by the filmCinematography, use of Film shot in black and white, red is used to distinguish the little girl (irony as back then, nocamera, colour etc. one was an individual, just a Jew) 40% of film shot with a handheld camera,Mise-en-scene:Editing: Shot in black and white, Spielberg put in the red because “it was a large bloodstain, primary red colour on everyone’s radar but nobody did anything about it” , used black and white “so audience not unsure period it was shot”
  65. 65. Micro Elements of Schlinder’s ListCinematography: Past events – historic. Nothing colourfulBlack and White about the events. Sombre – reflection of severity of circumstances people found themselves inCamera: Documentary style. Real panic. 1st personHandheld Camera perspective. Closer to action.Sound: Reflects mood. Sometimes it isUse of non-diegetic appropriate to events and others itand diegetic music provides a stark contrast, mask atrocities  link to reservoir dogs ear cutting scene where music doesnt fit the sceneEditing: Little girl in red dress hiding cut to Schlinders to a hill watching. We see his reaction. This signals some hope for audience that he cares.Mise-En-Scene: Clothing, thin and drawn out bodies in the camp Micro-Elements emphasise our emotional response Methods chosen to provoke response (chose carefully)
  66. 66. Million Dollar Baby:
  67. 67. Frankie Breaks Nose Back into place scene: Cringe, horror, disgust, respect Emotional for her carrying on, makes you want to turn away Response: Element of physical pain causes the emotional response Visibly painful, looks realistic, Why? her facial expression, “bite down on this”, camera stays Plot focused on her nose, forces audience to watch it, sound of Characters it enhances it – apprehension of what happens in the 20Micro Elements seconds after it happens
  68. 68. Mum doesnt appreciate the house scene: Anger, frustration, Frankie Emotional doesn’t speak up, sympathy, ungrateful mother and sister Response: More about the characters and Why? the storyline than the mise-en- scene, dialogue of Medicare Plot and benefits being taken away makes you realise how Characters ungrateful she isMicro Elements
  69. 69. Danger gets beat up scene: Sympathise with Danger, angry Emotional at man for sneaky ways, happy when Eddie smacks his one – Response: gets what he deserves Micro-elements of his face Why? battered, sense of understanding of character, Plot sound of him not coping to breathe, he’s physically weak Characters and scrawny enhances emotional responseMicro Elements
  70. 70. Final scene when neck breaks: Shock, horror, anger at dirty Emotional fighter Response: Sound of nothing but her neck Why? breaking, slow motion, music signals seriousness, Frankies Plot facial expression, camera CharactersMicro Elements
  71. 71. Fight ClubDirector: David Fincher 1999
  72. 72. Release:• Controversial• Violent• After columbine shootings• Had to have scenes removed before classification
  73. 73. Masculinity in Crisis:• Historically males = hunter, provider, leader of social advances, fighters• Men = dependant and defined by consumerism• No emotion apart from outpouring at support groups• Fight club = allows men to be men and express themselves
  74. 74. Masculinity in Fight Club:• The lack of authenticity in contemporary society is explored in the representation of society• Men have been feminised as they no longer have their traditional roles in society. They are no longer real men• Meaning in life can be found through the close bond with other mine (rather than women) and the experiencing of physical pain
  75. 75. Masculinity in Crisis• Men maintain a high standard for their own social image• Fight Club allows men to relieve their tension and stress “the proper way”• Male support groups allow men to keep masculinity because they’re remaining men together
  76. 76. Masculinity in Crisis:• Men in fight club have all experienced odd feminisation process, due to a society which has tried to diminish feminine energy• Men are becoming feminised – jack’s boss where’s a “cornflower” blue tie, combining ideas of corny and flower; Mi soft colour• Jack’s own fascination with setting up his house properly represents sensibilities to his surroundings – usually only women concern with themselves• Fight Club is described as a “phantasmagorical structure around the search for lost masculinity and masculine authority”
  77. 77. Masculinity in Crisis:• 2 portrayals of men – the conformist (weaker male where everyone is a “copy of a copy”) and the intense male who dominates society (Tyler)• Film mocks the Mi emasculated everyday man and celebrating the exaggerated super male• Film somewhat emphasises the masculine primitive form of violence, the underlying female touches epitomises films gender messages
  78. 78. Masculinity in crisis:• Is a film that surrealistically describes the status of the American male at the end of the 20th century• Depicts how consumerist males has been emasculated by their modern life styles, by a feminist consumer culture Mi• Men in today’s society are in search of what it means to be a man• Its pretending that middle-class heterosexual white male masculinity, with its obsession with material objects and its obsession with its own perceived effeminacy, is the only kind of masculinity there is.
  79. 79. Homoeroticism:• All male film• Relationship Jack and Tyler – jealousy• Glances between Fight Club members• Cinematography of fight scenes – semi naked writing around on the floor
  80. 80. Homoeroticism: Textual Detail Homosexual sub- Heterosexual text assertionPhysicality and look Narrator in the bathroom Could be interpreted as as Tyler soaks in the tub. the men just discussingof fighters Narrator: "I cant get how women are married. Im a 30 year-old dominating – don’t need boy." Tyler: "Then maybe any more another woman isnt what we really need."Cinematography of Writhing around on the Have to sit in ties and floor shirts at work – givesmale body them one chance to not have to look presentableSecrecy of desire Way in which they look at Recognise each other but each other, raise because Fight Club isand ‘coded’ looks eyebrows – normally a secret, can’t discuss itbetween members flirtaticious moveMarla Seems to be used for sex, seems a bit of an no actual desire for her undeveloped cartoon by Jack or Tyler slut, trapped in a world where women are ancillary objects.Attitude to and Men talk about it very Not for actual love, just openly because you cannature of sex
  81. 81. Neo Noir Characteristics:• Time of social unease• Revealed the corrupt underbelly of society• Predominantly urban settings• Narrative unfolds in series of flashbacks in opening scene• Cynical protagonist who voice-overs the narrative• Flawed central characters seduced by the femme fatale• Femme fatale – danger women• Sense of paranoia and acceptance things arent going to get better• Protagonist resurfaces from underworld
  82. 82. Neo Noir in Fight Club:Film noir characteristics: Evidence from fight club:Time of social unease – the Changing role of women – women are now the women who brings home thegreat depression, changing baconrole of womenRevealed the corrupt Corrupt underbelly is project mayhem going against norms of societyunderbelly of societyPredominantly urban settings House that Jack and Tyler live in is stingy but urban area– visually dark with shadowsNarrative unfolds in series of Narrator unsure where to start story so keeps flashing backflashbacksCynical protagonist who voice Jackovers the narrativeFlawed central character who Unsure of whether he likes Marla or not, doesnt want to – she isnt norm ofis seduced by the femme fatale society “too old to get married”Femme fatale – deadly Marlaseductive women, predatorySense of paranoia and Continues throughout the film – consumers will never get better, neitheracceptance things arent good will societyProtagonist resurfaces from Final scene “you met me at a very strange time in my life but its ok”underworld, older more jaded
  83. 83. Post Modernism:• Film is self-referential – it refers to its own status as a film/product• E.g. The first image of Durden is a short duration sequence that draws attention to itself by interrupting the visual continuity of the sequence. Tyler Durden points to the top right hand corner of the screen when explaining the spool change cue used in cinema
  84. 84. Quotes from Narrator:• People are always asking me if I know Tyler Durden• If you wake up in a different time, in a different place, could you wake up as a different person?• Strangers with this kinds ofpet predator masquerading as a house honesty make me grow a big rubbery one• I am Jack’s.. Complete lack of surprise• On a long enough time line, the survival rate of everyone drops to 0• With insomnia, nothings real. Everything’s far away. everything’s a copy of a copy
  85. 85. Marla:• Not represented as the stereotypical female• Femme fatal – power over both males• Costume and actions• “predator masquerading as a house pet”
  86. 86. Helena Bonham Carter:• Often referred to as the “corset queen” or “English Rose” because of her early work• Bonham Carter is consistently a versatile and engaging actress• Trademark: often works with the director Tim Burton, often plays eccentric characters, often plays pre-20th century characters• Quote: “I’m drawn to emotionally damaged characters because there is more to unlock” HBC• Quote: “I could play 5000 drug addicts and I’d still be known as the corset queen” HBC
  87. 87. Consumerism in General:• Pass time we enjoy at the end of the earning week• Purchasing of goods and services• Production of goods and services by private companies who make profit• Inevitable result of money economy• System appears to give ordinary people power and choice• Essentially we are paying for stuff making other people very rich
  88. 88. Consumerism in Fight Club:• Heart of film• Stresses the notion that the individual has fallen victim to the images of consumerism and that any attempts to buy into this culture will lead to destruction of the self and therefore society• Jack and Tyler may be involved in a political battle but the real conflict in the film is the battle for identity. In order to define yourself, have to battle against consumerism and that you don’t need to have all these material possessions to find your real identity• Jack has to learn how to define himself outside the representations presented to him of who he should be
  89. 89. Critique ofcapitalism/consumerism:• This is what drives us – has caused a loss of identity for Jack• Lack of emotion/lack of personal identification/lack of fight both physically and mentally• Destructive – individuals/relationship/society shown negatively throughout• A number of consumer brands – represented in a negative way – IKEA, starbucks• Supports the view we should rise up/rebel against it – Tyler represents this through his dress/home/attitude at work/project mayhem
  90. 90. Criticisms of Consumerism: The film is critical of materialism, consumerism, and brand- names in particular.Product How it is shown: Meaning derived from representation:Starbucks Coffee Shown as negative, Can’t live without it everyone has one, – every other man standard thing, has it so so should gives identity for you, gives a man some males, can’t identity dependent live without it on type of coffee he hasCigarettes, food Worthless if it Brand name giveswrapping, canned doesnt have a the characterdrinks brand name identity as he has noneIKEA Shown as negative, Everyone has been everyone has the sucked into a same furniture, society where everyone buys from nobody should IKEA stand out – items bought gives them identity
  91. 91. Irony of Fight Club and Consumerism:• Irony that film is completely against anti-consumerism profit but made a lot of money itself:Budget: $63 millionGross (Total): $101 millionUSA Gross: $37 million• In the film, conditions they live in reflect the rejection of consumerism
  92. 92. Misogynistic:• Misogynistic: the hatred of female gender• Helena Bonham Carter originally turned down the role of Marla because she felt the film was Mi misogynistic• Misogynistic to the point that it is struggling to imagine a world in which women dont even exist• highly misogynistic narrator
  93. 93. Macho Porn: “The sex movie Hollywood has been moving towards making for years. Eroticism between the sexes has been replaced by all guy locker room fights”. Mi Roger Ebert US Film Critic• Relationship between Jack and Tyler is very intimate and friendly ie. Bath scene where Tyler is in the bath and Jack just sits there talking to him – would this normally happen?
  94. 94. Glamorisation of violence:• Noone really gets hurt – never taken too far – not realistic?• Noone finds out – it is never stopped• Knowing glances between men – proud to be part of it
  95. 95. Political points of Fight Club:• Belief system• Leader whose word is law• Recruitment of young men prepared to die for the cause• Violence and destruction are a means of expression• Sacrifice of individual for the cause