Spec & Resp - Lesson 5 - Spec Theory Part 1

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Spec & Resp - Lesson 5 - Spec Theory Part 1

  1. 1. A2 FILM STUDIES
  2. 2. You will learn by the numbers I will teach you! Identify KeyTerms: Reception Theory Analyse the factors that influence how we choose a film to view Analyse how filmmakers create response and communicate with their audience Evaluate the use of Central & A-Central Imagining in Full Metal Jacket
  3. 3. You will learn by the numbers I will teach you! Reception theory hoped to be a more sophisticated approach to studying audiences concentrating more on those who consume a text than the text itself. When the text is encoded certain ideologies are in dominance. The audience decodes the message in multiple ways and this is dependant on the cultural background of the person.
  4. 4. You will learn by the numbers I will teach you! Reception Theory states that an audience may respond in one of three ways based on their reading of a film and how they ‘decode’ the meanings / ideologies placed in to the text by the filmmaker Preferred Reading – taking an intended reading of the film identifying and agreeing with all messages encoded in to the text Oppositional Reading – the viewer does not identify the meanings encoded in to the text and their own personal ideologies / experiences form an alternate meaning within the text Negotiated Reading – the viewer identifies most of the meanings encoded in to the text but does not agree with, or take the full meaning
  5. 5. You will learn by the numbers I will teach you! Reception Theory dictates that a film does not have any meaning without the spectator Meaning is only generated when the spectator views the text and ‘decodes’ it Meaning deals with themes and specific scenarios Response is an all-encompassing interaction with the film as a whole What is the difference between ‘Meaning’ and ‘Response’?
  6. 6. You will learn by the numbers I will teach you! The question ‘How do individuals make sense of feature film?’ has been asked many times over the years and has elicited many different answers There are many different approaches to film criticism but most agree on this: Film spectatorship – or at least the most interesting aspects of it – is a conscious activity Joseph Anderson claims: “Making sense of film is significantly the same as making sense of the real world” He went on to say that the spectator uses the same conceptual and perceptual systems when interacting with a real life 3D object, to make sense of 2D cinematic objects Joseph Anderson Author of: ‘An Ecological approach to Cognitive FilmTheory’
  7. 7. You will learn by the numbers I will teach you! Spectatorship theorists see desire as central to our understanding of spectatorship This desire not only relates to our response to a film but also to the types of film we choose to watch If we are presented with a choice of: 1. an intellectually demanding film 2. one which is provocative 3. one which is throw away spectacular fun we will decide which best matches your desire at that given point
  8. 8. You will learn by the numbers I will teach you! If we choose the ‘spectacular fun’ (aka James Bond) option we will most likely take a preferred reading as the experience demands a suspension of disbelief and an acceptance if it is to be spectacular and fun Even though, in another state of mind I would find the sexism, militarism, and violence as something I would not endorse at other times. In other words I am freely choosing to become aligned with the characters and scenarios The Bond movies require a suspension of disbelief and acceptance of its encoded meanings if we are to enjoy them
  9. 9. You will learn by the numbers I will teach you! Most films are constructed in a way that enable us to suspend our disbelief and emerge ourselves within the narrative Through the use of slick cinematography and invisible editing we cease thinking of the film as a ‘film’ Instead we buy in to the ‘reality’ of the film However other films draw attention to the film as a ‘textual construct’ – Wayne’sWorld (1992) frequently reminds the audience that they are watching a constructed reality – a textual construct Directors can invite the spectator to take pleasure in acknowledging that the film is in fact, a film – a construct – and meaning is created between the filmmaker and the spectator, not through the film itself
  10. 10. You will learn by the numbers I will teach you! Interaction between director and spectator can be achieved through the manipulation of the following information: Textual – information provided by the text itself Extra-textual – information existing in the mind of the spectator
  11. 11. You will learn by the numbers I will teach you! Watch the following extracts from Pulp Fiction and make notes on the following: How does the director invite us(spectator) to view the film as a construct? What effect does this have on your response to the film? How is extra-textual information used to create meaning for the spectator?
  12. 12. You will learn by the numbers I will teach you! Arguably the central function of spectatorship is: Central Imagining This refers to an immersion in the film There are certain times when a spectator experiences ‘central-imagining’ – when a film recreates physical sensations such as falling over or walking in a daze In theory Central-Imagining is the merging of the spectator with the film – when the cinematic experience is felt physically Central Imagining is often expressed as ‘I feel...’ Imax and other technologies provide more opportunity for ‘central-imagining’ This effect was first felt in the Lumiere Brothers’ film: “Entrée d'un train en gare de la Ciotat“ (1897)
  13. 13. You will learn by the numbers I will teach you! Most of the time film spectators operate in the ‘I imagine that...’ mode – meaning they do not feel the physical effects but can imagine how a certain sensation may feel “I imagine that it must be pretty scary to have a gangster’s wife overdosing in front of you when you are responsible for her...” “I imagine that being in a fire-fight must be terrifying and a self preservation survival instinct would cut in” A-Central imagining is often expressed as “I imagine that...”
  14. 14. You will learn by the numbers I will teach you! Using your handout from our ‘Alignment’ lesson, go through the scenes you have identified and note down whether you consider them to be ‘Cental- Imagining’ or ‘A-Central-imagining’ Watch the following extracts from ‘Full Metal Jacket’ and answer the following questions: How does each scene align us with the characters? Are these scenes examples of ‘Central Imagining’ or ‘A-Central Imagining’? (use ‘I feel’ & I imagine that...’) Justify your answers!
  15. 15. You will learn by the numbers I will teach you! Essentially when we view films we have a combination of responses ranging from preferred to oppositional to individual emotional responses We as spectators can have our physical responses manipulated via Central imagining and our emotional responses manipulated by A-Central imagining The A-Central Imagining depends on our extra- textual reading of a film whilst the central imagining depends on how the director uses the camera to elicit physical responses (shock, tears...)
  16. 16. You will learn by the numbers I will teach you! We begin with an overall assessment of coherence – expectations are formed in our minds - As a film spectator we begin a film with specific goals formed by a given background of knowledge and experience We look for familiar narrative, genre conventions, and common cinematic techniques We do this by bringing our knowledge of previous films and cinematic experiences to bear in responding to a new film experience
  17. 17. You will learn by the numbers I will teach you! Cognitive Concerned with beauty or the appreciation of beauty Aesthetic Coherence logical interconnection; overall sense or Understand-ability. pertaining to the mental processes of perception, memory, judgment, and reasoning, as contrasted with emotional processes Disparity lack of similarity or equality; inequality; difference
  18. 18. You will learn by the numbers I will teach you! Allegiance pertains to the moral evaluation of the characters by the spectator Allegiance is another form of ‘identification’ with a character based on a wide range of external factors such as attitudes towards: •Class •Race •Nation •Age •Ethnicity •Gender etc Some people may identify or experience ‘allegiance’ to Pvt. Pyle having experienced bullying / intense hostility themselves
  19. 19. You will learn by the numbers I will teach you! In what ways did you feel allegiance to characters throughout Full Metal Jacket? Make a list of characters and scenes in which this has taken place You must consider a wide range of potential readings in your exam answers. You must also back up all arguments with analysis of the micro & macro elements

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