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  1. 1. Dir. Danny Boyle (2008) MS2: Media Representations and Responses Dir. Danny Boyle (2008)
  2. 2. Introduction to the Film Case Study <ul><ul><ul><li>Adapted by screenwriter Simon Beaufoy from a novel by Vikas Swarup . </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Swarup is an Indian diplomat and he is from a middle-class Indian family - his parents were lawyers. </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>$15 million budget- funded by Film 4 </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>(a British film company.) </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Slumdog was co-directed in India by Loveleen Tandan (Indian filmmaker.) </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>It was nominated for 10 Oscars in 2009 and won eight , the most for any film of 2008, including Best Picture and Best Director. </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>It also won seven BAFTAS and 4 Golden Globe awards. </li></ul></ul></ul>
  3. 3. Characters <ul><li>Jamal (Protagonist) </li></ul><ul><li>Latika </li></ul><ul><li>Salim (Jamal’s friend) </li></ul><ul><li>Maman (Gangster/ Owner of Hope Orphanage) </li></ul><ul><li>Prem Kumar (Millionaire host) </li></ul><ul><li>Javid Khan (Gangster Boss/ Don) </li></ul><ul><li>Police Inspector </li></ul>
  4. 4. Representation of Gender <ul><li>The representation of women in the media. </li></ul>
  5. 5. Latika and the mother <ul><li>Task: Watch and analyse the following scenes. </li></ul><ul><li>Analyse the representation of women in </li></ul><ul><li>Slumdog. </li></ul><ul><li>What messages/ideologies are encoded </li></ul><ul><li>into the representation? </li></ul><ul><li>Are the traditional representations of women challenged by the film? </li></ul>
  6. 6. Key Scenes <ul><li>Train chase scene (30 mins) </li></ul><ul><li>Saved by Jamal (50 mins) </li></ul><ul><li>Latika and the gangster (1 hour 15) </li></ul>
  7. 7. Audience Response <ul><li>Task: How would audiences ‘read’/ decode the ideologies encoded into these representations? </li></ul><ul><li>Using Stuart Hall’s Reception theory consider which of the </li></ul><ul><li>3 readings these different audiences would take… </li></ul><ul><li>Western women </li></ul><ul><li>Western men </li></ul><ul><li>Indian women </li></ul><ul><li>Indian men </li></ul><ul><li>A feminist </li></ul><ul><li>Can you think of any other audiences that may take different readings of the representation? </li></ul>
  8. 8. Representation of Men <ul><li>The Representation of men in the media. </li></ul>
  9. 9. Representation of men in Slumdog <ul><li>Task: Analyse the representation of men in the following scenes. </li></ul><ul><li>What messages/ideologies are encoded into the representation? </li></ul><ul><li>Are the traditional representations of men followed or challenged by the film? </li></ul>
  10. 10. Key Scenes: Representation of Men in Slumdog <ul><li>Torture scene (opening 6 minutes) </li></ul><ul><li>Rescue scene (1 hour 20) </li></ul>
  11. 11. Audience Response <ul><li>Task: How would audiences ‘read’/ decode the ideologies encoded into these representations? </li></ul><ul><li>Using Stuart Hall’s Reception theory consider which of the </li></ul><ul><li>3 readings these audience would take… </li></ul><ul><li>Western women </li></ul><ul><li>Western men </li></ul><ul><li>Indian women </li></ul><ul><li>Indian men </li></ul><ul><li>A feminist </li></ul><ul><li>Can you think of any other audiences that may take a different reading? </li></ul>
  12. 12. The Representation of Poverty (An Issue) The representation of poverty in the media.
  13. 13. The Representation of Poverty in Slumdog <ul><li>Task: Analysis of the opening sequence. (after 6 mins) </li></ul><ul><li>How does Boyle represent the poverty in Mumbai? </li></ul>
  14. 14. “ Slumdog = poverty porn.” (The Times) <ul><ul><ul><li>  </li></ul></ul></ul>
  15. 16. Slums
  16. 17. The Slums <ul><li>“ In 2005, it was estimated that city held some 3,000 of these slums housing a total of 6.8 million people—roughly equivalent to the population of London.” </li></ul><ul><li>( Green, Jen. Mumbai Global Cities) </li></ul>
  17. 18. Representing Reality? <ul><li>Simon Beaufoy, who adapted the screenplay for 'Slumdog' from the novel 'Q&A' by Vikas Swarup, made three research trips to India to interview street children. </li></ul><ul><li>He says he wanted to convey the slums' &quot;sense of this huge amount of fun, laughter, chat, and sense of community&quot;. </li></ul>
  18. 19. Story Turns Into Reality Slumdog Millionaire director Danny Boyle has come to the rescue of child stars Azharuddin Ismail and Rubina Ali after they were left homeless following a slum clearing drive by Mumbai authorities. Boyle has bought a new home for Ismail, who played young Salim in the Oscar winning film, and is planning to do the same for Rubina.After the huge success of Slumdog Millionaire , the film bosses had established the Jai Ho Trust last year (08) to help fund their education.However, the kids' recent plight compelled Boyle and producer Christian Colson to fly to Mumbai this week to see how they could help the young stars.
  19. 20. <ul><li>During filming, Azza, the Mumbai boy who was cast as Jamal's brother Salim, had his house bulldozed by the city council a common occurrence in the slums where much of the shoot took place. The crew found him sleeping on a car roof. </li></ul><ul><li>The three youngest child leads, who were all cast from the Mumbai slums, are now having their schooling funded by the film's producers. With the promise of a trust fund should they pass their exams at 16. </li></ul><ul><li>Anil Kapoor, who plays Prem Kumar, the host of 'Who Wants to be a Millionaire?' in 'Slumdog', donated his fee to Plan India, a child development NGO in Delhi, devoted to raising awareness about child abuse, trafficking, education and rehabilitating deprived children (The Independent) </li></ul>
  20. 21. The Representation of India in the Media <ul><li>National Identity </li></ul>
  21. 25. The Representation of India in Slumdog Millionaire <ul><li>Task: Analyse the representation of India in the following scenes from the film. </li></ul><ul><li>Summing Up: What message/ideology about India is encoded into this representation? What impression do you get of the country and its national identity? </li></ul>
  22. 26. Key Scenes- Contrasting representations of India <ul><li>The Orphanage (28 mins) </li></ul><ul><li>The Train scene (36 mins) </li></ul><ul><li>The home of Javed </li></ul><ul><li>(1 hour 13) </li></ul>
  23. 27. <ul><li>How far are the audiences ideas/ preconceptions about India conformed or challenged? </li></ul>
  24. 28. The Representation of India in Slumdog <ul><li>A third world impoverished nation for our enjoyment ( the typical stereotype) </li></ul><ul><li>2) Accurately representing the poor and middle class sides of India (segmented society.) </li></ul><ul><li>3) A fairytale or fable - a fantasy like image of India (linked to Bollywood) not to be taken seriously </li></ul>
  25. 29. Representation of India’s National Identity <ul><li>After its rapturous reception in Britain and America, knives are being sharpened for Slumdog Millionaire . &quot;Vile,&quot; is how Alice Miles described the movie in The Times. </li></ul><ul><li>&quot; Slumdog Millionaire is poverty porn&quot; that invites the viewer to enjoy the miseries it depicts , she adds. </li></ul><ul><li>&quot;If Slumdog Millionaire projects India as a third-world, dirty, underbelly developing nation and causes pain and disgust among nationalists and patriots, let it be known that a murky underbelly exists and thrives even in the most developed nations,&quot; he bellowed. </li></ul><ul><li>&quot;It's just that the Slumdog Millionaire idea, authored by an Indian and conceived and cinematically put together by a westerner, gets creative global recognition ,&quot; (Amitabh Bachchan - Bollywood actor) </li></ul>
  26. 30. <ul><li>The bitter truth is, Slumdog Millionaire could only have been made by westerners . </li></ul><ul><li>Bollywood producers, fixated with making flimsy films about the lives of the middle class, will never throw their weight behind such projects. </li></ul><ul><li>Like Bachchan, they are too blind to what India really is to deal with it. </li></ul><ul><li>Poor Indians, like those in Slumdog, do not constitute India's &quot;murky underbelly&quot; as Bachchan moronically describes them. They, in fact, are the nation . </li></ul><ul><li>Over 80% of Indians live on less than $2.50 ( 」 1.70) a day; In Mumbai alone, 2.6 million children live on the street or in slums, and 400,000 work in prostitution . </li></ul><ul><li>But these people are absent from mainstream Bollywood cinema. </li></ul>
  27. 31. <ul><li>“ Bachchan's blinkered comments prove how hopelessly blind he and most of Bollywood are to the reality of India and how wholly incapable they are of making films that can address it.” </li></ul><ul><li>(The Guardian) </li></ul>
  28. 32. <ul><li>Simply because exposing the dark side of society might indicate hierarchy does not mean we should stop exposing these dark sides of the society? </li></ul>
  29. 33. <ul><li>many fans have rushed to the defence of Boyle's movie. </li></ul><ul><li>&quot;Slumdog doesn't show a complete picture of India or Indians, but few movies show a complete picture of any place or people, particularly a sprawling, expressive, multicultural city like Mumbai. You see a mere slice. </li></ul><ul><li>Slumdog shows poverty, and it shows wealth, and it shows someone who survives one and is unconcerned with the other. What he is concerned with is LOVE. And that is so Indian.&quot; </li></ul>
  30. 34. Accurately Representing the Two Sides of India <ul><li>

 </li></ul><ul><li>Slumdog bridges these two India's by cutting between a world of poverty and the Indian version of &quot;Who Wants to be a Millionaire.&quot; It tells the story of an orphan from the slums of Mumbai who is born into a brutal existence. A petty thief, impostor and survivor, mired in dire poverty, he improvises his way up through the world and remembers everything he has learned. </li></ul><ul><li>( Roger Ebert - Chicago Sun Times) </li></ul>1.) Impoverished India: The India of Mother Teresa still exists. Because it is side-by-side with the new India, it is easily seen. People living in the streets. A woman crawling from a cardboard box. Men bathing at a fire hydrant. Men relieving themselves by the roadside. 2.) Middle Class India: On the other hand, the world's largest middle class, mostly lower-middle, but all the more admirable. The India of millionaires. Mercedes-Benzes and Audis. Traffic like Demo Derby. Luxury condos. Exploding education. A booming computer segment.
  31. 35. <ul><li>&quot;This is a film so upbeat and colourful that, by the time you're relaying its infectious air of optimism to friends, you could forget that it features orphans, slaughter, organised crime, poverty, enslavement and police brutality in its crowd-pleasing repertoire of suffering and renewal,&quot; </li></ul><ul><li>&quot;Hell, it even ends with a get-up-and-dance Bollywood number on the platform of Mumbai's Victoria Terminus.” </li></ul><ul><li>(Time Out magazine) </li></ul>The Feel-Good Film of the Year?
  32. 36. Bollywood Cinema and its Representation of India
  33. 38. <ul><li>Boyle was slightly uncomfortable with the film's marketing campaign, which features posters of the two leads grinning in a shower of confetti with a quote calling it the &quot;feel-good film of the decade&quot;. </li></ul><ul><li>Considering that the film features poverty, torture and murder, says Boyle, &quot;You can't go in expecting it to be 'Mamma Mia!'” (The Independent) </li></ul>
  34. 39. Slumdog as a Fairytale or Fable <ul><li>Underlying sense of fantasy - flashbacks and final credits. </li></ul>
  35. 40. <ul><li>Peter Bradshaw of The Guardian gave the film three out of five stars, stating that </li></ul><ul><li>&quot;despite the extravagant drama and some demonstrations of the savagery meted out to India's street children, this is a cheerfully undemanding and unreflective film </li></ul><ul><li>with a vision of India that, if not touristy exactly, is certainly an outsider's view; it depends for its full enjoyment on not being taken too seriously.&quot; </li></ul>
  36. 41. <ul><li>Task: Analysis of the final scene of Slumdog </li></ul><ul><li>How does it represent India? </li></ul>
  37. 42. Audience Response - Poverty as an Issue <ul><li>Task: How would audiences ‘read’/ decode the ideologies encoded into the representations? </li></ul><ul><li>Using Stuart Hall’s Reception theory consider which of the </li></ul><ul><li>3 readings these audience would take… </li></ul><ul><li>A Western audience member </li></ul><ul><li>An Indian ‘slum-dweller’ </li></ul><ul><li>A Middle class Indian </li></ul><ul><li>Can you think of any other audiences that may take different readings? </li></ul>
  38. 43. Audience Response - India’s Representation <ul><li>Task: How would audiences ‘read’/ decode the ideologies encoded into these representations? </li></ul><ul><li>Using Stuart Hall’s Reception theory consider which of the </li></ul><ul><li>3 readings these audience would take… </li></ul><ul><li>A Western audience member </li></ul><ul><li>A ‘slum-dweller’ </li></ul><ul><li>A middle class Indian </li></ul><ul><li>Can you think of any other audiences that may take different readings? </li></ul>
  39. 44. Target Audience Response <ul><li>Task: Using The Uses and Gratifications Theory (Blumler and Katz) </li></ul><ul><li>Explain how you </li></ul><ul><li>(as the target audience -Western) </li></ul><ul><li>use the film to gratify your basic needs. </li></ul>