InformalComments and Insights on Ten Movies
TheVirtual Life of Film (Dogville)
Therehave been various significant changes in media technology which haveand continue to influence the sphere of media studies. Rodowick& Rodowick (9) hold that the most notable that have been witnessed in the industryinclude the sheer disappearance of film, extinction of the film,which was replaced with the digital image (in the digital era) thatis the disappearance of the celluloid film stock and the growth of anew media in competition for audience (Rodowick& Rodowick 15).Additionally, there have been significant changes in the aestheticand historical implication of the film industry. The aftermath of thedigital era saw the death of film in many years ago.
Thesocial and cultural experiences have been shaped by television,video, computer, as well as computer networks. For instance, the filmindustry has been perceived to be a hybrid medium. This is attributedto the fact that it features no single leading component.Furthermore, it can literally never be reduced to a single andsignificant essence. Furthermore, the essence of photography inrelation to its historical and aesthetical implications has also beencompromised in the digital era. Photography is quite essential sinceit reminds us the past and offers us the opportunity to look at theworld and at the same time perceive the world at a distance. Theconcept of a moving image of skepticism holds that photographydoesn’t represent so much, rather transcribe meaning.
Onseveral occasions, Dogville is deemed promoting a classic left-wingdrama, though strains of right-wing individualism can be traced in itas well. In particular, the trailer attacks common social and moralflaws that are characteristic of Native American films centerbreaking the conventions of American moviemakers. For example, Graceis perceived as a virtual slave, mistreat to the height of rape, withrepayment as an excuse.
"Mahanagarand Cinematic Imperfection” – Mahanagar
Fora relatively long time in history of film production and filmstudies, significant focus have largely be accorded to women’sissues. In particular, the contradictory consequences of patriarchycoupled with capitalism on the lives of women have be the majorthemes of interest in this disciple. This partial focus has limitedthe imminent critique of all contradictions that exist in the largersociety (Ganguly 24). Therefore, it is necessary for an investigationinto the whole potential and the degree to which its performanceintegrates the audience, reception of material conditions,techniques, as well as characters.
Toa larger extent, film is a unique. (Ganguly 43) argues that as amedium of art, shows as much as it tells. Additionally, itencapsulates as much as it represents. Mahanagar make significantattempts to reintroduce the division of political and committed artin the sphere of media studies. Ray’s film depicts an Indian lifethat incorporates a sense of radical future and demonstrates thepotential of the image to integrate a different world embedded in theremnants of the fading past.
Furthermore,every aspect of modern capitalist life must eventually be seen as adegeneration of life itself. This is also despite improvement of thewoman through employment. For example, in Mahanagar, Arati’sdownfall is a clear indication of a downfall because though shemanages to resist patriarchal obstacles and makes some individualgains, she is still viewed as an ordinary woman who has beencompelled to by circumstances to endure life (Ganguly 47). Moreover,she has to face ignorance of politics in office and make effort toadjust to challenges of being a worker and a house-wise concurrently.
"FromThe World in a Frame," and Boxer, "Why are All the CartoonMothers Dead?" – The Sound of the Music
Braudyobserved that a great deal of animated films features dead mothers intheir proceedings. In many animated children’s movies, the mothereither dies or she is mysteriously disposed of at the beginning ofthe movie. This trend has elicited questions to why many film makershave intimated this strategy. Nonetheless, the dead-mother strategyhas a long history that stretches back past Bambiand SnowWhite,Charles Perrault’s Sleeping Beauty and Cinderella, and The Sound ofMusic, among other children animated movies of the time.
Forinstance, in the movies, “The Sound of Music,” the Navy captainGeorg Von Trapp loses his wife living him with a bunch of sevenmischievous kid. The captain is often away and while at home, he runshousehold chores like the ship. Therefore, he writes to the conventfor secure a nun to take care of the children. The children showresentment to the hired governess until Maria arrives. It is herkindness, understanding and a great sense of fun that wins thechildren and takes their mother’s position.
However,from my more often than not, the feature of dead mothers in animatedmovies is utilized as time-tested dramatic device that help attractthe attention of its target audience, who often entail youngchildren. Furthermore, Braudy (3) asserts that it is depicts themale-dominated culture of the majority of American screenwriting.This is because even after the mother’s departure, the deceasedalways successfully continue with their life. Furthermore, in most ofthese movies, the dead mother if often replaced by a father whopresumes the vacuum created by the demise. The father do great jobjust as the mother used to do or even better. They tend to perpetuatethat fathers could do better than mothers.
“JeanneDielman: Death in Installments” – Jeanne Dielman
Ackerman’sJeanne Dielman, is quite a complex and provocative piece of art thatcalls for significant attention as far as feminist as well asformalist criticism is concerned. Issues emanating from the moviesraise questions which can be addressed from the traditional theory ofwomen in the home responsible for maintenance of the capitalistsystem, particularly through production and reproduction (Loader 77).In addition, it is deemed shading more light on feminist art andfeminist language in films.
Womenoppression has be an unfortunately common tradition in patriarchalsocieties. This vice can be depicted not only from various othercontemporary movies featuring women but also in a significant numberof women’s novels (Loader 19). For example, when Jean is capturedon the screen peeling a batch of potatoes, the session goesuninterrupted to offer a better view of her oppression. Furthermore,in other instances, she is captured involved in other relativelyinsignificant activities such as interacting with her teenage son,the local shopkeeper, the woman who washes her baby, and her streetneighbors. Only a limited time is spent on the Jeanne’sbreadwinner the clients she attends to as a prostitute.
Thefilm presents an assortment of less significant chores Jeanne busyherself with during the best part of her day. Nonetheless, itpoignantly presents a demo of what housework and housewife roles fora good number of women means. Akerman`s film further provides apowerful illustration of the monotony and the crippling effect of.For example, women tend to establish rules which give their work thesame structure most working people operate within, and resolve tostrictly adhere to them. Nonetheless, Loader (106) observed that themagnitude of these activities tend to throw women off balance.
"BlackSpectatorship: Problems of Identification and Resistance – Shaft
Theconcept of “Black Dictatorship” has resulted in the problem ofidentification and resistance with regard to the racialrepresentation of dominant cinema. In particular, Diawara (213)explains that on one hand, a number of African American filmgoershave tended to identify themselves with the images of black people asincorporated in several Hollywood films. On the other hand, as amatter of various reasons, some white spectators have raised eyebrowsagainst the racial representations of the largest share of cinema.Therefore, the film industry has been accused of creating a divisionbetween the two dominant races in the United States, as well as theentire world. For instance, Diawara (216) observed that in everyinstance Blacks are represented in American films, there happen anumber of people who refuse to accept the result and even continue tohold their disbelief for a good duration.
Typically,film production is more often a context-specific process. Theresultant piece of a movie will incorporates the social and culturalattributes of the respective setting. Moreover, race, ethnicity,gender, and sexuality among other cultural and societal aspects arerepresented by characters and their surrounding environment.Therefore, film, among other media, is an instrument through whichculture is displayed and transferred.
Forexample, Gordon Parks’ the Shaft,is a classical example of the hotly contested representation of theBlacks. It centered on the narrative of a private detective, JohnShaft, who perverse Harlem throughout the Italian mob neighborhoodsin an effort to find a daughter to another black mobster. Generally,the movie paints a black against the white to the larger audience.The height of the action saw the turn of events almost culminatinginto a full-blow racial war across the streets of the city.
"SpatialSystems in North by Northwest” – North by Northwest
Themesand meaning deduced from media such as films fall under two broadcategories: form-intrinsic and form-extrinsic. In form-extrinsicmeaning and theme, one assumes an outside perspective while lookingoutside the text at different fragments of the director’s reuvre(Murphie 87). On the other hand, form-intrinsic meaning tend to bededuced by assuming a hypothetical relationship between two scenariosin a particular work, especially the beginning and the end. The majorspatial dynamics that come in play during the process relates to themotion of characters within the film world, their motion within theframe of the screen, the movement of the camera, and the movement ofthe editing process form one short to another (Murphie 98).
Northby Northwestentails a narrative of mistaken identity in which an innocent man(Roger Thornhill) is mistaken for (George Kaplan), followedthroughout the United States by hungry service men of an unknownorganization. The organization intends to stop him from getting intotheir way of smuggling out a certain microfilm that contains topgovernment secrets. He is arrested but eventually secures a narrowescape from the gang by a staged driving accident. Unfortunately,neither the authorities nor even his mother could believe hisincidence, a situation that is worsened by a certain woman (localneighbor at Townsend’s residence) who reports that Thornhil gotdrunk after dinner party.
Withinthe film, the various characters are deemed to motion from one“scenotope” to another. In addition, the “scenotopes”attempts to identify every new episodic part with the development ofa different type of concrete space in a relatively radical way.Consequently, the audience may feel a virtual anthology of an entirespectrum of different unique spatial configurations (Murphie 106).The whole range of activities sees the audience deduce meaning andthemes from the media at the end of the process.
"FourSeasons of Femininity or four Men in a Woman`s Life” – FatalAttraction
Thepsychoanalytic approach to explaining the concept of femininityestablishes structural boundaries by placing the doll on one side,and the man on the other side. Apollon (101) suggest that femininityis always analyzed as a two-sided issue just like the two sides of asingle coin. On one side is the question, “What particular functiondoes a woman serve in a man’s life with respect to enjoyment thatlanguage makes impossible?” The other side of the question which ismore or less symmetrical to the first one, poses the question, “Whatspecific role does a man play in the life of a woman in relation toenjoyment, upon which language presumes all objects inadequate?”
Inrelation to the subject to enjoyment, the woman is always consideredcomparatively more depended on man than the man is depended on thewoman. For instance, the significant distance between the other andthe subject provides a sure space whereby the signify rest theexcess, which sees opening of desire. This space crates the arenaupon which love finds and develops the words through which the excessby which lovers would undergo suffering. Furthermore, an inadequacyin the structure between the other of the mutual tie and the objectof desire in phantasy may either initiate violence or secure limitsand motivation for transformation (Apollon 113).
Forinstance, in FatalAttraction,Dan tries to explain to Alex later that he must leave, but Alex cutsher wrist in attempt to commit suicide. Therefore, he assist herbandage the afflicted wrists and late leaves. Although Dan thinksthat he is literally done with the incidence, Alex shows up atdifferent places just to have a glimpse of him, makes frequent calls,and finally tells him that she is pregnant. This scenario elaboratesfemininity.
Dyer,"Entertainment and Utopia” – Goldiggers of 1933
Dyer(20) utilized the scenario of his musicals to support his argumentthat entertainment functions as s a significant scapegoat forproviding a perception of something more better then what the presentday-to-day fails to offer to the audience. Furthermore, he arguesthat the mainstream entertainment is full of utopian sensibilitieswhich compensate certain limitations in society such as abundance,energy, intensity, transparency and community. The film industry hassignificantly challenged the various utopian conventions ofentertainment.
Forexample, in relation to power, there exist no ‘human power’ infilm characters since their actions are primarily subjected either toexternal forces or by more powerful force within themselves whichthey make effort to control (Dyer 27). Therefore, desperation isalways perceived as a more relevant sensibility rather than energysince the vigorous activities of the characters in film trace theirroots from the characters’ desperate efforts to maintain control.
Inaddition, transparency which implies the quality of relationship thatexists between the presented characters in the film (Dyer 38), isanother utopian sensitivity perpetuated by the entertainment. In mostoccasions, relationships among characters in film areindividual-based there exist no true love and sincerity in them.Moreover, they often exist to fulfill certain end, with charactersplaying the function of a lover or friend in order to attain theirindividual exploitative goals.
Thisbehavior is more consistent with female actors who use the sexualityto manipulate the protagonist for their advantage. For example,Lawrence Bradford and his family lawyer Fanuel Peabody realized whatwas happening with Brad, they immediately travel to New York to savehim from claws of a victim of a certain "gold digger".
Elsaesser,"Classical/Post-Classical Narrative: Die Hard” – Die Hard
Thereis significant debate about the essence of a distinction betweenclassical and post-classical. However, a common question relates towhether things are still usual there is need to change thevocabulary in film industry in an attempt to accord justice tocontemporary movies that have been produced in Hollywood (Elsaesser& Warren 27).Some scholars hold that there is no need to alter one’s approachsince new Hollywood blockbuster is still inclined to stylistic andnarrative principles that have influenced mainstream cinema rightfrom 1920s to 1960s.
Onthe other hand, some hold that there is no need to explain elementsthat have remained the same, rather those that have undergone change,such as studio ownership, marketing tactics, global distributionnetworks, package deal, as well as other factors that have changedHollywood since mid-1970s. Furthermore, new changes like specialeffects, sound design, the roller coaster, Physical sensations oftheme parks, among other things, exemplify the aesthetics of the NewHollywood. Moreover, mainstream center has witnessed new entries likehorror, explicit sexual epics and violent massacres. From anotherangle, some individuals would claim that movies are no longer watchedrather they are experienced. They also add that films provide afantasy space in which the audience can inhabit, as opposed toilluminating reality (Elsaesser& Warren 45).
InDie Hard, John McClane comes back to Los Angeles on Christmas Evewith hopes of reconciling with Bonie Bedelia. He joins her at aChristmas party. On their entry to the venue, a Gruber-ledbank-robbers gang burst in and demand bond from the chairman.Fortunately, MacClane timely intervenes, killing the leader and freesthe hostages. The sheer effects, violent attack, superb armory, amongother new aspects qualify a post-classical analysis for this film.
Orange,"Broken Contract” – Force Majeur
ForceMajeur, Ruben Ostlund introduces another brand dimension in mediastudies. For instance he turned to YouTube, which he utilized as hisconsistent source of aspiration. For instance, the most recurrentfeedback on most YouTube search of a term involves Rocky Lockridge’sclip, a former outstanding boxer, in which he breaks down at in thecourse of an A & E’s Intervention episode (Orange n.d.). Thestrategy resulted in a YouTube avalanche.
Inaddition, Ostlund opted for a distinctive style for the movies whichcapitalized on long takes, stationary cameras, as well as deceptivelyalternate positioning of the characters. In addition, a good numberof the scenes of the film play out (Orange n.d.). For example, thecameras are either aligned to the lower legs of the characters or onthe backs of their heads. As a smart observation, he was not moreinterested in what the characters’ faces communicated, rather whatthe arrangements of the characters’ body in a combined andprovisional setting, communicated.
Nonetheless,the various episodes of the film portray a clear masculine identity,by concentrating on the margins of its rituals which are notcinematic. Similar recurrence of the version can be depicted in thescene when on a holiday where horseplay among male friendsillustrates a clear example of a sexual assault. In another scene, aschoolteacher abusing a student is found by a colleague. The theme ofinvoluntary is also depicted from the scene where two young girlspreen for a laptop camera while in their bedroom. Furthermore,individualism collides with any effort for unity. This can beillustrated by Ebba’s several encounters in the movie.
Apollon,Willy. "Four seasons in femininity orfour men in a woman`slife." Topoi12.2 (1993): 101-115.
Braudy,Leo. From The World in a Frame," and Boxer, "Why are Allthe Cartoon Mothers Dead? Braudy
Diawara,Manthia. "Black spectatorship: Problems of identification andresistance." BlackAmerican Cinema(1993): 211-20.
Dyer,Richard. Entertainmentund Utopie.na, 2003.
Elsaesser,Thomas, and Warren Buckland. "Classical/Post-Classical Narrative(Die Hard)." StudyingContemporary American Film: A Guide to Movie Analysis(2002): 26-80.
Ganguly,Keya. Cinema,emergence, and the films of Satyajit Ray.Univ of California Press, 2010.
Loader,Jane. "Jeanne Dielman, Death in Installments." JumpCut16 (1977).
Michelle,Orange. In ForceMajeureRuben Östlund once again scrutinizes what happens when bad behaviordisrupts the accepted order.
Murphie,Andrew. "I`m Not Joking-Lacanian Nostalgia Ain`t What It Used ToBe: On Everything You Always Wanted to Know About Lacan (But WereAfraid to Ask Hitchcock), edited by Slavoj Å½iÅ¾ek."Film-Philosophy2.1 (1998).
Rodowick,David Norman, and David Norman Rodowick. Thevirtual life of film.Harvard University Press, 2009.