Sunday, 27 May 2012

Pans Labyrinth Case Study

Eclecticism: The idea for Pans Labyrinth came to Guillermo Del Toro, through various sources such as his own notebooks but the film was influenced by his own work, "The Devils Backbone, Lewis Carroll's books-Alice in Wonderland, Jorge Luis Borges Ficciones, Arthur Machens "The Great God Pan" and he was influenced by Arthur Racham's illustrations and he gained the idea of the character of the faun from childhood experiences with lucid dreaming. In the film, Pans Labyrinth Guillermo Del Toro used some computer generated imagery in the effects but mostly used make-up and animatronics. 

Parody: This can be applied to Pan's Labyrinth for instance we see Captain Vidal criticising the resistance and their political ideologies for a democratic Spain.
Bricolage: It could be argued that there is bricolage in the film as Del Toro uses a combination of warfare associated with The Devils Backbone and both narratives are identical and Del Toro uses Roman and Greek mythology and combines them with Alice in Wonderland, this shows that Del Toro is able to use other pieces of influences but he uses it in away that's essential to characterization of the character and context of the narrative which Ofelia's story is constructed which results in the audience who are familar with his characters and narratives, if they have seen Del Toro's films already.
Acts against modernism: I would say that Pans Labyrinth acts against modernism when we see Ofelia put something underneath her mothers bed to help her get better but before this we see the doctor giving Carmen getting more ill even when given medicine it doesn't work but when Ofelia puts something under her bed she becomes better but when the the thing underneath Carmen's bed is found and killed after this Carmen eventually dies. Another example would be that of the book which helps Ofelia learn the future.
Nostalgic: Pans Labyrinth could be considered to be nostalgic as it celebrates the defeat of fascism by the resistance forces in the Spanish Civil war. In Pan's Labyrinth, Othelia's story operates within the framework of the Spanish civil war aftermath in which rebels fight against the fascists and gain back the Spain they were so loyal to. Othelia's personal experience mirrors this as she longs for the happy childhood she once knew before having to adjust to her paranoid and sadistic stepfather and the surrounding chaos. To cope with her personal experience under fascism in Spain, she imagines herself as a protagonist who imagines herself in her own fairy tale despite being told by her mother not to believe in them any more. In the film, Othelia constructs an alternate reality which also her brother confines in another reality without knowing about the reality of warfare in the Spanish civil war. I would also say that it celebrates Ofelia coming back to her kingdom such as when we see the King and queen of the underworld we see it as a reference to Alice in Wonderland.   
Narcissistic: I would say that the postmodern characteristic of narcissism is conveyed in Pans Labyrinth when we see the scene where the various characters are seen sitting around the table which involves the characters of Carmen (Ofelia's mother) and Captain Vidal, one of the characters ask Carmen and Captain Vidal how they met, Carmen then mentions how they met and she puts her hand on Captain Vidal's hand, he then pulls his hand away showing how self indulgent he is and how he only cares for himself and not for Carmen's or Ofelia's life. Vanity is also shown by Ofelia when she's doing a task where she has to open a door but eats a bit of forbidden fruit which a fairy tries to stop her but she pushes her away and causes the monster to wake up, which puts herself in danger and two of the faries get eaten which conveys how narcissistic she is.
An active audience: This can be applied to Pans Labyrinth because at the start of the film, we find out that Ofelia is a princess of the underworld but didn't know this before because she lost memory of her identity. What I found those was that when viewing the last scene from the film, that when she is killed by her step father we're wondering whether she be able to gain the identity and freedom she lost from her mortal existence but as an audience we're thinking what will happen in the Spanish civil war etc, this mode of address is used as the director is expecting the audience to know about the Spanish civil war.
Hyper-conscious: I would say that Pan's Labyrinth, is aware of itself because when we first hear a narrator telling the audience about Ofelia/princess Moanna who escaped her bodyguards and fell into humanity in which she forgets about her previous identity but its only when she gets told by the Faun that she was a princess but I would say that it only becomes self aware when Ofelia actually comes to the kingdom that she's able to embrace her own identity.

Tuesday, 15 May 2012

Postmodernist Film

Postmodernist film attempts to articulate postmodernism (its ideas and themes and methods) through film. Postmodernist film tries to subvert the mainstream conventions of narrative structure, characterization and destroys or toys with the audiences suspension of belief. Typically these type of films also break down the cultural divide between high and low art and often upend typical portrayals of race, gender, class and time with the goal of creating something different from traditional narrative expression. 

Postmodernist film is a reaction to modernist cinema and its tendencies. Modernist cinema is known to explore  and expose the formal concerns of the medium by placing them at the forefront of consciousness. Modernist cinema is known to question and make visible the meaning production practices of film. Auteur theory and the authors/directors idea of producing work from a singular vision guided the concerns of modernist cinema. "To investigate the transparency of the image is modernist but undermines the references to reality, to engage with the aesthetics of postmodernism. Although modernist film is known to have more faith in the author, individual and accessibility of reality itself than the postmodernist film. 
Postmodernist films are known to have three characteristics, which separate it from modernist film/cinema or traditional narrative film, these include characteristics like:

  1. The pastiche of many genres and styles. Which means postmodernist films are comfortable with mixing together many disparate kinds film/styles etc and ways of film-making together in the same movie. 
  2. Self reflexivity of technique that highlights the construction and relation of the image to other images and not to any kind of external reality. Which is done through highlighting the constructed nature of the image in ways that directly reference its production and also by explicit intertexuality that incorporates or references other media and texts. The deconstruction and fragmentation of linear time as well also commonly employed to highlight the constructed nature which appears on screen. 
  3. An undoing or a collapse of the distinction between high and low art styles, techniques and texts. Which is also an extension of the tendency towards pastiche and combining. It also extends to the combination or mixing of techniques which traditionally come with value judgments as to their worth and place in culture and the creative and artistic spheres.  
  4.  Lastly contradictions among values, styles, technique, methods and are important to postmodernism and are many cases irreconcilable Any theory of postmodernist film would have to be comfortable with the possible paradox of certain ideas and articulation.

Thursday, 10 May 2012

Relativism, Death of the Author,Modernism and Marxist film theory etc

Relativism: This is the concept of their being no validity or truth, and having no relative, subjective value according to differences in perception and consideration. The term is often used to refer to the context of moral principle and ethics are regarded as applicable in only limited context. The term often refers to truth relativism, which is concept of there being no absolute truth.

Death of the author-This is a essay produced by Roland Barthes in 1967. Barthes's essay argues against the traditional literacy criticisms practice of incorporating the intentions and biographical context of an author and an interpretation of a text, and instead argues that writing and creating are unrelated.
In this essay, Barthes argues against the method of reading an criticism which lies on the aspects of the authors identity, like their ethnicity, political views etc which are used to distill meaning from the author's work. In this type of criticism he experiences and biases of the author serve as an definitive explanation of the text. For Barthes, this method is flawed as "to give a text and author, and assign a single, corresponding interpretation to it" is to impose a limit on the text.

Modernism: A modern thought, character or practice. The term is also used to describe the modernist movement in the arts, its set of cultural tendencies and associated cultural movements, which arises from the wide scale and far reaching changes of Western society in the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries. The development of the modern industrial societies and the rapid growth of cities, followed then by the horror of World War 1 where among the factors which developed modernism.

What are the differences between modernism and postmodernism?
Modernism is an encompassing label for a wide variety of cultural movements. Postmodernism is an centralized movement that named itself based on socio-political theory, although the term is used now to describe or refer to activities in the from the 20th century onwards which exhibit awareness of an reinterpret the modern. Postmodern theory asserts the attempt to canonize modernism after the fact that its doomed to major contradictions. 

Marxist Film Theory: Sergei Eisenstein and many other Soviet filmmakers in the 1920's expressed ideas/ideologies of Marxism through their films. The Hegelian dialectic was considered best displayed  in film editing through the Kuleshov experiment and the development of montage.
This approach towards Marxism and film-making was used to shun the use of the typical narrative structure which was associated with Hollywood film-making. Eisenstein chose to shun the narrative structure by get rod of the typical modernist individual protagonist central to films and he told stories where the action is moved by the group and the narrative or story is told through a clash of one image against the next(whether in composition, motion or idea) so that the audience is lulled into believing that they are watching something that has been constructed in the typical manner attributed with Hollywood, e.g. Jean Luc Goddard would employ radical editing and choice of subject matter, as well as subversive parody to heighten class consciousness and promote Marxist hegemony or dominant ideologies.

Fourth Wall technique: The fourth wall technique is the imaginary wall, at the front of the stage in a traditional  three walled box set in a proscenium theater, through which the audience see's the action in the world of the play and was made explicit by Denis Diderot, which extended the idea to the imaginary boundary between any fictional work and its audience. Speaking directly,acknowledging the audience through camera in film, TV or through the imaginary wall in a play is referred to as the "breaking the fourth wall" and is considered a technique of metafiction. As it deconstructs the boundaries which is normally set by the works of fiction.

Metaference: A metafiction technique which is situated in a work of fiction where characters display an awareness that they are in such a work, such as in film, books etc. This technique of metafiction is used in the Simpsons, when the characters are often seen mockingly referring to the show, the writers, Fox Network, known continuity errors or popular memes pertaining to the show as the show as a form of self parody. Another example is the one we see in the South Park episode, "More Crap", a trophy appears at the bottom of the screen to announce that South Park won an Emmy for "Make Love Not Warcraft". At the end of the episode "More Crap" Randy is awarded said trophy.

Aside: A dramatic device in which a character speaks to its audience. By convention, the audience is to realize that the character's speech is unheard by the other characters on stage. It may be addressed to the audience expressly (in character or not) or represent an unspoken thought.

Nihilism: Is the philosophical doctrine suggesting the negation of one or more putatively meaningful aspects of life. When nihilism is presented in the form of existential nihilism, argues that life is is without objective meaning, purpose or intrinsic value. Nihilism is also a characteristic that has been ascribed to time periods, for example Baudrillard and others have called post-modernity an nihilistic epoch.

The Postmodern condition: Used to describe the economic or cultural state or condition of society which is said to exist after modernity. Some scholars/academics would claim that modernity ended in the late 20th century, 1980's or the early 1990's replaced by post-modernity, while others extend modernity to cover the developments denoted by post-modernity, while some believe that modernity ended after world war 2. Post-modernity can also connote a personal response to a postmodern society, the conditions in a society which make it postmodern or the state of being which is associated with a postmodern society.

The Death of Postmodern and Beyond: The Death of Postmodern and Beyond  is an essay by the British cultural critic Alan Kirby. The essay argues that postmodernism as a cultural period is over and is given way to a new paradigm based on digital technology which he calls "psuedomodernism, (changed to "digimodernism" in the book). The essay has been criticized for its vague reference to the banality of current texts. Kirby defines "pusedomodernism" as a text which is created by the audience, for the audience but then places a range of wide range of texts under this category that seem not to belong like The Blair Witch Project. Kirby says these texts lack the self aware irony that is associated with postmodernism. 

Thursday, 3 May 2012


Postmodern, can be defined as a style and concepts in the arts characterized by a distrust of theories and ideologies and by the drawing of attention to conventions.
Postmodernists claim that in a media saturated world, where we are constantly immersed in media,24/7 and on the move, at work etc- the distinction between reality and media representation of it becomes blurred or even entirely invisible to us. In other words, we no longer have a sense of the difference between real things and images of them, or real life experiences and simulations of them. Media reality is the new reality. Others say postmodernism is just a a new way of thinking about the media, when really it has always been the way. Mass media where once thought of holding up a mirror to and thereby reflecting a wider social reality. Now that reality is only definable in terms of the surface reflections of the mirror. Its no longer a question of distortion between since the term implies there's a reality outside the surface simulations of the media, which can be distorted and this is whats basically the issue. Postmodern also reject idea that any media product or text is of any greater value than another. All judgments are merely taste. Anything can be art, anything can deserve to reach an audience and culture 'eats itself' as there's no longer anything new to produce or distribute.
Distinction between media and reality has collapsed and we now live in a reality defined by images and representations-a state of simulacrum. Images refer to each other as reality rather then some pure reality that exists before the image represents it- this is the state of hyper reality. All ideas of truth are just completing claims or discourses and what we believe to be the truth at any point is merely the winning discourse. Baudrillard and Lyotard argue the belief the idea that the idea of truth needs to be deconstructed so that we can challenge the dominant ideas that that people claim as the truth, which Lyotard described as a grand narratives. In postmodern world, media texts make visible and challenge ideas of truth and reality removing the illusion that stories, texts or images can eventually reproduce reality or truth. So we get the idea that there always competing versions of the truth and reality, and postmodern media products will engage with this idea.

Critics of these theories and beliefs:
People have criticized Baudrillards and Lyotards theories on postmodernism as being been too offensive and hard to reconcile with their belief systems. It can be seen as whimsical luxury to question and play with the idea of truth and something that people live in countries like Tibet etc, they have to contest on a daily basis the existence of truth, justice and human rights. Some people also find idea that idea of rejecting their grand narrative goes against their whole religious beliefs and moral principles.
For Baudrillard there's only the surface meaning, there is longer any original thing for a sign is the meaning. We inhabit a society made up wholly of simulacra-simulations of reality which replace pure reality.
McDougall-Pure reality is replaced by the hyper real where any boundary between real and the imaginary is eroded. Baudrillards work is an attempt to expose the open secret that this is how we live and make sense of the world in postmodern times.
Simulacra and simulation is known for its discussion of images, signs and how they relate to the present day. Baudrillard claims modern society has replaced all reality and meaning with symbols and and signs and that the human experience is off reality rather then reality itself. Simulacra which Baudrillard refers to are signs of culture and media which create the percieved reality. Baudrillard believed society has become so reliant on simulacra that its lost contact with the real world on which simulacra is based on. Baudrillard referred to hyper reality, where real objects have been effected or suspended. This is criticized for his fatal strategy of attempting to push his theories of society beyond themselves.
Susan Sontag in her book on photography, that the notion of reality has been complicated by the profusion that of images it; Baudrillard asserts that reality no longer exists. Postmodern texts: There are many examples of postmodern examples of texts and products which set out to explore and play with this state of hyper-reality. These texts are said to be intertextual and self referential they break the rules of realism to explore that nature of their own status as constructed texts. They seek not to represent reality, but to present media reality.
Postmodernist films can be seen to voice ideas of postmodernism through the cinematic medium. Postmodernist film upsets the mainstream conventions of narrative structure and characterization and destroys or toys with audience suspension of disbelief to create a work in which a less recognizable internal logic form of the film forms meanings of expression. By making some changes to the conventions of cinema, artificiality of the experience and the world presented are emphasized in the audiences mind in order to remove them from the conventional emotional link they give to the subject matter, and to give them a new view of it.
Noam Chomsky suggests postmodernism is meaningless as it doesn't add nothing analytical or empirical knowledge. A Marxist point of view, from Fredrick Jameson attacks postmodernism as he states what he claims, its "the cultural logic of late capitalism for its refusal to engage with meta-narratives critically of capitalization and globalization. He says its refusal renders post modernity complicit with the prevailing relations of domination and exploitation. A moral relativist perspective of postmodernism would be that many critics of postmodernism have attacked the tendency to the abandonment of objective truth as the unacceptable feature of the postmodern condition and have often aimed to offer a meta-narrative that provides this truth.

Why is the Matrix considered postmodernist:

  • The narrative structure 
  • Idea of changing established conventions
  • Drawing the viewers attention to the construction of film, 'bullet time ' sequences. 
  • Taking existing ideas from earlier films and using them in a different way-paying homage.
  • Suggestion which it makes about society and its troubles.
  • The Matrix is an allegory for contempoary experience in a heavily commercialized media driven society, especially of the developed countries. 
  • The Matrix makes many connections to Simulacra and simulation. In an scene, Simulacra and simulation is the book in which Neo hides this illicit software.
  • Morpheus also refers to real world of outside of the Matrix as the 'desert of the real' which was directly reference to Slavoj Zizek 
  • Reeves was asked to read books by the directors to read the book, as well, as Out of Control and Evolution Psychology, before casting as Neo.
Our consumption of the films, merchandise and the world and myth of the Waschowski's sells us, and our collective orgasm over the effects and phones, guns, shades and leather represent our integration into the virtuality it promotes. The Matrix became a viral meme spreading through and being mimetic-ally (mimicked or copied) and absorbed into the modern culture, extending our virtualistation.Just as the film, offered choice of being inside or outside the Matrix, so you were either inside or outside the zietgeist. Baudrillard makes clear that fans and public are caught in a similarly invisible Matrix and is fare greater then depicted in the film and the film itself is part of and extends. The Matrix describes a future in which reality perceived by humans is actually the Matrix; a simulated reality created by sentiment machines in order to pacify and subdue the human population, while their bodies heat and electrical activity are used as energy sources. Neo is drawn into rebellion against the machines when coming across this. The film contains many references to the cyberpunk and hacker subcultures: philosophical and religious ideas and homages to Alices adventures in Wonderland, Hong Kong action cinema and spaghetti Westerns.

Wednesday, 25 April 2012

Postmodern theory

Jean Baudrillard: He was a French sociologist, who lived between 27th July 1929-6th March 2007 and the majority of his work is based on the theory of postmodernism in the 1980's.

Jean Baudrillard invented the terms simulacra and simulation. Simulacra is the condition of involving a negation of the concept of reality, as for when he uses the word, simulacra he often uses it to address how their is no such thing as reality. Whereas Baudrillard claims that simulation is the current stage of the simulacrum. All is composed is composed of references with no referents, a hyperreality. Progressing gradually through the period of the Renaissance in which the dominant simulacrum was in the form of the counterfeit, as mostly objects or even people appearing to stand for royalty etc. In the present tense, in dissumiliating others that a person or a things doesn't really have it. Such as in the industrial period, the dominant simulacrum is the product, the product or commodity which can be maufactured on a endless production line and to current times the current simulacrum model is which by its nature already stands for endless reproducibility and itself is already produced.Baudrillard references the development of nuclear weapons as a deterrent, as this is only useful in the hyperreal sense, since they are always meant to be reproducible but never intended to be used. Second the twin towers is a reproduction, a singular model for all concievable model for all conceivable development. Thirdly, a manage a trois with identical twins where the fantasy comprises having perfection produced in front of your eyes, through the reality behind the reproduction isn't real and impossible to comprehend. Baudrillard those insists that in the tactical sense, we already assume the reproducablility of everything since it isn't the reality of the simulations we imagine. We do not imagine them repreoduced for us since the original image of the self is a reproduction but we percieve the model as a simulation.

Here is a link I found on simulation and simulacra:

The Importance of simulacra and simulation:
They are important as they present to people, a world were we aren't able to grasp our own reality and the theory points to the concept of whether we are trapped in a simulated version of life. These terms are used by various theorists to question our reality and the state of it. According to Baudrillard simulations are produced in order to hide the fact their is no real or original copy of that product. He states how we are removed from the binary, which sets up copies of the original and there is only copies andcopies of the original. He also states that imitation can precede the original, which results in a world without depth, a place where reality is only an endless interplay of surfaces. Baurillards attempt is not to expose the falseness of the simulated reality but to lament the passing of the actual real and he finds the world of images and signs to be oppressive.

Quotes: “We live in a world where there is more and more information, and less and less meaning.”

“We will live in this world, which for us has all the disquieting strangeness of the desert and of the simulacrum, with all the veracity of living phantoms, of wandering and simulating animals that capital, that the death of capital has made of us—because the desert of cities is equal to the desert of sand—the jungle of signs is equal to that of the forests—the vertigo of simulacra is equal to that of nature—only the vertiginous seduction of a dying system remains, in which work buries work, in which value buries value—leaving a virgin, sacred space without pathways, continuous as Bataille wished it, where only the wind lifts the sand, where only the wind watches over the sand.”

"The simulacrum  is never that which conceals the truth--it is the truth which conceals that there is none. The simulacrum is true."

Cricisms:Merrin argues Baudrillards work places him against himself. He argues Baudrillards position on semitoic analysis of meaning defines himself as in his own position on political change and some theorists have be known to reject his theory. Ignores contradictive evidence as he rejects mediums etc. Even if truths existence is taken for granted as Baudrillards doesn't portray convincively how meaning can be overpowering. Baudrillard also fails to offer a means of fighting the collapse of reason. The theory of postmodernism contradicts itself as it tries to disapprove the existence of all theories as in its own right it is a theory.The present age can be characterized as that of an hyperreality, where the real objects have been effaced or superseded by their signs of existence. Baudrillards theory of simulation and simulacrums can be criticized as in his work,Baudrillard attempts to push his theories of society beyond themselves.

Saturday, 21 April 2012

Arguments for and against Postmodernism

What is postmodernism?

 Postmodernism is a theory which means literally after modernity. The theory of postmodernism refers to the incipient or actual dissolution of those social forms associated with modernity. Sarup in 1993 sated "There is a sense in which if one see's modernism as the culture of modernity, postmodernism is the culture of post modernity. According to Baudrillard in 1984 he defined postmodernism as how we should come to terms with the second revolution which is that of the 20th century  of postmodernity which is the immense process of destruction of the meaning equal to the earlier destruction of appearances. Whoever lives by meaning dies by meaning (Ashley 1990). Whereas Ryan Bishop in his essay, Encyclopedia of Cultural Anthropology in 1996 defined postmodernism, as an electic movement which originated in aesthetics, architecture and philosophy. postmodernism also espouses a systematic skepticism of grounded theoretical perspectives. When applied to anthropology, this skepticism is focused on the observation of a particular society to the observation of the (anthropological) observer. Postmodernism is also known to concentrate on the tensions of differences and similarity which erupts from the process of globalization, which is the circulation of people, which is increasingly dense and frequent cross cultural interactions and the unavoidable intersections of global and local knowledge.

Baudrillard breaks down modernity and postmodernity in an effort to explain the world as a set of models. He identifies modernity as a period between the renaisance and the industrial revolution and postmodernity as the period of mass media e.g. cinema and photography. Baudrillard states we live in a world of images but images which are only simulations. He also implies that many people fail to understand this concept in which we have moved into an epoch where truth is entirely a product of common values and where science itself is just the name weattach to certain modes of explanantions.

Arguments for Postmodernism:
The main arguments for Postmodernism are:
  • There is no unity, even the unity of chaos is not.
  • There is no individual.
  • There's a individual representative of absolute truth and unity of knowledge.
  • The only way of understanding humanity and collective action is by first understanding that it isn't a uniform. Second, one must continue with rather pedestrian understanding by figuring in the complex nexus of power engendering forms of Foucauldian genealogies coupled with a discursive shift of the modular nation state qua sexual (inter) sexual from inherent to the (post) hegemonic fabric of the intrinsic and rather self evident tears within the Bourdiean poly-habititic stream etc. A swift punch to the groin is life affirming. 
  • A text has no logic following of words.
  • All truths are constructed and have to be abolished.
Arguments against Postmodernism:

Postmodernists are also known to be suspicious of authorative definitions and singular narratives of any trajectory of events (Bishop, 1993). Postmodernism also attacks on ethnography are based on the belief that their is no true objectivity. The authentic implementation of the scientific method is possible.
According to Rosenau, postmodernism can be divided into two camps, Skeptics and Affirmatives.
  • Skeptical Postmodernists-They are critical of the modern subject. They consider the subject to be linguistic convention( Rosenau, 1992). They also reject any understanding of time because of for them in the modern understanding of time is oppressive in which it controls and measures individuals. They also reject theory because theories are abundant and no theory is considered more correct then any other theory. They feel as if theories actually conceal, distorts and alienated, disparate, dissonant which means to exclude order and control rival powers (1992, Rosenau). 
  • Affirmative Postmodernists-These postmodernists reject theory by denying claims of truth. They however feel that theory needs to be abolished but merely transformed. They support movements organized around peace, environment and feminism (1993, Rosenau). 
Roy Andrade in one of his articles criticizes postmodernism definition of objectivity and subjectivity by examining the moral nature of their models. He argues these models are subjective. He argues despite the fact that utterly value free objectivity is impossible as its the goal of the anthropologists to get as a possible to the ideal. He argues there is a seperation between moral and and objective models because they are counterproductive in discovering how the world works. He states that postmodernism stand on objectivity isn't dehumanizing or nor is it objectively impossible. He states science works as it produces unbiased accounts because they are objective enough to be proved or disapproved no matter what anyone wants to be true. Patricia Greenfield believes postmodernism's complete lack of objectivity and its tendency to push political agendas, makes it virtually useless in any scientific investigation. She also states using resources in the field of psychology help anthropologists gain a better grasp on cultural relativism while still maintaining their objectivity.
Rosenau identified six contradictions in postmodernism theory:
  1. Its anti theoretical position is essentially a theoretical stand. 
  2. Postmodernism stresses the irrational instruments of of reason are freely employed to advance to its perspective.
  3. The postmodernist prescription to focus on the marginal itself an evaluative emphasis of precisely of the sort that it attacks. 
  4. It stresses intertexuality but often treats texts in isolation.
  5. By rejecting modern criteria for assessing theory, they cannot argue there is no valid criteria for judgement.
  6. They also criticize the inconsistency of modernism but refuse to be held to norms of consistency itself. 
  7. They also contradict themselves by relinquishing truth claims in their own writings. 
Melford Spiro addresses six propositions from John Searle's 1993 work, Rationality and Realism:
  1. Reality exists independtly of human representations. If this is true, this postulate, supports the existence of mind indendent external reality this is called metaphysical realism. 
  2. Language communicates meaning but refers to objects and situations in the world which is exist independently of language. This postulate supports the concept of language as have communicative and referential functions. 
  3. Statements are true or false depending on whether the objects and situations to which they correspond to a greater or lesser degree to the statements. This correspondence theory of truth is to some extent the theory of truth for postmodernists but this concept is rejected by postmodernists as essentialists. 
  4. Knowledge is objective. This signifies the truth of a knowledge independent of the motive, culture or gender of the person who makes the claim. As knowledge depends on empirical support.
  5. Logic and rationality provides a set of methods and procedures which enable the researcher to assess competing knowledge claims through, reason, validity and proof.
  6. Objective and intersubjective criteria judge the merit of statements, theories etc.
  • Melford Spiro agrees with postmodernists that the social sciences require different techniques for the study of humanity than do the natural sciences but while insight and empathy are critical of mind and culture, intellectual responsibility requires objective scientific methods in the social sciences. Without objective procedures ethnography is dubious and irresponsible.
  • Postmodernist genre of ethnography has been criticized for fostering a self indulgent subjectivity and exagerates the esoteric and unique aspects of a certain culture at the expense of more prosiac but significant questions(Bishop, 1996). 
  • Bob McKinley believes postmodernism is more of a religion than a science. He argues the origin of postmodernism is the western emphasis on individualism, which makes postmodernists reluctant to acknowledge the existence of distinct multi-individual cultures. 
  • Christopher Norris believes postmodernist theorists such as Lyotard, Baudrillard and Foucault are too caught up in the idea of the primacy of moral judgements. Also in reaction to the postmodernist movement, Marshall Sahlins addressed several issues which includes the definition of power."The current Focauldian-Gramascian- Nietzschean obsession with power is the latest incarnation of of anthropology's incurable functionalism, "Now power is the intellectual black hole into which all kinds of cultural contents get sucked, if before it was social solidarity of material advantage. 
  • Intuitive interpretation is a postmodernist interpretation which is introspective and anti objectivist which is a form of individualized understanding, as it is more of a vision then data observation. For postmodernists there are an endless number of interpretations. Foucault argues everything is an interpretation (Dreyfus and Rainbow, 1993). There is no final meaning for any particular sign, or no notion of unitary sense of text, no interpretation can be argued as superior to any other (Latour, 1988). Anti postmodernists defend their notion that every interpretation is false. Interpretative anthropology is a covering label for a diverse set of reflections upon the practice of ethnography and the concept of culture (Marcus and Fisher, 1986). 
Stanley Kubrick's filming techniques, Social realism:
Below this picture of Stanley Kubrick is a link to a website of how Stanley Kubrick uses film making techniques on social realism and how his uses these techniques which are considered to be elements of postmodern cinema. Which I plan to analyse and use in my revision and apply to my study of which I could refer to these cinematic techniques used by Kubrick within his films, to show my understanding of postmodern media. After analyzing these filmmaking techniques I will also try to apply them to other postmodernist films.

Examples of postmodern Film directors:
  • Francois Truffaut
  • The Coen brothers
  • Stanley Kubrick
  • David Lynch
  • Jean-Luc Goddatd
  • Ridley Scott
  • Martin Scorsese
  • Tim Burton
  • David Fincher
  • Guillmero Del Toro
  • Hayo Myazaki
  • Christopher Nolan etc.
Here are links to other postmodern media formats:

    Wednesday, 18 April 2012

    Other Postmodern Media Formats

    Postmodern Music Videos:
    1.Foster the People-"Call what you want"(Released in 2011, Producers-Mark Foster and Paul Epworth, label Columbia Pictures)-This Music video was released in December 2011, which appears in their debut album "Torches" and appears on the soundtrack of the video game, FIFA 12. The female fans and the mansion, is used by the director to represent the bands new found fame. I would say that the fists used in the video is a symbol of solidarity and support. I would also say that the fists are also used to express unity, strength, defiance or the resistance of the group.The gold fists are also used to symbolize the bands power, their strength and the band seeking perfection within the music industry. Whereas the fireworks towards the end of the video are used to represent the bands success. I would say the music video is postmodern as in the music video, depicted on the side of the head is a clock, which has been used to symbolize the how the pace of time can't be controlled and how their are different types of realities.I would also say the objects used in the video are bricolage as they take on different meanings within the video but within the video they are given different contexts and meanings. I would also say that its postmodern in the way that their is no conventional linear narrative structure as their is just a few scenes which are placed to together to create a certain meaning but its also postmodern as it combines working class culture and high culture together such as in the scene where we see the butler which is an associative of high culture and shows the band which are wearing working class clothes, which shows how they are targeting that particular social group. There is also  a simulation of reality throughout the video, which is the frequent permeation between the two world e.g. The copy of one of the band members in the mirror, which is also a simulacra but this could also be considered hyper reality as the guy isn't able distinguish between reality and fiction. In a way those it also indulges people into capitalist culture. You could also say that com modification is used in the video as it assigns economic value to things in the video we wouldn't usually consider to be commodities. You could also say that the quote from the video "Idle minds are the devils workshop", I would say that this quote means how easily the human mind can be distracted or manipulated by the devil.

    2.Ah ha-Take on me
     In the Music video-AH HA, "Take On Me", postmodernism metamorphis was used and it has four distinct features(directed by Steve Barron, 1985, producer-Alan Tarney, Label-Warner Bros): 
    1. There is the portrayal of two ontologically distinct worlds: Such as their is the portrayal of the two worlds of reality and the comic book styled fantasy reality . This is shown when Morten's comic hand comes out of the comic, which refuses to comprehend how their's two realities are both shouldn't be considered more real then the other one, which draws attention to the boundary between the two world stating how the video is self conscious in this manner.
    2.Frequent premeations of the membrane between these two worlds. This is shown at the start of the music video when we see a link between the fictional and real world were we see the women reading a comic book while in a cafe in the real world and when we see Morten's hand inviting the women into the book invoking a connection between the two worlds. She then goes into that world which is an example of a character transgressing the membrane between the two worlds, which is a second characteristic of postmodern metamorphosis.
    3. Resistance to crossing the membrane between the worlds. Where we see Morten introducing the women to his black and white world and does this through a term called rotoscoping which features them in a pencil sketch animation/live action combination and then we see the women try it. This is also shown when when we see the mechanics chasing the protagonists. Morton then opens a portal to the real world were the women escapes. The resistance is demonstrated when Morton's character tries to transcend into the real world but has to go through various states to transcend into the real world, which is shown through him him colliding into the walls in an animated state conveying how his trapped between both worlds.

    4. An instance of metapelis in which someone undergoes a metamorphis, transcending the boundaries of their own ontological world to become part of the other: This is shown when when we see the band members playing the instruments. These scenes depict a hierarchical break, a commingly of the live action and animated worlds.The other form of metaphilsis involves a character transcending from from one world to the real world permanently. This is occurs in the video, when Morten after bouncing around in the hallway flickering between the worlds, he finally makes it out of the animated world at the end of the video. Morten's ontological transformation from an animated character to a living human being which is an example of the ultimate culmination of a postmodern metamorphisis. (directed by Steve Barron, 1985, producer-Alan Tarney, Label-Warner Bros).
    Postmodern media television shows (Main reasons for why a TV show could be considered postmodernism):
    • Pastiche-Tongue in cheek rehashes and tributes to classic pop culture.
    • Spectacle-In the battle for TV viewers, television caters to the basest and shallow impulses to get attention.
    • Faux TV-Self referential mockumentaries, shows about shows and fake news.
    • Mystery-Bizarre, electic searches for the unknown involving spirituality, philosophy and technology.
    1. The Simpsons:About an American family attempting to live the American dream.The Simpsons can be considered postmodernist as it has a non linear narrative structure, it also creates the confusion over time and space and the narrative ends with a narrative resolution. Its also postmodern as it actually asserts the audience into becoming an actual fictional character. The Simpsons there is also a conscious decision which has been made to not localize them and more so the children from the family also don't progress in school as they are being represented as not representing one particular family but every family in every postmodern era. There is also the recurring theme of the decline of meta narratives and mocks institutions like religion etc for example when Homer exchanges his soul with the devil for a doughnut. There is also an episode where Homer goes to vote for Obama, which highlights rising obesity rates in contemporary America and takes a look at a variety of political issues. The show also refuse to conform to the norms of the accepted American conventional sitcom and also celebrates cultural differences and the mixing of those cultures and brings them to the surface. The Simpsons is also a testament to postmodernism decentering of contemporary mass consciousness, which embraces diversity of gender, sexuality and ethnicity etc.
    (Created by Matt Groening 19989, produced by 20th centruy fox, grossed over $527 million.).
    The themes included within the TV show, The Simpsons are:
    • The show is based around a family and their life in a typical American town serving as a satirical parody of working class American lifestyle.
    • The town of Springfield in the program acts as a complete universe in which characters can explore the issues faced by modern society such as by having Homer work at a nuclear power plant, the show can comment on the state of the environment.
    • Lisa and Bart's days at Springfield Elementary School, the show is able to illustrate pressing or controversial issues in the field of education.
    • The town features a vast array of media channels from kids television programming to local news, which enables the producers to make jokes about themselves and the entertainment industry.
    • Some commentators say that the show is political in nature and susceptible to left wing bias. The writers are also known to evince an appreciation for liberal ideas but the show makes jokes across the political spectrum.
    • The show represents government and large corporations as callous entities which take advantage of the common worker.(portrayal of authority figures conveyed in a negative or childish light). Also the politicians in the show are conveyed as corrupt, ministers like Reverend Love Joy are indifferent and the police as useless.
    • Religion is also a theme as it use to connote how people turn to religion time of a crisis.
    • The media is also a recurring theme in the show, as the show is known for its satire of American popular culture and television culture but since its inception it has covered a wide range of media formats like journalism, animation and movies etc. An example of this would be that The Simpsons satire focuses on TV. Which is mainly done through characters like Side Show Bob, Krusty the Clown and Troy McClure. Each of these characters have had a career in fictional TV shows associated with the Simpsons. The Itchy and Scratchy show is a show within a show used as a satire of animation and in some cases The Simpsons itself. Topics range from plagiarism, unoriginal writing to spoofs of traditional live action clip shows and documentaries.
    • Politics is also addressed in the Simpsons these include topics like Gay marriage and homophobia (included in the episodes There's something about marrying and Homer Phobia).
    • Much of the Simpson series religious humor satirizes aspects of Christianity and religion in general .
    2.SouthPark-Insheeption episode:Southpark is a low tech animation which provides raunchy parables on the stage of current mass culture. This episode of Southpark is postmodern as it includes self reference to Inception and includes pastiche as it also takes the mickey out of Inception(Faux TV).
    The philosopher Martin Heiddigger describes humor as a way for humans to throwness in the world, which reflects the experience of being thrown away into postmodernity. This kind of humor responds to and references the fixations, frameworks and technologies which underpin our postmodern existence. Southpark is an example of this as it exhibits a carnivelasque postmodern narrative impulse which attacks the meta narrative style explanations of contemporary events, trends and fashion offered in the popular media. South Park carnivelasque humor is a complex critique on a society in which television is primarily instrumental for communication, a center piece to many peoples lives and barometer of contemporary culture, whilst at the same time drawing attention to the fact that the medium being satirized is also used to perform the critique.
    1. Humor is a form of discourse which simultaneously refers to two frames of reference or associative contexts. Therefore human is a bio-associative form of discourse.
    2.Seriousness can also be considered a form of discourse which relies on a singular associative context.
    3.Legally and socially instituted rules which also govern everyday life uses serious discourse as a matter of practical necessity.
    4.Ambiguity, transgression and deviancy are problematic to serious discourse but conventions of humorous discourse.
    5. Humorous discourse encourages the singularity and totality of the official discourses which govern everyday life. Humor has been subjected to a variety of controls most notably the policing the body documented in the work of Norbert Elias and Michel Foucault.
    6. Humor also functions in a manner similar similar to Jean Francois Lyotards concept of mini narratives, destabilizes the totality of official meta-narratives.
    This proposes strong links between the oppositional practices of the medieval carnival, outlined by Bahtin and the produced for mass consumption humor of Southpark. Although Southpark embodies the oppositional spirit of the carnival and lacks its fundamentally social nature and lacks its politically resistant potency. With South-park's explicit derision of authority as allowed to circulate through the mainstream media as it implies asymmetric conservative action on the part of officialdom. In this sense it could be argued the humor in South-park is allowed to circulate because of the act of watching and consuming the programme which also acts a deterrent to actual radical activity.It is also proposed that South-park is a cultural product reflecting the material, cultural and epistemological conditions of the era.Southpark also acts a substitute to actual political action. It also depicts a world of consumerism and commodification populated by the parents that are idiotic or absent which leads the children to construct their own knowledge base in an unauthorized arrangements of popular culture playground popular knowledge and sound bite information's gained from the media. (Directed by Trey Parker and Matt Stone, 1992, Braniff Productions and Parker Stone studios, grossed $25 million a year in advertising revenue across America and Canada).

    Eclecticism is used in the media format of postmodern text such as South Park, talks about electicism by having major techniques techniques. This is used in South Park when we see see the South Park eppisode called Insheption, this has a cultural reference to Christopher Nolans film Inception. In other episodes it also has references to many other films and has also been influenced by other media formats such as the Simpsons, futurama etc. SouthPark also takes the mickey out of celebrity culture and popular culture. Such as South park uses stop motion and 2d animation techniques then rather 3d animation. Or when Stan gets stuck in an cybernetic world or makes reference to youtube videos.

    Intertextuality:South Park is intertextual because it makes references to other media formats such as it makes reference to Inception, Cloverfield and the Simpsons. In an South Park episode  it references other popular parts of culture such as it has a reference to Terminator and Pokemeon.

    Parody:This is a humorous or satirical imitation of a text. SouthPark included ements of parody within itself by imitating and taking the pissout of some issues within society like abortion and stem cell research. It also makes reference to popular culture and famous characters within society as it disapproves all the idea of generic conventions etc and the humour used in it, is used as a form of discourse which simultaneously refers to two frames of reference to associative contexts, therefore humour is a bissociative form of discourse.

    Bricolage is a term used as a technique where works are constructed from various materials avaliable, in South Prak it includes bricolage as in its episodes it explains how in the world there is no originality, this is used in South Park episode where in the epoisode of where it makes direct reference to Terminator where a product is destroyed but Cartman buys another trapper keeper which shows how there is no originality within the world and how we are all consumed by our consumption of technology and using it to seek perfection(technicism).

    Acts against modernism, is where the postmodern media format such as that of South Park embodies scepticism towards the ideas and ideas of the modern era such as objectivity, reason  personal identity etc. South Park acts against postmodernism by defining grand narrative such as in the majority of episodes, Kenny McCormack one of the characters always dies, this defines the grand narrative as it presents their is no logical narrative within life and South Park acts against modernism as in one of its episodes it disapproves the religious narrative of Mormons.

    Nostalgic: Where the media text celebrates the past and bathes in its glory.  South Park celebrates the past and bathes in its glory by its style of animation and makes reference to childrens shows like Bag puss and the American civil war.

    Narcissistic: Is the fascination with one self, excessive self love and vanity. South Park is known to include these elements of narcissm through its portrayal of the character of Cartman who is often seen within the episodes to indulge in himself too much. There is also one episode where Cartman is so indulged in himself and in catholicism that even starts up his own catholic church, which he uses to exploit peoples belief in catholicism to gat money and Cartman is punished by Jesus and sent to Mexico.

    Active audience: Assertion that meaning and experience can only be created by the individual and cannot be made objective by an author or narrator; an assumption of an intelligent and active audience. This is used in South Park when it assumes that people know of the American civil war and political issues of abortion and stem cell research.

    Hyper-conscious: Is text that is aware of itself. This is used in South Park, in the episode where it mimicks Cloverfield by the filmmaking technique of documentary filmmaking to immerse the audience in the narrative of the episode. This is done when we see Randy using a camcorder to dispprove the logic of realis in mediated saturated texts because through this style or technique Randy uses it to talk directly to the audience or where the Big Brother episode within South Park makes people aware that they are being watched, which takes the mickey out of social realism and through using media formats to show that its aware of itself.

    Themes found in South Park:
    • Abortion
    • Celebrities
    • Censorship
    • Drugs
    • Environmentalism and global warming
    • Homosexuality and gay marriages
    • Literature and religion
    • Politics
    • Saddam Hussein, the war on terror and the Iraq war etc

    Postmodern Films(elements within postmodern film):
    • Pastiche-Self referential, tongue and cheek, rehashes of classic pop culture.
    • Flattening of Affect-Violence, technology, drugs and media leading to detached, emotionless, unauthentic lives.
    • Hyper-reality-Technologically created realities are often more authentic or desirable then the real world. 
    • Time Bending-Time travel represents another way to shape reality and play "what if games with society.
    • Altered States-Drugs, mental illness and technology provide a dark often psychedelic gateway to different or new realities. 
    • More Human than human-Artificial intelligence, cybernetics and robotics provide to enhance, or replace humanity.
    1. Inception(Christopher Nolan, 2010):About a team of con men and architects who loose touch with reality as they delve deeper into their targets dreams.(Directed by Christopher Nolan, 2010, budget-160 million, box office-$825 million, distributed by Warner Bros pictures and produced by Emma Thomas and Christopher Nolan). 
    Reasons why Inception can be considered postmodern:
    There is a countdown element of the missions within the film, which has been used to demonstrate the length of time in which the characters have to complete the missions. In the film it also includes guns, soldiers and videogame type of setting which is demonstrated through the snow fortress scene or when we see DiCaprio's character sitting outside of a cafe, where the city comes towards them. The audience are also told about the how powerful the mind is, which conveys how science is being used to control it and its use of chemicals and futuristic technology. If we were to apply Vladimir Propps theory of character roles in the film and narrative are challenged by its texts. As the theory points to the structure of narrative and the way Inception works disputes the order of the roles. Also there is no original protagonist or antagonist within the film(binary opposition) and their is really no distinction between the hero and villain. Cobbs wife, male holds the antagonist role but the audience soon realize that she only exists within his mind. The film makes out that it is the mind and memories which are primary Cobbs villain and this makes it difficult for him to distinguish between life and fiction (hyperreality). The film also uses a variety of well known actors which destroys Propps theory as it doesn't allow the audience to just focus upon one character.Transtextuality can also be applied because the text uses the features/conventions of different genre films, which designates the film into those genres (architextuality) but also modifies and expands on the convention of the character roles, in order to create an in depth narrative (hypotextuality).
    The film is also known to break down the structure and defined meaning of the text and rejects the non postmodernist theory of structional functionalism (Parsons). There are also different interpretations of the dream sequence such as to whether the audience wakes up after the dream by testing the totem and their also no evidence we've woken up from the Satio's dream so we could be someone else dream and he is the subject. There is also evidence that Cobb is transfixed in the dream as his children never seem to age and their is also a question of ambiguity to whether end scene is real which is conveyed through his children.
    The music soundtrack used within the film reinforces the idea of Inception and there is also a song which is used to connote the characters have waken up from the dream. Time is also slowed down in the dream which reinforces the theory of transtextuality. A penrose staircase is also referenced a few times and expands on the idea that anything in a dream can be possible with the architects creativity.
    The scene with the mirrors in the film has a reference to Citizen Cane(1941), where Kane see's himself . This represents the idea in Inception their are many realities which reflect of the world (a dream within a dream concept) but Ariadane touches the mirror lightly and shatters demonstrating how fragile the dream worlds are.
    • Eclecticism is a wide range of influences, contributions and techniques. Electicism is used in the movie Inception, as the director Christopher Nolan comments upon how the movie is influenced by the movie"Last Year at Marienbad). Nolan also says that the James Bond movies had a strong influence in the construction of his film, Inception as it was similar to places that it was shot around the globe from which James Bond movies where shot in and the James Bond movies have also been influential on Inception in terms of the plot. Christopher Nolan also claims that he has been influenced by the anime movie, Paprika, The Matrix, Dark City, The Thirteenth Floor and Memento.
    • Nolan used techniques such as anamorphic format on 35mm film, with key scenes filmed in 65 mm film and aerial sequences in VistaVision and he used prime lenses for cinematography. For visual  effects he used pratical effects and a miniature of the mountain fortress set. For cinematic techniques he combined elements from genres of science fiction, heist film and film noir. From this Nolan drew inspiration from films by Jorge Luis Borges, the anime Prapika by Satoshi Kon as an influence of the character of Adrianne and Blade Runner by Ridley Scott.
    • Inception includes intertextuality such as in the scene where we see DiCaprio's character and Ellen Page's character creating a reality and then we see, Page's character touching a mirror and it breaks this is reminiscent of the film, Citizen Kane.
    • Parody is included within Inception in the scene where we see DiCaprio's character in a scene running and shooting while a building collapses, this is a parody as DiCaprio's character is seen to be imitating the character of James Bond through his weapons and his dress code.
    • Bricolage is used in Inception in the first scene involving Cobb and Ken Watanabbe's character where we see Cobb wash up on a beach at the start then we see this scene occurring again this shows that their is no originality within the world. 
    • Nostalgia is used in Inception,  such as when we hear the score created by Hans Zimmer which filled with nostalgia and sadness, this is used to connote Cobb's feelings throughout the film. The score is also nostalgic in the fact that its reminiscent as it features a guitar sound which is associated with Ennio Morricone, played by Johnny Marr of the Smith's band. The "Non, je ne regrette rien"(I have no regrets), is used in the film which implies it is nostalgic as it is celebrating the past as its reminiscent of composer Charles Dumont.
    • I would say that Inception acts against modernism, in the scene where Cobb and Ellen Page's character are at a coffee shop and then the whole city comes forward which defies reason and objectivity. Inception also acts against modernism by Nolan suggesting in the film, that there is individual realities within dreams, this implies that their is another reality other then on which we as humans experience. In Inception, this separate reality lays in one dream. The dreams experienced by the characters in the film experience are brought on voluntarily to explore this reality. By using the dream states of the characters, Nolan suggests to much of this separate reality can cause confusion when distinguishing between reality and dream reality. Nolan uses this to say how we should be questioning our own reality.
    • Narcissism is conveyed through Don Cobb in Inception.
    • The idea of an active audience is demonstrated at the end of Inception as the scene where we see the spinner on the table is used by Nolan to get the audience involved with the narrative within the movie and to question if Cobb has got back to reality or not and makes people question their own existence of reality.
    • Hyper Conscious is used in Inception when Don Cobb and the team wake up from the dream world and realize they were in a separate reality. You could also say that they are aware of themselves within the dream world and reality when we see Cobb fall in to the bath or when Cobb uses a spinner the real world from the dream world.
    Themes included in Inception:
    • Reality and dreams
    • Dreams and cinema etc.
    2.Donnie Darko (Richard Kelly, 2001, box office 4 million, budget $4.5million, distributed by New-market Films and produced by Adam Fields, Drew Barrymore etc):About a troubled teen and his attempts to save the world and covers themes such as time travel and free will. The reasons why Donnie Darko is postmodern is that the music at the start holds an intertexual reference to the cinema scene where this operatic score is also played. The innocence connoted by the swan character through her clothing could counteract whats happening beside it in the underlying under story. When the sparkle motion group get to the stage, their silver costumes and starburst dance moves could link to the sci fi postmodern element and Stephen Hawkins ideas about the universe. This also links to living in a parallel universe and there is also a scene at the end which represents an intertexual montage of sequences symbolising the change of pace of the scene. The ending scene also begins with a reference to sci-fi looking through Donnie's eyes as a computer. The eye also shows reminiscence to the artist Rene Margaritte and his painting of 'The false mirror' and there is also reference to Back to the future and is a link to the "Wizard of OZ". Montage shots of Donnie in his room shows him smiling at death and has links to schizophrenia. The fuzzy TV is also a reference to the horror film genre. 
    The montage also shows reference to nature showing deers on the wall which possibly links to freedom and purity contrasting Donnie's situation. The adult content shown within the film, is a reflection of Donnie's character. The birds eye view shots of the characters crossing to one another could link to the aeroplane and its accident. The "Mad World" soundtrack has also been used to demonstrate the mood within the film. When we see Donnie's mother after his death wearing a preach blazer and smoking a ciggeratte connotes her nakedness and her exposure after his death.Grethchen on her bike contrasts the scene by adding purity and innocence against the death and destruction of the accident. The end scene demonstrates the non conventional style and structure of the circular narrative of the narrative and how humans have no control over their destiny/fate. 
    The themes included in Donnie Darko:
    • Time Travel and Free Will
    • fear/love
    • heroism and martyrdom
    • schizophrenia
    • dreams
    • death and loneliness etc.
    Eclecticism: The film Donnie Darko is influenced by many genres such as the horror film genre, science fiction, Philip Dicks novel Blade Runner, Total Recall, Stephen Hawkings ideas on the universe, Alice in Wonderland(nod to the white rabbit leading Donnie into his own rabbit hole), Watership Down, E.T, The Graduate and the book, the Destruction. Richard Kelly, the director also mentioned how he was influenced by Alfred Hitchcock by including a reference the cellar and knife play in Psycho and how the school bully likes to have a large knife when not mimicking Psycho's high pitched violins in class. The techniques used in Donnie Darko include techniques such as using image patterns, music, parallel editing and the casting of the film.
    Intertexuality: This is when the author borrowing and transformation of a prior text. Intertexuality is included in the film, Donnie Darko as it includes references to the book, The Destructors as in the film, the protagonist Donnie contributes to a discussion on the Destructors in English. Prior to the movie burned down a house, he thinks the destructors suggests destruction as a form of creation. The fuzzy TV is also a reference to horror film genre.
    Parody: Donnie Darko could be considered to have parody included in it becuase when we are introduced to the late Patrick Swayze character, Jim Cunningham as someone who is seen as an cunning motivational speaker. But the scene where, we see all the characters from Donnie's classroom watching a Jim Cunningham's video on "Controlling Fear" but its a parody as the statements on America's 80's ethos is satirical.
    Bricolage:I would say that their is a bricolage in Donnie Darko there is the ongoing topic of travelling back in time to change something to improve the world, Donnie Darko manipulates time by going back in time to save Gretchen and save the world, which conveys the reproduction of the topics of free will and time travel.
    Nostalgic:Donnie Darko is nostalgic as it celebrates the 80's in America through the song "Notorious" by Duran Duran which we hear when watching Samantha Darko's Dance Group, Sparkle Motion dancing and the image of George McCartney from the Beatles and the track "Proud to be Loud" by Pantera would coincide with the time setting of the film.
    Acts agaainst modernism:I would say that the film, Donnie Darko acts against modernism when we see worm holes appearing out of Donnie's and other characters chest but it also acts against modernism by the way of how the Jet engine went through a worm hole to then killing Donnie but the reversal of time to find that Gretchen is alive, Jim Cunningham hasn't been arrested but Donnie has died which signifies how Donnie is able to control when this in reality isn't logically possible as no human being can control time. Or when we see the scene at the end of the film when the sky opens up this suggests that their is no logical meaning within time or space as Dr Fuhrmann explains if this was to happen their would be no existence of God and Donnie is able to control time through transporting the jet engine through a wormhole 28days later, which proves their is no God as he is able to control time through the use of wormholes as time travel vessels. 
    Narcissism: I would say Narcissism is shown in Donnie Darko with the characters of Jim Cunningham but I would especially say Kitty Farmer as in on seen where they are watching the video, when Jim Cunnningham comes into the frame she immediately starts to obsess about him.Jim and Donnie would be narcissistic because they both defy the law but Donnie does this through committing crimes without questioning Frank.
    The idea of an active audience: This characteristic of postmodernism is produced in the Film, Donnie Darko is at the end of the film, the director Richard Kelly expects us to deconstruct the media text in the last scene leaves the audience with questions unanswered, like did Donnie save humanity, did he find out the answers to Roberta Sparrows work on time travel etc so Richard Kelly is making the assumption that the audience knows about characteristics of time travel.
    Hyper conscious:I would say that hyper-conscious happens in the scene where we see Donnie with a knife in the bathroom, using the knife to try to hit Frank when he actually can't hit him with the knife because there are two dimensions seperating them, his subconsciousness and  reality. You could even say when we see Donnie Darko laughing at the end, this conveys to the audience that he knows what fate awaits him or you can say this id done through the song "Mad World" demonstrating how chaotic and complex the world is.

    3.Fight Club(David Fincher,1999, budget $63 million, box office-$100.9million, produced by Art Linson etc and distributed by 20th Century Fox.):Violent and schizophrenic tale of a man and his underground society which is full of plot twists, ironies and anarchy. Fight Club is postmodern because it is has self reflexivity, as Edward Norton plays an unamed protagonist, which is a postmodernist feature itself. As he provides narration throughout the film and sometimes he is known to talk towards the camera which addresses the audience directly when we especially discover the occupation of Tyler Durden. Which breaks down the the fourth wall between the text and audience.There is also additional number of characters which draw the attention of the audience to the construction of the text. Which then destroys the self of contained verisimilitude of which we are expected to consume as reality. An example of this is the scene, Tyler discusses the art of film editing with a combination of special effects to emphasis the "ciggeratte burn". 
    There is also the self involvement and postmodern condition which allows the examination of human nature and behavior. It also relates to post modernity as it shows that the director not only considered the thematic conventions but also what the contemporary age have done in society. There is also the belief that we have all become selfish which is reflected through Marla Singer and Norton's character, who exploits community support groups for their own emotional and personal advantages. 
    Intertexuality is also included in the film as it also used to reference IKEA, which conveys a link to consumerism in capitalism and the graphics used in the text has also been used to destroy the realism of the text. There is also the confusion over space and time, as we find out that Tyler only exists in the film through the mind of Norton's character. Which throws the chronological order of the narrative into turmoil as we are forced into evaluate the pace of the different sequences and their is also an aspect which is ironic in the film. 
    There is also the decline of Baudrillards theory and meta-narratives, as Fight Club also becomes a form of meta-narrative itself. Which originates from a minor underground gathering of supressed individuals but also spills over into mainstream society and mutates into a far reaching cult. Fincher also makes us become deterred from social institutions in society like religion etc, which results in Fight Club sharing a strong affiliation with Baudrillards principle of the deconstruction of truth. Which links Durdens rebellion to American authority and capitalist institutions. Tyler's preaching also relates to Baudrillards opinion that one meta-narrative shouldn't be replaced by another but all truths should be treated as skeptical and suspicious. 
    Surrealism, in the film is incorporated by Fincher which incorporates many aspects which destroy the realism of piece. Graphics such as text and texts are layered on top of the footage during the post production and there is also a scene where the narrators daydream during a therapy session. The scene where Norton's character is seen in a cave next to a computer generated imagery of a penguin in a ice cave, which actually tells Norton's character to slide, which tears down the facade of the real world and become the silver screen. 

    Video Games:
    1.Grand Theft Auto(Rockstar Games, 2008, Publisher Rockstar Games, sales of around 3.6 million, Produced by Leslie Benzies):
    GTA uses alot of parody and is set in liberty city, which is a reference to the American city of New York. The statue of liberty is a popular sculpture for Rockstar Games which have turned it into a parody or pastiche. In the game, the statue of liberty is seen holding a coffee mug this may be used by the creators of the game to make fun out of New York's association with Starbucks coffee or are maybe making a statement about the culture and meaningless life of New Yorkers. In the game their is also an emphasis on the style at the expense of content or style. The cars also used in the game are also basic references to modern cars today.Music in the game has been used from reality within the game giving a the viewer a sense of what is real and what isn't.                                      
    Ther are also confusions over space and time within the game, which has been used within the game to represent how the gamer is being almost forced to playing the game at a fast tempo. Also cheats can be used within the game to show how people within society have grown impatient with their life and surroundings. Bricolage has also been used within the game, as the narrative is non linear. Another way that the game is postmodern as it has no boundaries within its landscape or society. GTA is also shown to break down the distinction between high and popular culture and also has a link to sci-fi and fantasy. Its also narrowcasting as its mainly a alpha male simulator where ganers are able to indulge with creaking into the culture of crime while creating and sustaining their own identities.GTA also harbours the aspect of escapism as it allows people to indulge in their own criminal desires and retaining some kind of existence within this virtual existence, whilst escaping their own life's.
    • Bricolage is used in Grand Theft auto, as it contains a combination of different elements brought together to make something new. For example, it is influenced by films such as Goodfellas, Little Cesar (1931), The Public Enemy and Scarface (1932).
    • An example of how Grand Theft Auto includes intertexuality is that when you start to map the closeness in overall narrative structures between gangster films and the GTA series, it could be implied that its one shameless copying and displays a lack of inventiveness on the designers of the game series. GTA also has references to postmodern characters like Travis Brickle from Taxi Driver and Henry Hill from Goodfellas and through the borrowing of narrative from Goodfellas. 
    • GTA has parody within it as it contains imitations of characters from films such as Henry Hill this is done through Ray Liotta voicing the voices of particular characters within the series.
    • Eclecticism is used in GTA as it has a variety of influences from gangster films such as Little Cesar etc.
    • Acts against modernism is implicated in the GTA series as it conveyed within the story of how generic conventions from the gangster genre are used an replicated in GTA such as the game is set up in big cities, featuring young men who become indulged in a life of crime, all seeking their own version of a grand narrative which is the American Dream of being able to make it big through talent and hard work. 
    • GTA celebrated the past by including references to numerous gangster films like Goodfella's etc.
    • Hyperconscious is included in GTA series as it makes referencing to allow the viewer to tune out of subjectivity and to step into the shoes of the games characters. 
    • I would say GTA includes an active audience as the game allows players to do things in the game which they wouldn't do in real life. There is also the death of another metanarrative which is the god like voice behind the texts, which means users of the digital media would be able to navigate their own way across unchartered seas of potential knowledge making their own sense of the body material, each user following new pathways through the matrix of data each time they set out on their journeys. There is also a major shift between the relationship between the producers and the consumers of the media texts. 
    • Themes included within the Grand Theft Auto series include themes like drugs, prostitution, the American dream etc.

    2.Call Of Duty:Modern Warfare 4:The playing frenzy within the game was coupled with stories about the the optional amoral campaign level "no Russian" predictably it was based on the hypodermic theory of audience.  Which fueled the result that gamers have become dominated by certain texts. There is also the creative process of gaming known as ludology and the immersion into the world of game is based postmodernist features. When playing the game, people are known to become an active participant in the game or text itself meaning that people who play these games sort of games also have to recognize the blurring between the text and audience which are characteristics of every game.
    It is the level of immersion characterizes modern warfare. There are also three elements in Call of Duty:Modern Warfare 2 is that it contains the player further within the text.
    1.In the Call of Duty franchise there is the first person perspective within its franchise, with other 'first game shooters' is that the player see's his hands and the various amounts of weaponry which are used within the game. This level immersion becomes compelling when we're are required to do more tasks.
    2. There is also the detailed three dimensional mise en scene, as it works to immerse the player into the game. There is also a comparison/reference to the game Wolfenstien (1992) reveals how modern warfare is becoming more intelligent. There is also detail within the mise en scene which renders the game realistic.
    3. The diegetic sound encourages further participation in the text. Dialogue in Call of Duty 4 used by captain Price, which is used to connote how this character is constructed to care for the gamer, which compels the gamer to continue and satisfies the gamer in get them in believe that they belong to some kind of group. Engagement of the player through these combined elements shifts the the relationship between the individual and the stand alone text where there is usually no connection. The analysis of the text audience relationship must include a consideration of hyper-realism in the act of gaming as the gamer is immersed into a diegetic world which represents a more intense and exciting reality. This hyper-reality of Call of Duty allows to manufacture our own identities which allows us to become someone else after we die. By playing this game, we immerse ourselves in an simulation were we are are at a loss with our reality, when we apply Baudrillards theory. The boundary blurring between text and audience raises the question of identity. The theme of identity can be demonstrated through the gamer taking on a variety of different identities through the characters they play. The postmodern female player, the hyper real state of male maleness presents an intriguing variation. During online play we have a social identity as we often play within a team and can join the various clans for a more permanent identity. Fact that identities can be swapped, invented and is multiple which is essential to understanding the postmodernist representation of the self.
    Lyotards death of the grand narrative highlights the need for the micro narrative:a story appropiate for each individual in the diverse postmodernist world. The routes across the Russian field 'All ghilled up'(Call of Duty 4) is symbolic of the micro narrative. The component of the game accounts for much of the appeal for the game, which is a postmodernist element as it demonstrates how we are all authors.
    The analysis of both these games in this type of context proves how useful postmodernism is in accounting for the popularity of the texts in our contemporary world. Which also heralds the the emergence of an audience who functions creatively within the texts. (published by Activision and Square Enix 2007, sold over $20 million copies).

    Postmodern Adverts 1-Official Vodafone advert featuring Yoda:
    Alterity: Principle of exchanging one's own perspective for that of the other.
    Aporia: Puzzle used in conjunction with deconstruction.
    Bricolage: Processes by which traditional objects or language are given a new often subversive, meaning and context.
    Catharsis: Emotional cleansing, which occurs simply from the act of viewing tragedy.
    Commodification: Attaching emotional value to something which is not considered a commodity.
    Cybernetics: A process by which a biological organism enhances its abilities by the integration of technology.
    Cyberpunk: Science fiction genre based in the near future and set in post industrial dystopias.
    Cyberspace: To describe an all encompassing, virtual reality internet.
    Dystopia: Societies which are characterized by the decay or oppressive governments.
    Eclecticism: An approach which doesn't hold rigidly to a single paradigm, or set of assumptions but instead draws upon styles, theories etc to gain complementary insights into a subject or applies different theories in certain cases.
    Flattening of effect: Describes a persons detachment and lack of emotional re-activity.
    Hyper-realism: A more intense and improved reality.
    Hypodermic theory: The idea that audiences consume the media passively and are injected with information or ideas.
    Hyperconscious: Allows text to dissolve fourth walls and hyper-consciousness of media it plays with but it also means that the postmodern media format is highly aware that its a postmodern text.
    Intertexuality: The shaping of a texts meanings by other texts.
    Kitsch: Characterizes how art is considered an inferior copy of an existing style.
    Ludology: Theory of game play
    Micro-narrative: An individual truth or story that is one of many possibilities.
    Narcissistic: Used to connote some kind of problem in a person's or groups behavior with self and others and has also been used to mean egoism, vanity, conceit, or selfishness. When applies to postmodernism, it can connote how postmodernist theory loves itself.
    Nihilism: Used as a rejection of established laws and institutions which defies postmodernism. When talking about existential nihilism, it describes how life is without objective meaning, purpose or intrinsic value. Moral nihilists argue morality doesn't inherently exist, and that any established moral values are abstractly conceived. Another meaning of it would be that knowledge is not possible or contrary to popular belief, some aspect of reality doesn't exist as such.
    Nostalgic: The yearning for the past, often in idealized form. This term also celebrates the past and bathes in its glory.
    Parody: Is an imitative work created to mock, trivalise on original work or comment on, its subject, author, style etc by means of humorous satiric or ironic imitation.
    Pastiche: Tongue and cheek imitation or tribute used in movies etc.
    Simulacra: A copy of a copy, removed from the original, that it can stand on its own and even replace the original.
    Semiotics: Study of signs, symbols and how meaning is constructed and understood.
    Virtual Reality: A simulation technology providing an immersive computer generated imagery.
    Jean Baudrillard: Argue our media saturated society offers only a representation of reality and not reality itself.
    Andreas Huyssen critic: Believes that the arts in modernism is viewed as superior to the rest of society.
    Jean Francois Lyotard: Postmodernist theorist, who argues that there's no single unifying truth in the postmodern world but different truths and stories.

    2.Curry's advert featuring C3PO and R2D2:
    The first two adverts are postmodern as the company Curry's uses self reference within the adverts by using characters from Star Wars to the reference the film itself. Whereas even those the third advert is postmodern because it is self referential to the film, Star Wars by having a child dressed up like Darth Vader to sell their products, as they are also mocking Star Wars, to show how funny they can be, when trying to appeal to an audience through this. I have noticed those how all the adverts make reference to Star Wars not through the characters that are used or portrayed in the adverts but through the soundtrack used within the adverts which are an association of Star Wars. It is also postmodern through the computer generated imagery of the characters portrayed in the first two adverts, whereas the Volkswagen advert does this through costume. I would say that the Volkswagen is the most postmodern advert of them all as the person portraying Darth Vader isn't able to distinguish between life and reality through him trying to use the force (simulation).Another way the third advert is postmodern is that it contains elements such as nostalgia, intertexuality and includes the theory of Julie Kristeva. The color coding is also significant as it is cultural and has technological interplay between the generations. Also with it's remote star feature the car seems out of Star Wars and features many parodies.
    3.Volkswagen's commercial:The Force