Wednesday, 9 January 2013

Week 11 (Tues 18 Dec)

The seminar returned, once more, to the subject of Representation, as discussed in the past two weeks (how something is shown i.e. culture, race, gender etc.) and today, we looked at one specific element: stereotypes (these can relate to portrayals/representations of gender, class, race, sexuality, age, ethnicity etc.)

To better understand this, we watched the first episode of the popular sitcom Modern Family, and made observations of any stereotypes present on the show:
  • Siblings bicker and fight with one another
  • The South American woman is shouty and married to a rich older man
  • Little sisters makes remarks/sarcastic observations
  • The elderly dad is judgmental and does not like gays.
  • Teenage girl is fiercely independent and complains about the family embarassing her
  • The white, blond wife is a home-maker/stay at home wife
  • Gay couple being prissy and picky
After, we quickly looked at the idea of Narrative as a form of ideology (how a film presents a certain i.e. The American Dream (anyone can achieve great things with hard work) in sports films, heterosexual romance in romantic films etc.) before we did a short exercise where, in groups, we had to come up with an idea for a film about an event in history and how we would both reaffirm/converse certain ideas and beliefs, and how we would challenge them, and my team chose to tackle the afghan war:

Conservative:
  • Invaders come to bring peace and freedom, and crush terrorism
  • Britain backed American in a righteous cause
  • We brought Afghanistan democracy
Challenge:
  • Invaders come for purely selfish reasons (such as oil, political authority, and stamp out oppostion)
  • Britain was forced into backing America by weak ministers
  • We destablised the country even more, and paved the way for more corruption and violence
However, I was not able to attend the afternoon lecture, where they screened the infamous film The Room, directed by Tommy Wiseau, often considered one of the worst films ever made, since I had to go off and do editing with my team for their short film in DMW4 up until about 6 in the evening. Hence, my closing evaluation is in two parts: First, the lecture, while a little short and a bit undercooked (I wish we had unpacked and examined the ideology aspect a little more) definitely presented some interesting ideas, especially with the exercise, and Secondly, the editing went really well, the team being supportive and the director being very clear and co-operative with me to help bring out her vision on the screen, and was very easy to talk to.

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