Today we had a screening of Alfred Hitcock’s ‘Rear Window’ all a bout a character who watches his neighbour’s and is convinced one of them is a murderer, his watching then becomes his life, an obsession.
Today in the seminar we presented our scripts for the pro’s and con’s of the summer riots and talked more in detail about the issues there such as the glamorisation of gang crime, the classes the media picked out/on, and how as a spectacle it transported us as the riots moved from place to place we kept followed them and kept on watching. The riots also kept the public quiet and in fear, this was achieved through the media and therefore controlled us. We also spoke about there being two sides to the spectacle; whether you took part for reasons other than what it started out to be, or if you just watched and were passive.
We then had an task around the key themes of the screening in the lecture, so once again we spilt up the task between our group in order to get it done in time, answering these questions:
Q1. In todorovian terms what roles are occupied bt the following characters: Jeff (Main character), Lisa (Jeff’s girlfriend), Stella ( The nurse), and Detective Doyle. Are there any other narrative theories that can be applied?
Tzvetan Todorov spoke about the five stages within narratives where in we placed the characters;
*A state of equilibrium at the outset.
*Disruption of the equilibrium by some action.
*Recognition that there has been disruption. (Jeff)
*An attempt to repair the disruption. (Stella and Lisa)
*Reinstatement of the equilibrium. (Jeff and Doyle)
We also looked at Vladimir Propps eight character theory again placing the characters within their respective category;
*Jeff as the Hero.
*Stella as the Helper and the Donor, who provides Jeff with what he needs and aids him.
*Lisa as the Helper and the Princess, she helps Jeff and is also his reward at the end.
*Detective Doyle as the Blocker and False Hero, as he stops Jeff from looking further into the matter and yet at the end brings in his crew, saves Jeff and arrests the villain.
Q2. Where does the audience identification lie? Which character and why? Think about the Gaze theory.
The audience identification lies with the character Jeff, because we go through all the emotions with him and none of his story is left out for the audience to piece together, the film is made to force the audience on the side of Jeff, an example of this is when the police officer comes round and dismisses his claims about the neighbour being a murderer, the audience have also seen the evidence to show that the neighbour did it so we feel sorry for Jeff when no-one believes him.
‘The object is not aware of the person viewing them’ this is shown in the film through the over usage of the power shots through the camera and binoculars.
As Jonathan Schroeder notes, ‘to gaze implies more than to look at – it signifies a psychological relationship of power, in which the gazer is superior to the object of the gaze’
Q3. What do you understand by the term Scopophilia?
In fr Freudian analysis, scopophilia is the pleasure of seeing.
Taking other people as objects, subjecting them to a controlling and curious gaze. Voyeurism is the synonym for scopophilia Voyeurism is the deriving sexual gratification from observing others in secret. Pornography appeals to voyeuristic desires. The internet of web cams has created a new cultural arena of scopophilia.
Objectification and fetishism are related to scopophilia and the gaze- Objectification is the basis of ethical objections to voyeuristic practises, because it devalues the humanity of the person.
Q4. Does the film have a meta-narrative if so what is it? What does it say?
Q5. In what ways do we look or are we looked at today?
Today we live in a digital age, everything we know about each other can be found on the internet. We now have Facebook profiles, twitter accounts, YouTube channels, video channels and blogs. So essentially we see people everywhere. But with the digital devices that are at our disposal are all linked on on the internet and can be accessed anywhere by anyone, the scariest thing is that if you Google your own name you may find your own digital footprint, none of us can hide. Not to mention we are one of the most monitored countries in terms of CCTV.
For this weeks take away task, we had to think about the summer riots of 2011 answering whether we think it was a spectacle or whether it was in opposition to spectacle, and then create a script between two people where one person is arguing for the riots and the other is arguing against.
Here’s what we came up with:
Were the summer riots a spectacle or were they in opposition too the spectacle?
It didn’t start out as a spectacle. Bit the media made it a spectacle, they emphasised/escalated the matter and others saw that and used it as an excuse to do the same.
Spectacle is highly memorable and lodges in the brain.
A spectacle is something you watch not take part in, while you are watching you are passive, however, people watched the riots and then took part, and therefore were not passive.
Script For the Summer Riots. Gov. – Against Dove
Gov: The riots started out as a protest against police treatment towards Mark Duggan, opening fire against him whilst getting out the taxi innocently.
Dove: He was hardly innocent, he was under investigation for gun crime and had a loaded gun in his possession at the time.
Gov: The gun he was carrying wasn’t fired in any attempt at the police, it was blatantly a cover by the police in saying so, because the bullet found lodged in the policeman’s radio was in actual fact from a fellow policeman’s gun.
Dove: The police have a right to open fire on anyone who they believe is a danger to society.
Gov: They shot him because he was black and he was carrying a gun.
Dove: Why was he carrying a gun in the first place? This just shows that he was going to cause disruption to others.
Gov: When you live in certain areas of London certain personal precautions are essential.
Dove: The police are there to protect you and there is no reason for people to carry weapons unnecessarily. The police did what they are trained to do and what they thought was right.
Gov: Like you said the police have a right to take someone down, but they actually shot him dead whilst he was lying on the floor from the first shot. They had no right to take his life, when they had already taken him down.
Dove: Why does something like this need to spark riots across the country? Most people don’t know who Mark Duggan was or what the reasoning behind the whole riot process was.
Gov: It was firstly to highlight that this was a racial attack from the police, he hadn’t actually done anything wrong at this point in time, hence the reason why they was a big uproar.
Dove: There is no reason why a situation like this should cause people to carry out criminal damage, such as burning cars, looting, destroying shops.
Gov: If it didn’t turn into the spectacle that it was, no one would have known who Mark Duggan was or what the police did.
Dove: Everyone’s been a victim of the riots even those who didn’t take part and looking back at it no one has benefited from any of it have they? It’s all now been swept under the carpet, and it hasn’t been in the public eye since March when the official inquiry into the riots submitted its final report.
So kicking of the second group lecture and workshop was quite simple, this week we were looking at embodied memories.
Embodied memories from a psychological term means that your mind acts as a container to keep memories important to you at the time inside and locked up, basically running your own lifestyle of them. It allows to keep collecting similar memories and this is where the themes of ritual and repetitivness come into play.
From here in our workshops we looked at possible concepts of ideologies and connotations from the media we see and how this is structured and ordered. For example if we were watching ‘The Dark Knight’ which is an action thriller and you grew to like it and thought ti was an excellent film the you will remember it, then anytime the slightest hint at a connection to that film you will be interest in i.e the sequel ‘The Dark Knight Rises’. This works generally in all forms of media as well as general topics, ideologies of subjects, themes and genres contain structure and order to personal interests and this is what the audiences are attracted to, thus creating different people with different tastes.
The main themes we studied in the lecture before we got into our workshop were:
Now with these main themes we drew up we had to connect them to the following questions we were given,:
- What do i understand by Jameson’s statement that the formation of a stable identity (i.e a non schizoid) depends on the persistence of the i over the collective memory?
- What role does memory have to play in the formation of a non schizoid identity?
- How does Jameson use the term Nostalgia
So with the questions given and the research part done time to complete our task, as group we decided to allocate 2 people to each question. i got given question:
- What do i understand by Jameson’s statement that the formation of a stable identity (i.e a non schizoid) depends on the persistence of the i over the collective memory?
Now thats a big question too answer in one go so what i decided to do was break it up and this became the new question, ‘understand Jameson’s formation of a stable mind mind, depends on the persistence of themselves rather than other memories’. I simplified the question because it was quite confusing. To begin with i found out what schizophrenia is and it is the breakdown of thought processes by poor emotion responses. i then combined that with collective memory which means the shared pool of thoughts of two or more members.
So with the information for the answer found i had to combine t and write my answer and i came to find that there is no such thing as a stable mind because everyone is different. Now in terms of keeping stable mind if you stay in your own world full of your own rituals, your own questions and your own life, then potentially you keep your mind because you are persisting about yourself. Schizophrenia from research that i mentioned before is the breakdown of thought processes and a collective memory is a shred pool of thoughts, so essentially if you are not living yourself with your own thoughts, then they will be replaced by a collection of other thoughts thus creating split personalities. overall it is a very confusing question but the question simply wants to know that you have a stable mind wondering about yourself rather than others, so we care about our OWN world before others.
Identify one contemporary spectacle and answer the following questions and present in a spectacular way:
– Gordon Brown calling the woman a “bigot”
*Who provides it?
– Gordon Brown the individual and Sky news as the institution.
*Who consumes it?
– Political follows and people who watch the news
*Who are they not looking at? E.g who are they hiding it from?
– They are not looking at the fact that Sky news left the micro phone on, and no one telling Gordon Brown it is still on him. What are the chances that they are still recording.
*What are they distracting people from looking at?
– David Cameron and Nick Clegg and their false promises (opposing political parties)
*What happens if they weren’t distracted from that mechanism?
– Labour would of been most likely to win.
*What might we do to stop them looking at the spectacle and look at reality instead?
– The fact that he called the woman a bigot shows he is still human.
*Is that a good thing to do? What is good or bad about that?
– It is a good thing because the public can relate to Gordon Brown in the sense that everyone has their own opinion about someone and don’t expect to be heard.
– The bad thing is that something that is normal and is reality gets over exaggerated.
We had the video clip of Brown on mute in the background, and chose to do a re-enactment of the Brown incident but twist it to make it look like a set up in order to get our point across. So after the conversation with the ‘bigoted woman’ we had one person as Sky News to tell Brown’s P.A to make sure he keeps his microphone turned on. Then at the end two of us pretended to be news reporters and said ‘This is BBC reporting, we are middle class conservatives, and this report benefits us’ in order to show that the news is full of middle class conservatives and therefore the choice to air this ‘mishap’ was not given a second thought.
Choose one of the following social institutions :
How is your chosen institution reproduced through social memory?
Focus upon at least 2 ceremonies or rituals and 2 forms in which social memory is embodied in the human body.
To begin with we decided what social institution we would look at, after a short discussion about the possibilities within each institution we decided to choose education.
We begun the task by breaking down the education system into the different rituals and ceremonies that are involved within it, here are some of the vast amount of ceremonies/rituals within the education system:
End of term
First day at school
Non uniform day
The educational institution can be reproduced through social memory because everyone you know or meet would have gone through these same experiences in their life thus giving everyone a common social ground. Also, school and education slowly nurtures you and your personality for the experience and challenged that life throws at you, for example; a job interview, meeting new friends based upon the social skills learnt previously at school.
School and education essentially moulds the person that you will become in the future, mainly dependant on your friends and social circles as these will help forms who you are and question and shape your morals that you live by.
Quotes and theories our research is based upon
“You can not teach a man anything, you can only help him find it within himself” Galileo.
“The object of teaching a child is to enable him to get along without a teacher” Elbert hulbard
“We never know which lives we influence or when or why” Stephen king
“I never teach my pupils I only intend to provide the conditions they can learn” Albert Einstein
Ceremony 1 : First day of School
The first day at School, whether it be primary, secondary or university always sparks the same emotions, it makes you feel nervous/anxious for the prospect to come and the new people that you’ll meet.
That same feeling can be applied to many events after education, for example at a party or the start of a new job, the emotions and processes you go through when meeting new people can be drawn back from the time of when you were in school and applied for the situation.
Ceremony 2 : Graduation/End of exams
Graduation/End of exams is a huge part of everyones life, it is the part of life where you have grown up and finished that chapter. Its as if we entered that institution as a blank canvas and we are leaving as a big picture filled with memories and knowledge.
Introducing 305MC a module where in we are mixed across Media Production, Journalism, Advertising, and Culture and Communications Media.
If anything I was dreading this module as previous years where we have mixed it hasn’t been such a blissful process, however, this module each week will give us the basis research we will need later on for our final media productions.
Once we entered our seminar groups, we formed into smaller groups and were told to talk about power, spectacle, and memory and how they come into every day life, taking into consideration ideologies and conventions, but also how these three interlink. We spoke about how money is power, the media and politics are the main power ‘heads’ as they have control over the masses and are able to influence people so easily without question. We also mentioned that the three themes have to be applied through context as they are based upon values and cultural ways of life and beliefs, meaning power, spectacle, and memory are specific to culture and status etc. There are big differences within societies and within countries as each have their own rules and conceptions around what power, spectacle, and memory are and how they can be used. For example, the U.S always have someone in power (presidents) who has the power to call all the shots, and the Middle East see this as something great and see how it can be used in their favour and end up prominently fighting for this so called ‘power’.
We were then set a group task, which was to choose a topic group and use those key words to talk about and prepare a 5min introduction presentation, linking the words in relation to the chosen group.
These groups were:
1 – Remembrance, False Memory, Nostalgia, Mementoes, Return of the Repressed.
2 – Power of the Media, Nuclear Power, Power Dressing, Black Power, The Power and the Glory.
3 – Gladiators, Shock and Awe, Making a Spectacle of Yourself, TV Spectaculars, Spectacular Spectacular.
We chose topic group 1 as this the one the majority of use were drawn to, and took a slightly different approach to most groups as instead of using the internet to give us ideas, we went round and each said something that is triggered in our minds by that particular word. This seemed to work as we each had different ideas with a variety of personal accounts that went hand in hand with the key words.
– Poppy Day/Remembrance Day (You remember all the brightly red coloured poppy pins and that they represent the field in which all the dead soldiers lay in.)
– 1984 Operation Blue Star (A big day for Sikhs, as this was an operation ordered by the Indian Prime Minister to remove Sikh Separatists for the Golden Temple.)
– A personal memory of football stickers being torn off each time the grandfather visited, and though now passed the memory lives on as you can still see parts of the torn stickers (Remembrance through actions of a person who held greater power.)
– War Events (When we are told to remember, the majority of the time it is to remember/pay homage to war veterans, and those authoritative figures who feature in the war e.g Stalin, Hitler, Churchill.)
– Princess Dianna’s Death (Everyone felt a piece of them sadden, as she was seen on of the ‘people’, it shocked the nation and started to show the cracks of the monarchy as conspiracies and secrets surfaced.)
– 9/11 Attacks in the U.S (The memory of where you were when you heard or were told, and the horrible feeling received when knowing you were there recently, could it have been you?)
– Deja-vu (Feeling like you have been or seen the same situation before as the one present.)
– School Education (Being taught what the system wants, a biased account e.g Britain being amazing in the war, and the sudden 9/11 attacks being Muslim terriosts.)
– Cultural Perceptions (What we are told to believe from a certain point of view e.g Terroists vs Freedom Fighters.)
– Olympics (Proud to be British and of the athletes, but what about the racism as most of the medals were won by Black/African ethnicities.)
– Lying (Twisting stories and out right lying, in some cases causing moral panic through the media.)
– Dreams (Illusive dreams that seem realistic, feeling as though you’re awake but in reality you are still dreaming. Shutter Island.)
– Objects that trigger memory.
– Awkward, happy, sad, memorable moments.
– Childhood games, toys, and crazes.
– Statues, memorials, plaques, and gravestones.
– Pictures, birthday cards.
– Places of significance.
– Re-living the past (Visiting a memorable place.)
– Feelings (How you felt the first time….)
– Music and pictures that hold meaning.
Return of the Repressed
– Remembering memories that you lock away.
– A moment in time that reoccurs.
We found as a group that you can’t talk about one theme without bringing another into it,they all interlink and it is difficult to separate them completely. I think these group sessions will be beneficial to all as we gain other points of view and incites that we may have not thought of before, we have a good group who can communicate well and when it comes to crunch time we will appreciate that, as other groups may not get along as well.
There is also a group blog where you can see all our work and progress each week, and a rota so that the work is shared out fairly.