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Representation

A2 Media Representation Theory: Students aims; to relate their film media project to a theory.
by

Sion Markham

on 6 June 2013

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Transcript of Representation

Representation Theory In the exam may have to fit your film to a theory or theories. Today’s lesson aims to give you the tools to identify a theory which you can apply to your film. ‘The process by which the media present the ‘real’ world’
Philip Rayne 2001 ‘The process by which the media presents the ‘real’ world’
Philip Rayne 2001 Everything in the media
is a representation – Every representation is a deliberate construction When dealing with representation theory the initial questions you need to ask yourself about your film is:

How is the representation being constructed?

Who has created the representation and why?

Why has it been created in that certain way?

What effect does it have on an audience? Discuss what you think your film represents using the points above
Semiotics Representation in terms of
The signifier,
The signified
and the Sign Ferdinand de Saussure (1857 -1913)
Theorized that a sign is broken
down into two components.

The signifier (the form the sign takes),
The signified is what the concept represents.
The sign is the total meaning +
Stuart Hall (1980)
‘Encoding and decoding: preferred / negotiated oppositional readings’, to form meaning' Hall talks about the relationship between institutions and audiences. This relationship is a process and negotiated in three stages: The moment of encoding: 'the institutional practices and organizational conditions of production'

The moment of the text:
'symbolic construction and arrangement. The form and content of what is produced

The moment of decoding:
'the moment of
reception or consumption
by the viewer' In a film Signifiers can be words, images, sounds, objects and dialogue which can represent and infer signifed meaning.

Representation within a film is constructed by the creation of signs. Representation is further constructed through the combinations and interactions of signs which form ideas of representations throughout a film
Discuss:

Have you constructed signs to represent meaning?

How have you constructed the world of your film through the use of signs?

At what production stage did representation begin to form?

Has representations / signs changed through the various stages of production Feminist View ‘The cinema apparatus of Hollywood cinema puts the audience in a masculine subject position with the woman on the screen seen as an object of desire. Film and cinematography are structures upon ideas'. Protagonists tended to be men’. Laura Mulvey 1976 Mulvey sees the audience as male. The camera shot frames the female object on the screen for a male audience. But the camera will also show the male character watching the female. The camera and the audience, including women, watch a film with a male gaze - Looking at women for visual pleasure.

The audience take a Voyeuristic pleasure, as they watch women represented as sexual objects from the comfort of the cinema.

Malvey, borrowing from Fraud, states the male gaze will only see representations of Madonnas or Whores, Women to either be protected and saved or women to be punished but both are deemed the sexual desire of the audience.

Mulvey states that ‘the silver screen’ is a metaphorical mirror; reflecting back to the female viewer representations of female identity, but these representations are male perceptions of the idealised femininity. Carol J Clover (1992)
The final girl The final girl in slasher / horror films is the character who finally kills the psychopath.
The final girl has common characteristics
which are represented within the genre

She is often pure / innocent
She abstains from sex or is a virgin
She has no vices
She may be less attractive than other female characters
She can become masculine in the film's conclusion
Discuss:

What are the differences in how males and females have been represented in your film?

Are any characters providing visual voyeuristic pleasure and for whom?

Have you objectified any of your characters,
Are they Madonnas or Whores?

Do you have a 'Final Girl'? The Male Gaze? Jean Baudrillard A Post- Modern View Post-modernist films combine different representations using pastiche and parody. Sometimes with an air of nostalgia The continuing reproduction of representions in media - the line between reality and media representation becomes blurred, by extension technology is to be mistrusted. As a result medias look to the past for the new. Represnetation no longer refers to the representation of the 'real'. The representation has become more real and gone so far as to replace the real. Audiences can no longer tell the difference. Baudrillard claims that there is no longer a distinction only the simulacrum and the hyper-real. Simulacrum:
When a copy replaces the original

Hyper-real:
the image has no relationship to the real Reality is only definable in terms of
the reflection of the mirror
Daniel Strinati This idea of a breakdown between reality and representation has been explored ironically in film. The representation of realism can
come from our own subjective biases
of our own culture in effect reality
is subjective. Richard Dyer talks about stereotypes performing many functions in media representation, arguing that stereotypes reinforce the idea that there are big sociological differences between different people . Differences between Men and women for example. Discuss:

Is your film based on reality or do your representations derive from other forms of representation creating a hyper-real.

To what degree is your film a simulation of reality?

Do you think your Film has a sense of nostalgia or borrows from other medias

Does your film use stereotypes, what message of representation do they give? A Marxist View Representation in terms of hegmony In Marxist thoery hegemony is the dominate ideology. Representation in terms of the
Male Gaze The media does not reflect and represent the reality of the public but instead produce it, employing this simulation to justify their own existence
Merrin 2005 What the Masses see in Media representations is conrolled by the ruling organiztions Thier job is to promote the 'norm' The representation of dominate world views and ideologies is influenced by those in positions of economic power and social control.

The ruling can protect their economic interests through the use of mass distraction. This has been suggested to dull the senses and preoccupy the audience with trivial issuse rather than the greater issuses




Ultimatley the representation of gender, age sexuality and race is controlled by Media owners as a reuslt affects the audinces own aspirations and ethics A Marxist concern is the relationship between the production processes and the narrative. Sergei Eisenstein's (Soviet montage) reaction to the dominance of Hollywood individualistic narratives, was to use editing techniques to represent a group and not the individual Representation is seen to be a deliberate attempt to create associations and ideas for an audience. Discuss:

Does your film represent ideological stand point?

Does your film represent the ‘norm’ or has your film gone against social conventions?

Have the techniques used in your film gone against the mainstream storytelling?

Are the ideas / beliefs or techniques / narratives specific to your film or are they commonly represented in the media Worksheets; Try to answer as many of the questions that have been asked relating to each thoery.

The worksheet will act as a good source of revision. Semiotic Theory
Have you constructed signs to represent meaning?
How have you constructed the world of your film through the use of signs?
At what production stage did representation begin to form?
Has Representation / signs changed throughout the various stages of production? Feminist Theory
What are the differences in how males and females been represented in your film?
Do any characters provide voyeuristic pleasure and for whom?
Have you objectified any of your characters, are they Madonnas or Whores?
Do you have a final Girl? Post-Modern Theory
Is your film based on reality or do your representations derive from other forms of representation creating a hyper-real?
To what degree is your film a simulation of reality?
Do you think your representation of reality to be universal?
Does your film use stereotypes, what message of representation do they give? Marxist Theory
Does your film represent ideological stand point?
Does your film represent the ‘norm’ or has your film gone against social conventions?
Have the techniques used in your film gone against mainstream storytelling
Are the ideas / beliefs or techniques / narratives specific to your film ir are they commonly represented in the media?
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