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Theoretical Analysis of the Remix "The Notebook"
Transcript of Theoretical Analysis of the Remix "The Notebook"
The Notebook (2012) Sarah Proctor
Theoretical Analysis of the Remix "The Notebook"
Shannon Morgan • 25 September 2014
2. The Remix
3. The Timeline Analysis
1. The Original
The Notebook (2004) Nick Cassavetes
The Static Effect
Description: Just as the trailer begins the phone rings, Allie answers the call. An errie change of music indicates a genre changeis beginning, and suggests a horrifying encounter is soon to come.
Description: After a disturbing voice over, and Allie denying Noah a dance, the screen changes to static, signifying that the story is changing direction.
Description: After a voice over, montage, and captions, Noah's obsession becomes real as he is watching Allie's every move.
Description: There is a sense of urgency as the music changes, and Allie shares she is leaving town and Noah picks up a shotgun. A montage shows Allie running from her "crazed stalker".
Description: In this clip we see that the stalker Allie thought she escaped in the past has returned to haunt her, and she was never actually safe.
Thanks to the intertextuality the audience has a general idea of what the genre of this film is within mere moments of the trailer starting. According to Kirby Ferguson in his videos "Everything is a Remix" Remixing is a folk art but the techniques are the same ones used at any level of creation: copy, transform, and combine. Remixing is used to interpret things or completely change them. This remix changed how we felt by altering the genre. Within the next 30 seconds of this trailer our 'idea' is verified and our emotions are evoked. A voice over during a foggy scene, a close up of Noah with eerie background music, the captions describing Noah's obsession, and Allie rejecting the crazed boy all help to elicit fear, but it isn't until the screen switches to static that the urgency is felt. The use of static clips in a thriller typically is used to create suspense causing an overwhelming feeling of anxiety in the viewer.
Because of intertextuality, we can associate the static cuts with other thrillers we have seen in the past and know that this is no longer a romance film, there is no question that this is now a thriller. The suspense that is created is what will lead the viewers to be 'on the edge of their seats' and want to watch this film. The director wants suspense because it creates so many feelings of uncertainty and worry in the viewer.
Between 0:45 and 1:15 there is an action packed montage that shows Noah chasing Allie, and Allie running for her life. The scenes over this 30 second period are purposefully placed together in order to convey a lot of information in a little bit of time. Alone with the soundtrack and the juxtaposition, this montage is successful in creating suspense in the audience and leaving them on the edge of their seat, which is exactly the response you want in a Thriller. As seen in The Golden Age of Video by Ricardo Autobahn, a montage can be more than a few seconds, or very short. This montage is similar to the works of Autobahn and creates feelings and ideas in a matter of seconds by carefully placing together a variety of different scenes.
A montage is a very technical process in which the pieces are carefully chose and carefully edited to fit together as a whole. This montage shows you both sides of the story, you get a chance to see Noah for the crazed psychopath that he is and you can see the pure terror in Allie's face as she runs away and even hear how afraid she is as she is telling a friend that she is leaving town immediately.
Juxtaposition is the positioning of either two images, characters, objects, or two scenes in sequence, in order to compare and contrast them, or establish a relationship between them. In this remix a series of clips are played one after the other in order to create a relationship, we see Noah chasing Allie, and the obsession that is driving him and on the other side we see Allie running from Noah and the fear that has taken over her. Juxtaposition relays on interpretation. In the comin Garfield minus Garfield you draw your own conclusion. Juxtaposition is similar to intertexulaity because the interpretation is different if the audience is unaware of hte original.
Between the audio and the very careful arrangement of these clips we can understand that Allie is in fear for her life, and Noah will not give up until he gets her. If these clips were examined in the original film, or on their own then you would not interpret them the same way that you do when they are placed together. Juxtaposition takes the same clips and then rearranges them and specifically places them together in order to construct new meaning. The use of this technique is powerful and impressive as it manages to take something that you thought you knew and change it. In this specific remix the juxtaposition takes a romantic movie and organizes it in a way that creates terror.
The suspenseful soundtrack of this remix gives us a sense of panic and angst. Soundtrack alone would not be enough to remix an entire trailer and give new meaning to old clips; however, when combined with juxtaposition, intertextuality, gestures, closures, and genre changes the soundtrack changes everything. The soundtrack can be thought of like the cherry on top because it transforms the remix into a masterpiece and gives it new life. In Gaylor's RIP: A Remix Manifesto you see an example simliar to this remix where music (or a soundtrack) has the ability to create feeling.The soundtrack is a critical piece of the remix and changes the entire interpretation. Between the eerie audio voice overs, and the suspenseful fast paced music the soundtrack of this remix set the entire tone of the story that was being told. The use of acceleration and deceleration tells the audience exactly what to feel and when to feel it.
The Search for Allie
Description: In this scene the narrative tells us that every cop in the town is searching for Allie. In the scene directly following, the captions say "If he cant have her, no one else will." This leads us to believe that something bad has happened.
To understand closure, you have to be able to observe the parts but understand the whole. In a movie trailer it is especially important to be able to "read between the lines" because there simply is not enough time to have every detail explained. The idea of reading between the lines is discussed in Mcloud's "Blood in The Gutters" where he explains that the gutters are the space between comics, frequently in comics and in move trailers there are several transitions between cuts where you must be able to make inferences and draw conclusions based on your prior knowledge as to what has happened or you will not fully grasp the concept or message that is being conveyed. One specific example is between 0:38 and 0:47 where in one scene you see Allie's parents and the narrative is telling you that they have the cops looking for their daughter, and in the next scene on screen captions are narrating that if Noah cannot have Allie then no one will. Between these two scenes you must draw conclusions of your own. The obvious conclusion thanks to intertextuality is that something terrible has happened to Allie. But what is it? That much cannot be determined in the trailer and is what you pay to go see a movie.
Within seconds of this trailer the audience is given signs of this being a thriller. In the first scene of this trailer, Allie the main character enters a room where the phone is ringing. There is an unidentified man on the other end of the line, at the moment that Allie asks "Who's this?" the soundtrack changes. Because the audience has previous experience with thrillers, the audience is able to draw a connection to other films they have seen. It is the typical 'dangerous phone call with an enemy or psychopath'. This short scene is the first example of intertextuality and leads us to draw a conclusion that this is going to be a thriller. Kevin Kelley writes about a shift and how we are moving from book fluency to screen fluency, from literacy to visuality. Kelley also discusses how cheap and universal tools of creation are quickly reducing the effort needed to create moving images. Because it is so easy to paste together parts of movies, remixes are being made. Intertextuality, is an assets in making sure this remix works because it is the idea that all texts and films are intertwined and influenced off of one and another. The film, "The Notebook" is originally a romance film, but thanks to intertextuality this remix works because it is assumed that the audience has previous knowledge of the original film, and/or the knowledge of the difference between romance and thrillers.
Once a connection has been made, rearrangement works. This allows us to be able to rearrange scenes from the original film, add voice overs, and change the soundtrack. Music clips added to original scenes create a sense of fear in the audience which is a different tone then the original film. The previous knowledge of The Notebook and what the difference in a romance and a thriller is allows for the remix to change the tone and the mood.