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Cinema Society Ideology - 2013

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jack keenan

on 8 April 2013

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Transcript of Cinema Society Ideology - 2013

Ideology of production We previously discussed how conventions of normative cinema such as continuity editing, camera placement, reliance on ‘stars etc, can be seen as ideologically motivated ’

Ideology of spectatorship Jean-Louis Baudry argued that not only the content of the film but the physical and mechanical attributes of cinema confers ideological effects.

The process of dominant filmmaking is designed to hide the labour behind its production aiming to present and objective reality.

The nature of cinema places the viewer in an all seeing god like position, based on the fact that the camera always offers the ideal viewpoint and the viewer themselves remains unseen.

The viewer is positioned to 'author' their understanding of the film whereas in reality this has been projected for them. "Reality is nothing but an expression of the prevailing ideology"
Comolli & Narboni "The English language is all about subliminal domination. Take the word "semester". It's a perfect example of this school's discriminatory preference of semen to ovaries. That's why I' m petitioning to have next term be referred to as Winter Ovester" What does Legally Blonde tell us about ideology and film? Film Textual
Ideology Contextual
Ideology What does the film say? Ideologies in the narrative, visual style or sound design of a film seeking to address whether a filmmaker subscribes to or challenges dominant ideologies.

Many aspects of a film can be used to address a films ideology, how and what is shown / left out.

Does the film subscribe to stereotypes in characters?

The textual elements not only include what the author / filmmaker is trying to say but the effect of the tools employed by the film.
When looking at the 'contextual' effects we are essentially looing at how external agents play a role in influencing what can or can't be said in a film and its ideological effects; both in terms of its production and in its reception.

Comolli and Narboni "Every film is political in as much as it is determined by the ideology that produced it" "Because every film is part of the economic system it is part of the ideological system." Context of production


Context of the viewer Comolli - Responses to ideology in film. Ranciere (and others) challenges some of the logic underpinning these arguments, an underlying ideological assumption is that spectatorship is a passive activity, Ranciere argues for the active involvement of the spectator Can narrative structure effect the ideological position of a film?

In 'Film as Social Practice' Turner cites examples of narrative devices, such as resolution and catharsis, imparting an ideology often in conflict with the films text- Characters killed of to motivate action, happy endings etc.

We use binary opposition (dividing the world into mutually exclusive categories) as a means to understand the world. This is also common place in storytelling, many stories present a good character and bad character which present different ideologies which are played out until a resolution is sought.

Consider the ideological assumptions promoted by the following sets of oppositions- 1. The majority of films fall in to the first category, films which are a product of, and reiterate, the dominant ideology.

2. Films which challenge the dominant ideology both explicitly through subject matter and its depiction.

3. Films which whilst not overtly political in subject challenges prevailing ideologies through form.

4. Films which are overtly political and set out to criticise dominant ideologies yet adapt the language and form of what they set out to critique.

5. Films born of dominant ideology but which offer critique (hollywood productions whose stories and form subvert the norm)

6. Live Cinema - Direct cinema and cinema verite, films which have social concerns but follow the logic of traditional forms of representation Ideology of narrative To what extent do our own beliefs effect our reading of a film? Cinema
Ideology and
Film "Implicit in every culture is a 'theory of reality' which motivates its ordering of that reality into good and bad, right and wrong, them and, and so on. . . . Ideology is the term used to describe the system of beliefs and practices that is produced by this theory of reality." Cinema can and is used to tell us how and what to think about the world and what it means to be an individual.“What is designed to make people feel good at the movies has a profound relation to how and what they think and feel about the world around them” Jonathan Rosenbaum Consider Legally blonde as ideological text, what ideologies does it promote and what does it tell us about the ideological function of film?
How else could we view the textual elements (narrative structure, lighting, camera work etc) of a film as ideological. Has digital technology disrupted this view on spectatorship Film does not reflect or even record reality; like any other medium of representation it constructs and 're-presents' its picture of reality"
Turner Turner proposes two areas of ideological analysis in film, Textual and Contextual. In addition to being useful as frameworks for analysis they offer a useful criteria for the different elements of film which both effect and are effected by competing ideologies. Cowboy
Hero Indian
Villain Man
The categories do not necessarily follow but once you start to categorize based on opposition you can see how a negative view of the 'other' can follow. Analysis of the context of a films production is concerned with external factors relating to the the production and distribution of films such as:

Cultural Policy
Government Intervention
Commercial practices

This list is by no means exhaustive but illustrates many of the areas which effect the final film, how it is presented, who is able to see it and whether it is made at all.

Viewing film in this way moves away from the individual text and places it within a broader discourse.

The recognition of the importance of a national cinema in contributing the reputation of a country and to the 'national values' of that country encourages the regulation and control of film.

Strategies used to guide these values include-

The development of state / national film schools.
Financial incentives for foreign investment (tax incentives etc)- See the British Film Commission's section on Tax incentives http://www.britishfilmcommission.org.uk/british_film_tax_relief.php

Funding bodies - Creative Scotland has been subject to criticism for its approach to policy and funding- Accusations of an increasingly commercial focus, lack of creative freedom and a culture which would punish those speaking out against the body. http://www.guardian.co.uk/culture/charlottehigginsblog/2012/oct/09/open-letter-creative-scotland

Quotas on foreign / domestic film. - Many countries have used quotas to protect domestic film production, whilst criticized for encouraging poorly made 'quota quickies' and abandoned in UK under Thatcher others have argued that quotas were key to UK's golden age. http://www.guardian.co.uk/film/filmblog/2010/dec/07/golden-age-quotas-british-cinema

These measures can be seen as a form of hegemony, An attempt to govern and control a way of seeing reality.

What examples can you think of where governments, organisations or individuals have attempted to control the production of film?

Consider the ways in which Brave or You've been Trumped relate to the politics and representation of Scotland. In addition to the production and funding, what can and can't be said in film can be controlled by censorship both by state and market.

For example - Consider the accusation made by filmmakers such as Jamie Babbit that films exploring issues around homosexuality lead to older classification and therefore a limited market.

This arguably leads to directors limiting the exploration of sexuality in cinema both reflecting and contributing to homophobia in America and beyond. Key Points
These are only a select set of views of ideology and film
They suggest that all film is ideological
That ideologies are constructed and effect our views of reality.
We can look to identify ideological aspects of film through analyzing the films text and ways in which it is constructed - Narrative, Lighting, Characters etc.
By looking at the external factors that have effected the films production and construction of the film text - Funding, Censorship etc.
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