Lecture5

Lecture5 - Week 5 Ideology National Cinema Beyond Theme...

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Week 5. Ideology/ National Cinema
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Beyond Theme: Ideology While reading thematic meaning is the basis of much interpretation, one can also look what a film indicates about its historical, cultural, or political context. When we give an interpretation of a film as reflecting its social context, then we are giving an ideological reading . An ideological reading also looks for a deeper understanding of a film’s politics.
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Ideology We commonly refer to dogmatic beliefs as “ideology” but the academic use of the term usually prefers the many beliefs and attitudes that people are not conscious of. Ideology , in this view, is our/others' unspoken political worldview. A number of films use Plato’s allegory of the cave to suggest this collective unconscious: The Matrix, The Truman Show, The Conformist Media scholars speak of mediation – the role of popular culture to shape the way we see the world
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Greg Smith on Ideology “At times we all express the beliefs, attitudes, and assumptions of our times without necessarily being conscious of doing so. Did Hitchcock fully understand his attitude toward blonde women, or was he propagating a widely held belief? Sometimes the ideology of our day speaks through us with little awareness on our part.”
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Ideological Reading Ideology can be a tricky concept but when we do ideological reading we are essentially looking to address The political implications of a film or group of films - the way they impact viewers' political attitudes - the way they tap into viewers' attitudes The way a film belongs to its historical context … Or even the relation between political implications and historical context.
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Ideology and Audiences
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Ideology and Audiences - One on hand this figure represented the beliefs (conscious and unconscious) of much of the audience. - On the other hand, the figure reinforced ideologies of racial superiority and discrimination by making servitude on the part of African-Americans seem “normal” For instance, the stereotype of the mammy has its genesis in white attitudes of racial superiority in the 20 th century.
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Politics and Film “Political implications of a film” can mean a number of things: Theme : direct political message Allegory : disguised political message Allusion : reference to political moment Stereotype : derogatory portrayal of a social group Ideology : unspoken placement of the spectator in a position of putative identification with a political point of view These not mutually exclusive, can be combined.
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Political Theme Films may have either universal or particular themes, or both. Often, particular themes will have a message that's political in some way. A political theme is a message urging policy choices or changes in cultural attitudes. Erin Brokovich
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Lecture5 - Week 5 Ideology National Cinema Beyond Theme...

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