In class, we looked at what film theory is. There are many different theories that have had an effect on cinema, each changing the way that the audience reads film. I was looking at Marxist film theory, the theory of capitalism and communism in film. A socio-political theory that was developed to be anti-capatilist.
Being able to breakdown a film into its repertoire of elements allows us to see if it follows its conventions of the genre. This can be useful when doing textual analysis on a film, the repertoire gives it an identity and with this we can analyse what the film is showing/trying to convey.
The Repertoire of Elements↓
Film1: John Ford – Stagecoach (1939)
Film 2: Charles Bronson in Once Upon a Time in the West (1968)
Film 3: Rango 2011
Deserts, old towns, mountains, open land
Characters / Groups
Cowboys, American country folk, townspeople,
Conflicts & Themes
Treasure hunting, cowboys VS Indians, resistance to change, outlaws and banditos.
Cowboy shots, sweeping landscapes, birds-eye views, extreme close up reaction shots.
In class, we researched an important film movement. I researched into New Queer Cinema, a movement in the 80s and 90s that re-explored normative in cinema.
Current New Queer Cinema
Pose is a modern example of New Queer cinema, it explores the social conventions of a New queer cinema film in the same way as Paris Is Burning, and has been heavily influenced by it. Pose is a fiction-documentary series that explores the life of queer new yorkers during the aids pandemic in a camp and hard hitting way.
Slumdog Millionaire 2008, Danny Boyle, is a Romance Drama set in the slums of Mumbai India during the 1990s and also the early 2000s. The film explores the dejected poverty and privation of impoverished people of India and principally the suffering of the Muslim children during the Hindi-Muslim religious violence, where approximately 10,000 people died. We see two protagonists, Salim and Latika, young adults who take different paths who appear in the visionary flashbacks of Jamal on Who Wants To Be A Millionaire, these flashbacks cause the narrative to be non-linear.
In this scene, we are shown the brutal violence the Muslim people of Mumbai had to ordeal. This is exemplified by the repetition of their mother being killed. The first time we are shown, it is in normal speed and shot normally, the second time we see it we are shown it as a POV of Salim. This is done to show how that moment is embedded into his memories, that he can see this memory again and again in his head, Boyle uses this repetition to show this.
Boyle uses a wipe transition between Salim’s memory and the present. A wipe transition is typically used to establish a change in the narrative and or storyline. Boyle uses this to bring his memories into the present and to show that it still affects him till the present. The slow wipe acts as an overlay, the shot becomes more intense and visual. Salim’s shell shocked face parallel the horrors that persist in his brain, this gives the audience the feeling of extra space within the film as well as an association between the memories and the person.
Top London policeman, Nicholas Angel is sent to a quiet country village as punishment for being too good. But the village is not all it seems! Numerous deaths lead Angel into a final showdown with the villagers in ‘God’s Country’. The sequence is from the end of the film – the final shoot out between Angel, his sidekick Danny and the villainous villagers.
Continuity of screen space
The scene begins with an establishing shot, this follows the convention of shot sequences. This opening shot, ”Welcome to Stanford”, sets the scene for the audience telling us where we are. The audience needs its spatial awareness in order to not feel jarring.
Continuity of time
The scene begins with a fade into the establishing shot, this is a gentle transition into the scene and implies a passing of time.
When the school children get out the cans, there is a jump cut between the other cuts to create the craziness of the children grabbing at the cans.
At 01:13, there is a montage where Angel gets suited up for battle, it gives us a quick visual representation of the character and his motives, also implying a passage of time. The music playing also excites the audience and increases tension and expectations for the battle.
Rhythm & Style
Majority of the action sequences in the scene use a rhythmic 4/4 beat to cut in time with the music which keeps the audience in sync and keeps up the pace in the scene. A couple of hidden wipes by people walking through the frame also keep rhythm and passes time easily without having to spell out everything to the audience. A wipe when it cuts from the police station to the protagonist on his horse shows the time passing best.
Turner, P. 2013.Dark Knight, Dark Ideas.The Media Magazine.44(2),pp. 37-41.
Significant Event in Politics / Society
Relevance to The Dark Knight
republican george bush. Al gore won the votes but did not have the victoral votes to be president. Bush stopped the recount. Missile defence system. Oil and stem cell kyoto environmental carbon emission protocol. Tax cut to stimulate the economy.
9/11in the trades centre, In 2001. al qaeda terrorist attack.
Shared trauma, terrorists targeted because “we like freedom, and they don’t.” civil liberties?the bush doctrine, no distinction between the countries and their terrorists, afghan air strike, taliban osama bin laden,iran iraq and north korea, terrorist.
The fear of terriorism on society.
Can be spied on because of the act. Warentless enhanced interrogation legal, but considered torture in other countries. Prison camps.
The way Batman attacks the joker when he is finally caught, torturing and being physical, eventually using sy equipment.”ecoming the evil he was trying to defeat”
Response to hurricane katrina.
Wealth, class divide. Financial crisis. The poor are poor. New orleans needed recovery and bush not
In the early 2000’s America began its “War on Terrorism” where many tragic events shaped TV and Film. Many socio-political issues such as the 2000 and 2004 Amerian election when George W. Bush was elected shaped and redefinded the superhero genre.
“just as The Dark Knight was a touching tribute
to an embattled George W. Bush, who chose
to be seen as a villain in order to be the hero,
Rises is a love letter to an imperfect America
that in the end always does the right thing.”
“Bruce Wayne became the terrorist and
Batman became both torturer and operator
of a mass surveillance system; it was exactly
the point that in fighting the villain, he
became the villain.”
“America is the vigilante that has to free
itself of the shackles of international laws
in order to fight evil wherever it finds it,
and mete out its own brand of justice and
revenge for the 9/11 attacks.”