URGENT – Please read.

This has been sent to your gmail but in case you don’t check your email!

Dear A Level Media Studies student

You may have heard by now that Cambridge International have cancelled all exams this summer which means you will no longer be required to come in and sit Paper 1 or Paper 2 in May and June.
As yet, we do not know in detail how you will be awarded your A Level grade for Media, so in the meantime, we want you to carry on working on the POMO revision and preparation for the essay that we have set and will set the actual essay title on Friday.
Apparently, there will be more specific news at the end of the week,  so hopefully we will be able to confirm what we will all need to complete and submit by the weekend.  We will also email your parents with news at the weekend hopefully.
Anyway, it is a relief for you mainly because you could have been the only students on the planet sitting exams!     But don’t relax just yet and we will get back to you ASAP.
What a world we live in at the moment. But the sun is out again today. Be content.
Mrs Cobb and Miss Hales

Home School – Week 1 – This still stands regardless of the news above!

This is the new plan for this week in order for you to be ready to write the essay plans, please do the following:

  • Day 1 – Read the exemplar essays – see previous classroom post  (Janis, Ben and Grace) on Postmodern Media.
  • Day 2 – Reread and write notes on Nosedive and watch the analysis – see previous classroom post and the blog.
  • Day 3 – Reread and writes notes on Music Videos. two of the Music Videos that we looked at – see the blog
  • Day 4 – Reread notes on POMO in general (see blog) and Complete essay plan on slideshare (see classroom post) – this is what we set on Friday but feel you need to do a bit more prep.
  • Day 5 – POMO Essay will be set on classroom – one per class and you have a week to do it. More on this at the end of the week.

Clearly in amongst this you should be continuing to submit any outstanding essays and also redraft and resubmit any essays not achieving a D/C or above. Email your teachers if you want them marking and submit to classroom too.

Good luck. Virtual love.
Miss H and Mrs C

POMO – Why music videos are postmodern (usually!)

As a media art form, music videos are often conduits for various elements of postmodern culture. Sometimes they also, point a self-accusing finger at themselves for doing so and sometimes the videos and lyrics are about postmodern society too.

Andrew Goodwin, a renowned media theorist sums up the postmodernism of music videos:

  1.  Blurs high art and low art – it is media for everyone with no boundaries.
  2.  Abandons/challenges grand narratives – incomplete narratives, no sense of resolution, rejection of the overarching ideologies of society/history – love conquers all, men are the breadwinners, god is the answer etc.
  3. Intertextuality – borrows from other texts; deliberately, unknowingly, alludes to, knowing nod to – all of which fits with Jameson’s ideas on ‘nothing new, a flatness’ or as he puts it ‘blank parody’.
  4. Loss of Historical reality – pastiche and intertextuality blur history and chronology so that conventional notions of past, present and future  are lost in a melange of images, all of which appear to be contemporary.

The Rizzle Kicks – is made in a postmodern fashion but also points the finger at postmodern society.


We will be studying in depth some current music videos, one of which you should choose to focus on as your 2nd media text in your essay (the other one will be Nosedive, Black Mirror by Charlie Brooker).

Music Videos are often examples of postmodern media, not only because their place as a recognised art form has come about in the postmodern era but mainly because they evidence a range of ideas about what makes a text postmodern.


  • Pastiche – use of a previous text as the basis for the whole music video – in the style of
  • Parody – making fun of a previous text
  • Homage and Quotation – sampling
  • Weaponised intertextuality – those deliberate Easter Eggs – we will look more closely at Ariana Grande and This is America as a detailed texts later in the term.


  •  a melange, mixture of styles – cartoons, animations, dance, drama, acting, documentary, other footage.


  • think of Katy Perry breaking the 4th wall at the end of Chained to the Rythmn – let’s draw attention to its own construction.

GENERAL SIGNIFICANCE relating to Music Videos and Postmodernism

  • They manipulate time and space – flashbacks, incomplete narratives usually present and they often challenge the grand narratives (more on this later) – there is not always a happy ending, a dominant male, success after working hard for a living.
  • Play with the relationship between audience and text – breaking the 4th wall and there is often a presumption they are culturally competent, deliberately playing with their expectations.
  • Play with the distinction between reality and representation.
  • They blur the lines between high art and what is considered low art.
  • This is a little old now but it shows a self-referentiality (this is a music video that we have constructed) but it also points the finger at a wider postmodern scope i.e. the idea that people are lost in their hypereal worlds, unaware of their real lives and surroundings.  We will look more at this later.


Chained to the Rythmn – POMO TEXT – Music Video 2


analysis table

Postmodernity and the Katy Perry Video

Newstatesman article with examples and ties in with Nosedive!

Student analysis on Chained….

POSTMODERN MUSIC VIDEO ESSAY Katy Perry- Chained To The Rhythm is an example of a postmodern music video, it was released February 10th 2017 and was featured on her new album ‘Witness’. The video was produced by Max Martin and Ali Payami and was directed by Mathew Cullen. Music videos can be postmodern through a number of factors which may be featured in the music video, these include irony, intertextuality, pastiche, parody and fragmentation.

There are a number of artists in the industry today who portray postmodernity throughout their videos however Katy Perry’s video to her new song stood out the most and gave me a number of postmodern factors to talk about. Firstly, postmodernism is a way of thinking about culture, philosophy, art and other meanings. However, in relation to media postmodern media rejects the idea that any media product or text is of any greater value than another and that the distinction between media and reality has collapsed and we now live in a ‘reality’ defined by images and representation. In relation to my case study, the video features intertextuality and is mainly reference the political issues currently taking place is the US.

The first scene in the music video is people walking into a theme park called ‘Oblivia’, seeing as the video is highly political it is believed ‘oblivia’ is meant to mean ‘oblivious’ and is suggesting that people are unaware of the political problems current. Another scene which stood out was a sign stating ‘The Great American Dream Drop’ which clearly has reference to the American Dream and suggests that society today has made it harder for people to achieve the Great American Dream whereas before people were able to work hard and in return receive this big dream everyone wished for. One scene also has intertextual reference to the Disney film Sleeping Beauty where the female character cuts her finger on a sharp object in this case a rose thorn, this scene is portraying a message to the audience that although something may look good it will always have a negative side effect. The next two scenes have a very obvious reference to political issues and President Trump. There is a scene featured in the video of characters being thrown over a wall into another area we do not see, to me this clearly has reference to Trumps promise policy of building a wall between two countries and may be the singers way of mocking his promise. Another scene sees a sign stating ‘bombs away’ with bombs flying all in frame of the camera, this highlights the threats beings thrown between the US and Korea and suggests the singer is trying to get these issue across to her audience to spark debates and see if any solutions can be found to resolve the problem.

To conclude, postmodern music videos like this one are good to cause debates and get opinions across to an audience although some may be seen as controversial however it allows an audience to think about issues they may not realise are a problem which could spark a positive or negative reaction.

Nosedive – Black Mirror, Charlie Brooker – POMO MAIN TEXT

This episode is on Netflix.  Watch it with the notes to hand.

This episode of Black Mirror, called Nosedive, really spotlights the world that we live in: the simulacra, the hypereality and the consumer culture that surrounds us.

It is made in a postmodern fashion, using intertextuality, parody, pastiche and focuses on a world of hypereality, simulcra, consumer culture and hegemony.  So Jameson and Baudrillard would applaud the fact that it is poking an accusing finger at POMO times but they would also lament the fact that it uses so many POMO devices to get the message across.  Lyotard meanwhile, would be sad that society is going this way with no enough people questioning or challenging the grand narratives but he would applaud Brooker for bringing the issue to light.

Remember to analyse the text, not just for examples of POMO media according to Jameson, Baudrillard and Lyotard but in relation to the over arching ideas of: postmodern media alters the relationship between text and audience; it plays with time and space and also challenges the conventions of representation.

Listen to the above analysis of the episode and watch it in class with your teacher.

Here is an interesting review on it.

And another one.


Extra ideas about Nosedive in table form.


Lyotard – we think we’re free?

A story broke in 2018 and the ramifications of it are still rumbling on.  The Guardian newspaper basically exposed Facebook for the monster it has become and all of us as unwittingly playing into the hands of the ruling classes – we have been moulded and monstrously manipulated by those who can – governments, politicians, corporations.

Watch the entire video below to fully understand the enormity of how Media has played right into the hands of those who have sought to ‘manage’ society.

Baudrillard would say – well, what more could we expect from a society that is managed through the media. We were bound to be fed and fall for falsehoods.

Lyotard – would he be saddened by the fact that even though we think we’re free to question, look beyond, beneath and behind in this pluralistic society, are we in actual fact, free at all? Just like the prisoners in Platos cave – have we actually come much further?  However, he would applaud the idea that the grand narrative of unbiased, investigative journalism is able to blow the ‘pretence’ apart and that what we are seeing has to be questioned, deconstructed, disseminated.

This is a really current case study that would sit well in any Level 4 essay on postmodernism

Lyotard – he really likes it!

Jean-François Lyotard is our third theorist. He had some pretty radical things to say about post modern society.  Unlike Jameson and Baudrillard, he quite likes the idea of postmodernism!

He made the remarkable assertion that: All ideas of ‘the truth’ are just competing claims (or discourses) and what we believe to be the truth at any point is merely the ‘winning’ discourse.

So essentially, he is saying there is no such thing as any absolute universal truth (or meta narratives) on any subject .

The first thing to realise is that when Lyotard talks about ‘meta-narrative’, he is not  using it in the sense of a narrative as we have studied it so far, i.e. a story that uses characters, conflict, events, structure… To Lyotard a ‘meta-narrative’ means, a view of the world and what is considered natural, right or inherently true.

Here is a great image which looks at the recurring ideas underpinning of Hollywood films, which have seem to suggest a simplified / mythical view of life and how things should resolve and which perhaps also communicate ideas which are widely held as being ‘true’, or in other words ‘meta-narratives’.

What are the meta-narratives of school life – what do you, the teachers, the public perceive to be universally accepted truths about what happens here between 9 and 4 each day? How far are those preconceptions met or not met during the day?

Now, watch this video with Russel Brand talking to Jeremy Paxman about the phone call scandal which got him fired from the BBC & now the story was exaggerated by The Daily Mail, edited by Paul Dacre.

  • Also what does Brand suggest about the meta narrative of celebrity?
  • Just think about the tragic news of the Love Island celebrity last year – the grand narrative of celebrity – tragically exploded.
  • What does Brand mean by the idea of ‘cultural narrative’?

To develop Lyotard’s ideas. He said these meta narratives (sometimes called ‘grand narratives’) are large-scale theories and philosophies of the world, such as the progress of history, the knowability of everything by science, and the possibility of absolute freedom. Lyotard argues that we (society) have ceased to believe that ‘narratives’ of this kind are adequate and are true for all of us.

The result of this rejection of single universal ideas being true for all of us is reflected by and explored in media texts that are rebellious and subversive towards widely held views and ideas, as well to figures in positions of authority and a distrust of what they claim is right or true.

Think also about the various different shows that feature different types of families, groups or individuals.

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