Tuesday, 27 October 2015

S P E C T R E: James Bond is no longer 007

007 is slick, smart and sexy. He always knows what is coming next and exactly how to deal with it, still making time to find a woman to be intimate with. Though this James Bond has most of these traits, the 24th Bond film did not stick to all its traditional conventions. The usual phrases were portrayed: "the names Bond, James Bond", "martini shaken, not stirred" etc. However James Bond no longer knows that the big Austrian man is on the train with himself and his Bond girl whilst their sipping martinis and making sultry eyes at each other. No, instead 007 is being saved by his girl when he is getting battered and we have no hope he is going to get out of it. James Bond is losing the slick and the smart, these scenes reflect that he is getting weaker, older and less vigilant. Could this be a sign of the end of James Bond?

We all love Daniel Craig because he subverts the role of the traditional James Bond, it is refreshing to see that Bond has flaws. On the contrary this Bond is always walking into traps, this is reflected in spectre a few times. We first seen these flaws in "Casino royale" when he drinks the martini that is drugged, we were all thinking: "Bond always knows when something is wrong WTF". Spectre just portrays this to a larger extend, yes its nice to know that Bond is a real person who doesn't know whats happening sometimes, but I never thought that he would be saved by a girl he is supposed be protecting. In my opinion everything has to come to an end, and 24th film of James Bond could not reveal that more. The 00 spies are being abolished, this is the digital age which is strongly portrayed in the film.

Friday, 16 May 2014

Representation for Film texts

Film - How are people represented in your chosen text

My three studied texts are Frank Miller and Robert Rodriguez Sin City, Niel Blomkeps District 9 and Fish Tank. The characters in the texts are represented in both a stereotypical way and a way that subverts from the typical role of a male and female. The representation of the characters are constructed through the miss en scene and technical conventions alongside the narrative.

In Frank Milers and Robert Rodriguez Sin City the female characters are typically represented as femme fatales due to texts hybrid genre which includes noir film. The character "Nancy" is represented as a femme fatale to some extent due to the fact she is objectified. Laura Mulvey said "women act as an erotic object for the male". An example of this is portrayed in the scene where Nancy is dancing in the bar, the technical convention of slow motion objectifies her body allowing the audience to view every aspect of her body. This is further highlighted through the numerous close ups on her sexual assets. The male gaze can be applied here as the camera angle portrays a male sitting on  a stool below her, therefore the camera is looking up at her giving the audience the impression they are looking through the males eye. However the typical noir femme fatale is diluted in Nancy as she is also represented as an innocent when we sees her as a child. Thus linking to Propp's character role of the damsel in distress or princess.

Moreover women are also represented as typically niave, this is highlighted through the character Lucile. Lucile is one of the female characters that does not use men to her advantage as she is a lesbian, however when she tries to take control in the scene with herself and Marv, she ends up getting shot by the corrupt cops. Thus representing women as niave and helpless if they are not using their body to be empowered. As the text is based on the time during the cold war, it portrayed women trying regain the power and control they had when the men were in the war. Therefore the text could be representing the women trying to take control however can not handle as they need men to save them,  again linking to propp's theory that in a narrative the woman is usually the damsel in distress.

Typically in sin city men are represented as cynical and insecure thus creating the typical noir cynical protagonist. This links to the time noir was set 1947- 1953 which was during the time of the cold war. As people were afraid of war beginning again, as this is not long after world war 2, they are depressed, do not trust anybody and are paranoid. The producer has encoded this in the male protagonists in order to express the attitudes of the time, an  example of this is expressed through the character marv who says: " hell is waking up everyday not knowing why you are here". This comment adheres to the fact that people of this time felt they were not supposed to be living ad thus were insecure. Due to the fact that trust was an issue at this time the men were also represented as aggressive and violent. An example of this is at the point when Marv escapes the murder scene of Goldie, he jumps through the police car window and punches the cop in the face to escape in the police car. As he knows the police think he committed the murder, therefore does not trust them and uses aggression to escape.

In my second text fish tank women subvert the role of being sexually objectified, and are untypically represented as violent and perhaps even masculine. This is highlighted through the female protagonist Mia. An example of women being violent and is the scene where Mia finds her friend in park provocatively dancing, which is the only point women are objectified, the shot of Mia sitting on the fence encodes that she is distant from the environment as suggested from the shallow depth of field. Her face expression indicates that she does not desire to be objectified which is untypical of a female role in film. she replies to the girls asking her why she is staring by head butting one of them followed by swearing.

However the text still portrays that females desire men to take care of them, and that a male is needed in the family for it to be able to function.  As the text is a social realist text, there is a lack of slow motion as this usually something used in fantasy or for scopophillia. However at the point in the narrative when Mia is on Connors back due to an injury we experience the first insight into her desires. The use of the slow motion creates a dream like and fantasy atmosphere that shows relies and wants him to care for her, the digetic sound of heavy breathing also adds to this. The representation that men are needed for a male to function is encoded in the scene when the four character are in the car. This is the first point in the narrative when we see Mia, her sister and mother getting along and doing something together. One could argue that this is because the male is there for them to be able to function as a family.

Though there is a lack of male representation in Fish tank, the male that is mostly represented is Connor. In some aspects the male is viewed through the female gaze, this is encoded at the point in the narrative when Mia first meets Connor. When he leaves her to go back upstairs to her mother there is a low angle shot that takes on the eye of Mia looking at his bottom thus showing she is sexually objectifying him. It is also encoded through the fact that at the point in the narrative when she meets him, he doesn't have a shirt on.

However in  Neil Blomkemp's District 9 Males are represented as powerful and dominant, this is encoded through the use of low angle shots that take on the eye of the character looking up at the male that is in power thus representing them as powerful and dominant. This is shown at the point in the narrative when the MNU solider Koobus Venter captures Wikus, this scene shows Wikus looking up to him whilst he is holding a gun to him. This implies man gain power through aggression and status, as he is a solider. As men are represented as in power we also see that if people oppose them, they respond in a brutal way. This again represented through the character Koobus Venter again during this scene when he says: "you're not going to waste anymore of my time" and "im just going to fucking kill you myself".

The women in district 9 are mostly represented as domesticated and only exist alongside the male. This is represented through Tanya, Wikus' wife, and Wikus' mother. At the point in the narrative when Wikus has disappeared Tanya is talking about him disappearing to the camera, she is presented in the home and is represented as emotional. The fact that throughout the narrative she is shown in the home encodes that she is domesticated. However at this point in the narrative she is presented in a pink bedroom implying that she is a kind of princess or damsel in distress, thus linking to prop's character roles. The fact that the majority of the time she is on screen she is talking about Wikus represents she only exists alongside the male in the narrative. Wikus' mother is also represented as only existing alongside the male as when she is presented in a documentary style scene she is captioned as "Wikus' mother. However there is also a positive representation of females through the psychologist "Sarah Livingstone". This is a positive representation of females as we see her being represented through her complex job role and not existing alongside a male. However one could argue that due to the fact she is talking about a male throughout the narrative, she only exisits in the narrative due to the male.

Thursday, 8 May 2014

Music Industry Question

Explore the impact of digital technologies on your selected industry

digital technology such as the internet and online services such as internet and social networking sites such as Facebook, instagram and twitter, alongside having online stores such as iTunes all present new ways for a consumer to discover or buy new music.

Nirvana was a band formed before the invention of the internet, their album "never mind" came out in 1991. by this time the had diluted their alternative heavier sound with more popular music conventions. By this time they were also signed to "Geffen", a globally known record label. Nirvana helped change the genre and ideology surrounding mainstream, popular music . They combined more alternative genres such as punk with more popular genres at the time such as metal.

 To help promote and publicise themselves Nirvana would rebel on mainstream television shows such as "Jonothan Ross" in order for people to talk about them gaining publicity through "word of mouth". when this happened magazines and newspapers would talk about them, therefore more and more people would know who they are. On "Jonathon Ross" Nirvana achieved this by singing one of their more alternative songs rather than the one they were ordered perform which was "lithium".  As i said before due to the fact the internet not being invented, Bands and artists like Nirvana relied heavily on television performances, music videos and their record label in order to get publicity.

Nirvanas single "smells like teen spirit" with its controversial music video in a high school with cheerleaders and teenagers is still popular and is still being discussed amongst new generations today, this is due to the numerous amounts of music channels provided by television, in which Nirvana never experienced during their career. They also have a YouTube channel to enable consumers/audiences to access and share videos of their live performances and music videos through the internet.The invention of the internet this has enabled Nirvanas music to be accessed more easily even after the time they were most prominent, though nirvana have not released an album for over twenty years, around 30 thousand copies of Nirvanas album "never mind" are still being sold every year through online stores such as iTunes, amazon and eBay. Digital technology has allowed social interaction and communities to form for Nirvanas fans and their new generation of fans due to the internet, as a form of nostalgia. Ultimately digital technology for older bands such as Nirvana has generated discussion about their music and the life and suicide of lead singer Kurt Cobain.

However this differs from new artists of today such as Lady Gaga who seem to rely heavily on their fans through social networking and album sales through the internet. Lady Gaga's album "Born this way" was released in 2011. In the short time period of 3 months she released 5 singles alongside their very theatrical and flamboyant music videos. Lady Gaga has a close relationship with her fans due to social networking sites such as twitter, Facebook and instagram. This built by her heavily promoted ideology of self acceptance, an example of this is on the photo sharing social networking site Instagram where numerous "little monsters", the nickname for her fans, upload images of her quotes and performances. One of these quotes is "you laugh at me because I'm different, I laugh at you because you're all the same". This promotes to her fans that it is okay to be different and stand, which is why she not only targets the typical teenage girl target audience but also homosexuals and transgender people who are typically different, this strongly promoted in her single "born this way"as her lyrics quote "not matter if you're gay, straight or by". Lady Gaga embraces technology to form a parasocial relationship with her fans.

Lady Gaga calls herself "mother monster" to enable her fans to reflect upon her and embrace their differences from the mainstream culture. Her fan base have been cultivated to believe that being different and standing out is a good thing due to her actions through social networking such as Twitter that allows fans to access her personal life and personality. However Gaga does this by rewarding her fans for uploading complimentary tweets or images of her at a show or event. She does this by commenting on their images or tweets or simply just retweeting them so that they get the impression that they know her personally. On 13th may 2014 Lady Gaga sold her concert tickets for the 7th time at Madison square in new York. One of her fan twitter blogs uploaded "RT if you're exited to see Lady Gaga hit the stage at Madison square" in which she retweeted. Moreover to promote the fact that she is dedicated to her fans more than other artists another "little monster" uploaded an image of her kissing one of her fans in which she also retweeted. This parasocial relationship through social networking media has enhanced sales for Gaga's music. Her album "Born this way topped charts in 23 different countries, with the single setting an iTunes record for selling one million copies in five days.

The current band radiohead took a very experimental and innovative approach to marketing their album through digital technology. instead of setting a price to the album and selling it online and in shops, the band used the method of  "pay what you want". this highlighted the importance of the fan and musician relationship. The album "in rainbows" in which was released in 2007  made more money digitally than any other album they had ever sold. it allowed their fans to think that for this particular band it wasn't about the money, but more about the music and enabled them to pay the worth of what they thought the music was. This was a very intelligent way of increasing threat of piracy to the industry and moving away form the reliance of  a powerful record label to release, distribute and promote albums.

Radiohead used digital technology to increase financial gain, though they did not sell as many albums as they would with their record label, they made more money digitally due to the fact they kept all of the money and did not need to give any to their record label. The album has been purchased over 3 million times due to the downloads, CDs and £40 disc boxes. The album in rainbows was available free or "pay what you want" for three months. The albm alon sold 1.2 million copies with the average customer buying the album at 4 pounds on the "pay what you want" method. With 291 million subscribers on YouTube Radiohead has used videos and host live to promote and publicise themselves . As well as doing performances such as "live at the basement"  on a channel you have to pay for such as "Sky Arts", this highlights that Radio head were trying attract their core audience and trying to avoid any mainstream attention.

Digital technology is highly used and relied on in order to market and promote artists in the music industry. This is due to the fact that it is easily accessible, cheap, immediate and high quality as well as reducing costs of production and distribution for music labels. It allows for new artist to become wodely known through social networking sites as lady gaga did with twitter.

Tuesday, 11 February 2014

uses and gratifications in - Peaky blinders, Lost and Mad men

Uses and Gratifications in Peaky Blinders,     Lost and Mad Men 

study the uses and gratifications theory and question, which gratifications audiences would gain from each of your studied texts


justify your answer with clear kinks to technical conventions, responses or sequences from the narrative


Peaky Blinders 

Personal identity- finding reinforcement for personal values 
Identify and justify- At some point the narrative we discover Ada, the sister of the Shelby brothers, is pregnant with Freddy's baby. The twist in the narrative is that Freddy is a communist and is also Tommy's best friend who Freddy saved during the war in France. In one scene in the text we witness Aunt Polly taking Ada to the train station to be taken to have an abortion. This suggests in this particular time period it was looked down upon to have a child when not in a marriage, as during this scene Freddy proposes to Ada and Aunt Polly seems to be happier. This allows the consumer to find reinforcement for personal values due to the fact that in modern day society having a child out of marriage is not as negative, Allowing the audience to see the positive elements in modern day society. 

Entertainment-  Getting intrinsic cultural or aesthetic enjoyment 
identify and justify - Towards the beginning of the text we consume a scene which involves the shelby brothers and the gypsy brothers in a domestic. during this seen we see complex cinematography of  Tommy Shelby taking off his hat which has a knife on. This allows us, the audience, to gain an insight into how people in Birmingham in 1919 lived, and more importantly how gangsters such as themselves would act in those circumstances. the use of the slow motion in this scene is used to allow use to see and be educated in how they lived. using such detail as this to allow us to notice the small elements of life in 1919. This is used throughout the narrative to make the text as accurate on the time period as possible. Another scene which involves gaining intrinsic cultural enjoyment is the seen that invokes Tommy and Grace talking outside, the audience consume the noise of the machinery in the background. This is diegetic sound used for an active audience to notice the technical conventions used to make the text as authentic as possible. 

Thursday, 6 February 2014

how does peaky blinders attract its target audience

peaky blinders is a 6 episode series of a text based on the time just after world war 1 in 1919. the text demonstrates events and how people felt at this time. the text was aired on bbc two which is known for targeting an active audience. due to its historical content peaky blinders is a very high brow text, however the mainstream conventions within the text. one could argue that the use of the baseline building up and quicker to express the feelings of the main character, tommy shelby,could be aimed at a passive audience due to the producer physically portraying how the character is feeling in which is frequently used in main stream texts.

However the use of cinematography in the text could also be to attract a mainstream audience. The use of high production value prominently shown the fight scene, attracts an active audience due to the lighting and carefully constructed camera angles allowing this audience to deconstruct to the scene without the music to show them how they are feeling. `They do this by just the use of camera shots and high value lighting. however the producer has included the fast paced modern soundtrack in this text to also attract the passive audience. the use of the juxtaposition between the modern music and time era

Tuesday, 14 January 2014



One could argue that the intended audience for the very popular television programme "lost" is a mainstream, passive audience. This maybe due to context due to the fact that at the time of recording these series, issues occuring atthe time were events such as the 9:11, in which the majority of the world was aware of.

However the first convention that makes me believe that this text is aimed at a passive, mainstream audience is the use of the none linear narrative. Though this may have been regarded as as niche technical convention a while ago, the fact that more and more mainstream television programmes are using it, the more popular and frequent it has become. for example this king of structure is also used in the very popular disaster based text "the walking dead". An example of this is at the beginning of  the episode when the text starts off after the plane crash and the characters are in the jungle, however as the begin to talk about the crash the narrative jumps back in time to when the characters are on the plane. This kind of narrative is used in this particular text to let the audience easily get a grasp of all of the characters own stories gradually through the narrative. it is particularly used at the beginning of a brand new series for of the characters to show their identity and importance to the role.

Another factor that suggests the text is intended to a mainstream audience is the propp character roles, in one segment of the text a male character says to another character named Jack: "you're the hero" therefore implying that he takes on the role the hero. Another section of the text shows a girl lying in her bikini. The camera pans slowly up her body for scopophilia, this implies she takes on the role the princess.

Tuesday, 10 December 2013

Fish Tank - Clip 2

Fish Tank - Clip 2

The text fish tank holds connotations, narrative themes, technical conventions and character roles of a social realism film. The text demonstrates various techniques that help the audience to draw into the narrative and gain feeling as if this the text is real life. the producer of the text achieves this by using the camera and lighting as if you were in person looking at the circumstances yourself,

At the point the text mia has broken into the run down, abandoned flat, which is iconic for a social realist text, we view an establishing shot form the back whilst she is dancing. The miss en scene used within the shot is iconic of social realism. the cider on the window sill looking out at the council houses, this shot very much establishes the texts title fish tank. Mia is stuck in a community that consists of the under class and cheap alcohol that she can not escape. The fact she dances looking out of this window is a constant reminder that she is bound to this life style. The natural lighting with in the shot gives the audience a sense of realism as it allows you to view the shot as if you were there. This also links to the consist digetic sound through the text, however more importantly the  diegetic sound f breathing and the music with in this shot which also allows the audience to become part of the shot. The digetic sound and natural lighting are typical technical conventions of a social realism film.

There are various shots of hand held camera work whilst the protagonist Mia is walking. in this particular shot Mia is walking down the isle of flats after she walks out of her home. The long shot helps us to establish the poor conditions she lives in and allows to view her circumstances allowing the audience to have empathy for her. Th shadow depth field used at the point when she is watching the male doing tricks in a park allows us to view what she is viewing exactly how she is and exactly how the human eye would.