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Lesson 5 Spectatorship Lesson 1

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Lesson 5 Spectatorship Lesson 1

  1. 1. A2 FILM STUDIES
  2. 2. You will learn by the numbers I will teach you! Identify KeyTerms: Reception Theory Analyse the factors that influence how we choose a film to view Analyse how filmmakers create response and communicate with their audience Evaluate the use of Central & A-Central Imagining in Full Metal Jacket
  3. 3. You will learn by the numbers I will teach you! Reception theory hoped to be a more sophisticated approach to studying audiences concentrating more on those who consume a text than the text itself. When the text is encoded certain ideologies are in dominance. The audience decodes the message in multiple ways and this is dependant on the cultural background of the person.
  4. 4. You will learn by the numbers I will teach you! Reception Theory states that an audience may respond in one of three ways based on their reading of a film and how they ‘decode’ the meanings / ideologies placed in to the text by the filmmaker Preferred Reading – taking an intended reading of the film identifying and agreeing with all messages encoded in to the text Oppositional Reading – the viewer does not identify the meanings encoded in to the text and their own personal ideologies / experiences form an alternate meaning within the text Negotiated Reading – the viewer identifies most of the meanings encoded in to the text but does not agree with, or take the full meaning
  5. 5. You will learn by the numbers I will teach you! Reception Theory dictates that a film does not have any meaning without the spectator Meaning is only generated when the spectator views the text and ‘decodes’ it Meaning deals with themes and specific scenarios Response is an all-encompassing interaction with the film as a whole What is the difference between ‘Meaning’ and ‘Response’? Platoon’s meaning is clear – War is bad and we must learn from it or face the same consequences Response to Platoon would be varied and dependent on many factors, including life experiences, age, social/political factor etc…
  6. 6. You will learn by the numbers I will teach you! The question ‘How do individuals make sense of feature film?’ has been asked many times over the years and has elicited many different answers There are many different approaches to film criticism but most agree on this: Film spectatorship – or at least the most interesting aspects of it – is a conscious activity Joseph Anderson claims: Joseph Anderson Author of: ‘An Ecological approach to Cognitive FilmTheory’ “Making sense of film is significantly the same as making sense of the real world” He went on to say that the “spectator uses the same conceptual and perceptual systems when interacting with a real life 3D object, to make sense of 2D cinematic objects “
  7. 7. You will learn by the numbers I will teach you! Spectatorship theorists see desire as central to our understanding of spectatorship This desire not only relates to our response to a film but also to the types of film we choose to watch If we are presented with a choice of: 1. an intellectually demanding film 2. one which is provocative 3. one which is throw away spectacular fun we will decide which best matches your desire at that given point
  8. 8. You will learn by the numbers I will teach you! If we choose the ‘spectacular fun’ (aka James Bond) option we will most likely take a preferred reading as the experience demands a suspension of disbelief and an acceptance if it is to be spectacular and fun Even though, in another state of mind we would find the sexism, militarism, and violence as something we would not endorse at other times. In other words we are freely choosing to become aligned with the characters and scenarios The Bond movies require a suspension of disbelief and acceptance of its encoded meanings if we are to enjoy them
  9. 9. You will learn by the numbers I will teach you! “In other words we are freely choosing to become aligned with the characters and scenarios” The Bond movies require a suspension of disbelief and acceptance of its encoded meanings if we are to enjoy them What impact can this have on the emotional response to take from a film? Can you say we are restraining our critical faculties in favour of a desired response? If yes, then can we say that our emotional response can be determined by our desires? Can you think of a film that you over-hyped, thought you liked it but later admitted it was rubbish?
  10. 10. You will learn by the numbers I will teach you! Interaction between director and spectator can be achieved through the manipulation of the following information: Textual – information provided by the text itself Extra-textual – information existing in the mind of the spectator
  11. 11. You will learn by the numbers I will teach you! From our study so far we have identified FOUR factors that can influence our response to a film: Personal Experience – life experiences and personal ideologies Desires – what we desire/want at the moment we chose a film to watch Textual – information provided by the text itself Extra-textual – information existing in the mind of the spectator Can you think of four films were your response has been dependant on each of these factors?
  12. 12. You will learn by the numbers I will teach you! Most films are constructed in a way that enable us to suspend our disbelief and emerge ourselves within the narrative Through the use of slick cinematography and invisible editing we cease thinking of the film as a ‘film’ Instead we buy in to the ‘reality’ of the film However other films draw attention to the film as a ‘textual construct’ – Wayne’sWorld (1992) frequently reminds the audience that they are watching a constructed reality – a textual construct Directors can invite the spectator to take pleasure in acknowledging that the film is in fact, a film – a construct – and meaning is created between the filmmaker and the spectator, not through the film itself
  13. 13. You will learn by the numbers I will teach you! Arguably the central function of spectatorship is: Central Imagining This refers to an immersion in the film There are certain times when a spectator experiences ‘central-imagining’ – when a film recreates physical sensations such as falling over or walking in a daze In theory Central-Imagining is the merging of the spectator with the film – when the cinematic experience is felt physically Central Imagining is often expressed as ‘I feel...’ Imax and other technologies provide more opportunity for ‘central-imagining’ This effect was fir felt in the Lumiere Brothers’ film: “Entrée d'un train en gare de la Ciotat“ (1897)
  14. 14. You will learn by the numbers I will teach you! The following clips encourage spectators to experience ‘Central Imagining’ – a response that can be felt physically Watch them and make notes on HOW these response are generated This effect was first felt in the Lumiere Brothers’ film: “Entrée d'un train en gare de la Ciotat“ (1897) Central Imagining means we link personal experiences to the scenes in the film.We understand emotion in film the same way we do in real life. However, film also has music, cinematograph, mise-en- scene, editing etc to enhance and guide our emotional responses
  15. 15. You will learn by the numbers I will teach you! ‘Alien’ extract – can generate a physical scare in audiences. The film restricts information through lighting and the tight space connotes entrapment and claustrophobia The quick sharp reveal of the Alien, its hideous design and the sound effects/music are designed to shock audience – and it usually works. Alien is connecting the film with REALITY – fear of the dark and fear of the unknown are universal fears and the film taps in to these fears to generate a response Would you define this extract from ‘Alien’ as ‘A CENTRAL’ or ‘CENTRAL’? Support your point with analysis! “Making sense of film is significantly the same as making sense of the real world” He went on to say that the “spectator uses the same conceptual and perceptual systems when interacting with a real life 3D object, to make sense of 2D cinematic objects “
  16. 16. You will learn by the numbers I will teach you! Most of the time film spectators operate in the ‘I imagine that...’ mode – meaning they do not feel the physical effects but can imagine how a certain sensation may feel ‘A Central’ imaging mostly relies on our ‘EXTRA TEXTUAL’ information to generate a response A-Central imagining is often expressed as “I imagine that...” “I imagine that being in a fire-fight must be terrifying and a self preservation survival instinct would cut in”
  17. 17. You will learn by the numbers I will teach you! The following clips encourage spectators to experience ‘A-Central Imagining’ – a response that cannot be felt physically – rather it is a psychological response Watch them and make notes on HOW these response are generated Now write at least one paragraph analysing HOW an A CENTRAL response was generated by the film
  18. 18. You will learn by the numbers I will teach you! Another way of defining our responses can be to use the phrases EMPATHY SYMPATHY Understanding what others are feeling because you have experienced it yourself or can put yourself in their shoes. Recognising what others are feeling and the feeing of pity or sorrow FOR someone else’s misfortune We can either FEEL FOR Pyle (sympathy) or KNOW what he is feeling (empathy). Our response it either ‘A CENTRAL’ (Sympathetic) or ’Central’ (empathetic)
  19. 19. You will learn by the numbers I will teach you!
  20. 20. You will learn by the numbers I will teach you! Another way of defining our responses can be to use the phrases EMPATHY Understanding what others are feeling because you have experienced it yourself or can put yourself in their shoes. Drive a connection between the person and the object/person being empathised with. This connection has massive ramifications for the types of response we experience from film
  21. 21. You will learn by the numbers I will teach you! Allegiance pertains to the moral evaluation of the characters by the spectator Allegiance is another form of ‘identification’ with a character based on a wide range of external factors such as attitudes towards: •Class •Race •Nation •Age •Ethnicity •Gender etc Some people may identify or experience ‘allegiance’ to Pvt. Pyle having experienced bullying / intense hostility themselves
  22. 22. You will learn by the numbers I will teach you! Using your handout from our ‘Alignment’ lesson, go through the scenes you have identified and note down whether you consider them to be ‘Cental- Imagining’ or ‘A-Central-imagining’ Watch the following extracts from ‘Full Metal Jacket’ and answer the following questions: How does each scene align us with the characters? Are these scenes examples of ‘Central Imagining’ or ‘A-Central Imagining’? (use ‘I feel’ & I imagine that...’) Justify your answers!
  23. 23. You will learn by the numbers I will teach you! Essentially when we view films we have a combination of responses ranging from preferred to oppositional to individual emotional responses We as spectators can have our physical responses manipulated via Central imagining and our emotional responses manipulated by A-Central imagining The A-Central Imagining depends on our extra- textual reading of a film whilst the central imagining depends on how the director uses the camera to elicit physical responses (shock, tears...)
  24. 24. You will learn by the numbers I will teach you! Our emotional response to a film is determined by how we are made to connect with characters. How far has this been true for Full Metal Jacket?
  25. 25. You will learn by the numbers I will teach you! We begin with an overall assessment of coherence – expectations are formed in our minds - As a film spectator we begin a film with specific goals formed by a given background of knowledge and experience We look for familiar narrative, genre conventions, and common cinematic techniques We do this by bringing our knowledge of previous films and cinematic experiences to bear in responding to a new film experience
  26. 26. You will learn by the numbers I will teach you! Cognitive Concerned with beauty or the appreciation of beauty Aesthetic Coherence logical interconnection; overall sense or Understand-ability. pertaining to the mental processes of perception, memory, judgment, and reasoning, as contrasted with emotional processes Disparity lack of similarity or equality; inequality; difference

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