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Connections and Disconnections among the Younger Generations in Postmodern Cities Eldorado, “ Rescue, ” “ Crates of Stars ” & Last Night.

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Presentation on theme: "Connections and Disconnections among the Younger Generations in Postmodern Cities Eldorado, “ Rescue, ” “ Crates of Stars ” & Last Night."— Presentation transcript:

1 Connections and Disconnections among the Younger Generations in Postmodern Cities Eldorado, “ Rescue, ” “ Crates of Stars ” & Last Night

2 Outline Young generations (e.g. Gen-X) & Postmodern City Young generations Postmodern City Common Themes in the four texts Common Themes Eldorado: Loneliness & Dis/connections youngsters Eldorado “ Rescue ” : Camera world and Suicide Rescue “ Crates of Stars ” : Drifting Stars Crates of Stars Last Night: Ways of Facing the End Last Night

3 Definition of Generations Silent Generation (age 54-71): hard working, economically conscience, and trusting of the government. Very optimistic about the future and held a strong set of moral obligations. Boomer Generation (from 1946 – 1964, age ), a strong set of ideals and traditions, politically conservative and active and fairly socially liberal. Gen-X (age 15-35); Millenial Generation (14 and younger): materialistic, selfish, and disrespectful. very aware of the world and very technologically literate. trying to grow-up too fast, have no good role models to look towards. (source)source

4 X generation Douglas Coupland's 1991 book Generation X. born between 1964 and 1974 white, upper-middle class, college-educated, located near urban centers, and lives primarily on the coasts. Generation X-ers are hip, ironic, lack motivation and suffer ennui. (source(source)

5 X generation We've been called the ``Twentysomething Generation,'' following in the footsteps of the thirtysomethings who came before us. Also, the ``Me Generation.'' ``The Lost Generation.'' The ``Generation Without a Conscience.'' Or, `Yuppies With a Conscience But Without Fat Paychecks.'' Quite frankly, at the moment I think we're too much in the midst of it all to define ourselves. (source)source

6 Other stereotypes of generations X, Y, Z... TV/PC generation; slot-machine generation (for instant satisfaction); Imagistic thinking and random association ( 無厘 頭 ) – like MTV, lack of commitment or critical distance All of the above are partial truths or just a myth (reference: )

7 Postmodern City Rapid and excessive technologization; Anti – modernization/rationalization; boundary-breaking; green city, etc. Image society – camera + TV screen; Information society metropolis on the move

8 Common Themes 1. The characters ’ Disaffection; Lack of commitment Instabilities (jobs, income,emotional trauma, etc.) Immersion in media and camera world. 2. Fragmentary plots with chance encounters (also in "When the Day Breaks “, In the Skin of a Lion, "En Passant, ” “ Desperanto. “ ) When the Day BreaksIn the Skin of a Lion 3. Human Connections made possible by urban systems: Transportation: bus, car, gas, people walking, roller-blading Telephones; TV and radio; Cables and wires of all sorts Public spaces: grocery stores, supermarket, park and cemeteries.

9 Edorado (1995) Director: Charles Binam é began his film career as an assistant director at the National Film Board in 1971, and later moved on to direct documentaries for television. Direct Cinema style: natural lighting, improvisational dialogue, shouldered camera. On Eldorado ’ s style: "A film a chaotic, just like life and that's what is stimulating. In the midst of this chaos, there is a raw truth which emerges and captures our attention. ”

10 The Younger Generations in Postmodern Cities "... we do have this perception of a generation that's lost, frightened, with no future. I asked myself, how do they live, are they much different from what I was like at their age, what are their options? ” Biname, director of Eldorado Question: What are the youngsters ’ s problems? What is the “ raw truth ” in Eldorado? (clip 14)

11 The apparently strong and weak Roxan – active in helping others; with traumatic past, harmed by the ones she helps Lloyd – shock-jock, but can only talk; does not know how to commit himself. Rita--traumatic past, drug-dealing, stealing, cannot touch others or be touched; Loulou--discontented; bored Marc – a musician who works in a liquor store, hurt by Lou Lou, find help/refuge in sex shop or video games Henriette -- want to know how to connect, sexually or otherwise.

12 Questions: Is the ending trite or weak? How are the characters connected with or disconnected from each other?

13 Disconnections: Marc and Lou Lou -- M cannot understand Lou Lou, is not willing to be "mothered" by Lou Lou. Henriette -- sexual fantasies about Lloyd, (clips 18, 29) silence from the shrink, rejecting him at the end, moving away. (32) connect with Rita, but misses her (clips 21; 26; 34 ) Rita – from her boyfriend, and everybody else. (20; 36) Roxan -- get the puppet back herself? Rita misses the chance to make up.

14 Connections Rita and Lloyd -- Rita's reckless moments: on the car, shooting L with a water gun; miss the chance to comfort Rita once. Image source

15 Raw truth Solitude, as conveyed by the cello. (clip 28)

16 “ Crates of Stars ” Theme: Friends drifting together and apart. Language : use of hyphen, interesting descriptions – e.g. pp. 75, 77, 78, 79 Style – an open-ended collage

17 No Past, No Future; No Commitment What does the title mean? stars: pp. 75; 77; 80; 83 – aspiring youngsters looking for the glamorous. C ’ s Past – pp. 77; can ’ t go home 78; Future – each bound for different places: Texas, Calgary, Halifax. The narrator --pp. 78, 82, 83

18 Momentary Contacts Fun moments – avocado in microwave; Rescue C out of the theatre. The narrator – tries to be Christina ’ s friend, but cannot offer sympathy pp

19 “ Rescue ” : Camera and Suicide What role does the baseball cap and his camera crew play? Are they a team of “ candid camera ” ? Who is/are committing suicide? Why does Milton rescue Teresa? Who is Ariel?

20 The poor youth exposed by/to the camera Milton ’ s family in Mandy ’ s description pp Leonard, Connie, Mandy ’ s son, their mother. Teresa – expose her life too. 277/80 Milton Resisting it pp. 274; 75 Self-conscious, equating camera with “ the world ” 276; expected to be a hero. 278 Rejecting it (279-80). but still influenced by media (278; 279)

21 Suicide and failure to connect The mother ’ s response to Milton ’ s acknowledge of suicide ; Milton sees Ariel in Teresa; sympathy “ no life ” 279 Milton ’ s lame persuasion: So young 277; Feel lucky

22 Last Night (1999) Director: Don McKellar invited by French production company Haut et Court to contribute a film to their series 2000, Seen By..., featuring ten films about the coming of the new millenium from ten different countries (Tsai Min-Liang ‘ s Hole 洞 included). But as McKellar developed his story, he turns end of a millenium into end of the world.

23 End of the World End of the World -- no reasons; no authorities in charge of order; no resistance to it, completely accepted by people; Clues to what has happened: the absence of nightfall people die one by one; the government close down; no bus, no stores opening;

24 The Various Responses I. gathering: family gathering: Patrick's family having a X'mas party; watching video. religious gathering: go on a canoe (Noah's ark?); prayer group; party and final countdown: "where's the party?"

25 The Various Responses (2) II. do the “ best/craziest ” thing in life: sexual adventures: Craig piano concert Jogging; Party (clip 5) III. Stay on the job till the last minute: Teacher, Mrs. Carlson (Genevieve Bujold )-- visiting her students (clip 4)Genevieve Bujold TV anchor, Radio host gas company boss and secretary (clip 7)

26 The Various Responses (2) IV. Losing grip: mob on the street: killing, destroying things, (clip 6) waiting for the bus -- "what driver? “ (clip 3) III. Staying Sanely Unaccompanied: Patrick Refusing to be with his parents Turning down his friend's offer

27 Questions How are the choices made by the characters reflective of their selves and their raison d'être? Patrick and Sandra seem to be opposite to each other. Why are they attracted to each other? Consider the following elements: Patrick's reason to be alone; Sandra's reason for getting married, and Sandra's way of facing the end of the world; Patrick's responses to Sandra's dilemma. How are the characters connected in this film? And disconnected?


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