Presentation on theme: "+ Ways of interpreting film texts. + How do viewers discern meaning in film texts? Are we “meaning detectives”- with our main job to look for the meanings."— Presentation transcript:
+ How do viewers discern meaning in film texts? Are we “meaning detectives”- with our main job to look for the meanings and the understandings that the film-maker wishes us to have? Are we independent of film-makers, actors and producers; that is- are we, as the audience, free to arrive at our own meanings regardless of what the producers may have intended? Are we guided to understanding a film or body of work by our culture, society and external influences?
+ The independent audience What does this movie remind me of? Does it bring back memories of certain things? Do I find this movie authentic? Can I believe it? Is it plausible? Do I like/dislike this movie? What do I think this movie is about?
+ Guided by culture How does this film depict social and cultural contexts? How does this film depict race, gender, class, power relations, the gaze and objectification, values, beliefs and ideologies? What does this film reveal about the psychology of the individual in society in relation to relationships, archetypes and stereotypes? How does this film fit into society’s notions of beauty and creativity?
+ Meaning detectives Who is the film creator? Does that creator have a recognised body of work that carries similar themes or concerns? (auteur) Does the film fall into a recognised genre or type? (e.g., comedy, action, blockbuster, Hollywood, Bollywood, Indie) How does our understanding of this “type” lead us to form conclusions about the movie? How does the film-maker use film techniques (characterisation, point of view/voice, camera shots, editing, sound, costuming) to convey a particular meaning?
+ Theoretical approaches to film Film theorists (people who think and write about the way we accept meaning in films), have different ideas as to how we arrive at these meanings.
+ An Active Audience The” Hypodermic Needle” Model was the first theory to attempt to explain audiences reactions to media, suggesting that audiences are passive, receiving the information transmitted via the media text without viewers attempting to process or challenge this data.
+ Flaws to this approach It is becoming increasingly apparent that this is not the case and that, in fact, media consumers and audiences are far more active.
+ An Active Audience In 1948 American communications theorist Harold Lasswell suggested that media texts perform the following functions for individuals and within society: Surveillance Correlation Entertainment Cultural transmission.
+ An Active Audience Lasswell’s idea was expanded by further researchers in the 1970’s who suggested that individuals might choose a specific text for a specific purpose: As a diversion (to escape every day problems and routine) Personal relationships (in aim of substituting soap operas for every day life, using the media for emotional interaction) Personal identity (finding yourself and values reflected in texts) Surveillance (collecting information which could be useful for living e.g. Whether reports, financial news etc)
+ The Reception Theory Reception Theory, expands the concept of an active audience further. Reception theory focuses on the way audiences receive and interpret texts. It foregrounds how a person’s individual circumstances may influence their reading and interpretations (gender, class, age and ethnicity).
+ Stuart Hall Hall suggests that text is encoded by the producer and then decoded by the reader and that there may be major differences between these two readings within the same code. For example, the audience may interpret an element of the film in a completely different way than the producer intended, or often discern further meanings that again, the producer had not aimed to achieve purposely.