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The Pakistani band Noori has been posting video blogs on their website
The blogs offer a candid inside look at the life of a band. Please have a look see and do write and let me know (on your blogs) what you think about blogging as a media form, compared it to twitter and facebook and let me have a nice post with your reflection about blogs.
Meanwhile, have you checked out the Bum Phatta song? What do you think about it? What issues does it raise? What are some issues of representation that it raises, for instance by its choice of language and metapohors? I would like you to analyse the lyrics of this song and place them in the context of Ali Azmat’s past work.
Finally, I’m a little behind the times and was super surprised today when I realized that iphones not only take some really nice photos, you can actually photoshop your pictures on your iphone. Simultaneously, you couldn’t possibly have missed the heavily advertised new nokia phone that can apparently edit video for you.
So, I want you to think about technology, media making and distribution. How is the model of media that consisted of broadcasting changing? And what are the implications of these new technologies: cell phones that allow you to capture and manipulate media content as well as distribute it via YouTube or your blog etc.
This is an important question for you to spend some time thinking about because the OCR is very likely at some point in the next two years to ask you an exam question about how technology helped or hindered you and also how technology is changing media- uses, users, makers and texts.
I was in a store buying a card for a friend who had a baby recently, and it occurred to me that new baby greeting cards, father’s day cards, mother’s day cards etc are very interesting in terms of media representation and gender. Those of you who are working on gender issues in your films and are looking to write/research gender representation in the media, this may be a nice area to research, go pick up some cards and examine them to see how they’re constructed in terms of gender.
HOW TO MAKE YOUR BLOG BETTER
As you work through your prelim videos, you are hopefully beginning to think about issues of representation- something you must do when you move on to your final projects with the opening titles.
Here are some ideas to start you off:
today, in class we watched the opening titles and sequence for the Robert Downey Jr starrer Sherlock Holmes. In many ways, the Arthur Conan Doyle character has set some of the patterns, stereotypes, conventions with regard to the representation of detectives, conventions that have been defied in some instances and perhaps not, in others. What do you think some of these conventions are?
You should think about how Sherlock Holmes is represented in this film and how that representation might be different from the representation or characterization in other tv or film depictions of this character versus the character in the book.
For example, BBC recently did a 4 episode serial entitled Sherlock, that takes place in a contemporary world where technology plays an important role in the detection of crime. This serial appears to see Sherlock in a more sociopathic light (do you agree?). In other ways, Sherlock’s the series sticks to certain conventions about Sherlock Holmes- talking about the dysfunction of his personal life versus his crime fighting life, his amazing cognitive prowess versus his ineptitude with personal relationships (with the exception of his friendship with Dr. Watson). These appear to be conventions that impact other depictions of other detectives, can you think of any? Frost? The characters in Law and Order? Poirot?
What are some of the conventions with regard to detective characters?
Are they, for instance, mostly male? Do they have lonely personal lives? Are they unusually perceptive and observant?
Meanwhile, the TV series House is suppose to be a spin off inspired by Sherlock Holmes. What kind of conventions does House defy when it comes to representing doctors?
Here are more representation issues for you to think about:
How are children represented today? How is this different from the manner in which they were represented in films like Mary Poppins, The Sound of Music, Chitty chitty bang bang?
How are superheroes represented? Male? Female? Animal superheroes? Animals who think they are superheroes?
How are old people represented?
How are Muslims represented on film and television?
How are you going about creating a representation of the characters in your films? Are you falling back on stereotypes when you deal with mentally ill characters, school principals and bullies? Or are you defying these conventions or stereotypes in any way?
Look back at the characterization exercise we did in the beginning of class- did you fall back on conventions or patterns when you were constructing these characters? Did you look at real life for inspiration or did you turn to media and what you knew about characters in books, films, TV etc? Falling back on patterns without realizing you’re doing it is what happens when you are new to media literacy. As you acquire greater literacy with media you will begin to analyze how things are always done versus how certain media texts introduce a spin on what we are used to and you will be able to question whether this spin or departure from the norm has been meaningful (i.e does it tell the audience something new) or successful (does the writer/director succeed in creating something new and meaningful?