Today’s lecture introduced the module’s structure and provided an overview of its contents. It also outlined the module’s learning objectives, and explained the final assessment in detail. The seminar gave an overview of the available resources, and assigned a task for next week. Students were also divided into smaller working groups.
Task for next week. What is Film Noir? Each group to come prepared next week with:
- A definition of what the genre is (its history and origin, etc.)
- A list of key stylistic and narrative features that define it (eg lighting techniques, character types, storylines, etc)
- At least two clips from films described as noir and to be able to identify the features in each clip that make the films noir.
As a reminder, we will focus on a series of media texts on the overall theme of crime. The following are the main texts we will discuss: if possible, you should familiarise yourself with them.
ANNOUNCEMENT: Media Departmental Seminars: the Department offers a series of seminars where external speakers present on a variety of key topics crossing over between media studies, photography, media production and journalism. Next dates:
- Wed 13th November 1-2.30 ET130 – WYBIDIBD: When You Break It Down It Breaks Down – analysing social media as a progressive form of comics
- Wed 11th December 1-2.30 ET130 – How long is a piece of string? On the practice, scope and value of videographic film and moving image studies
IMPORTANT: PREPARATION FOR 28 OCTOBER LECTURE – MUST WATCH FILM IN ADVANCE
- Sans Soleil
- Jar City
Drawing on the material from last week’s seminars and what we have discussed here trace the possible connections between filmic Scandinavian noir and the social context of the drama. Why should this genre emerge in Scandinavia in the 1980s and beyond? How is this relationship represented visually and stylistically, in its narrative structures, in its plots and storylines and themes? How do the central characters mirror this context?
- Jar City (2006)
- Wallander (Swedish version-tv series) (2005 – ongoing)
- Wallander (Swedish version-film series)
Different media (for example fictional film, documentary film, news reports, newspaper columns, advertisements, fictional literature, music video etc) and different genres within each of these media (eg within fictional film – film noir, the gangster, chick flick, rom com etc) have different codes, conventions and rules for their narrative forms, even though the subject may be identical. In your groups, and using the research you did on Film Noir prepare a 5 -10 min informal presentation on the representation of crime in Film Noir, eg, what type of people tend to be the central protagonists, how are they portrayed, how does the stylistic, musical and visual presentation of the narrative help to produce the particular representation of crime in Noir? The following is a useful resource: http://www.filmnoirfoundation.org/home.html
Moving across different media influences the way we construct discourse and culture. The introduction of new (media) technologies creates extensions of what we can do and conceive, but it also precludes or amputates some of the ways of being and thinking with which we used to be conversant. We look forward to new media but we also look back nostalgically to old ones, which we recreate and reconfigure in the new context.
When we spread intertextual webs across different media, we create a transmedia narrative. Texts are distributed across media platforms and channels; each text can be read autonomousy, but none of them has the full narrative picture. In order to get all the meanings, we need to move across all the different media involved.
Intertextuality is a pervasive and inescapable textual characteristic. Famously discussed by Roland Barthes, intertextuality is the idea that Individual texts always refer to each other; and the web of interlinked references, similarities, echoes, constitute what we call intertext. However, intertextuality paradoxically makes apparent that meaning is not only in the text. Barthes makes this point when he talks about the relationship of connotative vs. denotative meanings. Intertextuality is ideological, and when we look at intertexts, we cannot ignore their social, cultural and political context. An intertext is not just a semiotic structure, but a social and situated one.
Intertextuality is an important concept in audience studies. Meaning is not to be found in the text independently of its readers; audiences use intertextuality to construct ideologically significant meanings. Audiences are active participants in not just decoding the meaning of a text, but actually co-creating it. Audiences actively construct ideological meanings within individual texts, and intertextually produce an overall web of meaning across several texts. Interpretation creates meaning, which in turn create new texts that contribute to the overall intertextual structure. This process of meaning-making is cumulative, open-ended and inclusive: texts generate meanings generate texts, connected in an intertextual contruction. A particular way of creating texts/meanings occurs when audiences literally produce new texts, adding their own contribution to the intertextual web.