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Lecture 4

Religion and Popular Culture Week 4-11 (Module 3+)

22 Pages

Religious Studies
Course Code
RS 170
Fred Desroches

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1 MODULE3-ReligionandTelevision Week 4: Creation Myths and Morality Tales CivilReligioninAmerica-TheKennedyInaugural - he didn’t mention any religion in particular - his only reference was to the concept of God, a word that almost all Americans can accept but that means so many different things to so many different people that it is almost an empty sign - President Kennedy was a Catholic Christian. Thus his general references to God do not mean that he lacked a specific religious commitment. But why, then, did he not include some remark to the effect that Christ is the Lord of the world or some indication of respect for the Catholic church? He did not b/c these are matters of his own private religious belief and of his own particular church; they are not matters relevant in any direct way to the conduct of his public office. Others with different religious views and commitments to different churches or denominations are equally qualified participants in the political process. The principle of separation of church and state guarantees the freedom of religious belief and association, but at the same time clearly segregates the religious sphere, which is considered to be essentially private, from the political one - Although matters of personal religious belief, worship, and association are considered to be strictly private affairs, there are, at the same time, certain common elements of religious orientation that the great majority of Americans share. These have played a crucial role in the development of American institutions and still provide a religious dimension for the whole fabric of American life, including the political sphere. This public religious dimension is expressed in a set of beliefs, symbols, and rituals that I am calling American civil religion. TheIdeaofaCivilReligion - the phrase “civil religion” is the outlines the simple dogmas of the civil religion: the existence of God, the life to come, the reward of virtue and the punishment of vice, and the exclusion of religious intolerance CivilWarandCivilReligion - Until the Civil War, the American civil religion focused above all on the event of the Revolution, which was seen as the final act of the Exodus from the old lands across the waters - The Civil War, which Sidney Mead calls “the center of American history,” was the second great event that involved the national self-understanding so deeply as to require expression in civil religion - Not only did the Civil War have the tragic intensity of fratricidal strife, but it was one of the bloodiest wars of the nineteenth century; the loss of life was far greater than any previously suffered by Americans - The Civil War raised the deepest questions of national meaning. The man who not only formulated but in his own person embodied its meaning for Americans was Abraham Lincoln. For him the issue was not in the first instance slavery but “whether that nation, or any nation so conceived, and so dedicated, can long endure.” - With the Civil War, a new theme of death, sacrifice, and rebirth enters the new civil religion. It is symbolized in the life and death of Lincoln. - the Memorial Day observance, especially in the towns and smaller cities of America, is a major event for the whole community involving a rededication to the martyred dead, to the spirit of sacrifice, and to the American vision TheCivilReligionToday - American religion at least since the early 19 century has been predominantly activist, moralistic, and social rather than contemplative, theological, or innerly spiritual - “God” has clearly been a central symbol in the civil religion from the beginning and remains so today. This symbol is just as central to the civil religion as it is to Judaism or Christianity TheThirdTimeofTrial - The first time of trial had to do with the question of independence, whether we should or could run our own affairs in our own way. The second time of trial was over the issue of slavery, which in turn was only the most salient aspect of the more general problem of the full institutionalization of democracy within our country. This second problem we are still far from solving though we have some notable successes to our credit. But we have been overtaken by a third great problem that has led to a third great crisis, in 2 the midst of which we stand. This is the problem of responsible action in a revolutionary world, a world seeking to attain many of the things, material and spiritual, that we have already attained. Americans have, from the beginning, been aware of the responsibility and the significance our republican experiment has for the whole world - Behind the civil religion at every point lie biblical archetypes: Exodus, Chosen People, Promised Land, New Jerusalem, and Sacrificial Death and Rebirth FROMTHWARTEdGODSTORECLAIMEDMYSTERY?AnOverviewoftheDepictionofReligioninStarTrek - star trek says that there will be a future, and that we can and will solve our problems and learn how to live in peace - star trek is about challenging ourselves. It is about finding our limits by being willing to go beyond them, it is about the ultimate nobility of the human spirit it inspires. It leaders individuals to pursue larger goals and discover possibilities in themselves that they might not otherwise have realized - after Gene Roddenberry(creator and executive producer) died, religion appears as a theme far more often and treated more sophisticated and sympathetic manner GENERODDENBERRYANDTHECONSTRUCTIONOFTHESTARTREKVIEWOFRELIGION - star trek was an expression of his own beliefs using his characters to act out human problems and equation - one of those human problems is humanity’s relationship to God and to institutionalized religion - he disliked hypocrisy and inconsistency he saw manifested in religion - he ignored religion and kept his view quiet until the making of star trek - raised a Baptist and taken to church every Sunday by his pious mother - viewed conventional religious faith as a product and “a vestige of a pre-rational age” - he thinks religious institutions help to keep people in a passive or nonquestioning state of ignorance of themselves - he was an agnostic humanist CLASSICTREK:CHALLENGINGTHEMACHINEINTHEGOD - “religion” generally presented in the series as a set of rituals and beliefs whose source, efficacy and authority are attributed to some sort of superior being, is occasionally depicted among “primitive” alien cultures - a recurrent motif in star trek is that a highly advanced civilization or the products of its technology may be mistaken for gods by a “primitive” ie. Much less technologically advanced race - THIS MOTIF HAS THREE RELATED THEMES: A computer mistaken for a god, an advanced being or race mistaken for a god(s) and an advanced being or race that tries to present itself as god-like GENESIS1-4 God created heavens and earth first then formed water on earth and then he had light, he saw that the light separated from darkness and it was good. Then god called the light day and darkness night and then there was evening and morning, the first day. God also called the dry land earth, and the sea then plants and fruit trees that bear fruit with the seed in it and he made two great lights- the greater light to rule the day and the lesser to rule the night- and the stars. He created the great sea monsters and every living creature and humankind in his image. On 7 day, God rested. The Lord god planted a garden in Eden, in the east, a river follows out of Eden to water the garden and it divides into four branches. The name of the first is pishon, it is the one that flows around the whole land of Havilah, where there is gold; and the gold of that land is good; bdellium and onyx stone are there. The name of the second river is Gihon; it is the one that flows around the whole land of Cush. The14 name of the third river is Tigris, which flows east of Assyria. And the fourth river is the Euphrates. He put the man in the garden of Edon but told him he can eat every tree in the garden except for the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, and if he does then he will die. Then he made animals so the man wouldn’t be alone and the man named every single animal. He made the man fall asleep and took his rib and used it to make into a woman. The serpant made them think that the tree was good for good and she ate it and then they realized they were naked so they made clothes for themselves. Then they heard god and god asked where they were, and he responded that he was naked so he hid, and god asked who told them they were naked, did they eat from the tree and the man said the woman gave him the fruit then the woman said the serpent tricked her. Eve gave birth to Cain and 3 Abel. Abel was a keeper of sheep and cain a tiller of the ground and Cain brought the lord offering of the fruit of the ground and Abel for brought him fristling of his block, their fat portions. The lord had regard for Abel but none for Cain and Cain got angry. Cain killed his brother, then God put a mark on Cain so no one could kill him. THEFALLFROMEDEN,CRITICALTHEORY,ANDTHETELETUBBIESbyBrianBritt This essay demonstrates how the biblical story of Eden (Genesis chapters 2–3) illuminates contemporary critical theory and culture Genesis3andEden - The serpent will be a permanent enemy of humans. Eve will suffer painful childbirth and, perhaps even worse, desire for her husband. Adam will labour over the cursed ground from which he was made. Together they will be sent out of the Garden, and a sword-bearing cherub will guard against any attempts to return - God’s decision to send the humans away suggests that their knowledge is great enough to be dangerous and make them ‘like one of us, knowing good and evil’ - Eden represents a place too good to be imaginable - Although people are distinguished from animals even before the Fall, the curse on the serpent introduces the elements of humiliation and rivalry with humans CriticalTheoryandtheFall To Adorno, the pre-eminent critic of the culture industry, America looked more like the land of the Fall than Eden: in their critical evaluation of labour, art, sexuality, and language of the culture industry, Horkheimer and Adorno evoke all the moral themes of the story of the Fall: like the serpent, the ‘culture industry perpetually cheats its consumers of what it perpetually’, through the ‘leisure’ and ‘amusements’ of movies and radio, for example, the culture industry of post-war America offers happiness and fulfilment, but it only robs the public of freedom and dignity Eden,TheCamp,andthePark - Seduced like Adam and Eve by the promise of human independence, modern consumers are drawn into the structures of consumer capitalism only to find they are more prison than pleasure gardens Teletubbieland:Animals,Camp,andPark - Teletubbieland turns out to be more like a camp than a park because like the world of the culture industry, Teletubbieland is a place where every action of the Tubbies is regulated, monitored, and strictly controlled - their sanitised world, they gaze with delight on these images of another world, a world they can never inhabit or experience directly. Like the promise of happiness made by consumer culture, life in Teletubbieland is a matter of never-ending desire—even though all their needs are met, life remains about the same. StarTrek,ThisSideofParadise The enterprise arrives at the planet Omicron Ceti III and they didn’t know that the colonists would be alive. Spock encounters Leila that he met on earth years ago and she loved him but he didn’t love her. There is no animals and cars. Spock gets blasted by spores of a flowering plant which causes him to confess his love for Leila and was happy. The plant also infects others but not the captain. The captain than gets blasted as well and becomes happy then suddenly he gets angry and it makes him unhappy free of the affect of the plant. He makes Spock angry even though Spock is strong enough to kill him then everyone breaks out into an angry emotion due to the transmitter and the colonists agreed to move onto another planet. Week 5: Humour and Religious Identity MoralDilemmas:“Dad,WemayHaveSavedYourSoul.” EXAMPLE: Homer gets illegal cable hookup and when they went to church they were talking about the eighth commandment about “thou shall not steal” and Lisa related the illegal cable to the stealing. She confronted Homer and he agreed until she connected it with the cable and then he disagreed. She decided to protest and later asked the pastor if it was wrong, and he used an example that it is stealing if they take more bread then they need to survive. Later Marge decides to protest with her and Bart discovers porn on TV and charges his friend to 4 watching it and Homer finds out. Homer has friends over and had Bart hide everything he’s stolen from his friends. Two officers came, and Homer blamed it on Marge but they said they just want to watch the fight with them. On tv there was a man who talked about his time in prison and homer imagined himself in that position and told Lisa and Marge he would cut the cable EXAMPLE OF ADULTERY: Homer goes to a bachelor party and bar used a camera to photograph him cavorting with a belly dancer. Word gets around town and marge throws homer out but homer got on stage of a burlesque show and told everyone that he would rather feel the sweet breath of his wife on the back of his neck than stuff dollar bills into some stranger’s g-string. EXAMPLE 2: Homer annoys Marge by giving away the ending of a film at the movies. Homer is angry because of public humiliation and he drops off his family and leaves to a country and western bar. A waitress sings “your wife doesn’t understand you, but I do” and he felt touched by it and he takes the waitress to record the song on a CD and the clerk at the recording booth liked it and asks Homer if he can pass it along to his brother, who owns a local radio station. Marge confronts homer but he insists nothing is going on. She then asks Homer to come over and he asks Marge’s permission. The waitress told him the reason why she trusts him because no other man in her life has been nice to her without wanting more and he agrees to be her manager, and Marge confronts him if he had an affair but he said he only let her kiss him several times. They invest their life savings in this and the kids become involved and then Laureen made a song called “bunk with me tonight” and homer denies the invitation after he realizes what’s going on. Marge tells her sister that if Laureen’s career fails, the family is broke; it the singer succeeds, Marge loses her husband. Laureen tries to seduce homer one more time but he rejects her EXAMPLE 3: A new employee works with Homer and he thinks of her nude when he first met her b/c she is attractive and even crashes his car when thinking of her. He tells his friends and his friends suggest that he should speak to Mindy and find out they have nothing in common but then he learns he and Mindy have a lot in common. He calls the church’s marriage counselling hotline and confesses then finds out it is Ned on the other line and suggests a conference call with Marge then he goes unconscious b/c of knocking over a telephone booth and he has a vision of his life without Marge and with Mindy instead he would be living in a mansion with a butler, happily playing tennis with his co workers. They are at a convention together due to a video Mr. Burns sends as an example of friendship and they call room service and eat a chili dog from opposite ends and meet in a kiss. Earlier Marge gave him a t shirt with her face on it and his shirt buttons popped and it revealed her face. He gets a fortune cookie that says “you will find happiness with a new love” and back at their hotel, he sobs and says he loves his wife and family EXAMPLE 4: Homer forget Marge’s birthday then buys her a bowling ball frilled to fit his fingers, with his name inscribed which he drops on her birthday cake by accident. Her sisters suggest she dumps him and he asks if she likes it and she screams at him since she’s never bowled in her life. Then she goes to a bowling alley and attracts the attention of a bowling alley’s pro who introduces himself and explains the game and comes onto her. He offers her one of his ball because the one she had was too heavy for her and she declines. He offers her lessons and he gives her a glove with her name on it and her size. He invites her to hang out but she says no and then agrees after. She drives to his house but has two choice; one to her husbands work or the other to the man’s apartment, she proceeds to the man’s apartment until she decided to turn around and goes to homer’s plant. Episode712:SouthPark,Ridicule,andtheCulturalConstructionofReligiousRivalry The“Ridiculous”asaSpeciesofCulturalDeviance - sociologist OrrinKlappwrote that “foolmaking is a continuous social process and operates to enforce propriety and to adjust status”. He regarded the fool as “a collective concept of a kind of person or conduct peculiarly ridiculous and inferior,” and the ability to label someone a fool “a propaganda device of special significance” - “the fool represents values which are rejected by the group” CorrelatesofRidiculeinEpisode712 - an attribute identifies elements that are always present in a thing, acorrelate may or may not be present 5 in particular examples of that thing - Attributes define phenomena; correlates specify particular instances of phenomena - Abanesconcentrates much of his energy on both the character of Smith and the Book of Mormon origins CulturalFunctionsofRidicule - Klapp argued that by this he meant that labeling someone a fool in the context of a particular group destabilized the group as a result of the change in constituent status quo. - ridicule also serves two much more powerful functions: (1) stabilization, that is, ridicule preempts or reduces deviance within both the aggressor group and the aggressor audience; and (2) hierarchization, that is, ridicule reflects and reinforces a dynamic of status ascription within a given domain of social interaction - In pointing out the (alleged) flaws in the target, the aggressor asserts (or at the very least implies) that he or she does not possess those same flaws, and neither does the group for whom the ridicule is performed “Ridiculousness”andtheCulturalConstructionofReligiousRivalry - The cultural process of ridicule depends on a number of factors, two of which are the substance of the inferiorizing information, and the cultural relationship in which the ridiculer and ridiculed stand. An equally important factor, though, is the cultural frame in which the inferiorizing information is communicated, the social context according to which we determine whether something should be taken seriously or not. Conclusion:WhyIt’sAll“SlightlyRidiculous” - According to Manuel Castells, a culture is “a set of values and beliefs informing behaviour”. This implies that each of us lives not in one culture, as we often think, but in several different cultures, moving between and among them according the demands of our daily lives - culture is not individualistic; rather, “it is a collective construction that transcends individual preferences, while influencing the practices of people in the culture.” - there are two aspects to the ridicule as a mechanism of social labelling: the primary intent of ridicule (inferiorization) and the philosophy often behind ridicule (to make something appear ridiculous as a method of social commentary and control) - Ridicule—the process of making something appear ridiculous, absurd, or pathetic SouthPark,"AllaboutMormons" A new kid named Gary came to school and Stan gets invited to Gary’s house. Stan was invited to Gary’s house on the night where they entertain each other without TV. Stan was told about the story of joseph smith and his discovery of the Mormon religion. Stan told his father and his father got angry so he went over to their house and was also fooled by Gary’s family. Stan’s father converts their family into a Mormon . Stan asks Gary how joseph translated the tablets and he said from a hat, which makes it seem unreliable, if he translated it from a hat, it could be made up. So the man who helped him translated it hid the translation paper and told Joseph he lost it and joseph said God wouldn’t allow him to write the same story, just similar, so they have to read from a different testament, all that proves that Joseph is just making it up COMICBOOKPART:EdenRevised:ATeletubbieParadise? - “nothing happens” governed by the panopticon - observes “real world” through stomach - limited experience- pre-linguistics - controlled play (the culture industry) BrianBritt’sConclusion - provides a story of “extraordinary space” - teletubbie land carries tension of Genesis 1-3 HumorandReligiousIdentity - “baby boomers” between 1943-1960 was the first generation to be marketed to by television from birth - as a result, consumerism (our buying consumer goods)became a primary way of stressing our individuality - Fiskepointed out that people will use commodities to express their identities and change their meanings 6 from what producers intended - religion is no different in that now people ask of it: “what can religion do for me” TheSimpson’sEpisodeFormula - problem arises affecting the family and usually complicated by Homer or Bart - Lisa raises larger issues related to the problem and Marge acts as the forces that keeps the nuclear family together Mormons - church of Jesus Christ of Latter day Saint (LDS) in 1830 by joseph Smith who claimed to have a new revelation from God - satire is “the deliberate use of the comic for purposes of attack” (PeterBerger) Ridicule works the same way by targeting a group of people who are somehow different and then hierarchically arranging them so that the ridiculer’s group is considered dominant RidiculeandIdentity - when a group deviate form the norm, they can be faced with profound social stigma and suffer persecutions for their deviance Week 6: Movies as Conveyors of Social Val MovingShadows:ReligionandFilmasCulturalProducts - Audiences can only metaphorically be described as chained to their seats and unaware that the film they see on the screen is not reality - Photographic film was invented by an Episcopal priest, Hannibal Goodwin o First photographic film shown was The Play of Oberammergau, on January, 1898 (Like stations of the cross) - First motion picture theater opened on Broadway in 1913, by 1916 there were twenty one thousands of them in the US - Film, like the religious drama of earlier ages, was understood to have a tremendous capacity for generating and focusing the desires not only of individuals but of societies - Popular film represents characters in situations and quandaries that often bear a marked one of the resemblance to our own, making visible social issues that could not be presented with comparable immediacy and power in any other format. - Greek theater questions “how human beings should live” - One of the most prominent pleasures of moviegoing is that of thinking and talking about the film they have seen - One can choose whether to accept, reject, or adopt in part a film’s proposed values only when the question of how to live is consciously brought to watching and thinking about a film - 20 century Americans do not think of filmgoing as an especially social or communal activity. Each person is effectively isolated in the darkened theater. - Ancient audiences sit in the common daylight, saw across the staged action the faces of fellow citizens on the other side of the orchestra and also observed their fellow citizens reactions - Late 20 century moviegoers lack the communal religious setting that signalled the fundamental seriousness of drama to Greek audiences - We are also well-trained to respond to filmic conventions in predictable ways - The emotion a film evokes should be acknowledged and understood as the starting point for an exploration of the filmic strategies that elicited it - The ability to analyze filmic representations develops an individual’s critical subjectivity. - LauraMulveythinks that in order to challenge the basic assumptions of mainstream film, one must first destroy the pleasure produced by the film - RolandBarthessaid that “one gets the cultural message at the same moment one gets the pleasure” - Pleasure can be examined by: 1) Identifying the filmic strategies or devices that produce it 2) By developing a critical method, an ability to articulate the assumptions and values underlying and informing one’s reactions to a film 7 - Likely to feel dissatisfied of ending is not a happy ending - Taking a film seriously does not require that the pleasure of entertainment be replaced by boring analysis, rather it involves taking pleasure seriously enough to be willing to inspect them, detecting the filmic strategies by which they were evoked - The representation of religion in the media often reduces it to flawed institutions, discredited myths, and morally flawed practitioners - Religion as a cultural institution, must perform cultural work - Like religion, films describe and define their characters’ orientations and attitudes to the world - A tradition that has persisted since the west was founded as a cultural and intellectual entity rejects empathic emotion as a method for learning and insight - Public sphere of politics, law, and institutions has been identified with men while emotion is identified with women. - Objection is either that popular films cannot reward scrutiny with an enhanced understanding of anything, or that the pleasure of spectatorship will be destroyed by examination - Religions also provide a picture of the greater whole in which all living beings are related - If religion is centrally about relationships, about a network of connections, then religion is also centrally and essentially about the values according to which people conduct their relationships - Tulip: total depravity, unmerited salvation, limited atonement, irresistible grace and perseverance of the saints - Religion is sometimes used as a foil to demonstrate the greater seriousness of real issues, such as sex power and possessions. - The largest social group that determines box office success is male teenagers - Films, like paintings and plays, are not timeless objects; they arise in and respond to concrete historical circumstances - Films that succeed at the box office are those that identify currently pressing social anxieties and examine a possible resolution - Even slightly dated films can begin to bore precisely because the issues that explore are no longer the same as those that we are encountering. - Few films that critiqued society from a religious perspective had moderate success at the box office - Many films made I the last decade imply that traditional religious authority has been replaced by psychoanalysts and psychotherapists, politicians, lawyers, and business leaders - Religion was frequently represented as a social problem in 1980s Hollywood films - Few movies included religiously motivated characters, most were not successful at the box office - Films that urged an explicit message bombed the box office - The cultural message is coated or masked by pleasure, so that the greater the pleasure, the less one notices and examines the cultural message. EXP: TDKR - People of minority racial, ethinic, religious and or sexual orientation groups within American society, whose interests have been consistently misrepresented for decades, often appreciate and support any off to more accurately and sympathetically represent them - A film’s box office success depends on its supporting digressions - A cultural studies approach to film criticism promises to reveal the functions of popular film in American public life - The public sphere is an arena in which various overlapping minorities can converse, contest, and negotiate, forming temporary coalitions - Point of study is to acknowledge that the representations and examinations of values and moral commitments do not presently occur most pointedly in churches, synagogues, or mosques, but before the eyes of congregations in movie theaters. Religion and film share an interest in, and attention to, values - Movies help Americans consider the ancient and perennial question of human life: How should we LIVE? LauraMulvey:VisualPleasureandNarrativeCinema APoliticalUseofPsychoanalysis 8 - This paper intends to use psychoanalysis to discover where and how the fascination of film is reinforced by pre-existing patterns of fascination already at work within the individual subject and the social formations that have molded him. o The function of woman in forming the patriarchal unconscious is twofold:  She first symbolizes the castration threat by her real absence of a penis  Raises her child into the symbolic - Woman’s desire is subjected to her image as bearer of the bleeding wound, she can exist only in relation to castration and cannot transcend it - Female unconscious are scarcely relevant to phallocentric theory o The sexing of the female infant and her relationship to the symbolic, the sexually mature woman as non-mother, maternity outside the signification of the phallus, the vagina. DestructionofPleasureasaRadicalWeapon - It is said that analyzing pleasure of beauty, destroys it PleasureinLooking/FascinationwiththeHumanForm - Freudisolated scopophilia as one of the component instincts of sexuality which exists as drives quite independently of the erotogenic zones. - He associated scopophilia with taking other people as objects, subjecting them to a controlling and curious gaze - The conventions of mainstream film focus attention on the human form - The mirror phase occurs at a time when the child’s physical ambitions outstrip his motor capacity, with the result that his recognition of himself is joyous in that he imagines his mirror image to be more complete, more perfect than he experiences his own body - Scopophilicarises from pleasure in using another person as an object of sexual stimulation through sight - Developed through narcissism and the constitution of the ego, comes from identification with the image seen o One implies a separation of the erotic identity of the subject from the object on the screen (active scopophilia), the other demands identification of and recognition of his like. The first is a function of sexual instincts and the second is ego libido - Instinctual drives and self-preservation are both formative structures - Desire, born with language, allows the possibility of transcending the instinctual and the imaginary - Pleasurable in form, can be threatening in content, and it is woman as representation/image that crystalizes this paradox WomanasImage,ManasBeareroftheLook - Males are active while females are passive - Mainstream film neatly combined spectacle and narrative - Woman displayed on screen has functioned on two levels: o As erotic objects for the characters within the screen story o Erotic objects for the spectator within the auditorium, with a shifting tension between the looks on either side of the screen - The split between spectacle and narrative supports the man’s role as the active one of forwarding the story, making things happen o Men make things happen in movies - Man controls the film fantasy and also emerges as the representative of power in a further sense - The meaning of woman is sexual difference - Fetishistic scopophilia, builds up the physical beauty of the object, transforming it into something satisfying in itself (porn with storyline? Lol) - Voyeurism associates with sadism: o Pleasure lies in ascertaining guilt, asserting control, and subjecting the guilty person through punishment or forgiveness - Sadism demands a story, depends on making something happen, forcing a change in another person, a battle of will and strength, victor/defeat 9 - Fetishisticscopophilia can exist outside linear time as the erotic instinct is focused on the look alone - Hitchcockuses both mechanisms in his movies while Sternberg’s work provides many more examples of fetishistic scopophilia - For Hitchcock’s movies, the male hero does see precisely what the audience sees Summary - The scopophilic instinct: pleasure in looking at another person as an erotic object - Ego libido: forming identification processes - Woman as representation signifies castration - Cinema builds he way she is to be looked at into the spectacle itself - There are three different looks associated with cinema: o That of the camera as it records the profilmic event o That of the audience as it watches the final product o That of the characters at each other within the screen illusion - Without material existence of the recording process and the critical reading of the spectator, fictional drama cannot achieve reality, obviousness and truth - The female image as a castration threat constantly endangers the unity of the diegesis and bursts through the world of illusion as an intrusive, static, one-dimensional fetich - The first blow against the monolithic accumulation of traditional film conventions is to free the look of the camera into its materiality in time and space and the look of the audience into dialectics, passionate detachment - Women, whose image has contunally been stolen and used for this end, cannot view the decline of the traditional film form with anything much more than sentimental regret. SacredSpaceandMakingtheWorldSacred HOMOGENEITYOFSPACEANDHIEROPHANY – profane experience, space is homogeneous and neutral; no break qualitatively differentiates the various parts of its mass – geometrical space can be cut and delimited in any direction but no quantitive differentiation – revelation of a sacred space makes it possible to obtain a fixed point and hence to acquire orientation in the chaos of homogeneity, to "found the world" and to live in a real sense – profane experience maintains homogeneity and hence the relativity of space – example of crypto-religious behaviour on profile man's part is privilege places, qualitatively different from all others- a man's birth place, a scene of his first love, etc – they are "holy places" of his private universe THEOPHANIESANDSIGNS – every sacred space implies a hierophant, an irruption of the sacred that results in detaching a territory from the surrounding cosmic milieu and making it qualitatively different – often there is no need for a theophany or hierophant, some signs suffices to indicate the sacredness of a place – sometimes the sign introduces an absolute element and puts an end to relativity and confusion – when no sign manifests itself, it is provoked – religious mans desire to live in the sacred is the same as his desire to take up his abode in objective reality, not to let himself by paralyzed by the never-ceasing relatively of purely subjective experiences, to I've in a real and effective world and not in an illusion CHAOSANDCOSMOS – former world (our world) the cosmos; everything outside it is no longer a cosmos but a sort of "other world" a foreign, chaotic space, peopled by ghosts, demons, "foreigners" – the sacred reveals absolute reality and at the same time makes orientation possible; hence it founds the world in the sense that it fixes the limits and establishes the order of the world – a known territory still shares in the fluid and larval modality of chaos – by occupying it and settling in, man symbolically trans it into a cosmos through a ritual repetition of the 10 cosmogony – what is to become "our world" must be "created" and every creation has a paradigmatic model- the creation of the universe by the gods – in the view of archaic societies everything that is not "our world" is not yet a world CONSECRATIONOFAPACE=REPETITIONOFTHECOSMOGONY – the cosmicization of unknown terrorizes is always a consecration; to organize a space is to repeat the paradigmatic work of the gods THECENTEROFTHEWORLD – three cosmic levels- earth, heaven, underworld – communication is sometimes expressed through the image of a universal pillar, axis mundi, which at once connects and supports heaven and earth and whose base is fixed in the world below – such a cosmic pillar can be only at the very centre of the universe, for the whole of the habitable world extends around it – a sequence of religious conceptions and cosmological images that are inseparably connected and form a system that may be called "system of the world" prevalent in traditional societies (a) a sacred place constitutes a break in the homogeneity of space; (b) this break is symbolized by an opening by which passage from one cosmic region to another is made possible; communication with heaven is expressed by one or another of certain images, all of which refer to the axis mundis pillar, ladder, mountain, vine etc; (d) around this cosmic axis lies the world (=our world), hence the axis is located "in the middle," at the "navel of the earth"; it is the Centre of the World – many different myths, rites and beliefs are derived from this traditional "system of the world" – "our world" is holy ground because it is the place nearest to reach heaven; hence our world is a high place "OURWORLD"ISALWAYSSITUATEDATTHECENTER – man of traditional societies could only lie in a space opening upward where the break in plane was symbolically assured and hence communication with the other world, the transcendental world, was ritually possible – settling in a territory is equivalent to founding a world CITY-COSOS – since our world is a cosmos, any attack from without threatens to turn it into chaos – our world was founded by imitating the paradigmatic work of the gods, the cosmogony, the enemies who attack it are assimilated to the enemies of the gods, the demons and especially to the archdeacon, the primordial dragon conquered by the gods at the beginning of time – an attack on our world is equivalent to an act of revenge by the mythical dragon who rebels against the work of the god, the cosmos, and struggles to annihilate it – our enemies belong to the powers of chaos – any destruction of a city is equivalent to a retrogression to chaos – any victory over the attackers reiterates the paradigmatic victory of the gods over the dragon UNDERTAKINGTHECREATIONOFTHEWORLD – whatever the structure of a traditional society- the habitation always undergoes a process of sanctification because it constitutes an imago mundi and the world is a divine creation – various ways of homologizing the dwelling place to the cosmos b/c there are various types of cosmogonies – two methods of ritually transforming the dwelling place into cosmos of giving it the value of an imago mindi: (a) assimilating it to the cosmos by the projection of the four horizons from a central point (in case of a village) or by the symbolic installation of the axis mundi (in the case of the house); (b) repeating, through a ritual of construction, the paradigmatic acts of the gods by virtue of which the world came to birth from the body of a marine dragon or of a primordial giant COSMOGONYANDBUILDINGSACRIFICE – a snake symbolizes chaos, the formless, the unmanifested and to behead it is equivalent to an act of 11 creation, passage from the virtual and the amorphous to that which has form – if a "construction" is to e
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