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Lecture 7

MDSA01 Lecture 7

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Media Studies
Ted Petit

MDSA01: Lecture 7 notes  Phantom Lady (1944), directed by Robert Siodmak. Married man meets a woman in a bar. They spend the evening together, but never learns her name. When he gets home, he finds that his wife has been murdered. Phantom Lady can‘t confirm his alibi, so he is sentenced to death. His secretary is the only one who can save him—she tries to get him off of death row.  Films had to adhere to the Motion Picture Production Code of 1930 (Hays Code) o ―Scenes of passion should not be introduced unless they are essential to the plot‖ etc. o No excessive kissing, vulgarity, etc. o The Jazz Band scene—the secretary from Phantom Lady dresses provocatively to get the attention of a drummer who may provide her information regarding the Phantom Lady‘s whereabouts. She pours a drink and has noticeable chemistry with the drummer, all the while with extremely energetic live music being played. This scene: euphemism for sex/climaxing. Because of the Hays Code, that was the most they could do to get their point across  Psychoanalytic analysis o Why do media studies scholars adopt a psychoanalytic framework to analyze media artefacts? o Repressed or lose desires influence the creation of media artefacts and explain the mental drive by those artefacts o This approach is generally grounded in  The genesis of individual psychology  The psychology of the media artefact  The ways in which the two interact in the process of media consumption o Freudian psychoanalysis (Sigmund Freud—1856-1939)  Perceptional consciousness—conscious awareness provided by your senses  Pre-conscious—things easily called to your conscious mind (Ex from class – Stephen Harper)  Conscious Mind—perceptional consciousness and pre-conscious  ID—associated with the pleasure principle (the uncontrollable human drive to satisfy desire, including libido, human sexual desire). ID only wants to be satisfied. The dark, inaccessible part of our personality  SUPER-EGO—associated with the reality principle (the constant curbing of desire according to possibility; laws, both written and unwritten; and social convention  EGO—acts according to the reality principle and seeks to please the ID‘s drive in realistic ways  The boundary between the conscious and unconscious is permeable  The unconscious can reveal itself through:  Dreams  Slips of the tongue (Freudian slips)  These ideas have grossly entered pop culture (see the cartoons)  If you deny these theories of sexuality, you are repressing them o Lacanian Psychoanalysis (Jacque Lacan 1901—1981)  Lacan as Borromean Rings – the real, the imaginary, and the symbolic. All three rings rely on each other to stay together. If you remove one, the rings fall apart  The Real—the state of nature from which we have been forever severed by our entrance into language. Only as neo-natal children were we close to this state of nature, a state in which there is nothing by need. A baby needs and seeks to satisfy those needs with no sense for any separation between itself and the external world or the world of others. The primordial animal need for copulation (for example, when animals are in heart) similarly corresponds to this state of nature. There is a need followed by a search for satisfaction.  As far as humans are concerned, however, ―the real is impossible‖. It is impossible in so far as we cannot express it in language because the very entrance into language marks our irrevocable separation from the real. Still the real continues to exert its influence throughout our adult lives since it is the rock against which all our fantasies and linguistic structures ultimately fail. The real for example continues to erupt whenever we are made to acknowledge the materiality of our existence, and acknowledgement that is usually perceived as traumatic (since it threatens our very ―reality‖)  This gap, or lack, can never be bridged, and the yearning for absent pleasures dominates the way we understand life and the decisions we make.  The Imaginary—T
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