The Postmodern Film.doc

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University of Toronto St. George
Innis College Courses
Corinn Columpar

The Postmodern Film • Emphasizing the Textual: A Range of Filmmaking Modes ◦ the classical film --> classicism ◦ the art film --> modernism ◦ the radical film --> political modernism ◦ the postmodernist film --> post|modernism ■ no true identity of its own, a reaction/continuation/development of modernism • Some factors contributing to the "postmodern condition" ◦ loss of faith in philosophical traditions ◦ social movement politics and identity politics ◦ enormous demographic shifts ◦ the rise of multinational capitalism, the continuous expansion of consumer markets ◦ the rapid development and ongoing integration of different media ◦ the proliferation of screens ■ our understanding of the real world is shaped + filtered by its representation in media forms ■ we have become necessarily savvy of visual culture bc of constant interaction w media ■ media representation and real life are so interconnected that it becomes difficult to tell them apart • we are more concerned w aesthetic + cultural aspects of postmodernism • both modernism + postmodernism reject the idea of a universal truth, privilege pragmatism over unity • key difference btwn them is the stance on possibility of originally, of art to achieve something new • modernist artists play w form sometimes to the exclusion of content - propelled by sincere idea to produce something fresh • postmodernism = "nowhere we can go" - no more original ideas, must cite and recite • Some defining attributes of the postmodern ◦ PASTICHE ■ borrowing from art forms that predate the present ■ Frederic Jameson: Postmodernism and Consumer Society ■ "all that is left is to imitate dead styles, to speak through the masks and with the voices of the styles in the imaginary museum" ■ Chinatown (Roman Polanski) ■ a "neo-noir", a film made in the past tradition of film-noir and draws attention to this ■ very first images shown are black and white - a reference to film noir, but rest of film is in colour ■ venetian blinds to produce chiaroscuro - Jack Nicholson draws attention to visual trope associated with film noir ■ raiding the past with a present inflection, speaks in a way that comes from the past rather than its current time of production ■ Modernist
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