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ENGC15 Notes on Barthes's Acts of Cultural Criticism.docx

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Pouneh Saeedi

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ENGC15 Notes on “Acts of Cultural Criticism” by Roland Barthes The Romans in Films:  All characters in Mankiewicz’s Julius Caesar have distinct hairstyles o The Romans = a lock of hair on the forehead; a fringe (bangs) o This particular hairstyle = your origin o can go on throughout movie, secure in knowledge of who’s Roman o the world is as simple as that in the movie  this overt symbolism is strange because: o the actors aren’t even actually of Latin descent o so actors of face structures originating from other places that have this particular fringe hairstyle look ridiculous  because so completely obvious that they’re trying to make them “Roman”  it overshoots the target because it is so obvious o ex. the actor that plays Julius Caesar, whose hair has to be purposefully combed in front for a fringe because his forehead isn’t naturally built for a fringe (?) o the hairstyles of the actors of Calpurnia and Portia  Portia, being young and woken up in the middle of the night,  her hair being loose and whatnot just makes sense  Calpurnia has her hair braided and in front of her right shoulder  Painstakingly arranging an asymmetric pose to mean disorder  Unnecessary, so unrealistic, therefore unbelievable o Everyone active
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