Avant-garde - Something that is very original or modern and experimental in comparison to the time period of it's creation
Nostalgia - An urge to return to a former time in one's life; a sentimental yearning for the happiness of a former place or time
Appropriation - The act of taking something that belongs to someone else; often without having the right to do so
Pastiche - An artistic work that imitates that of another work, artist or period
Parody - An imitation of a specific person or genre with deliberate exaggeration for comedic effect
Irony - A situation that was intended to have a certain result has the opposite or very different outcome
Ideology - The set of beliefs characteristic of a social group or individual
Genre - A style or category
Sherrie Levine - Sherrie Levine is an American photographer, painter, and conceptual artist. She is best known for her "almost indistinguishable" copies of other artists' work. She appropriates others' works to emphasise that nothing is inherently unique. Levine has previously stated that her work revolves around the concept of fetishism; as she creates works that are based on the viewers' own desires.
David Lynch took reference from multiple genres while creating Mullholland Drive, almost creating what, at times, feels more like a parody; especially the opening section of the film in which Betty first arrives in Hollywood, creating a feeling reminiscent of romantic comedies. Many of the scenes in which Betty is not present feel extremely pastiche, especially the one in which a hitman makes comical mistakes, resulting in him having to kill multiple people and setting off the fire alarm. This particular scene feels very separate from the rest of the film and rather odd, as it carries itself much differently from the rest of the mostly serious and confusing film (bar the odd moment).
The whole premise of Mulholland Drive revolves around the idea of the reality shown actually being false. The film begins with a heavily dramatised introduction to Hollywood, and Betty being portrayed as immensely talented (to the point of leaving people lost for words) and prepared to help a woman in need at the drop of the hat. And this narrative continues until, towards the end of the film, it is revealed to all have been a dramatised set of events, taking place within Betty/Diane's head as she distorts her memories and reality to better cope with her spiralling life/career.
The story is incredibly fragmented as is portrays what are essentially multiple realities within a single character, causing great confusion among the viewers. On top of this, David Lynch uses techniques to break the immersion, reminding the viewers that they are watching a film rather being allowed to become engrossed in the narrative. Unreliable Narrator -
The narrative is told from the perspective of Betty/Diane for the most part, and the viewer is permitted to follow her story as they would any other movie except, towards the end, when it is revealed that everything the viewer has been told before that point was a total lie, causing the audience to feel extremely confused and lost as they try to piece everything together to understand the real narrative. The viewer feels the same emotions as Betty/Diane as we originally perceived her reality to be the truth when, in fact, it is not.
The opening section of the film is a simulacrum of cheesy 'going to Hollywood to become a star' movies, with everything happening to fall right onto Betty/Diane's lap and all the city's inhabitants having a happy-go-lucky demeanour.
Metanarrative - An overarching narrative that provide a structure for beliefs and gives meaning to their experiences - eg. religion
Essentialism - A belief that things have a set of characteristics which make them what they are, and that the task of science and philosophy is their discovery and expression; the doctrine that essence is prior to existence
Utopian - A state in which everything is absolutely perfect
Axiomatic - Self-evident or unquestionable
Dystopian - A state in which everything is unpleasant or bad
Scepticism - Being doubtful of something
Relativism - The idea that truth, knowledge and morality are all directly related to culture, society or historical context, and it not absolute
Pluralism - A system in which two or more states, groups, principles, sources of authority, etc., coexist
Flash Set – A plain staircase with carpeted floor. A
boring-looking colour on the wall behind his stairlift, lined with framed
posters of him in his hay-day all the way up. Possibly a hallway at both the
top and bottom of the stairs? Slippers neatly placed together at the foot of
the stairs on carpeted floor.
Batman Set – Plain background during the fast sequence
(maybe a room in the background but heavily blurred?) And a normal-looking
garage from the outside, on a small road (maybe a cul-de-sac?)
Hulk Set – Top-down of a huge multi-lane highway, packed
full of cars. Hulks’ car interior looks quite boring, maybe with a plush toy of
the Hulk instead of dice on his rear-view mirror to let viewers know who they’re
Superman Set – Flat land in front of the camera, leading to
some trees and multiple tall buildings on the horizon, which Superman will be
behind when he’s attempting to fly. When he crashes, he will land on the flat
land and skid towards the camera.
With Alan's help, I wrote this overview of our idea, which works significantly better than what we originally came up with. We will now start creating our 3-Panel Comic and recording for the Animatic.
1 - Title Sequence (with epic hero music)
2 – Slow pan down set of house stairs showing corny framed
Flash posters on a wall
Cuts to close-up of eyes, looking determined (music
Mid-shot and music cuts out as the Flash starts to go up the
stairs extremely slowly in a stairlift
3 – (Fast sequence) Close-up of a pair of eyes as a black
mask is quickly pulled down, snapping as it’s released
Close-up of left hand pulling on a glove with a snap
Close-up of right hand pulling on a glove with a snap
Close-up of Batman’s utility belt being clipped around his
Close-up of his gloved hand spinning ring of keys around his
Close-up of keys going into ignition with a roar of an
Mid-shot of garage doors opening, as an old Batman drifts
out on a mobility scooter
4 – Mid-shot of the Flash still going up his staircase excruciatingly
slowly, with the wall behind him being filled with framed posters of his
previous accomplishments (a funny poster of Flash in his hay-day saying
something about speed)
5 – Top-down of huge traffic jam, occasionally individual
cars jolt forward slightly and try to manoeuvre around (honking, loud music and
baby crying can be heard)
Mid-shot of a man in a car
The car jolts forward transitioning to a close-up of Bruce
Banner’s face (honking is louder)
His face quickly snaps to the right of the screen
Mid-shot of a woman in her car with a screaming child in the
back (hair messy, stuffed toys etc. strewn around)
Close-up of Bruce’s face, with his eye twitching
Bruce’s face quickly snaps to the left of the screen
Close-up of a young person listening to extremely loud music
Return to close-up of Bruce’s face starting to grimace
Bruce starts to turn slightly green and then suddenly puffs
up in his Hulk form
Mid-shot to reveal Hulk is filling the interior of the car
with his body, making the car bulge
Hulk lowers his head and grunts a sigh
6 – Another mid-shot of the Flash, the exact same shot as
#4, except he is further up the staircase, still moving extremely slowly (with
same poster about speed in the background)
7 – Distant shot of buildings on the horizon
A silhouette jumps into the air, moves forward slightly and
falls to the ground (with a quiet “HEUNNGH” with every jump)
The silhouette makes more attempts (making an exhausted “HEUNNGH”
sound), falling every time
The silhouette jumps once more, making the same sound of
exertion, and manages to fly off-screen
The flying character hits the ground with a thud in the
mid-ground and skids (on his face) until he’s close to the camera
Superman stands up, brushes himself off and jumps off-screen
with another “HEUNNGH!”
8 – Mid-shot of the Flash slowly reaching the top of the
He unbuckles and stands up
Close-up of Flash’s bare feet
Close-up of his eyes
Quick close-up of feet again and switch back to eyes
Close-up of slippers at the foot of the stairs (with Flash
visible out of focus at the top)
The dream world hides a lack of reality, as is shown when Cobb first takes Ariadne into a dream, as she has a conversation with Cobb without realising they appeared at the cafe or how they got there.
Postmodernism's foundation is the idea that everyone has their own idea of what reality is, and Inception's Architects are the physical form of this, as they can bend reality, changing what they want as long as the individual's subconscious can recognise it as being part of their own reality.
Fragmentary Story -
For the most part, the story follows a direct (although confusing) path apart from a small number of exception, namely the beginning and end. In the beginning of the film, Cobb infiltrates Saito's dream in order to get a safe code, waking up on shore and being dragged to Saito's table; while at the end of the film, Cobb is shown waking up on the same beach and being dragged to the table in the same way, with Saito looking old and 'full of regret', much like in the beginning of the film, with the only difference being a change of circumstances.
Time plays a major role in Inception as each layer deeper you go within a dream, time in the real world is slower, so five minutes in the real world equalled about 40 minutes in the first dream layer when Cobb was teaching Ariadne. This is explained as the subconscious is able to think faster than time goes by in the real world, although that is a hard claim to make as time is relative to an individual's perception, as someone who is having an enjoyable time watching a film might feel as though 2 hours has gone by quickly, someone else who dislikes it might believe that it felt like significantly longer than only 2 hours.
When Cobb wakes up in the plane after escaping Limbo and arrives back home to see his children, the viewer is left wondering whether what is being shown on-screen is reality or just another dream, as the spinning top is never outright shown stopping. But, this also causes the viewer to ask 'what is the difference between a dream and reality?' as your world is filled with your own perceptions that define your interpretation of what reality really is.
Structuralism - The idea that everything has a structure, be it religion, language or culture, and that these 'structures' are what lie beneath the surface of meaning. Meaning, a structuralist may claim to understand why a language uses a certain sound, even though the native speakers themselves don't know
Ahistorical - A lacking of interest for tradition and history/historical development
Irreducible - Something that either cannot or should not be reduced or simplified in any way
Objective - The ability to view something while disregarding your own biases
Universal - If something is 'universal', it can be seen, felt and understood by everyone around the world, no matter their background, as it transcends language and culture
Definitive - The final iteration of something as it can no longer be improved due to having reached an absolute peak
Post-Structuralism - A critique on Structuralism, especially in regards to how it claims to study the truth but is heavily influenced by biases and the structuralists own thoughts
Reflexivity - The idea that a person's own thoughts and behaviours are biased, meaning their values and thoughts will be portrayed within their work
The Unreliable Narrator - A narrator or character within a story who feeds the viewer/reader with a story that shouldn't be taken at face value. An unreliable narrator can also be used as a plot point within the story as the viewer/reader becomes aware of the falsities they've been told
The Enlightenment Project - The 'enlightenment project' is reflected in 'positivism'; the importance of scientific methodology. It is the belief that human rationality is the source of knowledge, leading to the encouragement of the rejection of past authorities such as the Church. This led to an increase in belief that rationality can be applied to all aspects of life and the world, resulting in all problems faced by humans being solved.
These are the ideas we've come up with so far, although 1-3 are the ideas given to us during the brief by Alan.
Numbers 4, 5, 6, 8, 10, 11, 12 and 15 - 23 were ideas put forward by me (17 overall).
Man & Safety Boy
who can make anyone sweat profusely
with skewed priorities
Sign Placer (who thinks he has control over where people go)
who doesn’t need to Blink
10. Juggler (Has ‘Super Strength’ but
only uses it to juggle)
11. Man/woman who doesn’t sleep
12. Time Traveller
13. Man/woman with bad luck
14. Vegan Warrior (he/she is vegan but
only has the power to create cooked meat)
15. The Damsel
16. Man/woman whose hair grows
quickly/instantly (gets his head shaved by a barber but hair grows back
17. Librarian/Historian who can see the
entire history of an object by touching it
18. Man/woman who can fly (& super
strength?), but only uses it to give private air tours
19. Man/woman with the ability to
control arachnids, but has arachnophobia
20. Man/woman with the power to
manipulate metal but only uses it for the manufacturing industry
21. Man/woman who can control
electricity, but works as an electrician
22. Man/woman whose body heals
immediately (and cannot die) who works as a test dummy
23. Man/woman who can read minds, but
must stare intensely with fingers on his temples for it to work (leading to
most people thinking “why is that creep staring at me like that?” etc.)
We've discussed making our animation be comprised of a number of short animations, each featuring a separate 'failed superhero', similar to '25 Ways to Quit Smoking' by Bill Plympton. As a group, we'll now narrow down the number to approximately 5, which will then be fleshed out. Please let us know which of these you think would work well, or even contribute your own ideas! It would help a lot.
Throughout the film, Tarantino takes inspiration from a variety of different genres, including horror, action and Japanese cinema, never sticking to one and instead meshing them all together to create an original melting pot.
Animated Scene -
Perhaps the most immediately noticeable example of disjointedness in Kill Bill (2003), is the heavily Japanese-inspired animated scene which introduces O-Ren Ishii (Lucy Liu). While it still maintains the same directed style and over-the-top gore with a sense of humour as the rest of the film, the fact that one section suddenly switches to being animated feels very strange, both while watching and after the fact. Music -
The clearest examples of this are all in the final act, when The Bride (Uma Thurman) goes to the Japanese inn to confront O-Ren Ishii. When the viewer is first introduced to the historical and very traditional inn, all that can be heard is a small Japanese band performing songs in a modern Western style. Then, a while later during the final confrontation between The Bride and O-Ren, where you might again expect traditional Japanese music, Tarantino chose to use an upbeat Spanish-style soundtrack instead, almost creating the feeling that the visual style is butting heads with the audio.
Tarantino frequently delivers a discontinuous narrative as he not only stops the film to label what Act the viewer is witnessing, but he also shows the story in a disjointed way, as the film starts with The Bride killing Copperhead (Vivica A. Fox), the second planned kill on her list. After which, Tarantino switches to show how The Bride was almost killed a number of years ago and her waking from a coma, before progressing with the first kill on her list, O-Ren Ishii.
Humour Within the Gore -
Kill Bill (2003) is a bloody and gory film throughout, with the vast majority of the scenes featuring blood spraying from someone's lost limb. In fact, it's so gory that Tarantino had to make the Crazy 88 fight scene black and white as a means to censor it. But despite this, Tarantino gave the gore a comedic quality with how excessive it is, even including lines of dialogue in an attempt to give the scenes comedic effect, like this for example: https://youtu.be/NJbo_8mKG-c