Friday, May 16, 2014

How global is the appeal of your three chosen texts?

all of my chosen texts have a global appeal however they have each achieved this in different ways using a range of marketing techniques and making use of a range of platforms to promote and sell their albums.
Nirvana where a band that combined the popular genres of the time, metal, pop and punk creating the grunge genre, this created hybridity and extends their appeal to a wider audience. They released their second album "Nevermind" in 1992 to this day they have sold over 30 million copies and it is still being purchased. when nirvana where releasing the album the internet had not yet come into play in industry like it is today therefore nirvana where heavily reliant on their record label 'Geffen"to  promote them globally through TV appearances, music videos and radio plays.
geffen did  not expect the band to have the global appeal that they did and only produced 35,000 copies of the album for Britain and 45,00 for the US not knowing that it would sell 11.5 million in the US and 30 million worldwide. teenage spirit was there most popular single released from the album it has 154 million views on youtube even though this came after the breakup of the band with the death of kurt. to promote their album they used TV appearances doing live performances on popular shows with a worldwide audience such as Jonathan ross and top of the pops. rather than conforming to the shows expectations and preforming to the best of their ability they messed around, played the wrong songs and other publicity stunts to crete a buzz and promote by word of mouth which played an important role in their success.
critics held them as "speaking out to lead a lost generation waiting to be led" this made nirvana a statement of rebellion and identity that could be transferred across the globe.

Friday, January 31, 2014

how did the audience respond to your three chosen texts

Lost is made by ABC a mainstream American company,directed by JJ Abram's who is looking to attract the widest mainstream audience possible in order to gain large profits. Losts audience is very wide due to the ensemble cast and enigma codes to rope in its audiences, its mainstream popularity is demonstrated in its views with its first season averaging 15.9 million viewers. lost won the emmy for "outstanding drama series" and its first season received a high critical acclaim being described as "the greatest television series of all time" however "the appeal narrowed as seasons progressed and the mythology became more complex with an ending that was strongly debated as meaningful to some and complete poppycock to others". Some audiences where captivated by the never ending enigma codes and formulaic structure to each episode which became familiar and allowed for more passive viewing, whilst others started to take an oppositional reading and got bored of this repetitive nature and getting lost in a mountain of un answered enigma codes that where dragged out to the point that they were forgotten before the answer was revealed.
More active audiences became less gratified with the mainstream themes of the episodes and predictable nature of the show and stated that Lost did not push the boundaries of its genre and played it too safe. Whilst others found this very appealing. this narrowing in popularity developed a relatively large cult like following of enthusiastic fans who created websites such as "lostpedia" in which each episode was discussed and debated at length. The enigma codes and overall plot mysteries where very popular among some of its audience, being described as "a mystery begging to be solved wrapped up by  endless drama and exciting action sequences". its cult following got very invested in the characters more as the seasons went on and running for 6 seasons many viewers got attached to certain characters. fans on said that "like the title, they got truly lost in this show" and this was the case for both the lovers and haters of this show. whilst some enjoyed being lost in its plot and excited by the high production action sequences and being given answers to various mysteries , others did not like this "meaningless confusion of intertwining plots and being less involved with the text simply waiting around for answers to be given" arguing that the plot lacked meaning and got too caught up in delivering meaningless mysteries . this audience got very tired of the series as it went on generally loosing viewers.  dropping from its peak viewers in season 2 at 23 million viewers to just 14.5 million in its final season.

Mad Men produced by AMC, who were a TV channel that only showed old black and white American shows, gathering a very niche audience they revamped the channel creating the original series that was Mad Men, Produced by Mathew Weiner. The purpose behind mad men was not to attract the masses and make huge profits like Lost, but was to produce a Quality series with integrity and authenticity. they target a more active audience who can decode their show and take the preferred reading for example in this episode 11 series 5 "the other woman" the character Joan was the woman of desire and is considered the ideal in the show, using her sexuality to gain power. audiences without an understanding of the 1950s and the appeal to a more curvy look being consider the desired shape they would take an oppositional reading to this narrative theme not knowing why this woman is the desired assuming that the thinner ideal of today would fit the role more. whereas people with this background knowledge and understanding will appreciate the realism of this characters sexual appeal of the time. a more passive audience will take an opposition reading to this text. because of this exclusion of a wide range of audiences that lost attempts to include, mad mens viewer ratings where lower however where we saw a decrease in viewers as the seasons of lost continued, mad mens average viewers increased from an average of 1.80 millions viewers to 2.49 millions as it affects a higher class niche audience first, this audience then slowly influences others to watch the show creating a larger but still niche following over time. mad men attracts a higher class audience who value production value and authenticity over meaningless action as a spectacle and value the gratifications of retrophilia that this show provides. as this higher class are the audience taking the preferred reading this meant that mad men had a more culturally significant influence. having an influence on business owners such as the heads of fashion companies and being featured in high end fashion magazines with the programme affecting the styling of high end fashion this then has an impact on high-street shops who mirror the high end fashion style meaning that mad men ended up influencing mainstream fashion. there have been websites in which fans talk in detail about the themes and individual scenes of each episodes, commenting on representations and narrative themes having high level active discussions and debates about the show.
this show with its niche audience has created a cult following of dedicated fans and live shows go on tour. mad mens audience appreciate the authenticity of this show , this is a major attraction of this show and one of its producers main aims is to be a realistically representative of the 1960s. the show spent $250,00 on a beatles song in series 5 episode 11. as peggy leaves the office "you've really got me goin" by the beatle is played for this short clip. this song fits the scene as peggy leaves and enters the elevator but is significant as this song was released in the exact year that this episode is set. this attention to detail is greatly appreciated within its cult following. president Obama was noted making reference to mad men ion a speech saying " it is time to do away with policies that belong in an episode of mad men" referring to the sexist polices in the wage gap between men and women in the programme. this shows the level of cultural impact this programme has had even in the world of politics.

peaky blinders is a historic crime drama, set in Birmingham in the 1920s and influenced by a real gang that existed at this time (post world war 1) this series received predominantly positive critical reception. the show has been praised for its stylish cinematography and charismatic performances from well known actors of which the show casted many. As well as casting an eye over a part of British history not often explored by television. the producer was quoted saying " we are not making a tv series we are making a film" and this is made evident firstly through its casting of well know and high quality actors capable of creating a high quality atmosphere with complex character interactions. secondly the cinematography is very movie like for example the fight scene at the start of the second episode is shot in slow motion using a wide range of camera angles,shots and points of view making it a very cinematic scene with its fast paste editing. peaky blinders also set a style/fashion statement with reviewers If Mad Men can set a style agenda, then Peaky Blinders (BBC2) deserves to do the same – this autumn, it should all be about Birmingham gangster style. A big attraction to peaky blinders was the famous actors which were very well received by the audience. the actors all received a lot of praise such as   magnetic performances at every turn, with Sam Neill’s anguished investigator and Annabelle Wallis as Grace, a love interest with a hidden agenda, both outstanding.  the use of these famous actors is a mainstream attraction that will bring in a more mainstream audience as fans of the actors will want to see the show. peaky blinders has been compared to the American series boardwalk empire set just a year later and has been said to be inferior to its American rival. the daily mail critised it on the ground that its 6 episode season did not bring enough depth to the characters and the plot was rushed. when it comes to making truly great television British tv cannot live up to the standards of American television some felt that the characters were not given enough background so could not get involved with the characters and was also described as all style no content

Wednesday, January 22, 2014

most media texts target wide range of audiences, how true is this of your chosen texts- Lost

lost targets a wide mainstream audience, it is constructed to include the widest audience possible and provide gratifications for both active and passive viewers. 

Lost uses an ensemble cast, this is where there is a large cast with a variety of gender, ages, races and cultures with all  of the characters getting a similar amount of screen time. This is used in order to include a variety of audiences, allowing everyone to have a relatable character or situation thus gratifying them. having this wide range of characters could provide uses and gratifications such as reinforcement with already gained values of a range of cultures and identifying with these values. such as in the scene on the beach where the father Michael who is trying to find his son meets with the Korean couple. the Korean husband shouts at his wife for not having her top button done up and this could be a cultural value that Koreans hold so this scene reinforces that view, we then we see a close up shot of Michael's face showing his shocked reaction which may reinforce the oppositional view that it is fine and a woman should not be controlled. 
this ensemble cast also produces a range of familiar narrative themes such as the relationship between the father and son and the brother sister relationship, breeding familiarity into the text.

lost uses mainstream narrative devices that attract its desired mainstream audience. techniques such as flash backs are used in order to explain events and give the characters a background story which a mainstream audience enjoys as it explains what is going on and encourages passive viewing making it easy to watch. 

Wednesday, December 11, 2013

how typical are your 3 texts of their genre

How typical is your text of it genre

fish tank
fish tank is a social realist film. the purpose of these films is for the audience to gain empathy for under represented groups in british society in this case the under class and females. the genre deals with under discussed issues that are normally avoided in mainstream texts, such as sexual abuse, drugs and alcoholism.
a convention of social realist films is the character type of the working class hero. This character is someone who strives for a better life than the one they have. In fish tank Mia does strive for a better life. she attempts to do this through her dancing career. When we see her dance for conner alone in the apartment, the walls are covered with pictures of a californian background and this theme runs throughout the house. This is their dream of escaping. It shows how they feel trapped and are trying to escape their environment though covering the house with this decor. The song she dances to is called californian dream this again shows here desire to escape. However whist this side of Mia is very typical of the social realism protaganist in this way, she is a distorted version of this character role. She does not fit in as the woking class hero. She is violent,aggressive and does not have the welfare of anyone else in her interests these are not typically heroic traits. Whilst she does poses these negative qualities fish tank ,like a typical social realist film looks into this behaviour and attempts to give the audience some understanding for why she acts this way.
Social realist films use technical conventions to achieve this empathy for the characters. fish tank uses a wide range of point of view shots to place the audience in her shoes. In the dance scene there is an over the shoulder shot of connar sitting on the sofa watching her. Even though she is the one doing the action and this is what mainstream films would focus on. Fish tank sticks with Mia and shows what she is seeing, rather than doing. This way we do not look at her through Connar and judge her but take a more understanding view of the position she is in, allowing the audience to gain this sense of empathy.
fish tank uses hand held camera techniques throughout the film. This add to the sense of realism. it puts us with Mia right next to her throughout the film, as we are not distanced from her by a swooping crane shot looking at her. in the opening scene where we see Mia wondering the streets committing various deviant acts. The camera here actually step by step follows her from behind shadowing her every move. we know this when she walks down hills and the camera man is simply walking behind her. this basic technique of filming is very typical of the social realist genre. It is again an attempt to literally put us in her shoes as much as possible and make us feel we are actually there with her and not watching a film. the casting of unknown actors is another typical feature of this genre as well know actors would remind the audience that they are watching a film. The use of these unknown actors takes this recognition away and we can slip into to the idea that we are there walking the streets with her adding to the realism of the genre. this also gives a more realistic representation of contempery Britain as you are not likely to see brad pitt strolling around the counsel estate.
social realist films seek to represent a true picture of Britain. Fish tank adheres to this convention, through the use of natural lighting and lack of filters. fish tank does not attempt to  make Mia's estate an appealing environment like hollywood films might. They do not use lighting to change the settings and show everything how it is. we see this when the lighting in the dance shot only comes through the window and the quality of light is poor. This realist representation of an undesirable location limits the uses and gratifications of this film as it does not provide escapism for the audience as they are not able to escape into a pleasant environment. this is typical of social realism and this contributes to the film having a niche audience as it does not provide the uses and gratifications that would need to be constructed into a film.

Sin City 

Sin City is a hybrid film, containing the genres film noir and comic book. this hybridity means that sin city can be established as a postmodern film.
traditional noir films often represent the time period in which they were made (after the cold war) with narrative themes such as mistrust, paranoia and corruption. Sin city shares these narrative themes that are a convention of traditional film noir, with the three protaganists all fighting against a corrupt authorative\political enemy. seintor rorke uses his political influence to hide his sons perverted crimes and frames the protaganist john hartagan. whilst trying to prove his innocence he must protect "nancy" from senitor rorke's son. Nancy portreys many characteristics of the typical film noir character role, the femme fatal. characterised as a physically attractive female who uses her sexuality to manipulate the synical protaganist often framing him or getting him to do her dirty work. However in sin city Nancy is a distorted version of the femme fatal.Whilst she is an attractive female and john does end up dying for her, she does not use her sexuality to purposefully manipulate him. she sends him letters whislt he is in jail with no intentions on using him. later on when john sees nacy many years later he says" i expected her to be a book worm too shy for her own good from what she mentioned about herself in the letters" showing that she did not attempt to use her sexuality to gain his favor. this changes the traditional expectations that the audience will have over certain characters as we see her sexually dancing in a bar and assume shhe takes on the traditional femme fatal, this un typical feature creates genre difference to shock the audience so they do not become to familar with a text and get bored. sin city uses alot of traditional film noir iconography making it appear very typical of its genre. there are alot of seens shot in gritty bars, where we see smokers, drinking and neon lights all typical mise en scenne for film noir.
in sin city each of the protaganists has a synical outlook on the world mirroring the theme of soldiers coming back from war in the 1940s these men hold little regard for themselves and are often confused and lost after the years of war. marv portreys this outlook, he holds no regard for his own saftey and says things such as "i dont even know why im on this earth" showing the negative and lost attitude of the traditional noir protaganists.
sin city uses shadows and lighting to represent the characters. in the scene where marv is killing or doing somthing wrong we wsee him in shadow however when he is killing kevin half of marvs face is shadow the rest is in light, this is to show that whilst he is not doing a typically heroic thin he is doing it for th right reasons so is not all bad. whereas kevin is always shown in full shadow until he is killed. this use of shadows is typical of film noir.
 the hybridity of this films is the mixing with comic book film conventions such as marvs super human strength or hartigans ability to survive 9 bullets.
their is persistant comic book framing and over exaggerated movements , such as in the fight scene with marv and kevin, the fight tends to stop and start as if it is the frames of a comic book.the use of the trench coat

District 9  
the genre incorporates futuristic elements and technologies to explore social ,political and philosophical issues often through a polysemic narrative.
sci-fi films often contain a polysemic narrative, with the sci fi iconography having an alternate meaning representing real life issues. for example the use of aliens in district nine are actually representing black people during  the apart ide. district nine is typical of this and uses its aliens to do so. the narrative themes of new technology and consequences is also a typical sci fi theme that exists within district nine. body horror is very typical of the sci fi genre. this is used to gain empathy or understanding for the opposite group. in district nine we see wikus acting  out against the prawns however as we see him turn into an alien through various scenes of body horror we see him gain an empathy and understanding for them. the iconography and mise en scene of district nine is very typical of the scifi genre. in the final fight scene we see, wikus controlling an alien robot, alien weapons causing distruction and in the background the alien mother ship .  all these things make district nine look very typical of its genre. sci fi films typically represent the future in eith a eutopian view or dystopian vie. district nine takes on the dystopian view point in which the world or south Africa is being controlled by one main organisation "MNU" this organastions logo is everywhere. in a scene where we see  wicus in his office we see the MNU log on the wall,equipment and on paper work also in the next shot we see this logo on the security guard. this all reinforces the control that the company has over everyone. this dystopian view of the future and control of one organisation continues when we see wikus captured and transferred into a reaseach facility against his will. the equipment is all shabby and dirty and a green filter is used to give the impression of sickness. the personal all  wearing mnu logos mutilate him are and force him to do horrid things.
district nine is a hybrid film whilst containing elent os the sci fi genre there are also use of documentary style conventions. in the experiment scene we see
the camera codes at the bottom of the shot and the time |date in the corner, we then flick to a high angle shot divided into four which appears to be from a security camera, this is too appear like the film has used stock footage which is common in documentaries. when wikus is being transported on a bed we see a tracking shot captioned 16 hours after exposeure these captions are a converntion of documentaries.

Monday, December 2, 2013

Most text today mix genres ,how true is this of your text

District nine is a hybrid film it mixes the scifi genre and documentary style conventions. In the experiment scene we documentary style conventions with the camera codes at the bottom of the shots,with time and date in the corner of the camera.we also see a shot divided into four sections, each of these sections appears to be from a security camera feed,looking down onto wikus in the bed and giving a range of view points of the building each with the number of the camera at the bottom(CAM01 ) etc. so we are seeing stock footage which is a convention of documentary style films. when wikus is being transported in a secured hospital trolly there is a tracking shot, captioned "16 hours after exposure" this is keeping a log of what is going on and this is another theme of documentaries.  wikus is restrained to this bed strapped to it against his will.  This represents a dystopian view of the future which is a common representation in scifi films. the dystopian view is shown through the run down hospital environment with the shabby equipment and the social control over wikus. the company MNU is seen throughout this scene on things like equipment and on the bag that contains the liquid vikus was hit with. this then contributes to this idea of distopia with the world being run by one organisation who control everything. There is a heavy use of green colours in the hospital and there is a subtle green filter over the camera, this produces almost an ill, sickly very negative feel to the hospital lab and shows it is not a place wikus wants to be. A typical convention of scifi is body horror, seen in films like the fly body horror is common of scifi films. we see elements of body horror in this experiment scene when we see the alien arm being mutilated by the scientists this theme is typical of the scifi genre. this mixing of genres creating hybridity in the text is a clear example of postmodernism in which nothing is original, everything we see is just recycled versions of the original. hybrid films mix two original genres together to keep both genres fresh creating genre difference in order to captivate audiences so that they dont become overly familiar with the text and get bored.

Wednesday, November 6, 2013


1-pinks album perfect
2-robin thicke album blurred lines
(4)daily mail articalBy CAROLYN HIBLEN and SHYAM DODGE

(5) article by Melinda hughes
Read more:
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(6) visual peasure and narrative cinema , laura mulvey . book
(7) miss representation video  quoted by- caroline heldman

(8) miss representation video
(9) billboard magazine artcial
(10) blurred lines music video
(11) give it to u music video
(12) article from in style magazine
(13) pinks perfect music video
(14)lacan mirror stage theory
(15) "stupid girls music video

Wednesday, October 30, 2013

course work

How does the representation of women differ in music videos depending on the gender of the music artist in western pop music with specific reference to the artist Robin Thick and Pink?


I plan to investigate if the representation of women differs depending on the gender of the musician being presented and whether the female is the core focus or just an accessory to a lead male. I will analyse if the different stereotypes, ideologies and representations that are presented within music videos and if they gratify their target audience. I will specifically lyrical content in the songs and the ideologies that these present, considering the effects that these representations of women has on both a male and female audience, with specific reference to the Robin Thicke album ‘blurred lines’ and pinks album ‘………’ .To do this I will apply theories such as Laura Mulvey’s male gaze theory and how women are objectified for male scopophilia .I will also investigate the Marxist theory of hegemony and how the representations of women are used on a social scale to maintain power.

In Robin Thicke’s album blurred lines there are two singles released that charted the top ten: “blurred lines” reaching number 1 on billboard hot 100 singles (3) and “give it to me”. These are both extremely popular songs. The song Blurred lines has over 206,000,000 hits on YouTube and over 880,000 likes, then not as popular but also very successful “give it to me” has over 12,000,000 views and 77,000 likes. Both of these singles are well known for there videos specifically blurred lines as the original video features 3 topless models and created a lot of debate about the appropriateness of this video with the daily mail stating "its a song that has been seen as deeply offensive and derogatory towards women using controversial lyrics such as i know you want it and let me liberate ya "(4). These two videos share the same representations of women and are both vey objectifying.

The video for the song blurred lines features robin Thicke himself, T.I and Pharrel Williams. It also features three very stereotypically attractive and well-known models. The whole video shows these three girls seductively dancing around in very little, see through or in the original case no clothing. This represents women as sexual objects for the three men in the video "the three fully clothed men touch and gawk at them in which ever way they choose with no reaction from the women"(5)this presents the idea that men can do that they want and that women should be submissive to men’s actions and desires . Laura Mulvey states that women can act as the object of scopophilia for both the audience of the video and the males actually the video “Traditionally, the woman displayed has functioned on two levels: as erotic object for the characters within the screen story, and as erotic object for the spectator within the auditorium” (6). In this video we see the men looking at the girls very clearly, they look the girls up and down and focus on their figure in a sexual manner. As the camera tilts up and down the girls figure the audience watching the video is forced to look at the women in the same way that the male’s in the video are taking on the male gaze. In this video the camera focuses on the girl’s body parts fragmenting them, this is a technical method of objectification so the audience see specific body parts representing them as an object of scopophilia. The women only serve the men, we see the three girls poring the men drinks and lighting cigarettes for them (?). This emphasises the superiority of the males and how the women’s only purpose is to serve men.. The Marxist theory of hegemony would say that this representation is used to maintain power over women in wider society as the women that watch this video see these older attractive women serving men it reinforces them with this patriarchal idea that they should be submissive to the will of men. This hidden message is displayed through lyrics and the video content of the song. This specific video is contributing to the cultivation of females to take on the ideology that females and inferior forcing women to take this on as their own belief allowing men to maintain control and power in society. At 7 years old little girls and little boys want to be president of the United States in equal number, 30%, ask the same question at 15 and a huge gap has occurred (7).this shows that this method of social control is working changing the minds of females from an early age enforcing oppressive gender roles on them and as this is presented subtly through media texts such as this song the women do not rebel as they are not being overtly oppressed.