Archive for November, 2008

24

Monday, November 24th, 2008

Last night, I watched what I thought was the season premeire of 24 but it was actually a prologue. I think it was kind of a teaser and I had no idea that the next episode would not be until Janurary 11th. Maybe it’s because I watched it on the DVR and skipped the commercials. Fox aired two hours of events that took place between season six and season seven. I do not believe that this show has ever done this but it got me thinking of the narrative strategy. Giving a two hour prologue provides the audience with more information and i think that is a useful strategy. In previous seasons, I would have to try and fill in the blanks of what happened in between seasons since ever season in this series represents one day of events that occur in real time. The only problem is that I am upset that I have to wait two months for the next episode, but also anxious. I am wondering if other shows do this? I think the producers of 24 decided to do this because it has been two years since the last season of 24 because of the writers’ strike.  Anyways, I have always been a fan of 24’s narrative structure with how the events occur in real time, how they show you the time of the day frequently, and how the split the screens to show different events occuring at the same time during certain parts of the show. Anyone else see 24 Redemption last night? I really enjoyed it!

Today’s class discussion

Thursday, November 13th, 2008

I was thinking about our discussion today about comprehension, interpretation, and experience in viewing Mulholland Drive. I agree with what some people said in class about trying to comprehend first and then interpret; and I definitely was confused for much of the film especially after the key unlocked the box. The experience for me was frustrating, scary, funny, confusing engaging, and enjoyable which is I thinkis remarkable. I do not think I have ever left a film before with all of those mixed feelings. I have no idea what genre this film should be classified in because i was amused and scared during many of the scenes. Even though I was confused, I was still engaged because I wanted to solve the “puuzle’ or unlock the thriller as Lynch would put it. I definitely think the film was made for multiple viewings and I would like to see it again. However, I became a little frustrated because I was so confused that I wanted to give up, and I can’t say that I won’t give up trying to interpret even in the second viewing even though I want to see it again. I hope that makes sense. I really want to see Twin Peaks now also!

Final Essay Topic

Monday, November 10th, 2008

Initially, I wanted to research the device of the “flash forward opening” in films. However, I encountered a problem with finding sources so I wanted to change it. I read the paper topic blogs from class, and one really interested me, so I was hoping to do a similar topic. Douby’s blog talked about the narration in college or professional football and argues that each game is an episode in a season and the off season allows for new characters (players) to join the series.

            I would like to research how the narrative affects college basketball or professional basketball but looking at how the basketball commentators on ESPN, TNT Ect. use a narrative for each game to try and maximize entertainment. Commentators of basketball games at the professional level and even Division one college basketball are different than say the high school level because those sports league are businesses. The outcome of the contests seems irrelevant, the only matter to these leagues and to the television networks are did they please the spectators and entertain them. Did they maximize ratings?

 I think exploring the issues of the referee scandal that is currently going on surrounding Tim Donaghy is also a good example to explore of someone trying to fix an athletic competition into a narrative pleasing to him and the NBA. Media representations of American Professional sports are extremely popular.

In the book entitled Out of Bounds Ava Rose and James Friedman explore the many ways in which television sports constructs a uniquely masculine experience of spectatorship. I think I can also research this issue of masculinity and if the narrative targets males in college basketball and the NBA. The book quotes, “TV sports are similar to soap operas in its distracted reception, its construction of a gender viewing community, and many of its discursive strategies and textual effects”. I think the issue of masculinity and the notion of the narrative in sports creating a sense of distraction is also an issue that I can research here.

I think the best way to do this research is to use this book as my main source and watch a few Basketball games where there are clear examples of a narrative as entertainment and as a masculine cult of distraction. I could also look into how the NBA/College basketball uses advertisements and marketing skills to try and enhance their games leading into the narrative. For example the NBA’s slogan is: The NBA- Where Amazing happens! They have many commercials and ads in magazines to promote the NBA like this and then the commentators also try to incorporate this slogan into the narrative.

Thesis- The NBA (or college basketball) is more focused in entertaining an audience by using a narrative as a mode of entertainment than the actual result of the game; while also targeting a specific audience.

Please let me know if I can do this topic or if you think it is too similar to Douby’s?

 

Sources

  1. Edited by Aaron Baker and Todd Boyd Out of Bounds- Sports, Media, and The Politics of Identity Indiana University Press in Bloomington Indianapolis. Copyright 1997
  2. Edited by Tom McMillen with Paul Coggins Out of Bounds- How the American Sports Establishment is Being Driven by Greed and Hypocrisy and what needs to be done about it Simon & Schuster New York Copyright 1992
  3. Phone interview with NY Times sports writer William Rhoden
  4. Watching Actual NBA Games
  5.    Edited by David Herman The Cambridge Companion to Narrative (class text book)

More secondary sources to come as I do more research.

Video Essay

Tuesday, November 4th, 2008

Working on this assignment was definitely a good experience and I enjoyed it. Andrew and I decided to dour project on The Prestige. This is one of my favorite movies and each time I watch it I discover something that I hadn’t known before. For example, In dong this project I realized that the first voice over of the film is done by Bourdan (Christian Bale) and Not Cutter (Michael Caine). I remember that we talked about this in class and I think the majority thought that it was Caine who opened the film with a voice over. Anyways, just to give a preview for our project, we decided to look deeper into Christian Bale’s two characters: Bourdan and Fallon. We focus is on Fallon as Bourdan (looking like Bale) and not the disguised Fallon. We decided to explore their relationships with Sarah and Olivia. Fallon is in love with Sarah and Bourdan is in love with Olivia. We even use color as a signifier in our video to show when Bale is Fallon and when he is Bourdan. The scenes that we use feature both Bale characters with both women. Fallon and Olivia, Fallon and Sarah, Bourdan and Olivia and Bourdan and Sarah. We also have two scenes in which both Fallon and Bourdan are present. We also use voice overs which shows specifically how the narrative is different by providing clues to the fact that there are twin brothers that make many of their magic tricks possible and confuse their love interests because two different people do not act the same.