Meaning

Meanings:

  • explicit – meanings on the surface; a little more sophisticated than plot summary but not overly interpretive
    • in Singin’ in the Rain: the history of sound, love story
    • in Star Wars: training of a Jedi, interactions between robots and humans
  • implicit – meanings below the surface, require interpretation and argument
    • in Singin’ in the Rain: Hollywood is more glamorized in media than in reality, gender roles, celebrity treatment
    • in Star Wars: Obi-Wan as a father figure
    • what is our response to the new?
  • ideological – what are the values that the movie is suggesting?
    • in One False Move: violence
    • theory
    • often a political message
    • even films that do not have a narrative can have ideological meaning

Being able to see how these layers of meaning reveal themselves is a highly viable skill.

Film theory – a way of understand certain aspects of films

How does sound create ideological meaning in Wall-E?

  • climate change (sound motif: the whistling wind)
  • love (music motif: Hello Dolly)

expectations – plot or character driven, the kind of meaning we are looking for

Looking at Persepolis (2007):

  • coming of age story (equivalent of roma à clef)
  • elements of romance
  • a road movie (lots of places)
  • the contrast between the realistic/world events and stylized visual presentation gives this the aesthetic beauty
    • in comparison to Wall-E, where the world is very stylized
  • explicit meanings
    • what happens when a young girl tries to be educated
    • what happens when a girl tries to become an artist
    • immigrant relations
    • coming of age
  • implicit meanings – some relate to voiceover narration
    • finding a voice
  • ideological meanings
    • politics
    • war
    • religion
    • gender
  • ways to approach the movie
    • genre
    • cultural studies
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