Monday, 31 August 2009

Critical Perspectives for OCR's A2 Media Studies

The critical perspective focused on here is our one too - postmodern media. We will examine two to three areas of the media in which learn to argue over the application and relevance of this critical perspective. The first area will be TV's Mad Men.

Saturday, 29 August 2009

Mad Men for beginners - what you need to know if watching for the first time

Spoiler warning this information is intended for viewers beginning series 3.

Mad Men: Image Is Everything - by Jessica Winter

Published on The Moving Image website

The Women of Mad Men - an essay by Myles McNutt

Mad Men's G.I. Dick: Don Draper as Korean War Veteran by Allison Perlman

G.I. Dick: Don Draper as Korean War Veteran

by Allison Perlman — New Jersey Institute of Technology/Rutgers University-Newark

The Oppressive Rectangularity of the Fluorescent Light in Mad Men by Jeremy Butler

The Oppressive Rectangularity of the Fluorescent Light

by Jeremy Butler — University of Alabama

There's another article on Madmen's cinematography and use of fluorescent lighting here.

Falling Man and Mad Men - an analysis of the opening credits

by Gary Edgerton — Old Dominion University

Gary's analysis of the programme's opening credit sequence with several posts discussing this sequence.

Mad Men: why women don't get ahead in advertising

Why women don't get ahead in advertising

Here's an interesting clip with a discussion on the representation two female characters from Mad Men. It's by Janet McCabe and Kim Akass — Manchester Metropolitan University.

Mad Men: a teleparody and discussion on the show's postmodernism

Thursday, 27 August 2009

A video essay on camera technique and alienation in Mad Men

This subtle and clever video essay by Jefferson Robbins focuses on the cinematographer's camera techniques and how they established the visual grammar of Mad Men. Robbins also makes a couple of intertextual references to Alfred Hitchcock's 1946 film Notorious as he establishes the director's influence over the second season's cinematographer, Christopher Manley.

The source is Film Freak Central.

The past isn't what it used to be: the troubled homes of Mad Men by Mark Taylor

Published recently in Jump Cut, Mark Taylor's informative essay on AMC's Mad Men explores several issues associated with this ground-breaking, postmodern series. Taylors' comments on alienation and the theme of home together with his arguments on anxiety and image are important for understanding Mad Men's themes ideas. Mark's analysis of Mad Men underlines the relevance of studying the media through his deft use of theory and metalanguage. His essay reveals how the media has shaped our lives at the very outset of the "information age".

Today, only the ignorant or the afraid claim Media Studies is "a soft option". For students who truly engage with the subject it is one of the most challenging and liberating academic "options" they could pursue.

Further posts and essays on Mad Men

Friday, 21 August 2009

Links for researching films produced and distributed by UK film companies

Links to get you started on researching UK film/distribution companies.

As you research make a list of subject specific key terms, i.e. "an integrated film company. production slate, etc."

Vertigo Films ( essential videos with interviews/information ) (some history)

Film 4

BBC Films

Working Title Films

Hogarth Pictures

UK Production Companies and Studios ( An extensive list with links to many lesser known UK film companies.)

UK Cinemas and Distributors

Several video interviews with key players on various aspects of the British film industry