Saturday, 12 June 2010

Revision for the post modern media

                 Don Draper's "Carousel" pitch to Kodak on "The Wheel".

This is the chief examiner's advice on how to write an an exam answer. It's for "Media In The Online Age" but the approach is transferable. Note also his advice for question 1b for the five areas.
  • Audience
  • Narrative
  • Genre
  • Representation
  • Media Language

Most of you did this in class, but there were a few absences. It is certainly easier to argue that the texts you studied are post modern rather than being not. However you still need to be aware of counter arguments: it has all been done before and the arguments are not new - Plato's "Allegory of the cave" (see the earlier post) and arguments from other websites on this page:
 and on this one:

What you need to revise to write about in the exam ( if you answer on post modern media )
Each of the four texts we studied in class lend themselves to being labelled "post modern" in different ways. Sometimes these ways overlap, sometimes, not. For revision you should use the key concept guides you have been given for key terms and your own notes and understanding to help you create a table which identifies four or five key, post modern features of each text. Then be able to ARGUE FOUR detailed examples from at least TWO selected areas in the examRemember that you will only have to answer on two post modern media texts and not all four! 

You studied advertising, AMC's TV drama,  Rockstar Leeds's video game GTA IV and from film, Paramount's The Truman Show (1998)

As an alternative, Dave did "Contemporary Media Regulation" with you. The post modern media texts that you studied with me were:

  • TV drama - AMC's Mad Men 2007-2009 (Mostly early episodes from the first series).
  • Video games - focusing mainly on Grand Theft Auto IV
  • Advertising - The Cadbury's Gorilla and Sony's TV adverts
  • Film - The Truman Show (1998); some of you also worked on Fight Club and The Matrix (1999)
Go over the key concept glossaries that you have been given so you can identify the ways in which each text can be identified as post modern.  For instance, "Mad Men"'s  opening sequence has extensive intertextual references that provide plenty of post modern food for thought. Go over your notes on this and watch it again. Freeze frame it to make detailed notes. You should also use Check out You Tube for key clips from Series One: good ones are The Kodak scene in episode 12 on nostalgia and an earlier episode in which Don Draper takes identity tag from a dead officer in the Korean war - and later lives a new life as this man. The programme's non linear narrative is notable post modern feature. Historical events, attitudes and behaviour  are filtered through fictional characters for whom few people can have sympathy. See this post:

 Click on this link to see Jefferson Robbins' brief, but excellent video essay on the programme at    It's great for how the programme blurs genre boundries between TV and the Cinema ( another post modern feature ) and for the show's 'visual grammar' and how historical and intertextual/filmic influences and references were assimilated into this TV drama.
Don and Betty Draper try out "Connie" Hilton's hotel in Rome (Series 3)

The programme has also been pastiched and parodied extensively on the Internet, examples of which can be found on You Tube. Consider also the motifs within the programme which are also post modern: the characters' names, i.e. Don and Betty Draper. Don has draped a new identify over his old one as Dick Whitman and Betty Draper once modeled clothes in Italy.  Identity is a key issue for post modern media. It could be argued that when we immerse ourselves in in the spaces found in video games we usually lose our identity and assume that of another. ( An avatar.) There again, when people immerse themselves on the hyperreal world of the Internet they also lose track of time and what we take as the "real world".

Go over all the post modern posts on this blog as you will get reminders and prompts from several posts on each area studied to help you with your arguments.

Don't forget to revise the main theorists and know how you can apply their arguments to the texts that you have studied! (Baudrillard and Lyotard) You might even look up Guy Debord as well as his ideas on "Spectacle" were very similar to Baudrillard's for simulacra.

Dave has sent you revision material by post for the five areas in which you could be expected evaluate your productions from AS and A2. You will find information for Todorov on this site.

This is a link to  generic questions for this part of the paper:

All the best for the exam

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