- Slides: 4
Institutions and Narrative Internal and external institutional factors often influence the way that narrative and other aspects of media content are constructed. Analyse how this statement applies to media content you have studied. In your response you should: (a) give detailed information about internal and/or external institutional factors which have influenced the media content; 10 (b) analyse how narrative structures, codes and/or conventions have been influenced by these institutional factors; 10
Possible points of discussion • Ridley Scott as auteur – artistic style, contributed to lengthy shoot for BR, but also enabled him to create such a vivid and compelling world in the film. Previously seen in Alien, and also hired artists to work on BR. Film influenced by world of cinema – Fritz Laing’s Metropolis, film noirs, etc. • How we see this in the film: – creation of the city; - portrayal of Deckard as film noir anti-hero; - lengthy takes, particularly in Rachel’s Voight-Kampf test. Take emphasises the tension and chemistry between Rachel and Deckard, becomes a very intimate scene, despite its clinical nature; develops Rachel’s portrayal as femme fatale (noir reference), referenced through stylistic costume choices (inspired by Hedy Lamaar).
Possible points of discussion • Harrison Ford’s casting as Deckard – Ford had reputation of playing solid, if cheeky, heroic characters, such as Han Solo and Indiana Jones. Had the ability to pull in large audiences, due to the massive success of these films, but in Deckard, Scott subverted audience’s expectations by casting against Ford’s typical ‘type’ of role. Deckard as morally ambiguous character, often unsympathetic to the audience, etc. • How we see this in the film: - Zhora’s death scene - Final fight between Roy and Deckard – unclear who is the hero/villain - Rachel – sex scene; the callous way he tells her she’s a replicant
Possible points of discussion • Test audience reactions and changes to the film – audiences initially responded poorly to the film, and the ending was changed to a more traditional, ‘happy’ ending, with Deckard’s voiceover clarifying some enigma codes within the film. This was reverted when Scott released the Director’s Cut. • How we see this in the film: - Voiceover has been removed in DC – Ford unhappy with it; although it conformed to film noir genre expectations, it did not allow for audience interpretation, so important to the arthouse and cine-literate audiences who helped make it a cult hit. - Open nature of ending – does not follow traditional Todorovian structure in DC, unclear if Rachel and Deckard escape, etc. - Enigma codes within film, such as is Deckard the hero, and is he a replicant? Origami unicorn left at end; unicorn dream sequence; refusal to answer Rachel when she asks if he has ever taken the test, etc.