RESEARCHING SETTING - CAVES OF HOTTON
Speleothem caves in Belgium. They "were discovered in 1958 and are around 5 or 6 km long and 70 metres deep. A stream called Syphon runs at the bottom of the caves." (Wikipedia).
Karl Marx - Das Kapital
A book originally published in 1867
"Critique of Political Economy by Karl Marx is a foundational theoretical text in communist philosophy, economics and politics." (Wikipedia).
Born in Paris in 1930
"Jean-Luc Godard is a French-Swiss film director, screenwriter and film critic. He is often identified with the 1960s French film movement La Nouvelle Vague" (Wikipedia).
Le Mépris - "adapted from Alberto Moravia’s novel Contempt"
2 ou 3 Choses que je Sais d'Elle
The clip from the film above reminded me of the exhibition I saw yesterday (04.02.16), States of Mind, about consciousness particularly when the narrator discusses what makes him conscious, being something versus falling into a state of nothingness. He discusses the limits of the world being linked to the limit of language, and how by speaking he thus limits the world. He touches on war and how with progress the future becomes more and more haunting.
STUDYING THE TEXT
The text discusses Anne and William who met during a screening of one of Jean-Luc Godard's films; and how each of them are unsure yet convinced of their love for one another, whereas their moralities and concerns through life are very different, getting in the way.
There is an ongoing motif of coincidence versus destiny and what makes up fate. Anne, an actress, is devoted to Shakespeare and his timelessness. William however is a firm anti-globalist and does not appreciate Anne's devotion to Shakespeare and doesn't understand this.
We are constantly reminded of the past versus the present and how this does not help define a better future. In the end, William dies from his injuries when having set the Globe on fire and Anne suicides. The plot is very disjointed and constantly refers to other things happening out of the main plot around the world in other people's lives, yet simultaneously to that of Anne and William's.
When reading through this paragraph of the text, I thought of William as the political activist artist Banksy, having similar morals and beliefs as well as methods of dealing with them such as graffiti:
William speaking to Anne: '"But the city is an occupied city. It is invaded by CCTV that keeps a watch on people’s comings and goings and it is overrun with countless billboards. All the available spots of the city have been bought by companies which try to sell their garish ideas of a better world and recipes for happiness. The city must be reclaimed. I always carry spray paint and wherever possible use it to alter the message of the advertising campaigns. I hijack, as it were, the logos of the multinationals, subvert the narratives, they would like to implant."' (Pourveur, 12).
DEFINING MAJOR THEMES
Anti-consumerism: sociopolitical ideology that opposes consumerism (buying and consuming of materialistic property). The movement is concerned with the actions taken by large corporations in the sole goal of achieving financial/economic status without any regard to the public welfare.
Anti-fascism/authoritarianism: opposition to the authoritarian and nationalistic system of government and social organization; authoritarian government
(Main definition source: Wikipedia)
REFINING MY RESEARCH
After having done broad research into the text and its various contexts and themes from different types of sources and perspectives, I have decided to concentrate on the theme of globalisation as I found that I had more outcome ideas for this than any of the other themes I had previously picked out.
My main outcome idea that I have been leaning towards involves a short film with a biased narrative on globalisation built from Will's views.
I have hence concentrated on research into globalisation and surrounding topics:
GLOBALISATION - FURTHER RESEARCH
"Globalisation refers to a trend or process whereby economies and societies become more connected across national and geographic boundaries. With globalisation questions of production, trade, finance, ecology, health, communications, regulation and conflict all increasingly play themselves out on a planetary scale. Much of contemporary CSR relates to companies that operate globally. Indeed, concerns to develop socially and environmentally sustainable forms of globalisation have arguably been one of the main drivers behind the recent rise of CSR.
This is not to say that all human lives today are equally globalised. Certain countries and regions have more global connections than others. Cities tend to be more globally oriented than rural areas. Wealthier circles generally have more global links than poorer circles. In cultural terms indigenous peoples are on the whole less globalised than populations steeped in modernity. In spite of such variations, however, all people everywhere in the world today are to some degree influenced by global circumstances.
With particular regard to CSR, it is important to note that recent globalisation has seen massive growth in firms that operate on a transnational basis. For example, thousands of companies now engage in global production, meaning that they conduct different phases of their production processes in widely separated locations across the world. Even greater numbers of corporations operate in global markets, meaning that they sell their outputs to clients spread across multiple continents, often through globally coordinated strategies. In addition, global finance today provides much of the credit lines on which business depends, and global accounting (through operations such as offshore centres and transfer pricing) enables companies greatly to enhance their bottom lines.
Many observers have raised concerns about the economic, social, environmental and political implications of this globalisation of firms. The more globalised corporations are often very large, with capacities to make far-reaching impacts on society, negative as well as positive. Moreover, globalisation has given companies much enhanced mobility, enabling them to move more easily to the most attractive regulatory environments. In principle this flexibility could allow companies to locate at sites which generate large financial profits at the cost of considerable social and environmental damage. National governments might be wary of requiring higher legal standards for fear that the companies might migrate to countries with less demanding legislation."
Bibliography reference: Scholte, JA (2010) Globalisation. [Online]. In W Visser, D Matten, M Pohl & N Tolhurst. The A to Z of corporate social responsibility. Hoboken, NJ: Wiley. Available from: http://arts.idm.oclc.org/login?qurl=http%3A%2F%2Fsearch.credoreference.com%2Fcontent%2Fentry%2Fwileyazcsr%2Fglobalisation%2F0 [Accessed 6 February 2016].
AMERICAN FOOD CHAINS SIDE BY SIDE IN LONDON
Above: Extract fromThe World of Consumption, Ben Fine. [Book]
AMERICANI S ZATION
"Outside the United States, Americanization or Americanisation is a term for the influence the United States has on the culture of other countries, such as their popular culture, cuisine, technology, business practices, or political techniques. The term has been used since at least 1907. Within the United States, the term Americanization refers to the process of acculturation by immigrants or annexated populations (e.g. the Californios) to American customs and values.
Hollywood (the American film and television industry) dominates most of the world's media markets. It is the chief medium by which people across the globe see American fashions, customs, scenery and way of life.
U.S.-based TV programs are re-broadcast around the world, many of them through American broadcasters and their subsidiaries (such as HBO Asia, CNBC Europe and CNN International). Many of these distributors broadcast mainly American programming on their TV channels. In 2006, a survey of 20 countries by Radio Times found seven American shows in the ten most-watched: CSI: Miami, Lost, Desperate Housewives, The Simpsons, CSI: Crime Scene Investigation, Without a Trace and The Adventures of Jimmy Neutron: Boy Genius.
American films are also extremely popular around the world, often dominating cinemas. Adjusting for inflation, the highest grossing film of all time is Gone with the Wind. Often part of the negotiating in free trade agreements between the U.S. and other nations involves screen quotas. One such case is Mexico, which abolished screen quotas following the establishment of the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) with the U.S. Recently South Korea has agreed to reduce its quota under pressure from the U.S. as part of a free trade deal.
Many U.S.-based artists, such as Elvis Presley and Michael Jackson are recognized worldwide and have sold over 500 million albums each. Michael Jackson's album Thriller, at 100 million sales, is the best-selling album of all time.
Of the top ten global brands, seven are based in the United States. Coca-Cola, which holds the top spot, is often viewed as a symbol of Americanization. Fast food is also often viewed as being a symbol of U.S. marketing dominance. Companies such as Starbucks, McDonald's, Burger King, Pizza Hut, Kentucky Fried Chicken and Domino's Pizza among others have numerous outlets around the world.
Many of the world's biggest computer companies are also U.S. based, such as Microsoft, Apple, Intel, Dell and IBM, and much of the software bought worldwide is created by U.S. based companies. Carayannis and Campbell note that "The USA occupies, also in global terms, a very strong position in the software sector."
In Germany in the 1920s, the American efficiency movement was called "rationalization" and it was a powerful social and economic force. In part it looked explicitly at American models, especially Fordism. "Rationalization" meant higher productivity and greater efficiency, promising science would bring prosperity. More generally it promised a new level of modernity and was applied to economic production and consumption as well as public administration."
GLOBALISATION/AMERICANISATION THEMATIC MOOD BOARD
“The central problem in today’s global interactions is the tensions between cultural homogenisation and cultural hetrogenisation” – Appadurai
In order to determine how much American culture has affected my peers here in London I have written up a survey to obtain a sample of answers from my class:
Handed out to the class on Thursday the 3rd of March.
After having received the answers I compiled them together to view the results with more ease.
Looking at the survey results we can definitely note a British influence in most of the questions however this is expected as all surveyed members currently live in England (London) and a majority of the surveyed population is of British nationality. Taking these into consideration there is a notable American influence in particular for television and digital products. It is interesting to see how much American television has taken over and the extent to which what we look at and take in daily is almost regulated by the USA.
FILM STYLE (PART 1)
In order to have a better idea of film styles particularly regarding documentaries and propaganda videos, as well as news reels, I have been watching these particular types of film on the British Film Institute in order to get a better idea. These include:
Part 1 Stock Footage Options
EDITING PART 1
Throughout the editing process I was still researching as problems came up (as I am still not particularly familiar with the software and am thus constantly learning.
For example I continuously researched elements such as how to create a certain effect on the soundtrack, or how to properly colour correct, or how to change ratio of the screen, etc. Below were some of the most useful during editing:
STYLE - COFFEE AND CIGARETTES
During a peer feedback discussion I was recommended to watch 'Coffee and Cigarettes' (2003) by Jim Jarmusch as a stylistic reference and do find it interesting how while released in 2003 the film was made in black and white, yet not with the intention of making it look particularly vintage.
I would like to create a similar effect of having an 'old' seeming film without making it look vintage.
Research into Copyright
In Part 1 of the film (French propaganda video on Americanisation and globalisation) there is a huge focus on brands and American shops, displaying them in a poor light. We were therefore very weary of any potential copyright issues and thus researched many different situations to identify whether or not we would be able to use and show footage of brands such as McDonalds or Burger King.
Through researching on different sites we found that it would not be prudent to do so, however it is such an integral part of the film that there is no way around it. We hence thought that while we would have the film made (due to already being so far along in the process) we simply would not put it onto the website for exhibition or submit it to the 'Shakespeare Is Dead, Get Over It' international exhibition as this may cause issues. We would however still have Part 2 which we thus decided to make our major focus from now on.
ONGOING PART 2 RESEARCH
Through having turned my project into a collaboration with another student (Shaira Kapoor) focusing on the themes of globalisation within the text I have had to expand my research to suit the new nature of the project (fictional take exploring a totalitarian government that has banned consumerism of a global nature).
Stylistic research from films such as Across the Universe; Coffee and Cigarettes; Le Mepris; etc.
Textual influences such as George Orwell's 1984 (relating to the totalitarian government)
See ongoing collection of project development below:
PROJECT DEVELOPMENT - STYLISTIC RESEARCH
1984 George Orwell
Throughout the process of refining the story for Part 2, I was very much so reminded of the totalitarian government in Orwell's 1984 and thus went back to it as a reference point for the story we are developing. I think that it is similar in many ways regarding the government type as well as mood. While they cover different themes, they both explore characters who have their freedom taken away and how they react to a government that controls every aspect of life.
Notable points of similarity:
- Male and female lead roles
- Leading characters begin with different views (they eventually find the same views in 1984)
- Totalitarian government
- Dystopian future
- Repercussions for going against the government
- Propaganda posters
Across the Universe. (2007). [film] Hollywood: Julie Taymor.
Coffee and Cigarettes. (2003). [film] United Kingdom: Jim Jarmusch.
Contempt. (1963). [film] France: Jean-Luc Godard. Eternal sunshine of the spotless mind. .(2004) Gondry, M. Sin city. (2005) Miller, F., Rodriguez, R. and Tarantino, Q.
HOME PRODUCE FOR THE NATION. (1939). [video] United Kingdom: Gee Films. International Leisure, (2015). AMERICANISATION. [video] Available at:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aJUvq_8SasA [Accessed Feb. 2016].
PARADOX CITY. (1934). [video] United Kingdom: BELMONT, Gerald E. DAY, Leonard A.
THE YOUNG SOCIALISTS 1969. (1969). [video] United Kingdom: Workers Revolutionary Party.
Adbusters | Journal of the mental environment, (2016). Adbusters | Journal of the mental environment. [online] Available at: https://www.adbusters.org/ [Accessed Feb. 2016].
Akbar, J. (2015). Banksy's 'Dismaland' a has raked in £20million for Weston-super-Mare. [online] Mail Online. Available at: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-3250420/Banksy-s-Dismaland-theme-park-features-derelict-castle-dead-Cinderella-raked-20million-Weston-super-Mare-s-economy-five-week- run.html [Accessed Feb. 2016].
Banksy.co.uk, (2016). Banksy. [online] Available at: http://banksy.co.uk [Accessed Feb. 2016].
Barus, D. (2013). Copy of Doppelgänger Brand Images. [online] prezi.com. Available at: https://prezi.com/v7nmj doppelganger-brand-images/ [Accessed 15 Feb. 2016].
Feder, R. (2013). Documentary recalls ‘courage and spirit’ of Skokie under siege. [online] Time Out Chicago. Available at: http://www.timeout.com/chicago/tv/documentary-recalls-courage-and-spirit-of-skokie- under-siege [Accessed Feb. 2016].
Globalenvision.org, (2006). Americanization or Globalization? | Global Envision. [online] Available at: https://www.globalenvision.org/library/33/1273 [Accessed Feb. 2016].
Klaeui, A. (2016). Profile Shakespeare is dead – get over it!. [online] Nachtkritik-spieltriebe3.de. Available at: http://nachtkritik-
spieltriebe3.de/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=65&Itemid=97&lang=en [Accessed Feb. 2016].
raginisglobalworld, (2012). Americanisation of Australia. [online] Available at: https://raginisglobalworld.wordpress.com/ [Accessed Feb. 2016].
Randommization, (2013). Logos Tag. [online] Available at: http://randommization.com/tag/logos/page/2/ [Accessed Feb. 2016].
United States Holocaust Memorial Museum, (2016). Death Marches. [online] Available at: http://www.ushmm.org/wlc/en/article.php?ModuleId=10005162 [Accessed Feb. 2016].
Fine, B., Heasman, M. and Wright, J. (1996). Consumption in the age of affluence. London: Routledge. Dixon, W.W.W. (1997) The films of Jean-Luc Godard. Albany, NY: State University of New York Press.
Godard, J.L., Narboni, J., Roud, R. and Michelson, A. (1986) Godard on Godard: Critical writings by Jean-Luc Godard. Edited by Tom Milne. New York, NY: Da Capo Press.
Katz, S.D. (1991) Film directing shot by shot: Visualizing from concept to screen. United States: Michael Wiese Productions in conjunction with Focal Press.
Patmore, C. (2005) Get started in short filmmaking principles, practice and techniques: An inspirational guide for the aspiring filmmaker. London: Methuen Drama.
Orwell, George (1948) 1984
Reisz, K., Millar, G., Introd and Dickinson, T. (1974) The techniques of film editing. 23rd edn. London: Focal Press [u.a.]
Schwartz, R. (2005) Neo-noir: The new film noir style from psycho to collateral. United States: Rowman & Littlefield Publishers.
Ongoing Bibliography Stock Footage
Ongoing research for film-making
American horror story style
CREATING PROPAGANDA POSTERS - UNITAS MORTIS GOVERNMENT
When initially discussing the use of propaganda posters in our piece, as well as the style of the piece in general, we were always more focused on a black, white and red colour scheme. These colours were typically associated with darkness and threat (red as an offensive colour).
I therefore also wanted to look up standard propaganda posters in order to inspire the ones we would create and notice any particular trends (see posters above).
When evaluating most propaganda posters, they all seem to use at least a touch of red, and aside from this the major colour scheme revolves around the black and white/browns and some blues.
RESULTING POSTERS (SELECTION)
DEVELOPING THE CHARACTERS
Anne: Consumerist rebel, outlaw. She supports globalisation and consumerism at a universal scale. Loves Will but cannot follow what she sees as cowardness in following the government in their views.
Will: Agrees with the government view of banning globalised brands and topics. He does not understand Anne's need to go against the laws and be rebellious.
STYLISTIC REFERENCES - CHARACTERS
Anne Character Development
Run Lola Run (1998)
Alice from 'Closer' (2004)
Amélie from 'Amélie' (2001)
We were very inspired by the two main characters Clementine and Joel in 'Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind' (2004) by Michel Gondry, because of their interactions and ambiguity between whether or not they do want to be together or not. This change of heart throughout the relationship is also found within our characters of Anne and Will who feel that although they love each other, they can never belong together due to how different they are.
To the right: Water LED cube light display that changes colour in correspondence to different emotions
- Possibility of playing with light and acetate for our box to experiment with reflections, colours and shadows.
Juliet from 'Romeo + Juliet' (1996)
Coco Chanel from 'Coco Before Chanel' (2009)
Lost in Translation (2003)
My Blueberry Nights (2007)
Primary research - test shots and experimenting
Throughout the process of preparing to film, Shaira and I have been very arduous about taking test shot and photos to not only visualise different angles and shots which would work the best but also as a form of continual documentation. They were also very useful in order to properly visualise what we were going to do in the filming process.
June Ahrens - Hiding in Plain Site
Romeo from 'Romeo + Juliet'
Joel from'Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind' (2004)
Romeo from 'Romeo + Juliet'
Relationship Montage Development
My Blueberry Nights (2007)
Exhibition box research - Presentation
- Choosing an important location from the film to recreate (Living room, graffiti tunnel, etc.)
- Box with government posters and propaganda
- Clear box with water to distort images of government posters
Hans Haacke Condensation Cube 1963–5
Above: character shot, Anne and Guards
Will Character Development
Christopher McCandless from Into the Wild (2007)
Across the Universe (2007)
ANN VERONICA JANSSENS Blue Wind, 2016
Above: Whilst selecting photos for our exhibition box we wanted the back, behind the doe to be a representation of Anne clearly linking to the film. We hence thought it would look good to have the graffiti sign on a brick wall however we did not have very good photos of the one we actually made whilst filming. We hence made it on Photoshop. Shaira made a red version which stood out very well but did not make sense in regards to the story as red is the government's colour. I thus tried to make an edit replicating the copper spray paint. It worked fairly well although is slightly dull against the glass on the box. I tried editing it to be brighter and stand out more which worked however once printed it was somehow a very bright orange and resembled a Dorito more than a doe symbol - we thus kept the original photo.
Above: during the editing process I experimented a lot with different colour corrections in order to not only see what looked best, aesthetically and film-quality-wise but also in regards to the mood and thematics of the piece.
Below: Correcting colour using RBG curves as learned from:
How To Get The Film Look With a DSLR - DSLR Cinematography Tips
Below: Adding credits
Source: Helpx.adobe.com. (2016). Create rolling and crawling titles in Premiere Pro. [online] Available at: https://helpx.adobe.com/premiere-pro/using/rolling-crawling-titles.html [Accessed Apr. 2016].
FINAL EXHIBITION BOX