Sunday, 18 October 2009

Postmodernism - Scream Dir.Wes Craven 1996

Postmodernism is a complicated term, or set of ideas, one that has only emerged as an area of academic study since the mid-1980s. Postmodernism is hard to define, because it is a concept that appears in a wide variety of disciplines or areas of study, including art, architecture, music, film, literature, sociology, communications, fashion, and technology. It's hard to locate it temporally or historically, because it's not clear exactly when postmodernism begins.

Perhaps the easiest way to start thinking about postmodernism is by thinking about modernism, the movement from which postmodernism seems to grow or emerge. Modernism has two facets, or two modes of definition, both of which are relevant to understanding postmodernism.

The first facet or definition of modernism comes from the aesthetic movement broadly labeled "modernism." This movement is roughly coterminous with twentieth century Western ideas about art (though traces of it in emergent forms can be found in the nineteenth century as well). Modernism, as you probably know, is the movement in visual arts, music, literature, and drama which rejected the old Victorian standards of how art should be made, consumed, and what it should mean. In the period of "high modernism," from around 1910 to 1930, the major figures of modernism literature helped radically to redefine what poetry and fiction could be and do: figures like Woolf, Joyce, Eliot, Pound, Stevens, Proust, Mallarme, Kafka, and Rilke are considered the founders of twentieth-century modernism.
Scream - 1996

I have kept postmodernism to a minimal purely to understand it better before I start giving my view about it , getting to grips with the whole post modernism can be every confusing and hard to describe however I have taken a lot from tutor Phil’s lectures and kept notes into where my thoughts will derive from within the postmodernism genre.

Scream is a great film in itself having watched the movies many years ago viewing it again allowed me to watch it from a different prospective and angle considering the factors from postmodernism I can really see how it relate to the film and would like to take this investigation of the relationship Scream has to Postmodernism further, this particular film has caught my eye and has become a strong candidate for my essay writing.

Scream reviews

Mainstream American horror films had become desperately sad by 1997. Yawn-filled predictability was the best you could expect. Then "Scream" came along. It appeared to be clever, dangerous, witty, and fresh, but it sadly became victim to the movies it mocked, even before it had ended.

A bravura opening five minutes winds the tension up brilliantly, as Drew Barrymore in a cameo becomes the first victim to a horrible masked killer. "What do you want?" she screams. "To see what your insides look like," hisses the maniac down the phone. Minutes later, she's gutted by the encounter, and in a miracle turn (or a sad development) for the horror genre, she's not had to expose her breasts in order to get brutally slain.
It's an important detail in a movie that's made up of teen characters who are all wise to the intricacies of what to do and what not to do in horror films. Multiple references to various movies of the genre litter a script that prides itself on being cleverer than the features it both mocks and reveres.

In for a particular bashing is the 80s slasher "Prom Night". For "Scream" to poke fun at "Prom Night" is a bit rich when "Scream" itself has an equally predictable stalk'n'slash plot that's barely justified by its knowing self-reference. Arguably, "Prom Night" is far less derivative as it was made back in 1980, the time at which the formula was still being perfected. After the initial jokes at the expense of such films, "Scream" runs out of humour, and in turn robs itself of the chance to get the audience to take the thrills and gut-spills it offers seriously.

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