An uncut, feature-length discussion about the movie medium; packed with bonus content––and LOTS of movies.
Part 1 Embedded-Archetype Recycling
More so than any other medium, the motion picture – also known as film, cinema, and most commonly, movies – has the capacity to convey ideas and themes whilst bypassing the viewer’s awareness of having done so; meaning that even the reception of the content generally remains unperceived, i.e. let alone its affect and techniques thereof. This principle can be observed by the substratum of archetypal themes from which movie* narratives are constructed upon; by the industrial recycling of these archetypes, evident in movies that are differentiated by time and genre; and by the common obliviousness to embedded elements and the pervasiveness of this practice.
*Although most of this article concerns movies, the discussion generally applies to television fiction too, particularly since it has become more cinematic in recent years. Movie narratives, however, are the primary form of embedded-archetype recycling.
I have termed the principle behind this practice ‘embedded-archetype recycling’, where “archetype” refers to a type of character or theme that is ancient, or at least pre-modern (hence being adapted into modern form); where “embedded” refers to the concealment of the archetypes within the overt narrative; and where “recycling” refers to the institutional practice of reapplying these archetypes to the narratives of “new” movies (hence, archetypes pervade the medium irrespective of era divergences and genre differences between movies).
An article on Stranger Things (SPOILER: it’s duffing long!)
Retromania: from the 2000s onward, pop culture has lacked the creative, future-oriented, dynamic energy of the previous decades: rather than opening the future, it inaugurated the ‘Re’ era, i.e. dominated by the ‘re-’ prefix – such as in revivals, reissues, remakes, re-enactments – thus representing endless retrospection. The post-millennium ushered in an era of unoriginality that feeds on its own history, trades in references, and quickly begun to rework material from a past that is increasingly immediate—thus has pop culture turned into an endless act of regurgitation.
What does this have to do with Stranger Things? With the debut of this series in 2016, pop culture has seen a particular development of retromania: from the mania of retro, i.e. the cultural pervasiveness of it; to the intensification of retro, i.e. the artifactual over-dosage of it.
And hence: Retroverdose (on strangely familiarthings)…
This Long-Article begins with a brief introduction to the significance of Fiction; followed by a close analysis of a short story; which is then intertwined with interpretation of a related film; finishing with a closing summary; and all the relevant links listed at the end.
For centuries, literature of fiction—specifically, novels and short stories—has had a major influence upon the thoughts and attitudes of people, and has served as a catalyst for the cultural changes the West has undergone since the invention of the printing press. The social significance of fiction is important to recognize, as its power to influence is much less obvious than the overt, religious indoctrination that it has replaced. The power of fiction is not to indoctrinate, but to seduce: to affect individuals with particular ideas—butwithout the conscious awareness of having been engaged with an ideological sales pitch.
For this reason, learning about the essential forms and techniques of fiction can be very interesting and rewarding, as one becomes more capable of engaging with fictional works in added dimensions and with new levels of depth.
This article features an introduction to the concept of ‘Allegory’; followed by a preface to four important ones (two parables, a fable, and a fairy tale), leading to commentary on each one, along with references to films and related media; and concluding with a list of the relevant links.
Allegory is a technique used by authors to embed a deeper meaning into the surface of a story, which produces two main effects. The primary effect is that it conceals the very fact that it contains an inner meaning at all, from all but those whose mind is critical in observing fictional works; and this makes it an esoteric mode of communication.
This article features a brief introduction to the concept of Prolepsis, along with an expert definition; followed by a succession of examples from film, TV, and literature; then a film & soundtrack set related to a connecting theme; and concluding with a list of the relevant links.
Prolepsis is a highly significant device used in literature and rhetoric, as it achieves quite a profound effect on the attitude of the target audience. The essence of prolepsis is to anticipate and effectively neutralize an opponent’s argument (in the mind of the audience), or a listener’s objection (the audience directly).