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Steven Horrocks

Postmodern media manipulate time and space. To what extent does this definition apply to texts you have studied?
Postmodern texts have the ability to manipulate time and space, as the boundaries of real life is not present and, with the presence of CGI technologies, anything is possible in filmmaking. This desire to manipulate time and space within the narrative of a film is hyper reality and it is what audiences like, as it doesnt relate completely to the real world, unlike modernist films where the idea was to create visions of a utopian world. However, postmodern films are loved because they warp time and space. Directed and written by Christopher Nolan, Inception was premiered in 2010. Inception is one of many films that use this hyper reality technique, constructing the idea of a dreamscape within the film that relates to everyone in reality. This concept was built up on the framework of realistic ideas of lucid dreams and how people can have connected and shared consciousness. In the film, there is a presence of futuristic technology which allows Inception to happen, but because it is based strongly on reality, it isnt questioned and we see it as reality. Then we have the idea of manipulating space: where an entirely new world can be created that is based upon reality, but it isnt based in reality, and that there are more layers of the dream thereafter. It makes the audience question their own reality to an extent that they question themselves, are they in a dream or not? Inception plays with time more when they deliver the idea (in the film) that time is disjoined, but proportional, in the dreamscape and reality, and that it is possible to dream within a dream. For example, 10 hours in reality is a week in the first layer, 6 months in the second layer and 10 years in the third layer and after the third is limbo where time is infinite. But, as customary, the idea in the film is to wake up from the dream and for this they use a kick which is portrayed as Edith Piafs Non Je Ne Regrette Rien from 1956 , to prepare the dreamers to be brought up from the dream. Non Je Ne Regrette Rien is also featured on the soundtrack as itself, also as part of an edited version of Hans Zimmers Dream Is Collapsing. Here they used a technique called bricolage, where they have taken existing media and edited it together to make something new. You could call it a remix. The film is very unusually structured, as it starts right in the middle of the timeline when Cobb is on the run. The narrative is already fragmented from the audiences point of view, and to mess with that perception of time, flashbacks are regularly used to explain the past to the audience. Parallel editing is used in the film to show the actors when they are in the dream state and this is a dynamic way to show the different layers of the dream. Both these methods; parallel editing and non-chronological narrative are all features of a postmodern film because its not done in a uniform way.

Steven Horrocks

Inglorious Basterds is the other postmodern text that I have been studying. Directed by Quintin Tarantino, this motion picture is a deliberate play on the historical events between 1939 and 1945, no the war with German and the American Basterds. To make sure audiences dont see this as a true representation of the war, Tarantino has adopted the idea of playing with historical events and changing the character of the Nazi leaders and soldiers. This is how Tarantino manipulates time within this movie, having it loosely based on reality with the movie plot replacing some elements. All throughout the film, the film is selfreflexive. Elements such as Tarantinos yellow subtitles, text on the screen introducing Stigletz are examples of this postmodern technique, as well as the voiceovers by Samuel Jackson. It gives an idea that the film doesnt take itself seriously, because in some scenes they show parts of the set in an effort to keep a good continuous while tracking someone. Where the camera tracks down under the floorboards of the farm house, at the start of the film, to reveal Shoshonna, is a good example of this. There is no doubt that the Inglorious Basterds arent confined to one genre of film. The whole film is a bricolage of many characteristics of genres mixed up into one epic film. I would say that Inglorious Basterds is a Comedy, Thriller, Adventure and Action, with elements of gangster films in them. This shows that the concept of a postmodern film being anything goes work, even if it isnt the modern way of producing films. In this film, he pays homage to his previous work and other texts. His yellow text is homage to what he did in spaghetti westerns. He also uses titles such as Chapter 1 and Once upon a time to, again, pay homage to earlier work in his spaghetti western. He has also paid homage to a film from the early 1900s called Nations Pride and Tarantino produces 10 minutes of this for Inglorious Basterds that features a German soldier call Frederick Zoller. He uses a film within a film which is self-reflexive. Hyper reality is also present in Inglorious Basterds. There are two character who stand out as hyper real; Christoph Waltz as Hans Landa and Brad Pitt as Aldo Raine. Both of these characters in the film are overly exaggerated to add to the dry humour because the film needs it, so its not taken seriously. Furthermore, with Aldo Raine, his hair is always immaculate and pampered in every scene that he is in, whereas Hans hair does get messed up especially in the scene where he strangles the character Bridget Von Hammersmark. Again, Aldo tux after he is wrestled to the floor is pristine: its not creased or dirty. These are hyper real elements of this film. The future of film, I feel, is not certain but I feel more directors will use postmodern methods film because it makes them interesting to watch; some postmodern films interact with the audience and makes a more enjoyable experience for the audience and it brings more diversity into the film industry. The postmodern era of film hasnt been and gone its just beginning because we havent really left the modern era of film and I feel that there will be a million more films that will take inspiration from films now, so the postmodern era will only continue.

Steven Horrocks

Inception and Inglorious Basterds are two good examples that show how postmodern film manipulate time and space. It helps directors put their ideas into reality through creative technologies and audiences accept these other realities because they are fantasy, they are enjoyable to watch because of the use of homage, intertextual references and bricolage.