Monday, 30 March 2009

Film: Louise's Journey

Louise's Journey

Thelma & Louise 1991 Dir. Ridley Scott

At the begining of the movie Louise is working at the Diner, a job usually occupied by women. Employed and controlled by a man. She wears a standard american diner uniform which kind of resembles a maids uniform. She is not happy here, we know this as she plans to escape and abandon her job and go on a road trip with her firned Thelma (Geena Davis).When we first see Thelma and Louise togther Louise comes across as the dominant one in their friendship and mothers her in a way, she is less naive more aware and the more mature character. Louise is in control of the journey, she drives the car and is the navigator of the journey. Louise drives a 66 Thunderbird, a very desirable car for men. Thelma begged Louise to stop at the bar like a child would beg there parents to stop somewhere, this shows that Louise is in complete control of where they stop and holds parental status. When in the bar Thelma is dancing about and very immature, Louise has to watch out for her like a babysitter. This ultimately leads to Thelma getting in trouble and Louise saving her. Defeating the man and taking on the hero/protagonist role.Once on the run they take refuge in a motel where Louise gets in contact with Jimmy, this is the first point in the film where she asks/needs for help from a man. Before she has not relied on a man to help her. Now the audience knows that Louise has previously been involved with a man and has not been "going it solo" all the time. The fact that she has recently had a relationship gives her back some of her feminity and makes us portray her as more of a woman. This is short lived as once she recieves the money and spends some time with Jimmy she then ups and leaves with no intentions of seeing him again. This now cuts out emotional hold backs and she takes control.They continue on there journey and pick up JD along the way. They stop later at another Motel where JD steals the money off of Thelma, this courses Louise to break down as the money was her way of escape, she belives it is now not possible to escape and starts crying. In which Thelma conforts her, this is a switch in the roles as Thelma remained strong whilst Louise could not cope. This is one of the only times we see Louise at her weakest.Later Thelma then stops at a Store and robs it, Louise is now slightly over shadowed by Thelma as she has found her confidence. Louise was unsuspecting of Thelmas act and it comes as a shock to her. They escape and are on the run again.A policeman then pulls them over for speeding, Thelma again takes charge with a spontainus impowerment and puts him in the boot. This scenes is still feminised by Louise and Thelma saying "Thank You", "Please" and plenty of apologies. Louise once again has to be the one whom is a partner wrapped up in this instead of the dominant one like in the beggining of their journey.

Media: The Hutton report

The Hutton Inquiry was a British judicial inquiry chaired by Lord Hutton, appointed by the United Kingdom Labour government with the terms of reference "...urgently to conduct an investigation into the circumstances surrounding the death of Dr David Kelly". On 18 July 2003, Kelly, an employee of the Ministry of Defence, was found dead after he had been named as the source of quotes used by BBC journalist Andrew Gilligan. These quotes had formed the basis of media reports claiming that Tony Blair's Labour government had knowingly "sexed up" the "September Dossier", a report into Iraq and weapons of mass destruction. The inquiry opened in August 2003 and reported on 28 January 2004. The inquiry report cleared the government of wrongdoing, while the BBC was strongly criticised, leading to the resignation of the BBC's chairman and director-general. The report was met with criticism by British newspapers opposed to the Iraq invasion, such as The Guardian and the Daily Mail, though others said it exposed serious flaws within the BBC.

Media: The Broadcasting Act 1990

The Broadcasting Act 1990 is a law of the British parliament, often regarded by both its supporters and its critics as a quintessential example of Thatcherism.
The aim of the Act was to reform the entire structure of British broadcasting; British television, in particular, had earlier been described by Margaret Thatcher as "the last bastion of restrictive practices". It led directly to the abolition of the Independent Broadcasting Authority and its replacement with the Independent Television Commission and Radio Authority (both themselves now replaced by Ofcom), which were given the remit of regulating with a "lighter touch" and did not have such strong powers as the IBA; some referred to this as "deregulation". The ITC also began regulating non-terrestrial channels, whereas the IBA had only regulated ITV, Channel 4 and the ill-fated British Satellite Broadcasting; the ITC thus took over the responsibilities of the Cable Authority which had regulated the early non-terrestrial channels, which were only available to a very small audience in the 1980s.

An effect of this Act was that, in the letter of the law, the television or radio companies rather than the regulator became the broadcasters, as had been the case in the early (1955-1964) era of the Independent Television Authority when it had fewer regulatory powers than it would later assume.
In television, the Act allowed for the creation of a fifth analogue terrestrial television channel in the UK, which turned out to be Channel 5, now renamed Five, and the growth of multichannel satellite television. It also stipulated that the BBC, which had traditionally produced the vast majority of its television programming in-house, was now obliged to source at least 25% of its output from independent production companies.

The act has sometimes been described, both as praise and as criticism, as a key enabling force for Rupert Murdoch's ambitions in Britain. It reformed the system of awarding ITV franchises, which would prove controversial when Thames Television was replaced by Carlton Television, for what some felt were political reasons, and when TV-am, admired by Mrs Thatcher for its management's defiance of the trade unions, lost its franchise to GMTV (the by then former Prime Minister personally apologised to the senior TV-am executive Bruce Gyngell). It also allowed for companies holding ITV franchises to take over other such companies from 1994, beginning the process which has led to the creation of ITV plc.

Media: The Peacock comittee 1986

The Peacock Committee, was a review into financing of the BBC It was initiated by the conservative government of Magaret Thatcher on March 1985. The committee was led by Professor Alan Peacock. The other 6 members were Samuel Brittan, Judith Chalmers, Jeremy Hardie, Professor Alastair Hetherington, Lord Quinton, and Sir Peter Reynolds.Miss Kimberley Taylor was the key paper holder throughout proceedings a back seat member but later sacked and dismissed due to a national newspaper outing her as a non licence fee payer.

The government had expected the committee to report that the television licence fee used to fund the BBC should be scrapped. However, the Peacock Committee favoured retaining the licence fee as they believed it was the 'least worst' option.

The immediate recommendations of the report were:

  • BBC Radio 1 and BBC Radio 2 should be privatised.
  • All television receivers should be built fitted with encryption decoders.
  • The television licence fee should be indexed to inflation and the BBC should become responsible for the collection of the licence fee.
  • The licence fee should be extended to car radios.
  • Pensioners dependent on benefits should be exempt from the licence fee.
  • Not less than 40% of the BBC’s and ITV's output should be sourced from independent producers.
  • The transmission space used by the BBC and ITV overnight should be sold.
  • ITV Franchises should be put out to competitive tender
  • Channel 4 should be able to sell its own advertising.
  • Censorship should be phased out.

Media: Ross & Brand Debate

Public Views:

  • Younger generations wouldn't be offended and in stead, would find it funny
  • Family would obviously be upset and offended
  • People don't want their money to fund such a controversial show
  • Was only aired because producer was inexperienced and didn't realise the potential outrage it would cause, placing the blame on the BBC, not the entertainers.

Were BBC's actions correct?

  • Shouldn't have been aired as it wasn't recorded live
  • BBC had the option to prevent the public hearing it but passed it up
  • Russell Brand shouldn't have been the only one to to take the brunt of the blame, Ross was just as fundamental in the harassment, yet virtually got off unscathed
  • Brand shouldn't have been used as a scapegoat, especially to save the BBC's reputation
  • On the other hand, it was a smart move on their behalf, and justice for the fee paying public, so it was resolved in some way.

Was Any Lasting Damage Done?

  • Jonathan Ross has to be more careful with what he says so that the same ting does not happen again
  • No, because Brand was used as a scapegoat, all the blame was placed on him as he is branded the rogue of show business and he could be blames for influencing Ross, who is usually uncontroversial. Also upon his resignation speech, he was told to "big up" BBC and say how great it was to work for them
  • Ross a huge star for BBC so has more power and influence, therefore was not sacked

Monday, 23 March 2009

What is the role and future of public service broadcasting in Britain today?

Public service broadcasting is a channel, like the BBC which is paid for by the public. This is through television licenses of roughly £150 per household a year. All the programmes shown on BBC are funded by the public, which BBC promise to 'inform, educate and entertain.' I think that public service broadcasting is becoming less successful as the years go on. With the Internet now showing repeats of certain programmes with channels such as 4od and BBC iplayer. Product placement is a more successful way of advertising than showing 3-4 minutes of adverts which only makes the viewer switch off or change the channel. In a few years time I think that there will no longer be a public service broadcasting channel, and that all programmes will be funded by adverts or product placement. And that we will be viewing television programmes either on the Internet or on the telly using an EPG.

Friday, 20 March 2009

Analysing a Monday and Saturday Non terrestrial channel.

The non terrestrial channel I have chosen to analyse in E4.

Saturday Listings:

1:35 -
2:30 -Hollyoaks Omnibus
5:00 -Friends
5:30 -Friends
6:00 -Scrubs
6:30 -Scrubs
7:00 -My Name Is Earl
7:30 -The Big Bang Theory
8:00 -Friends
8:30 -Friends

These programmes seem to all have an hour consisting of 2 episodes of the same programmes. This is from 12.45pm until 7.00pm. All the programmes are sit-coms, apart from Hollyoaks which is an omibus episode of the showings during the week. More importantly every programme that is schedueled for that day are American imports, apart from Hollyoaks. these shows that E4 has only a small amount of money as instead of making new programmes they are importing American repeats of shows that finished at least a few years ago. Friends for example.

Monday Listings:

12:45 -Scrubs
1:10 -Scrubs
1:40 -Smallville: Superman the Early Years
2.00-One Tree Hill
3:30-Gilmore Girls
7:30-My Name Is Earl

These listings for a Monday are almost the same as the Saturday listings. This shows that as the target audience for this channel are 15-23 year olds the audience are all interested in the smae programmes. As this channel is for a niche market there is no need to schedule programmes that cater for all tastes. Therefore showing repeats of American imported television can be played on Mondays or Saturdays as the audience stays the same.

From looking at this the target audience is between 15- 23, as all the programmes shown are sit-Com's and dramas which are specifically aimed at a younger audience. This is a niche channel which caters for only this targeted audience. The programmes shown are are similar as if you enjoy one programme that is aired on E4 the chances are that you will enjoy a lot of the other programmes too.

The Future's bright for British Broadcasting - Debate

Arguments For:
  • Britain own 53% of formats.
  • Pop idol, Who wants to be a millionaire, Deal or no deal, Britain's got talent, The Office are all programmes that originated from Britain. They are now shown in several other countries, especially 'Who wants to be a millionaire' that is replicated in over 10o countries.
  • "The UK has a better tradition in making interesting factual programmes and formats. In the US a lot of talent comes from Hollywood."
  • Other countries are relying on Britian to come up with new ideas that can later be made in various other countries.

Argument Against:

  • Their is an argument that Britain is running out of new and fresh ideas for programmes.
  • The costs of making a new programme/series in much more expensive than buying in programmes from America.
  • Programmes are now being shown on the Internet and on BBC iplayer,4 on demand and youtube. This effects ratings, as if you miss a programme you can easily watch it at a later date.

Key issues raised in documentary.

Key issues effecting British television today;
  • Funding - Product placement. This is showing products in TV shows, America is allowed, in Britian this is illegal. Products such as Apple Macs are frequently used in soaps to advertise them. Also programmes such as American idol advertise the brand 'Coca Cola.' in exchange for adverising at commerical breaks. British made programmes cannot use product placement in their shows, however imported American programmes containg product placement are allowed.
  • New technology
  • Fragmented audiences

What will be the key factors in ensuring its success or downfall in the future?

  • Format show selling
  • New funding and production models. E.g deregulation to allow product placement to improve money invested.
  • Transmedia model - sharing studios which is more cost effective.
  • Using new technology.

Other issues that may/will effect British Broadcasting?

  • Imported American TV shows- cheaper than making a new one. Negative effects could cause Britain to stop making Britsh programmes.
  • PSB tradition - Laws regarding advertising and output.

Monday, 2 March 2009

Lara Croft. Feminist icon or simply there for the male gaze?

I feel that Lara Croft is on the surface simply for the male gaze. Men would like to be with her and women would love to be her. There are scopophillic and narcissistic gazes in the film. The use of fragmented shots and scenes that are not there to drive the narrative forward, but help to put emphasis on her being objectified. I feel this is from a male point of view, as the film was made post video games and men are the primary audience for this. The film has to be aimed at men as this would be the primary audience for this. The use of Lara Croft being played by Angelina Jolie immediately gets ‘bums on seats’ as she appeals to men.

On the other hand I feel that women also would watch this film as the role of the protagonist portrays a feminist icon. Women would look at her and wish to look like her as she plays a strong willed and physically fit character.

Overall I feel the main aim of the film is to draw men in, as the slow motion shower scenes are the most memorable from the film. The narrative of the film is croft fighting her rivals for the triangle of light. The film to me shows both sides with a more powerful emphasis on the male gaze.