366mc: Critical Rationale

‘PIGE. SONYEO. ON’NANOKO. GIRL. LARAKEE. DOKHTAR.’ aims to highlight the influence other cultures have had on the Western film industry. In modern Western film, other cultures are often ignored or misrepresented, leading to mainstream film providing mass audiences with the idea that other cultures are less important. For many young people being able to identify with characters in film is something that helps to shape their identity. Having been raised in a Western society I have been able to see that there is an obvious exclusion when it comes to other cultures in film. Films from other cultures are less accessible in Britain, so there is a great amount of difficultly in becoming educated by films from around the world. The focus point for this project was based on my area of knowledge, which was the horror genre. Having viewed many horror films from a young age I have found the representation of women (particularly in Western film) problematic. I am aware that a large number of Western films are remakes of films from other countries, however Hollywood remakes often wash away cultural symbolism making it difficult for viewers to identity the films origin and identity. I began the project with the aim of informing viewers about horror films from other cultures through discussing the similarities and differences of how women are represented. I analysed seven films from across the globe with female leads and became interested in how costume and styling was used to communicate the characters identity. My approach to the images became comparing how the women in each of my chosen focus films were presented to viewers, I aimed to capture the personalities and style if each character through a series of portraits. During this project I discovered that the best way for my images to progress was through trial and error. Carrying out photo-shoots and then noting the positives and negatives of them allowed me to constantly challenge myself and push forward my ideas. Forgetting the importance of communicating to a specific audience had held me back in the image making process as I was unable to identify who I was producing images for. Once I had made the decision of communicating to people who were interested in the horror genre making images became more of a straightforward process. Focusing on how horror film fans would identify with my images I began creating work that reflected the horror genre and I chose to present my work in a space that my chosen audience were likely to occupy (an independent cinema). The image presentation I have chosen will be displaying my images as framed posters in a cinema. Vintage film posters, displayed in independent movie theatres, inspired this decision. If I were to continue with this project I would experiment with using a location and I would look at the links between the locations used in a variety horror films. A location would add to communicating the differences in the cinematography in films across the world, as I have found that some countries are more concerned with aesthetics than others. I would also like to focus on more films but from a limited selection of countries.

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