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"Postmodern media manipulates time and space".

To what extent does this definition apply to texts you have studied?
Post modernistic texts now, are inherently rooted in the manipulation of both time and space. The fixed concepts of reality are challenged within such texts, allowing the creators (in the example of films, the directors) the ability to manipulate what were once considered to be universal truths, such as time and space. Within the texts studied (Quentin Tarantinos Inglorious Basterds and Christopher Nolans Inception) examples of artistic freedom that allows these directors to manipulate once fixed attributes, such as time and space are almost omnipresent. This manipulation helps present some important aspects of postmodernism, much like those of hyper-reality, self-reflexivity, the existence of simulacrums and presence of bricolage. Often, this manipulation also allows the creators of such texts the ability to put forward important references and meanings to their work. Within the era of modernism, texts (such as films) were deliberately made to be overly realistic in order to disguise the fact that they were factually inaccurate. Though a critic of postmodernism, Frederic Jameson explained the idea of historical deafness in relation to texts, which were void of any true historical meaning or sentiment. In the instance of modernistic media however, they too, were historically deaf as the directors and producers of such films often felt that their texts would be more commercially successful if they were not 100% historically accurate. This in turn, had a knock-on effect on the viewers. The viewers of such texts were then presented with a distorted idea of reality, which then became a schema for them to relate to future texts. For instance, Tarantinos Inglorious Basterds has been cited as being an incredibly inaccurate and somewhat disrespectful war film because of its historic flaws, however, it is no more inaccurate than other war films such as Saving Private Ryan, or, if we are to extend the boundaries of war films texts such as Braveheart, 300, or Gladiator. The reason audiences critique Inglorious Basterds for its inaccuracy is because they have been conditioned to accepting other false WW2 histories featured in films such as Saving Private Ryan (E.G typically American made WW2 films are overly focused on the role America played in WW2). The purpose of postmodern texts, such as Inglorious Basterds, is to be so overtly wrong (depicting Hitlers death to be one of assassination) in a historical sense, that other false and inaccurate texts are exposed to be untrue in an equal manner. In this sense, Tarantinos postmodern text is manipulating time. Clearly, the chronological and universally known timeline of WW2 is utterly reshaped, and though occurring within the same era, has its events completely distorted. This is a very obvious example of manipulation (of time) in a postmodern text, although it could be argued that equally inaccurate modernistic texts manipulate time also, simply through their lack of regards for historical accuracy. Tarantino, however, creates a bricolage of genres and influences, tying in many separate intertextual references from different eras (again, manipulating both time and space) for example, the stark black and yellow font employed in Inglorious Basterds (most prominently with the introduction of Hugo Schtiglitz) is a selfreferential homage to his other works, all of which employ the very iconic

Tarantino font, this is bringing fonts that perhaps wouldnt have been used in film until the 60s into a 1945 WW2 film, manipulating time and space. Not only this, but even within the opening sequence, Tarantino holds a still shot of the LaPadites French farmhouse after the Once upon a time, in Nazi occupied France (again, a pastiche of the fairytale genre, to remind the viewer of the fact they are watching a fictional war film) which resembles the opening sequence to The Sound Of Music. Tarantinos deliberate combination of genres into Inglorious Basterds does not halt anywhere near there in fact, within the same opening scene, Colonel Lans Handa smokes a pipe very similar to the one Sherlock Holmes is depicted as smoking in the television adaptations of the books, not only does the manipulation of time and space bringing in works from a different era reinforce in the viewers mind that this is simply just a fictional war film, but to the more literate viewer (something which Jacques Derrida cited as being very important when trying to understand the deeper meanings of post modernistic texts) they will be aware that Sherlock Holmes did not in fact smoke that type of overly exaggerated pipe, which reinforces even further that this film is not only fictional, but a pastiche of the illiterate nature of other war films. Within the same opening sequence, the very malicious yet charming Colonel Hans Landa asks for a drink of milk instead of the wine that is offered to him, this is a homage to Anthony Burgesss A Clockwork Orange in which, the main character, Alex DeLarge famously drinks milk before committing acts of ultraviolence though this may again, only be noted by more literate viewers, it is still an odd characteristic for a antagonist to act out, manipulating time, space and our expectations. Further manipulation comes in the form of various pastiches and homages, one such of these is the homage to The Dirty Dozen, a favoured war film of Tarantino. This is seen in the second courtyard scene where lieutenant Aldo Raine is assembling his group of Basterds. The similarity in terms of mise-enscene and of course cinematography is manipulating space and time, recreating a scene from a text of a different era and applying it to a modern text. Tarantino also references another favoured director of his, Georg Pabst. Georg Pabst is referenced in several scenes, he is given a smaller and less-obvious homage in the speech given by the British Lieutenant (when validating his knowledge of German and non-German cinema) and again when he is giving his cover story about his unusually odd German accent in the bar scene. These references to other directors and pieces of cinema are another account of Tarantino exposing the lack of body other WW2 films have, and instead giving cues to the audience about who he regards as having done a better job this, again is a further manipulation of space and time in order to somewhat reverse the effects of historical and literate deafness the audience may have been subject to from other texts. Other more obvious intertextual manipulations of space and time are the slipper on the foot scene between Colonel Lans Handa and Bridget Von Hammersmark which is identical to that of Cinderella (again, reinforcing the hybrid of genres always omnipresent in Tarantinos works) and the upwardsfacing camera shot at the end of the film, when Aldo Raine and The Little Man have carved the swastika into Colonel Lans Handas forehead. The camerawork

in this scene in particular is almost always featured in Tarantinos other works (such as Resevoir Dogs, Pulp Fiction and Death Proof) and is another clear example of manipulating space and time to create a hybrid-genre film, which in turn reveals to the audience the equally unusual nature of other war films they once held as being truthful and accurate. The overly stereotypical representations of Aldo Raine (in terms of his heavy southern accent) and Hitler (with his features of hair and moustache emphasised) alike are other examples of how equally stereotypical other war films are. In this sense, Tarantino creates a hyper reality which is itself manipulative of space and time, again, to inform. The short film Nations Pride featuring Frederich Zoller within Inglorious Basterds is another example of an overly emphasised and historically inaccurate war film, the very kind Tarantino created Inglorious Basterds to shun. The film within a film is a very deliberate manipulation of space and is perhaps the most bold feature which reminds the audience they are watching a fictional film, which is just as fictional as Nations Pride and any other inaccurate WW2 film. Despite the obvious informative meaning of Tarantinos work, it is arguable that to the less literate audiences, the historical deafness will only be amplified, creating an even more distorted view of history because of texts like Inglorious Basterds. Something Jameson feared would accompany postmodern texts. Inception directed by Christopher Nolan is another example of a postmodern text manipulating space and time. Though clearly presented as a hyper reality, it makes the viewer question similarly universal truths such as their own reality. This is done through exploring (and manipulating) fixed concepts like space and time. The films plot is based heavily on the act of inception (impregnating ones mind with an idea from experiences they encounter within a dream) yet as the film goes on, the viewers understanding of the concepts within the film becomes increasingly limited. At one point, the main protagonists of the film are in a dream, within a dream, within a dream which visually is a very difficult concept to understand. The fact that time progresses at accelerated rates the further levels the characters delve into, is perhaps the most obvious manipulation of time. The concept of time within the film is extremely distorted, to the point where the viewer is at one stage watching four separate timelines all occurring at the same time (The world avalanche occurring alongside the loss of gravity in the hotel on the above level and again, the van falling into the water in the level above this, all whilst in what seems to be the real world things tick along smoothly on the plane). This is one of the many manipulative features of the film that not only make the viewer question some of their own corporeal existence but also reminds them that they are simply watching a film. Coexisting alongside the manipulation of time is the manipulation of space within this text. This occurs prominently at several different intervals. For instance, when Dominick Cobb (DiCaprio) is teaching the budding Ariadne about the concept of inception, he demonstrates the abilities of an architect (someone who is able to shape the separate levels of the dream to suit their own needs, and for more technical purposes divulged in the films plot), Ariadne immediately begins to shift the physical boundaries of the world they are in, turning a whole

street upside down so that it is directly above them. This very clear alteration and creation of the physical realm that they are currently in, is obvious manipulation of space. The physical boundaries we encounter in the real world such as gravity are removed in this scene, as obviously they are performing these acts within a dream level. Points like this in the film help to remind the viewers that they are indeed watching a film, yet when the architectural creation of levels (like at the beginning of the film where Cobb is washed up upon a beach) is done properly, even the viewer becomes disorientated and struggles to distinguish between what is dream within the film and what isnt, perhaps causing them to apply this form of questioning to their own existence. Further manipulation of aspects such as time, in Inception, is the example Cobb gives of being in a dream with his wife Mal. In this dream, Cobb and Mal created entire worlds and equally, destroyed them too. This is perhaps the most potent example of a manipulation of space, as in this dream, two architects created literally the things they desired (meaning the physicalitys of the world were more extreme) rather than creating a realistic looking level for other purposes. Not only this, Cobb states that he and Mal existed in the dream for around 50 years, yet when they returned, they found only three hours had passed. In the film, this is due to the fact that again time functions differently based on how far into the dream one is. This is a very strong manipulation of time within Inception, again challenging fixed concepts the viewer has. This constant challenging of rational in the mind of the viewer has the ability to go two ways, referring back to Jacques Derridas point of an audience having to be literate, it could be argued that it could provoke some deeper and more philosophical thoughts regarding solipsism within the viewers mind because of this obvious manipulation, or to the more illiterate audiences, they may just simply be reminded that the manipulation is so absurd, that it is just a film. The post modernistic elements of Inception are its merging of both high and low cultures, typically in the form of homage. The scene where Ariadne is introduced to the complex abilities of the architect by Arthur (Joseph Gordon-Levitt) showing her the creation of a Penrose staircase is an example of a very high culture. This, (among other philosophical points) combined with the plot from a low culture Disney Donald Duck cartoon (which shares all the same components as Inception) creates a hybrid of both cultures and is another example of the manipulation of space and time in itself. The constant manipulation of time and space, within the film and in homages to other high and low culture points, has the ability to provoke questioning in the mind of the audience. Much like Inglorious Basterds, Inceptions purpose is not only to entertain, but also to inform and to provide reason to doubt what we have been predisposed to believe (in the example of Inglorious Basterds, we are being told to doubt the credibility of other war films). The future of similar postmodern texts is a fork in the road. It is arguable that with audiences captivated by more obscure and meaningful texts (such as the two disclosed above) their creation will continue and in some ways flourish. However on the flip side, increasing laws in copyrighting and the presence of patent sharks may stop creators of such texts creating a bricolage of ideas and

genres, ultimately inhibiting their ability to manipulate fixed concepts like time and space And in turn removing any degrees of originality from their works. If this were to happen, we as audiences may see a massive decrease in manipulative postmodern texts that have a purpose to inform, this lack of informative texts would in some sense, add to the historical deafness many audiences may adopt.