Explain,what constitutes an aesthetic appreciation? Are aesthetics inevitably ideological?

-The teacher of this module is Paul A. Taylor and wrote some important books/essays in the cinema field, so please, dont use some of his work.

-The use of some concrete films examples would be great. A comparison between a typical Hollywood film and an Art-house film is necessary. If the writer thinks that using more than only 2 movies to illustrate his point, I don’t mind. A definition of ideology in cinema and its importance (little resume from where its from/theorists). Finally, coming up with an answer, new critic point, about the question is the ultimate goal.
-This essay must demonstrate that the writer understands the meaning of ideology in cinema and prove that he’s able to apply these concepts to movies examples.
-Using examples from movies to support the point about ideology is a necessity.

-Objectives of the module: This module aims to give you the opportunity to examine and interrogate the principal areas of theoretical and aesthetic discourse in relation to film. Sustained consideration is provided of the tension that exists between films viewed in a predominantly aesthetic manner, as an art form, and more theoretically, as part of an ideological project – the culture industry of Hollywood. this module is designed to encourage you to think critically and reflexively about the world of cinema and the academic. With this in mind, it is expected that you will demonstrate independent thinking and research skills and actively strive to think beyond the specific examples analyzed within individual lectures and the module as a whole.

-These are the main movies and themes we saw during the first weeks of this semester:
Lecture 1 Introduction to Aesthetics & Ideology in Cinema
Lecture 2 Hollywoods Noble Lie Film Showing The Perverts Guide to Ideology (2012, dir. Sophie Fiennes)
Lecture 3 The Dark (K)night of the Soul and the Jokers Little Shop of Ideological Horrors Film Showing The Dark Knight (USA, 2008, dir. Christopher Nolan)
Lecture 4 Siegfried Kracauer Aesthetics and Ideology?Film Showing La Cinaga (Lucrecia Martel 2001)?

*I can provide the content of the classes and the questions we tried to answer during our lectures.

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Module lectures & film viewings Content
Week 1 Introduction to Aesthetics & Ideology in Cinema
In this introductory lecture the basic aspects of cinematic aesthetics and ideology are considered.
Questions that could be considered include:
What constitutes an aesthetic appreciation? Are aesthetics inevitably ideological?
What makes a good film? – Camera angles, dialogue, underlying message – or a complex combination of all these things?
Is there such a thing as a specifically Hollywood aesthetic and has it changed over time? E.g. What are the continuities and differences between contemporary cinema and earlier Hollywood genres such as Film Noir?
Is there a difference between a classic film and just a good film? Why do we remember
certain films (and parts of films) and not others?
Does the world outside Hollywood approach film differently. E.g. does \”World cinema\” tend to be a lazy imitator of Hollywood or is does it have distinct traditions and values inits own right?
Is the very notion of \”World Cinema\” an offensive one? What represents a \”French\” or \”Italian\” aesthetic and to what extent can such aesthetics avoid being merely a reaction to Hollywood?

General Readings:
Andrew, James Dudley (1976) The major film theories : an introduction. London :Oxford University Press.
Bordwell, David… [et al] (2004) Film art : an introduction Boston. MA ; London : McGraw-Hill.
Dalle Vacche, Angela (1996) Cinema and painting: how art is used in film. London : Athlone.
Jacques Aumont … [et al.] (1992) Aesthetics of film Austin. University of Texas Press.
Eisenstein, Sergei (1951) Film form : essays in film theory. edited and translated by Jay Leyda London: Dobson, 1951.88

Week 2 Hollywoods Ideology the Noble Lie
Film Showing The Perverts Guide to Ideology (2012, dir. Sophie Fiennes) Lecture
An introduction is provided of Slavoj ieks unique ideology-centred approach to cinema and it is evaluated in the light of competing views of the correct way to study cinema in particular the post-Theory approach of the American scholar David Bordwell. ieks method is then examined in order to explore the allegedly radically new ways in which ideology manifests itself today. It is suggested that ideology has entered a new historical phase in which it reflects less about the explicit manipulation of audiences and more about the simultaneous recognition and failure to act upon ideological phenomena. The ideological aspects of Hollywood film output are explored with specific reference to its quality of hiding in plain sight. A series of films ranging from Kung Fu Panda to Forrest Gump and the Batman Franchise are shown to exemplify the surprisingly complex political implications of otherwise seemingly innocent and exclusively entertainment-orientated movies.

Key Readings:
Chapter 4 of iek and the Media accessible via the VLE

Week 3 The Dark (K)night of the Soul and the Jokers Little Shop of Ideological Horrors
Film Showing The Dark Knight (2008, dir. Christopher Nolan) Lecture
The general concepts encountered in Week 2 are further developed in this lecture with specific reference to the Batman films of both Tim Burton and Christopher Nolan. Close readings are given of both the visual tropes and scripted dialogue contained within a number of these films in order to introduce the role played in cinema by a number of ideological and psychoanalytical concepts including repression, the imago, and the complex ideological relationship that exists between cinematic form/aesthetics and content.

Key Readings:
Slavoj iek How to read Lacan Available at: Lacan article Slavoj iek The Politics of Batman Available at: Batman article Chapter 6 of iek and the Media accessible via the VLE
A range of further relevant articles addressing the strengths and weaknesses of iek approach include:
David Bordwell Slavoj iek: Say Anything Available here – Bordwell Essay Todd McGowan – Enjoying Cinema Available here – McGowan article
John Orr Right Direction, Wrong Turning: On Zizek\”s The Fright of Real Tears Available here Orr Article

Lecture 4 Siegfried Kracauer – Aesthetics and Ideology
Film Showing La Cienaga (Lucrecia Martel 2001) Lecture
The work of the German film theorist Siegfried Kracauer is explored in order to examine the relationship between the ideology and aesthetics and the cultural role of cinema.
Readings: a folder of Kracauer readings is available on the VLE.

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