Section B - American: La La Land (Chazelle, 2016) & Captain Fantastic (Ross, 2016) Flashcards Preview

Eduqas A Level Film Studies - Paper 1 > Section B - American: La La Land (Chazelle, 2016) & Captain Fantastic (Ross, 2016) > Flashcards

Flashcards in Section B - American: La La Land (Chazelle, 2016) & Captain Fantastic (Ross, 2016) Deck (61)
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Passive Spectatorship

How does it relate to La La Land?

Audience doesn't question/engage with text or its message

Big Hollywood musical - escapism



Active Spectatorship

Audience questions/engages with the text and it's message

Arthouse indie film, encourages audience to think for themselves


Define all 4 possible readings in Hall's Reception Theory

Dominant Reading = audience interprets and agrees with intended meaning
Negotiated Reading = audience interprets intended meaning, but doesn't quite agree with it (makes up own mind)
Oppositional Reading = audience interprets intended meaning, but doesn't agree with it
Aberrant Reading = audience doesn't understand intended meaning


Define Uses of Gratification Theory

Media has no power over audiences
Audiences choose media they want to consume
Audience creates own meaning - text = 'open' to individual interpretation


Conventions of Musicals

Simple storylines - normally heterosexual love story
Suspension of disbelief: set in fantasy world where musical numbers appear out of nowhere
Characters outwardly expressing their hopes, dreams & emotions through song to progress narrative of serious themes
Lavish colourful sets: scenery changing from real to dreamlike
Appears set on stage - reminiscent of theatre production


What type of entertainment are musicals

Escapist entertainment
Passive watching, viewer away from every day reality
Unchallenging, passive watching


Cinematography & editing techniques in La La Land's 'Another Day of Sun'

Camera tracks along traffic jam of people trying to get into L.A - all queuing up for stardom, never going anywhere. Always something in their way

Camera moves like a dancer, follows them. Full immersion
Edited to look like 1 long take - whip-pan movement to seem continuous, don't notice cuts, forget it's a film

References old musicals - 'Singin' in the Rain'


Miss-en-scene techniques in La La Land's 'Another Day of Sun'

Bright primary colours, symbolises optimism
Shocking colour reflects Technicolor of classical Hollywood musicals (Singin' in the Rain)


Main influence of La La Land

'The Umbrellas of Cherboug'
Combination of fantasy and realism
Story of a man trying to start his own business, and his former lover witnesses his success with a daughter from another man
Also shot on location


Budget and global box office of La La Land

Budget - $30 mil

Global box office = $446 mil


Mise-en-scene techniques used in La La Land's 'Seb on Piano'

Spotlight on him playing the stuff he loves
Lighting all around him dims to darkness
Like playing a stage, reflecting ambitions
No applause - fired at the end


How active spectatorship created in La La Land's 'Seb on Piano'

Seb fired, though was rude to his boss: "Mutual decision, then."
Did he deserve to be fired?


How is 'playfulness and self reference' post-modern?

How does this relate to 'La La Land'?

Classic narratives hide they're fictional, edited to hide cuts. Postmodern films draw attention to fact it's constructed

Playing with narrative - Mia goes up to Seb, cuts back to first meeting on highway, then goes through his day back to piano. Prevents immersion: encouraging active audience

Experimental editing, bright colours - dancing at the observatory


How is 'generic blurring and intertextuality' post-modern?

How does this relate to 'La La Land'?

Elements of other genres blend into the film, explicit references to popular culture

La La Land has lots of references to classic films throughout it - homage to old musicals


How is 'popular media meets high culture' post-modern?

How does this relate to 'La La Land'?

Divisions between 'high culture' (opera, theatre, classic literature) and pop culture (pop music, mainstream film, video games, TV) played with

E.g: 'Moulin Rouge' - storylines of operas, contemporary music

La La Land - references to classic musicals, mix with modern music (Seb playing 80s songs)


How is 'fragmentation and the death of representation' post-modern?

How does this relate to 'La La Land'?

Range of fragments from other texts, genres and influences. Modern audiences so used to reading media signs and messages, reading media representations has become the dominant sense of 'reality'

Representations becoming constructs of other representations


How is 'uncertainty and the loss of context' post-modern?

How does this relate to 'La La Land'?

Make us feel no generic rules any more - anything can happen. Postmodernist films challenge life or belief systems we take for granted - masculinity, femininity, politics, identity, truth, history, etc.

La La Land creates uncertainty with it's ending - would she have been better off staying with Seb?




Art movement associated with industrial revolution, machines replacing humans. Aim create artworks that better reflected modern society

Focus on innovation/experimentation in forms, materials and techniques




Belief that new approaches needed to understand the present. Boundaries between fiction and reality blurred

Playfully, nostalgically and respectfully acknowledging the past

Audiences removed from conventional emotional link they have to subject matter, gain new view of it


Arguments for existence of post-modernism

How this relates to 'La La Land'

- Postmodern products exist due to lack of originality
- All stories been told, new narratives just a variation of pre-existing ones
La La Land's narrative = re-working of 'The Umbrellas of Cherbourg'




Mixing of styles, intertextual reference
Text borrows style, tone or form from other texts. Uses old styles to create contemporary product


Does Laura Mulvey's 'male gaze theory' apply to La La Land?

Yes - Mia's audition, take perspective of director's chair, see her audition, what female stars go through

No - Mia's perspective of Seb playing piano. Watches him play more than he watches her



Jackie Stacey's 'Star Gazing' theory

Focused on appeal of female stars to consider ways women get pleasure from characters constructed for male gaze

Argued women don't feel inequality. Instead, inspired by films stars and characters actively change their lives and lifestyles

Gain pleasure either:
- Escapism (Hollywood Glamour)
- Identification (See yourselves as that character)


How does Jackie Stacey believe women identify with female characters?

- Identification process takes place in mind of female viewer, watching female character
- Transcendence. Female viewers put themselves in place of glamorous film star
- Mulvey previously argued cinema only offers this experience for males, as female audience lacked strong female characters to identify with


How does Jackie Stacey believe women were inspired by female stars?

Hollywood film stars provided female spectators with unattainable, sexual images of idealised femininity

The female viewer see female star as role model, something to aim for


How does 'La La Land' relate to Jackie Stacey's 'Star Gazing' theory?

Mia - female viewers more likely to look up to her as form of escapism - glamorous women trying to become an actress, female audience can aspire to be her

Seb - male viewers can aspire to be him as well - hopeful they can get their own dreams


How does 'La La Land' celebrate the audience experience?

Mia = Seb's spectator, revels in experience of consuming art: jazz, cinema, 80s pop, theatre. Dancing at Seb playing 80s music - loves being in the audience

Takes these as inspiration to create something new - her own play


How are extreme long shots used to create meaning in 'Captain Fantastic'?

Opening shot- establishes and romanticises nature. Much smaller shots of urban landscape - claustrophobic
Wide bird's eye shots - passive spectatorship


How are shots repeated to create meaning in 'Captain Fantastic'?

Ben's close-ups in rear view mirror repeated throughout film: establishes how he is somewhat distanced from his family, needs to connect to them


How is hair symbolic in 'Captain Fantastic'?

Ben shaves beard as a sign of being a changed man, no longer stubborn and will protect his family

Bo shaves his head -> mark change in lifestyle & identity