week 7

WEEK 7

COMICS: Tintin and the Blue Lotus

Question Four: What issues do his albums raise in terms of representation of ‘race’, and particularly ethnic and cultural stereotyping?

George Herge, the author of Tintin is stated by many to have a conservative mindset that was evident in the first issues of Tintin that focused on advocacy and promotion against anti-communism and the conservative mindset and beliefs. Mountfort (2016) states how certain Tintin episodes were directed towards colonial prejudices and their descendants. Bringing to life the social stereotypes made against the Africa nations by the Western countries. Tintin the Blue Lotus, Tintin in the Congo and Tintin in the land of the soviets all share similarities by containing racist stereotypes in their content. With focus to Tintin and the Blue Lotus, it was an intentional move on Herge’s behalf to inform the readers of the Japanese invasion of Manchuria that occurred in the year 1931.

Reference

Mountfort P. (2012) ‘Yellow skin, black hair … Careful, Tintin’: Hergé and Orientalism. Australasian Journal of Popular Culture, 1(1), 33-49. doi: 10.1386/ajpc.1.1.33_1

Brief 2

ASSESMENT 2: FANFICTION

Commentary:

I have written this fanfiction with the inclusion of aspects from Volger (1998) basic character types. The fan fiction I have chosen to base the story on was from the episode “Popeye; A day at muscle beach”. However, I have changed the character of Popeye slightly, by adding extra characters to cover most of Volger’s 7 archetypes. That includes a hero (Popeye) someone who is willing to sacrifice for the sake of the greater good. A mentor (his father/ Mother) who is a positive figure that aids and mentors. A herald (Maria sick mother) often brings a challenge to the hero. A shapeshifter (Maria) who is usually someone of the opposite sex. The shadow (Hihifo bloodline) who is seen as the threat to the hero’s village. And lastly, The Trickster (Tino) who can be a subset to the Shapeshifter, however in this case not from the opposite sides of living but rather opposite views towards the hero, found wanting to challenge the right of Popeye to the Chieftainship of the Hahake bloodline. The story is set in the Islands with the beach from the actual Popeye episode as the foundation of the settings. Set in the South Pacific, made up of sandy beaches in the 20th century. Both Maria and Popeye are in their early teens who are curiously exploring love, regardless of their village relationship.

Reference:

Vogler, C. 1998. The writer’s journey: Mythic structure for writers. Studio City, CA: Michael

Wiese Productions.

 

POPEYE AND THE CURE.

Popeye is the sole descendent of the Hahake tribe, his father chief Carlos was the only survivor from the deadly war with the rivalry tribe of Hihifo. A war that forbid the love between Popeye and his star struck sweetheart Maria, King Haku chief of Hihifo’s only daughter. The feud between the two Chief lines dated back to the early 18th century when the discovery of ‘Oholei Island was claimed by both tribes, each governing the North and South territories they had inhabited. Leader of the Hahake tribe, Popeye had an unusual name, described by the elders of the village as the first word the well-known sailor Christopher Taylor had pronounced during the first trade sessions of goods to ever take place. Similar was the name Maria, introduced through missionaries who travelled an evangelical pilgrimage to the Pacific to spread Christianity and landed on the North side of Oholei Island. Confused about the history that lay between them, both Popeye and Maria despite the warnings of their elders, would meet up right before sunset of every day. The location of encounter known only to the pair was by the three headed coconut tree that divided each territory.

Arriving from sea Popeye hurryingly chucks the net under the coconut tree to dry then hands over his fish filled basket to his mother Niua as he rushes off to collects firewood before the sunsets.

“There you go mother” he whispers, as he quickly grabs the machete and sack heading into the bush.

“That boy of yours, surly takes after his father” Ma’ata adds as she approaches Niua.

Ma’ata also has a son named Tino who is just months younger than Popeye and would be his successor one day as Leader of the Hahake tribe, if there is no heir to Popeyes line. The Village rumour has it that Popeye and Tino are actually half-brothers as both Niua and Ma’ata bore children to Chief Carlos.

“Well I only hope he serves his people well as his father did” answers Niua.

Meanwhile, out in the bush Popeye hides his tracks as he makes his way to the three headed coconut tree to visit Maria who is impatiently waiting for his arrival.

“What took you so long? My grandma can move faster then that” growled Maria.

“Im sorry, we just got back from sea and I picked up some firewood on the way here as an excuse to leave the rest” answered Popeye

“You know Tino, always wanting to follow me, I carefully covered my tracks in case he caught on to me”.

Maria rolled her eyes as she reached over to give Popeye a hug, the two paused in the same position for a while before laughing as they leant on the coconut tree for a rest.

“You know, my mother is not getting any healthier and my family are growing desperate to find a cure” explained Maria.

“Well if there is anything I can do to help, then please do not hesitate to ask” Popeye reassures her.

“I was named Popeye for a reason, my aunty said it’s how captain Taylor described the appearance of my father, apparently his left eye was bigger than his right and that was what distinguished him from the rest of the men in the village”.

“He had a great eye for detail”.

“Enough about your family I came here to tell you about mine” she interrupts.

“Its been three nights since I last saw you, the storm left plenty of drinking water but also two families without houses” reported Maria “My mother is ill and cannot make rulings and so now the pressure is on me”.

“Hmmmmmmm, well why don’t you take the sack of wood I have collected”

“What for” ask’s Maria

“To help with repairs, do you have a better idea?”

Maria apologies and grabs the sack of wood. Her hands are shaking as she stands in silence, face down with her hair tucked behind her ears.

“Hey, everything is going to be just fine, I promise you” says Popeye as he rubs her back to comfort her.

They turn to realise the sun has set and the glow of the stars are becoming their main source of light.

“Well we better get going, we don’t want anyone to realise were missing” Says Maria.

Popeye leans in for a kiss and they each return to Hihifo and Hahake.

“Who was that Pop”? asked a little voice from the bushes

Panicking frantically Popeye stops and from out of the bushes comes Tino.

“You lied to Niua all this time!”

“Shutup you, mind your own business!” shouted Popeye

“I will prove to the village I am the rightful ruler and you are nothing but a traitor who is sneaking around with the enemy” said Tino

“STOP” shouted Popeye, “what did I ever do to you”

“I do not want to be chief; I just want to be happy” sobbed Popeye as he fell to his knees in tears.

Walking back silently, they parted ways as they entered the village. Afraid his secret would be discovered; Popeye waited for his mum before he quietly awoke to pack a small piece of his belongings.

“I have failed my people; I have failed my father maybe Tino was right” he thought to himself.

Before leaving the village outskirts he remembered Maria’s plea for a cure to her mother’s sickness. Popeye made his way back to the village meeting house and tiptoed into the elders room to retrieve the last few drops of herbal medicine used on Ma’ata when she fell ill.

“This should do the trick” he thought to himself, as he quietly wrapped the ointment and carefully placed it in his basket.

“Cooookadududuuuuuuu” the roosters never failed to become the Hahake villages alarm clock, rain or shine.

It was a new morning for Niua to wakeup and not find Popeye next to her. Unusual to her understanding Niua knocks on Ma’ata’s door.

“Good morning, sorry to wake you up but is Popeye here by any chance?” ask’s Niua

“No sorry” replied Ma’ata, “Ill just quickly ask Tino”.

“I am sorry Niua Tino last saw him last night and he looked a bit upset” explained Ma’ata.

“Pssst Maria, over here near the Papaya tree” whispers Popeye

“What are you doing here, do you realise you can get killed if the elders find you”

Popeye smiles as he hands over the ointment “this should hopefully cure your mother; it did the same to my aunty Ma’ata”.

 

WEEK 4

WEEK 4

Torture Porn:

  1. According to Carroll (????), what is the role of torture in the torture porn franchises Saw and Hostel? Using references, explain this in your own words. How do you think these purposes might relate to the socio-political environment of that time period and such events like 9/11 and the Abu Ghraib torture scandal?

The role of torture porn films according to Carroll (2003) is aimed to emphasize gore, torture, and violence in the form of mutilation. The torture porn franchise Saw and Hostel normalized torture where they attempt in describing torture porn as a sub-genre horror that contains imprisonment, mental and physical torture as well as abduction (Reyes, 2014). The main characters in the films are experiencing a great amount of suffrage and torture. The cause of torture and the effects of it is intentional in generating an impact on the audience as well as sending the underlying message. Reyes (2014) states the role of torture in Saw and Hostel is to directly attract viewers by pain and disgust to generate empathy.

The socio-political environment of the early 2000s would have also contributed towards the torture porn genre. This was an era where historically negative socio-political issues such as 9/11 and the Abu Gharib torture scandals made headlines all over the world. One can say the 9/11 incident was an act of terror to install “fear” for whatever cause they believed America was responsible for and in return the Abu-Gharib torture scandal was the actions of “revenge” in retaliation to the fear on the Pentagon and the World trade center massacres. Either way, the actions of both incidents are observed by Hilal 2017 as a violation of a series of universal human rights. Saw and Hostel depict torture as a method of inflicting fear and exacting retribution or fear.

  1. Rose (2017) defines this modern boom of prestige horror as “Post-Horror.” What does he mean by this term? Find and read some critiques on his definition online and respond to both. Do you think Post-Horror is a valid term or not? Using examples and references explain your position.

Rose (2017) suggests post horror as a new sub-genre of horror that breaks norms of convention and clichés of horror and reveals the beliefs and feelings of the movie directors. Here the director is free to redefine the extent to horror which appears in the movie instead of following the conventional super-natural and exorcism storylines where filmmakers create their own versions of horror using themes. Rose’s interpretation of post horror films is connected to J. A. Bridges who contends that some horror films that include auteurism.

I personally, do not watch a lot of post horror films, however, Brown (2019) suggests that post horror is a largely pointless term that derives from a lack of historical perspective on the genre. Viewers fail to become socially aware of post horror films that have existed since the early days and the past films contain more experimental content that has expanded the language of cinema. On the other hand, Rose only gives a token of the transgressive nature as a genre. Brown (2019) also states that the history of horror as a peak of the cultural boundaries society has been hiding behind the scenes that society does not want to address.

Reference:

Brown, M (2019) The problem with post horror. Retrieved from https://overland.org.au/2019/05/the-problem-with-post-horror/

Carrol, N. (2003). The nature of horror: In The Philosophy of Horror or Paradoxes of the Heart. Retrieved from https://blacboard.aut.ac.nz

Reyes, X. A. (2014). Body Gothic: Corporeal Transgression in Contemporary Literature and Horror Film. Wales: University of Wales Press.

Rose, G. (2017). How post-horror movies are taking over cinemas. The Guardian. Retrieved August 10, 2019 from https://www.theguardian.com/film/2017/jul/06/post-horror-films-scary-movies-ghost-story-it-comes-at-night

WEEK 4

WEEK 4

Torture Porn:

  1. According to Carroll (????), what is the role of torture in the torture porn franchises Saw and Hostel? Using references, explain this in your own words. How do you think these purposes might relate to the socio-political environment of that time period and such events like 9/11 and the Abu Ghraib torture scandal?

The role of torture porn films according to Carroll (2003) is aimed to emphasize gore, torture, and violence in the form of mutilation. The torture porn franchise Saw and Hostel normalized torture where they attempt in describing torture porn as a sub-genre horror that contains imprisonment, mental and physical torture as well as abduction (Reyes, 2014). The main characters in the films are experiencing a great amount of suffrage and torture. The cause of torture and the effects of it is intentional in generating an impact on the audience as well as sending am the underlying message. Reyes (2014) states the role of torture in Saw and Hostel is to directly attract viewers by pain and disgust to generate empathy.

The socio-political environment of the early 2000s would have also contributed towards the torture porn genre. This was an era where historically negative socio-political issues such as 9/11 and the Abu Gharib torture scandals made headlines all over the world. One can say the 9/11 incident was an act of terror to install “fear” for whatever cause they believed America was responsible for and in return the Abu-Gharib torture scandal was the actions of “revenge” in retaliation to the fear on the Pentagon and the World trade center massacres. Either way, the actions of both incidents are observed by Hilal 2017 as a violation of a series of universal human rights. Saw and Hostel depict torture as a method of inflicting fear and exacting retribution or fear.

  1. Rose (2017) defines this modern boom of prestige horror as “Post-Horror.” What does he mean by this term? Find and read some critiques on his definition online and respond to both. Do you think Post-Horror is a valid term or not? Using examples and references explain your position.

Rose (2017) suggests post horror as a new sub-genre of horror that breaks norms of convention and clichés of horror and reveals the beliefs and feelings of the movie directors. Here the director is free to redefine the extent to horror which appears in the movie instead of following the conventional super-natural and exorcism storylines where filmmakers create their own versions of horror using themes. Rose’s interpretation of post horror films is connected to J. A. Bridges who contends that some horror films that include auteurism.

I personally, do not watch a lot of post horror films, however, Brown (2019) suggests that post horror is a largely pointless term that derives from a lack of historical perspective on the genre. Viewers fail to become socially aware of post horror films that have existed since the early days and the past films contain more experimental content that has expanded the language of cinema. On the other hand, Rose only gives a token of the transgressive nature as a genre. Brown (2019) also states that the history of horror as a peak of the cultural boundaries society has been hiding behind the scenes that society does not want to address.

Reference:

Brown, M (2019) The problem with post horror. Retrieved from https://overland.org.au/2019/05/the-problem-with-post-horror/

Carrol, N. (2003). The nature of horror: In The Philosophy of Horror or Paradoxes of the Heart. Retrieved from https://blacboard.aut.ac.nz

Reyes, X. A. (2014). Body Gothic: Corporeal Transgression in Contemporary Literature and Horror Film. Wales: University of Wales Press.

Rose, G. (2017). How post-horror movies are taking over cinemas. The Guardian. Retrieved August 10, 2019, from https://www.theguardian.com/film/2017/jul/06/post-horror-films-scary-movies-ghost-story-it-comes-at-night

Week 3: A history of Modern Horror

Question 1: King (2010) describes Horror as being defined through three basic elements. Explain, using references, what these three elements are. Think of a horror story you’ve read/watched/heard that makes use of all three of these elements and show how King’s definition is at play in that narrative

Horror movies and stories are regarded as always being a popular genre, although the subject and extent of the storyline shifts every so often as 10 to 20 years allowing for a new cycle of horror to arise (King, 2010). The first element of the horror genre identified by King is that which deals with the political and economic strains of a specific time. Books and movies are in turn written and directed to reflect the common anxieties experienced by society. An example of this is the horror movies that were popular in the 1970’s such as the haunted house horror that depicted the anxieties around class mortgage and equity that were affecting the average American household. Hendrix (2017) states the ’70s was an era of growing inflation and high-interest rates, which meant new homeowners during this time feared unimaginably was an icy house with a satanic voice that demanded them to “Get out”.

The second element of horror is the element of allegory. King (2010) states “an allegory is there only because it is built-in, a given, impossible to escape. The horror movie is portrayed in a way that is symbolic of the matters society feels under pressure to admit or address. It displays what society fear of happening, expressing to challenge or question the status quo both in a positive and negative manner. The horror films are created to allow for the viewer to conform to deviant behavior, suggesting the idea that becoming bad is not actually bad. If anything, the horror means it is ok to allow one to give in to fear or even join a mob (King, 2010). The allegory in a horror movie gives the viewer more than one interpretation of the storyline, for instance, the monster in “The Void” was a doctor, which may act as a warning sign that allows for the viewer to rethink the credentials of their current doctors.

The last of the three is the very fact of a monster is present. And each monster is created differently and specifically to suit each genre (Carroll, 2003). So, one can say monsters can also be allegorical as a symbol of horror (King, 2010). However, not all monsters are created to be evil like the Ogre Shrek in the “Shrek” movie who proves to humans he is not actually as bad as they perceive him to be and actually lives a similar lifestyle by marrying Princess Fiona and having a family.

Reference

Carrol, N. (2003). The nature of horror: In The Philosophy of Horror or Paradoxes of the Heart. Retrieved from https://blacboard.aut.ac.nz

King, S. (2010). Danse macabre. United States, NY: Gallery Publishing Group.

The Void. (2016). The Void. Study Material

Week 1 & 2

WEEK 1&2

What is the philosophy of cosmicism and how is it used to convey a sense of dread in both The Shadow Over Innsmouth and The Void?

Cosmicism is the understanding that humanity is hopeless and powerless in an unknown intergalactic existence with no divine presence of any kind recognized. The idea of horror is based on the fear mankind has of their very existence in an uncontrollably large universe. Identifying outer space as a strange unknown phenomena in Cosmic horror stories leaving human beings with very little understanding of their surroundings and the fear of not knowing (Stableford, 2007) Lovecraft clarifies this with a statement that states the basis of all cosmic horror is violation of the order of nature, and the profound violations are always the least concrete and desirable ( Lovecraft, 1934) .

The shadow over Innsmouth

The shadows over Innsmouth can be described as a type of Cthulhu mythos proper that makes use of tropes, props, and characters developed by Lovecraft in a fictional universe specifically for his stories.  The cosmic horror theme evident in the shadow over Innsmouth would be the outsider archetype. Where the main character Russel Marsh finds himself socially isolated by weird creatures, he is not familiar with, Russel is a history professor who is gay and has returned to his hometown of Riversmouth in hopes to get his late mother’s affairs in order. I think the fact that people in the town rarely spoke (English) would be the beginning of unease as there was a lack of communication allowing the narrator to become suspicious. The Use of tropes to describe the fish people in detail conveys a sense of fear and as Lovecraft states “the strongest kind of fear is the fear of the unknown”. An example of this in the story is the fear of miscegenation between humans and fish (deep ones) that result in the production of hybrids who are believed to inherit unknown abilities to humankind and therefore create a sense of dread.

The Void

The use of viscerate textures in the movie conveyed a sense of dread in a cosmic horror manner. The use of blood and slime to create a disgustingly slimy texture similar to that of human intestines is what grossed me out the most. The use of tentacles more than claws was also another prop that created a sense of fear, as the features of the tentacles to me was alien-like and associated with outer space. There was definitely the feeling of hopelessness and the idea of human abilities being limited therefore allowing no real chance of mankind winning against the powerfully unknown creatures.

 

Reference:

Stableford, B. (2007). Cosmic Horror.

Lovecraft, H. P. (1939). The Shadow over Innsmouth.

Reyes, X. A. (2014). Body Gothic: Corporeal transgression in contemporary literature and horror film. Cardiff: University of Wales Press