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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 8 – Anime

According to Callavaro (2006), what does Miyazaki think about happy endings, and how do manga and anime more generally diverge from Western narrative conventions?

In the introductory chapter of Callavaro (2006), readers are given a primer into Studio Ghibli’s Hayao Miyazaki. During this section, Miyazaki’s philosophy towards endings are briefly touched upon. With Callavaro (2006) stating that when ending his films, Miyazaki purposely avoids the kind of endings which effectively resolves every loose end. Which Miyazaki himself explains is because he had refrained from trying to make films with happy endings in the most traditional sense a long time ago. Instead opting to mimic the unpredictable nature of life.

This aspect of his work arguably carried over into that of his intended successor, Yoshifumi Kondo. Which we can see in the only feature length film directed by him prior to his sudden death. Whisper of the Heart, like much of Miyazaki’s work ends on an ambiguous note. Allowing for viewers to contemplate what becomes of the characters in the future. Effectively allowing them to linger in our minds and hearts for much longer than if we had a conventional ending that gave resolution to every plot point, or a “happy” ending as described by this week’s question.

One way in which anime and manga diverge from western narrative conventions is with regards to how integral the two mediums are to one another. With anime adaptations of manga often playing into how familiar audiences are with the source material. Which some have felt are the reasons for the initially lacklustre reception to films such as Katsuhiro Otomo’s Akira. (Callavaro, 2006). Something we can arguably see today in western media with the numerous live action adaptations of western comic book properties.

According to Callavaro, how is he positioned in regard to war and coming of age?

In Callavaro (2006), Miyazaki is referred to as being a strong advocate of pacifism and egalitarian ideologies. This is in part due to what could be described as the transgenerational guilt he felt over his family’s complicity in Japan’s involvement in World War II. As his family’s businesses were directly involved in the production of rudders used on the warplanes of which the infamous kamikaze aerial tactic is derived from. Additionally, his shame stems from privileges this position brought his family. Allowing them to reside in the rural town of Utsonomiya, just shy of Tokyo. Which meant they were spared from seeing the eventual wartime horrors the firebombing of Tokyo would bring. This guilt would be the basis of films such as Porco Rosso and the more recent The Wind Rises.

With regards to coming of age stories, Miyazaki’s films almost exclusively employ young, female heroines that subvert expectations within Japan’s shoujo subgenre of fiction. Which typically portray their heroines as being inherently passive. Miyazaki on the other hand does the opposite. Choosing to portray his female leads as courageous and independent women who are “active”. Additonally, Miyazaki avoids depicting these characters in ways that cater to consumers of anime and manga that desire sexualised imagery in the visual design of female characters (Callavaro, 2006, p. 11).

 

References

Cavallaro, D. (2006). Introduction. In The animé art of Hayao Miyazaki (pp. 5-14). Jefferson, NC: McFarland.

 

Week 7 – Comics

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

How decisively did Hergé address this issue from The Blue Lotus on, and in what ways did it remain problematic?

Herge’s depiction of various cultures throughout his run of the Tintin comics varied from caricatures rooted in stereotypes of the time, to depictions that showed a more informed and nuanced attempt at the representation of others. Herge’s depiction of African people in particular often comes under scrutiny. With many citing earlier works such as Tintin in the Congo as the worst in this regard. With Mountfort (2012) noting that Herge himself considered it to be one of the biggest regrets of his youth, along with the propagandistic Tintin in the land of the Soviets.

According to Mountfort (2012), part of the criticism stems from portraying the indigenous people of Africa using exaggerated physical features that included the caricature of “juju lips”. Additionally, it is also due to portraying them with characteristics that propagated ideas of racial inferiority such as Africans being inherently bloodthirsty, lazy or childlike. These depictions are also criticised due to the lack of self-awareness it shows in portraying the realities of the Congo under Belgium’s colonial rule. A regime that had reduced the Congolese population from 20 million to 10 million within a 30-year period.

Part of this can be attributed with the fact that unlike the titular protagonist of the series, Herge himself rarely travelled. Basing most of the depictions on research he had conducted at Belgium’s Royal Museum for Central Africa (Mountfort, 2012).

It is with Tintin and the Blue Lotus that we see Herge attempt to make amends for this. The album set in China prior to Japan’s involvement in WWII, avoids depicting the Chinese in the manner Herge had done with the Congolese. Instead of using exaggerated caricatures, the Chinese are depicted with neutral physical features. Supposedly in an attempt at making them appear less alien and confronting to readers (Mountfort, 2012).

However, Herge doesn’t apply the same philosophy to the Japanese. Instead choosing to do the opposite and draw them using extremely exaggerated facial features. Not too far off from the anti-Japanese propaganda used by America during WWII. Resulting in what Lasar-Robinson referred to as the deasianisation of the Chinese, and the hyperasianisation of the Japanese. It should be noted that Herge’s attempts here came from a place of heart, with his friendship with a Chinese arts student influencing the basis of albums including the aforementioned Tintin and the Blue Lotus, as well as the recurring character of Chang (Mountfort, 2012).

There have been times when the representation of race has been outside of the control of Herge’s hands though. With later printings of Tintin in America effectively white washing certain Black characters. Due to publisher concerns that felt the original iterations would promote the idea of race mixing in a what was considered a children’s book (Mountfort, 2012).

We can assume that Herge’s earlier attempts at portraying other cultures were in large part due to not only his own ignorance, but also Belgium’s as a whole. With later albums such as Tintin in Tibet and The Blue Lotus showing that he is capable of more nuanced approaches in portraying other cultures. At the same time though, these heartfelt and informed attempts were sometimes criticised too. Showing there was always room for improvement in this area.

 

References

Mountfort, P. (2012). ‘Yellow skin, black hair … careful, Tintin’: Hergé and orientalism. Australasian Journal of Popular Culture1(1), 33-49. doi:10.1386/ajpc.1.1.33_1

 

POP GENRES ASSIGNMENT 2 Fan Fiction Naruechon Naksingh

Fan Fiction based from ‘Spirited Away’ story

– Before we meet again

Chihiro! Chihiro! The calling name of someone, someone I knew, someone I met. Who is she? I often dream about water, is that sea or river, I couldn’t tell. I heard name of ‘Chihiro’ and sound of watercourse.

“Haku! Wake up!”, “Are you wanna sleep all day long!?” Haku is the given name that people here called me. And this is Ken, my trainee friend who want to be wizard, as I do. We both are training at Aburaya which as the bathhouse that there have the witch own here. The witch name called, “Yubaba”.

“Hey Haku! did you dreamed about that girl again?”, “I heard that you daydream calling her name”,  “Did you see her face this time?”. I have told Ken that I often heard Chihiro name in my dream. “No, just saw lots of water as always”. I want to know who is Chihiro too.

The Aburaya is the bathhouse located in the spirited world where the spirits come to replenish themselves. Anyone who working here have to made a promise with Yubaba. Ken and I do not work here. We do the special mission for Yubaba, as example as find stone, search for diamond and she teach us some of the magical and train how to transform our bodies. 

Today, Yubaba gave the mission to Ken and I to explored some of diamond at Mount Omine. What a day, This afternoon I couldn’t find one. But Ken Pretty good at exploring in the forest mountain. He can turn to the Black Huge Eagle, has a very sharp bird eyes and fly very fast. “Today was so fun, don’t you think Haku?”, “No,I’m tired”, “Oh poor Haku, let’s go down to the boiler room, Kamaji will give us some energy drinks”. 

Kamaji is the very first person that I met at Aburaya, he works at the boiler room to compound all the herbs for bathing. He had warned me to not train here, but learning the magic is my puspose. Ken start the conversation with asking me about how did I get here. “You never told me about your story, Haku” , “I have told you my story that I came from the forest, but you tell me nothing”.

‘Haku’ is not my real name, Yubaba has stolen everyone’s name who works at Aburaya to be controlled. I remember just a few of my memories. I feel like I familiar with water, I wish that somewhere as an ocean, a river, could be where I came from. I remember that I want to be powerful, so I came here to train the magic with Yubaba. “Lucky you, Ken”, “You can remember your story more than me”. “No, just unexpectedly”, Ken replied. 

“Oh! Haku you know what I heard tomorrow we will receive the last and important mission from Yubaba”. “Ah, alright”, I replied.

Next day, “Ken and Haku, today’s mission result will help me to decide who will work with me and who will leave”, Yubaba gave us the last mission. “It’s a competition”. 

The Mount Haku, the mountain’s name same as my given name, it’s weird. This mountain has the God guardian who protect the magnificent orb. “This is the first time that we have to fight with other”, “I hope one of won’t die”, Ken said that with smiley face. I agree with him, I don’t want anyone to die, unexpectedly to fight with people for Yubaba. I just want to have the magic. At the mountain, the magnificent orb stays under the lake in the middle of Mount Haku. Ken and I are fighting with the guardian. It poverty stricken to eliminate him. I protected Ken to collect the orb. We all dove down and fight in the lake. While I am diving into the lake, I heard “Chihiro!”, “Chihiro!”, “Chihiro!”. I still concentrate to protect Ken to collect the orb and he cannot do it. “Chihiro!”, “Chihiro!” I dove down to help Ken to collect it. Whoosh! The guard knocked me out. I sank and flood into the fall. “Chihiro!”, “Chihiro!”, “Chihiro!. Am I gonna die? “Chihiro!”, “Chihiro!” who is ‘Chihiro’?. “Haku!”, “Haku! where are you?”. Who is calling me? “Haku!” Ken help me up to the land. “Where the guardian?”, I asked Ken. “He gone” Ken respond. I told Ken to took the magnificent orb to Yubaba. “You should take this, Haku”, “You helped me and sacrificed yourself, you deserved it”. “Please Ken” I bagged him. Ken told me “It’s all good, my friend”, “I won’t go back to the Aburaya”, “I will go to the waste field, there is so many witches”, “If I went back, Yubaba could kill me haha”. After I said goodbye to Ken, I went back to Aburaya and gave the orb to Yubaba. Yubaba accepted me to work with her. 

“Chihiro!”, “Chihiro! let come and eat this, my dear”, “No! Mom! Dad!” 

Wait, I am not dreaming and I am not in the water. So where the voice come from? I go to the bridge in front of Aburaya. I see the little girl with ponytail. I can feel familiar with this girl. I know her. I know that she is ‘Chihiro’.

Commentary 

On based of this fan fiction use the Campbellian Hero’s Journey (Vogler) for writing.  This fan fiction chose ‘Spirited Away’ to be the based original story. This is telling story of ‘Haku’ who disguises as a human boy and the story talk the story before he become Yubaba’s apprentice to steal her magic. Most of characters are original character from the movie, except Ken. I created Ken to be Haku’s friend and make more story. I used the Vogler form to be the guide of this fiction . From the beginning, start with the originary world where of Spirited Away then make a challenge with Haku hearing ‘Chihiro’ often. Building the mission to proved Haku’s Skills.