Thursday, 9 November 2017

Bookbinding - BAIL201

For my final book, I plan to bind the whole thing together by hand. As a beginner, I had to undertake loads of research, not only to know how to do it, but to choose the right type of stitch for my book.

I found a series of videos on YouTube, which shows detailed steps on how to bind together signatures into a text block, and then how to create a hardcover to fit.

I will follow both of these tutorials closely in order to achieve a neat and professional finish.

Gender - GCOP200

Toxic masculinity e.g stereo types associated with males e.g they don't show emotions... depression.

Shakespeare played on gender stereotypes, commonly reversing the roles between male and female. Men played women in theatre as women weren't 'allowed' to be actors, and he 'messed' with the conventions of his time.
Other playwrights and directors have played on this. Julius Ceasar is a play that has almost an all male cast. However, a version was made where there was an all female cast.

Hamlet being played as a women means that the play becomes a story about a 'human', rather than a specific gender, and their typical relationship associations.

There are many fluid ideas of gender.
Males look back, as they are already in a privileged position. There's no need for change, and they prefer how it's always been. Females on the other hand have to look forward, push for change, and try to move forward in history.

Socrates "I know, I know nothing"

The Fantastic Masculinity of Newt Scamander
- Unconventional male hero
- Atypical form of masculinity
- Quiet, confident type of manhood
- Connect with magical creatures
- Socially awkward
- Empathy
- Sensitive masculinity

Due to this alternative representation of a lead role male character, it has received many bad reviews: 'boring', 'ill', 'simple'. Everyone has been conditioned to expect a certain type of masculine performance.

He has a sense of vulnerability, whereas men are expected to be strong (not weak).

In movie posters of the modern day, there has been an increase in strong female characters. However, upon closer inspection, they all have been adorned with powerful weapons, e.g guns, swords, arrows. This demonstrates how even to this day, there is still a struggle to present women as strong individuals, without any need for anything else.

Despite this, there has been a stronger focus on enlightening female characters in texts. Damsels in distress doesn't have to be female, for example in Star Wars, a female rescues a man. There is a Bechdel test, which can be used against different texts to see if:
- There are 2+ named female characters
- They must have a 60+ second conversation
- Conversation must not be just about a man.

Texts that pass this test: Ghostbusters Reboot, Star Wars, Hunger Games, Doctor Who (female doctor).

Thursday, 2 November 2017

Narrative Theory - GCOP200

'Narrative' and 'Story' are two different things, although sometimes they can be easily confused.
'Narrative' is the way that the story is told. The way that the events are put together to be presented to an audience.
'Story' on the other hand is the sequence of events. The plot.

Using this vocabulary, you can easily contrast and compare different types of medias/texts (e.g films, books) that share the same STORY, but the NARRATIVE is different. Alice in Wonderland can be a good example of this, as there are many similar stories that share similarities e.g someone going into a dream world.

'Texts' can be anything, e.g book covers, photos, paintings, animations, logo design...

Marina Warner (1994), noticed that contemporary worries were always applied to folk tales. Mankind was concerned about the same stories all of the time leading to repeated narratives. Myths that keep reoccurring.

Prometheus (from Greek mythology), was about a man who made another man to accelerate progress. This creator was punished. This story is echoed in many other stories e.g, Frankenstein, Jurassic Park, Rocky Horror, Adam & Eve, Utopia, Avatar, Humans (TV series)...
These all use the same basic story, but take on current contemporary concerns. They all include:
- Ego/isolation of creator
- Sense of futurism (at the time that the film was made)
- 'God' complex
- A consequence/something goes wrong
- Character playing the monster
- Creations become aware & seek out meaning

Throughout history, there have been loads of people who bring forward different models that help to break down stories/narratives.

Vladimir Propp - Looked at fairytales, and identified different character types.
- The protagonist - HERO
- The antagonist - VILLAN
- The sidekick - HELPER
- Dispatcher - BOSS
- Fairy - DONOR
- Princess - GIRL
- False hero - BETRAYER
(Not all appear in stories. Character can be more than 1)

Tzvetan Todorar  - Looking at the plot of the film
- Equilibrium (the normal) (This can be carried on from an already altered equilibrium from a previous episode/film)
- Disruption (the problem)
- Uncertainty (solve problem?)
- Repair (go back and return) (maybe slight changed/altered equilibrium)

Structualist - Claude Levi-Strauss 
Binary oppositions between people/ideas = tension
Opposing ideas = conflict
Better understand the message of story to understand  them (overcoming the problems)
Good/Evil, Villan/Hero, Corruption/Innocence, Age/Youth, Reality/Fantasy, Mundane/Special, Freedom/Oppression, Trust/Betrayal , Holding on/Letting go, Savagery/Civilisation, Peace/War, East/West, Science/Religion, Rich/Poor, Hunger/Fullness, Insufficiency/Poverty, Excess/Consumerism, Developed/Underdeveloped...

You need the opposite in order to notice one of the extremes.

Roland Barthes
Explored the way in which texts make meaning. He did this by pulling apart texts into semiotics and understanding how they fit together. The meaning was created by the active audience. The text remains open.
Shift from PASSIVE audience to ACTIVE audience.

Narrative Codes = meaning is made by following 5 codes placed into be read by the audience.
1) ENIGMA CODE = puzzles to be solved. Delay the ending. Maintain interest and anticipation. Resolution at the end (keeping engagement).

2) ACTIONS CODE = Progression of narrative expects consequence. Action/behaviour = consequence, e.g development of character's relationships

3) SYMBOLIC CODE = Process of representing an object/idea/feeling. Visual metaphor (e.g mockingjay pin)

4) SEMIC CODE = Use of connotation = insight to characters/objects/settings. Learn to be able to read through/understand the narrative.

5) CULTURAL CODE = Outside knowledge. Culturally specific knowledge outside of the text. What knowledge do we bring that helps us read the text. Easter eggs. Influences from 90/80s etc.