Back to Basics

Reading about narratives and stories was one of the reasons I took up a course in media, I was fascinated with the art of storytelling, and the media is all about telling people stories to engage and captivate them – and in today’s world – to motive them to buy buy buy! I took up a diploma in advertising in hopes to learn how to manipulate the minds of people and have them do my bidding, but over time I found that it wasn’t actually that difficult for a motivated individual or group to easily mislead and misdirect or have some form of control over masses of people, all you needed to do was tell them a convincing enough story and they’d fall into place relatively easily.

Don’t give yourselves to these machine men! Give yourself to democracy instead!

Oh dear, I think I failed to see the difference.

Obviously this isn’t the case all the time, and in the events where control is being lost a war tends to break out. I mean who can blame them, you find that your family, friends and general public are living at the cost of the benefit of a few, it can be pretty infuriating.

Anyway, it wasn’t long before I lost track of why I found stories and narratives interesting at all, they just became tools used purely for the benefit of a few people. I forgot the mysticism of stories, and how captivating they can be, how a good story teller could fully immerse you in an imaginary world and how it made me want to create my own worlds. Having to dissect stories and look into them so analytically like I did in Cinema Studies did me no favours, it only just made them more predictable and almost repulsive.


In our tutorial for class I ended up bringing to question what a situation Bowfinger the movie would be considered as; if you don’t already know it the film Bowfinger is about a movie director who attempts to make a film with a star who doesn’t know he’s in it, and apparently is based on 1927 Russian film maker┬ácovertly shot footage of the vacationing┬áMary Pickford, and fashioned an entire film around the footage, creating the illusion that Pickford was actually starring in this Russian film <Link to Article> My question was, does this kind of thing count as a documentary or a film? When does a film stop being a film and start being a documentary and vice versa?┬áThen someone in class brought up how in the lecture we talked about taxonomies and classifications of things and we discussed how its not quite so straightforward to categorize documentaries like that and that it was futile to bother with definitions, as definitions are easily disputed, which I found funny because it kind of defeats the purpose of the definition of definition. But I suppose thats debatable – or not? before I start going in cir—– Aaaaaaanyway the point was not to pick the style you intend to create with and cater to fit those categories, rather, decide what you want your story to do and then figure out what the tools you have can do to achieve it. This made me wonder why we have the categories at all then, just when we think we have it all figured out, something comes along and tears it all to pieces and we have to start building new systems to understand them all over again. Is it futile or absolutely necessary, or does it not matter either way and we should know them all whilst knowing they can’t fulfil the function they were created for? I’ll tell you this though, it makes me confused and want to laugh at the same time.

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