10 June 2015
09 April 2015
With the first screenings of films like The Hour of the Furnaces by Fernando Solanas and Octavio Getino (1968), Black Girl by Ousmane Sembene (1966), or Memories of Underdevelopment by Tomas Gutierrez Alea (1968), moviegoers were confronted with a new spectrum of ideas, emotions, and images. A new cinema emerged from countries in Africa, Asia, and Latin American that directly assaulted the colonial past. The forebearers of Third World Cinema proclaimed both the necessity and the capability of defining the terms of their cultural expression. In his book Third Cinema in the Third World: The Aesthetics of Liberation (UMI Research Press, 1982), Teshome H. Gabriel not only analyzes some of these films, but examines interrelationships that determine Third World cinema: not simply films produced within the Third World, but an alternative cinema, '...a cinema of decolonization and for liberation... a Third Cinema.'
17 January 2015
12 December 2014
Television encourages viewers to consume images that most people would otherwise not have access to in the course of a typical life. While this might sound like a benefit, television is not simply about seeing new and different things. It is also about selling. Television programming evolved hand-in-hand with consumerism, at first in its birthplace in America during the mid-20th century, but increasingly everywhere else in the world as well. In a way, television has spread the ethos of consumerism around the globe. It has also spread voyeurism, a more insidious form of consumerism, in the way it reveals what used to be private aspects of human life to public view. Television has normalized consumerism and voyeurism, and in turn these cultural preferences, encouraged by television, exert an influence over the medium, so that there is a reciprocity between television and society. The TV industries monitor the flow of this give-and-take relationship by sophisticated marketing surveys to tailor programs to what they perceive as the interests of their consumer-viewers. Many viewers are unaware that their habits are carefully monitored and that the television industries have created various market segments, or what they call "audiences," to buy and sell in the global marketplace, just like any other commodity. Although viewers think that they are sitting at home watching the tube, the tube is also watching them, and their viewing habits are traded in a marketplace that is still primarily driven by advertising.
24 August 2014
09 August 2014
On 20 April 1999, armed to the teeth with bombs and automatic weapons, two teenaged students named Eric Harris and Dylan Klebold stormed into their suburban high school in Littleton, Colorado, and carried out a horrific display of murder and mayhem before committing suicide. When the smoke cleared, 12 students and 1 teacher lay dead, with many more wounded, and Americans were left to sort out another seemingly senseless act of what has come to be called 'teen violence.' Law enforcement and the media soon swarmed the site as investigators looked for clues and reporters sought answers. National news outlets entirely pre-empted normal programming for several hours afterwards, in a bizarre spectacle of suffering, anguish, and confusion. Over the next few days, as the events in Littleton had receded somewhat into the usual corporate media stew of consumerism and the latest war, speculation about the incident ran rampant.