Perception Is Reality

Posts Tagged ‘film

Hello all!

Today’s phrase is Consumer Culture! While this may be true of advertising and society, it is also relevant to film studies. Here’s why:

This refers to the society in which consumption of goods is the major theme. In this idea, culture is commodified as an object of trade. Entrepreneurs bank on low self-esteem and make products which are associated with social dimensions such as relationships, socio-economic status and identity.

In film and television, we can relate this to how television is advertising and every program is filled with ads (be it product placement, or during commercial breaks). Television becomes a vehicle for mass consumption, each show being targeted to a specific audience, such as talk shows geared towards the female, and then advertising products related to them such as hygiene-related, food-related products: products for the household.

In the article, “Answering Advertisers’ Prayers,” the author Cashmore talks about how television audiences cannot escape advertising and the way products are advertised (such as Nestlé’s coffee blend) and how television is advertising. The author talks about how advertisers create problems and then create solutions which they sell to the audience as consumers. The author gives insight and further explains using various examples in history and the rationale behind the forms of advertising.

An example of consumer culture is Sex and the City. There is extensive advertising of a particular high lifestyle with dining out a lot, clubbing and expensive clothing.

Another example of consumer culture is Melrose Place which sells the idea of young singles living in a posh apartment in Los Angeles.


I apologize for having taken so long for this post. I’ve been tied up with university stuff.

On the plus side, here’s an interesting topic: Persistence of vision.

This term refers to a theory in science in which an image that the eye is sees stays on the retina for a brief time period until it is replaced with another image.
In Film, this theory led to the creation of “motion pictures” as we know them. By tricking the eye, a number of images could be presented to a subject and, by this theory, they would not see the images as static, rather as moving, giving this illusion of motion. This is where all the film making or motion picture finds its roots.

Barsam, in his book “Reality Perceived and Recorded” talks about this theory and technologies associated with it. He talks about the devices invented to show motion, by scientific (mostly for scientific purposes).

Persistence of Vision may be explained through the initial work of the Lumiere Brothers in their film about the men breaking down the building, particularly the brick wall. This was a first motion picture.

Another example, also by the Lumiere Brothers is the train arriving at the train station. This again, demonstrated this scientific theory using projection and filming apparatus.

So, I have decided to start a new bit on my blog where each week I define a prominent, yet not so understood term relating either to film, advertising, or communications.

The first term for the week is Horse Race Journalism

This is a term which refers to the political process covered by the media. It means the media (television in particular) focus more on the polls and results and the images of candidates rather than policies at hand. They focus more on whose winning, losing and opinions than these policies.

In Film and television, horse-race journalism is used in context with “television’s predispositions to drama and visual imagery.” TV is being increasingly used in covering political campaigns and presidential elections and it influences on the audience and voters’ (agenda setting).

Linda Lee Kaid’s “Television as Political Process” talks about the use of the particular media to cover political campaigns and explains how – as mentioned above – the visual imagery and drama takes away the importance of focussing on policy issues and instead focuses on candidates’ images. Other focuses in the article about various negative aspects of political coverage on TV.

Examples of horserace journalism include the opening sequence of Fahrenheit 9/11 where there is footage of who is higher on the polls between George Bush and Al Gore.

Another example of horserace journalism may be Wag the Dog, where the president’s image is important for re-election and certain scandals need to be suppressed.

About the Author…

Born in Karachi, Pakistan in an Adventist hospital, I grew up in a city where on one side I experienced poverty and oppression, while on the other I had the good fortune of Tabish Bhimani being a member of an upper middle-class business family...more...

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