Ideology in Art and Popular Culture
Every film behaves in either positive or negative manner and therefore, offers an explicit or implied ideology. Every film has incline that is based on the sense used by director about right and wrong—an ideological perspective privileging specific institutions, cultures and characters. Films are products marketed to the public and film-making includes a predisposition that most people would respond in roughly identical or parallel ways to material. Films can be divided on the basis of their ideology such as neural, implicit and explicit. Neutral films are escapist and light entertainment that emphasizes on pleasure, action and entertainment values for its own sake. Superficial treatment between right and wrong can be seen in movies like Honey I Shrunk the Kids. These films reflect a value system in which entertainment and fun are part of consumerism. Implicit films have antagonists and protagonists representing conflicting values but these aren’t dwelled upon in the film. The director leans the message in a specific direction, but the consent can be transparent in the way we accept the system, certain world views as normal or the manner in which the world works. Many ideologies get played without any question; thus a film serves the interests of dominant classes and communicates the dominant moral and the intellectual codes; example is the film Pretty Woman. Finally, explicit films are made specifically for the purpose persuading or convincing its audience. These films mostly have a clear message that can be easily accessed with the film’s name. Example: Pearl Harbour is movie with explicit message conveyed in its name (Washington State University).
Most of the films include a line of dialogues and depicts the obvious development of characters that communicate the meaning to its viewers explicitly. The explicit content is the socio-political attitude or moral that a filmmaker expresses directly through the actions and mouths of the characters. As the plot moves ahead, it expresses the personal attitudes about law and life and surviving that the director and writer want the audience to think about during the film. Implicit content is slightly deeper level of interpretation that can be less obvious, but it can still be inferred from seeing how the characters develop, grow and change throughout the course of the story in the film. Ideas and issues deal with general human relations can be easy to recognize but aren’t stated explicitly through the characters. Sometimes the implicit meanings are less clear, and different audiences can interpret one thing in many different ways, depending in their own expectations and experiences (Jacobs).
Films are a unique medium that reproduces sounds, movement and images in a lifelike manner fusing the meaning with evolvement with passage of time in the story depiction. Unlike other forms of art, films can produce a sense of immediacy. It’s ability of creating the illusion of reality and life opens up new and unknown perspectives about the world. Because is why films that are about places and cultures that are unknown are considered as accurately depicting life. Films have effective tools as they establish the visual icons of the historical consciousness and reality, defines public attitudes of the time it depicts or during which they are filmed, mobilize people about a common cause or bring attention to an unknown cause. Historical and political films can represent, create and influence the historical consciousness and are capable of distorting events that make it’s highly persuasive but an untrustworthy medium.
"Film and Ideology." Washington State University. wsu.edu, n.d. Web. 10 Mar. 2014.
Jacobs, C. "Film Theory and Approaches to Criticism, or, What did that movie mean?" UND: University of North Dakota. und.edu, n.d. Web. 10 Mar. 2014.