Wednesday, April 06, 2011

Things to do with a Media Studies major

This critical paroxysm against Sucker Punch is quite possibly the most colossal collective misreading of satire since Paul Verhoeven was accused of being a fascist for Starship Troopers. With this film, critics are making the same mistake of confusing depiction for endorsement, but more importantly, they seem continually befuddled by Snyder's manipulation of one of the most powerful cornerstones of mainstream cinema—the fetishized image.
See, it's not exploitation; it's satire. It's all about the fetishized image:
The primary tactic in Snyder's repertoire is decontextualization—stripping an image's connection to other images and concepts, and working purely within the realm of the surface. When his films make heavy use of slow motion (as in the opening titles of Watchmen), it flattens the characters into icons, charged with emotional power on the surface but emptied of internal complexity. A similar emptying occurs when fetishized imagery is deployed: both uniforms and eroticized costumes contain all their meaning on the surface, and these kinds of images often crop up in propaganda and pornography, which this film invokes in equal measure.
You don't understand. You think Suckerpunch is just wank-fodder for teenage boys and their fathers. But you didn't do Media Studies, like our author, who has done a reading of this text and can see through the obvious (breasts, thighs) to the concealed reality. But you wouldn't understand, would you? After all, you thought Starship Troopers was a load of cock.

Mind you, somewhere in the print edition of the New Zealand Herald, someone said that Suckerpunch "did for schoolgirls what 300 did for Spartans." No, nor me.

Meanwhile, in the peculiarly similar Spiceworld, the only crime is being old:

4 comments:

harvestbird said...

Geri Halliwell is thirty-eight years old now.

Hans Versluys said...

The most disgusting thing in Starship Troopers (never mind the fascist undertones) is scene where the boys kept on their boxers in the mixed shower. The women of course were topless. (http://uroskin.blogspot.com/2004/12/during-mercifully-brief-ad-breaks-in.html)

Craig Ranapia said...

All I can arsed saying about Sucker Punch -- I felt like a dirty old man watching the trailer. Not my idea of a fun night out.

Still, I did learn one thing from 300 -- it's really really cold in Sparta, judging from the permanently bullet-like state of Lena Headley's nipples.

Paul said...

For research purposes, I watched the trailer. It's depiction of the harsh reality of the mental institution, especially in the girls' dorm, was memorable.