Thursday, 18 February 2010

Vindication, like

As part of my Museum studies course, I am expected to read a fair amount of "theory". This doesn't just mean reading about doing something without actually doing it, but more along the lines of "literary theory", or, if you will, "philosophy." And one of the books which I borrowed from the library to provide some of that theory was called "The Cultural Turn: Selected Writings on the Postmodern" by Fredric Jameson. I've only read bits of it, but it's got some interesting things to say about our culture in general, including the popular kind.

It was interesting to read (on page 8, if you're interested in looking for yourself) the author's argument that Star Wars is a "nostalgia film" despite the fact that it doesn't actually take place in the past (well, not in a real past anyway), because it conveys the past by invoking an art form (old-time adventure serials) from the past. It then goes on to say that Raiders of the Lost Ark does both - it suggests the 1930s not just through its setting but through it's storytelling techniques.

Now, that's pretty much what I was saying about Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom in my earlier post, although at the time the book was written, Raiders was the only Indiana Jones film on offer. They don't just take place in the 1930s, they take place, in effect, in a film made in the 1930s.

So, it's nice to know that the experts are agreeing with me. Maybe that means I'm kind of an expert as well.

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