Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Film Appreciation

The Sound of Music

Once upon a time in Salzburg, Austria, just before World War II, Maria Rainer, One of the nuns of Nonnberg Abbey, is on the nearby mountainside regretting to beautiful hills where she was raised. She returns late. The Mother Abbess and the other nuns consider what to do about her. The Mother Abbess tells her that she should spend some time outside the abbey to decide whether she is ready for the monastic life. She will act as the governess to the seven children of widower Captain Geoge Von Trapp.

Maria arrives at the villa of Captain von Trapp, a decorated World War I Captain of the Navy. He explains her duties and summons the children with a whistle. They march in, clad in uniforms.

He teaches her their individual signals on the whistle, but she openly disapproves of this militaristic approach. Alone with them, she breaks through their wariness and teaches them the basics of music

Captain von Trapp arrives a month later with Baroness Elsa Schr├Ąder and Max Detweiler. Elsa tells Max that something is preventing the Captain from marrying her. He opines that only poor people have the time for great romances. Rolf the messenger enters, looking for Liesl, but the Captain orders him away, saying that he is Austrian, not German. Maria and the children playing, wearing playclothes that she made from old drapes. Infuriated, the Captain sends them off to change. She tells him that they need him to love them, and he angrily orders her back to the abbey. As she apologizes, they hear the children singing, which she had taught them, to welcome Baroness Schr├Ąder. He joins in, and he then embraces them. Alone with Maria, he asks her to stay, thanking her for bringing music back into his house. Elsa is suspicious of her until she explains that she will be returning to the abbey in September.

The Captain gives a party to introduce Elsa. Kurt asks Maria to teach him to dance. When he is unable to negotiate a complicated figure, the Captain steps in to demonstrate. He and Maria dance until they come face-to-face, and she breaks away, embarrassed and confused. Discussing the expected marriage between Elsa and the Captain, Brigitta tells her that she and the Captain are really in love with each other. Elsa asks him to let the children say goodnight to the guests with a song. Max is amazed at their talent and wants them for the Kaltzberg Festival, which he is organizing. The guests leave for the dining room, and Maria slips out the front door with her luggage.

At the abbey, Maria says that she is ready to take her monastic vows, but the Mother Abbess realizes that she is running away from her feelings. She tells her to face the Captain and discover if they love each other, and that, by searching for it, she must find the life she was meant to live

Critical Reading of Characters

Who is Rose DeWitt Bukater and Jack Dawson? 

Rose DeWitt Bukater and Jack Dawson was a fictional character in  James Cameron  film "Titanic" direct by James Cameron in 1997.

 - Rose DeWitt Bukater was born in Philadelphia in 1895. It is unspecified what her actual date of birth is, but it is known that she was born before April 10, as she is seventeen when the Titanic sets out on her maiden voyage. She is the daughter of Ruth DeWitt Bukater and an unnamed Mr. DeWitt Bukater. After finally arriving in New York City aboard the RMS Carpathia, Rose adopts the surname "Dawson," after her deceased lover Jack Dawson. She becomes known as Rose Dawson Calvert upon her marriage to an unnamed Mr. Calvert. It is known that in 1996 she has a granddaughter by the name of Elizabeth "Lizzy" Calvert, who is presumable unmarried due to her surname.


DeWitt Bukater potrayed by Kate Winslate

- Jack was born in Chippewa Falls in Wisconsin, USA around 1892. His parent died while he was still young. A talented artist he travelled extensively and appears to have had a fondness for drawing nudes. His love was with Rose DeWitt Bukater, a first class rich person. Jack was third class. Jack got on the boat by winning a poker game with his two buddies. While Jack was on the Titanic, he was arrested as the boat began to sink, but Rose came to save him. Jack died on April 15, 1912, after the Titanic sank because of hypothermia. He was 16 years old.

Jack Dawson potrayed by Leonardo Dicaprio

What stereotypes does he/she represent? 

 - Rose DeWitt Bukater : Rose is a 17-year-old girl, originally from Philadelphia, who is forced into an engagement to 30-year-old Cal Hockley so she and her mother, Ruth, can maintain their high-class status after her father's death had left the family debt-ridden. Rose boards the RMS Titanic with Cal and Ruth, as a first-class passenger, and meets Jack. Rose also represent of the glamorous and rich people but she is a humble women after she meet jack at the deck.

- Jack Dawson : Jack is portrayed as a penniless man from Chippewa Falls, Wisconsin who has toured various parts of the world, primarily Paris. He represent as ordinary people from ordinary class, not rich but also not to poor. He wins two tickets onto the RMS Titanic in a poker game and travels as a third-class passenger with his friend Fabrizio. He is attracted to Rose at first sight and meets her when she attempts to throw herself off the stern of the ship. This enables him to mix with the first-class passengers for a night.

Is he/she good or bad?

Both characters are good. Good from the attitude, behaviour, also from the speech. but in the fact they are from different the bacgkround. From ordinary people (Jack Dawson) and from rich and glamorous people (Rose Dewitt Bukater). Altough both of them are from different class ,they also have a good behavior and manner when they are interact with the otherss, no one of them represent as the bad character. they both have good maner, have good intercation, have good behavior and good attitude too.


Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Assignment 1

For this assignment, we are assign to choose an advertisement, artwork, photograph, film still, film scene, or computer image and analyze it using the language and theories of semiotics. So, we have have decided to choose a commercial directed by a famous independent film director, writer and scriptwriter from Malaysia and was also the executive creative director at Leo Burnett Kuala Lumpur, the late Yasmin Ahmad. Most of you know it already as it was several times gold awarded in different competitions, but it’s so expressive and touching that it’s worth to see it over and over again.The advertisement that we have chosen entitled Tan Hong Ming In Love.

This commercial was made in 2007 for Malaysia’s 50th Independent Day and produced by Petronas. Most of the people might know it already, as it was several times gold awarded in different competitions,the commercial have meaningful expresive towards the people in Malaysia and the feeling that she’s trying to interpreted is so worth to click the button replay over and over again.

The main message that she want to deliver from this 1 minute and 33 seconds tv commercial is “UNITY. This advertising was made for Malaysia 50th Anniversary. This advertisement audience is for the people who have a thought or tendency of racism for people in Malaysia. The target audience for this television advertisement are for all the Malaysian.

On this anti-racial public advertising, the Chinese boy; Tan Hong Ming, the main character, is the signifier. He stands as the symbol of child’s purity of overlooking their own daily matters. He answered the question of why he loves this sweetheart of him, the Malay girl. He answered the question that asked to him with upmost purity and simplicity of a young boy, liking or loving something without any pretenses or social consideration. This series of question is a device to reveal this boy attitude towards the girl that he likes. However, this idea can’t stand alone to show the actual message of this ad, which is the anti-racial call. The last message of this ad; “Our children is color blind, shouldn’t we keep them that way?” is the hook or mainline to this ad. Now all the things will make sense for the anti-racial message. The Chinese boy who loves the Malay girl is just a simple sweet little love story. But with the last message of “color Blindness” it starts to make sense that this ad is actually have more value to tell. And vice versa, this little boy story is also a strong example to emphasize the color blindness towards racialism message. It is such a simple case, but it hooks to the point of how can a Chinese boy loves this girl from a different race. It’s an observation of how children can neglect racialism totally if there is no negative idea being given to them by adults Without thus story, The last text “Our children is color blind, shouldn’t we keep them that way?” will not make any sense

The assumption of cultural that called upon to read this text is maybe color blind. The director use color blind as the metaphore to say that this child not do the choice of who will the stay as regardless their issue. This color meaning is not for blind eyes but people are blind to see one another. Sometimes, people don’t think that if they have a thought of racism, just remember we don’t live alone in this world.

However, to understand this ad, there are several cultural and social issues one needs to know to understand this ad. This ad is intended for Malaysians, which is still had major issues of racism between Chinese, Malay, and Indian as the major race of the country. So this ad might not be as meaningful as how Malaysians felt. The word “color blind” might not be a clear statement to some people. The term color blind in this context is not a literal meaning of color blind; which an illness that cannot differentiate colors. But more to a metaphorical meaning suggesting a child that didn’t differs people merely by their skin tones. And as the line continues “shouldn’t we keep them that way?” is refereeing to this skin differentiation, not the color blind illness.

The alternate reading that we can see from this commercial, there are a number of layers of meaning. The commercial means that two school kids which is from difference races (chinese and malay)like each other. From this short commercial we have understood that the kids are still in primary school, still young and aspiring who did not know anything about racism .

Furthermore, we can see that the message the director wants to deliver is why must be racist in our own country and as if there are some of us who is still racist, why must we spoiled our children too? They are our future,if we want to remain peace and harmony let our kids be ‘colour blind’ which means they did not care what races or religion you came from, they did not have they hatred towards other races because we are all live in the same country. From my point of view, this text have been been extensively outside the intended audience because context can influence meaning.The context of this commercial at some stage had open some of the eyes of the viewer because literary racism is the belief that there are inherent differences in people's traits and capacities that are entirely due to their race. So, by teaching our kids from the start is one of the starting point to reduce the hatred or racism feelings inside our people to ensure a harmonious and stable society

At the end of this ad, there is a phrase saying that “our children are color blind” saying that they regardless of races. But the meaning of the text could change overtime because of different people have reflected their own time and the values and they all have different meaning on their own. In semiotic, we will recall the importance of signifier/signified, langue/parole and myth, and how the marking of difference and binary oppositions are crucial for meaning. But the meaning would turn into either good or bad just depends on how they interpret the meaning.

Perspectives on the meaning of the text are constantly influenced by the people from the past. But in semiotic analysis, it looks at structure of text and generation of meaning. The selectivity of any medium leads to its use having influences of which the user may not always be conscious. The unity in diversity can be seen in the celebration of various festivals by all races in Malaysia and this could be the influence

In conclusion, this TV Commercial ad uses a very good usage of icon, sign and symbol to create this meaningful ad. It uses a very effective sign which is the boy and the girl and the message at the end of it. It was clearly saying that they don’t care what race are they and this value should be sown in young ages to gain such unity. In Malaysia we see how different races have formed a part of the culture. This ad tells us how important unity is to gain independence in a country or even in our self. It is important for me to gain unity between us, for us to be one. Living in Malaysia is one big opportunity because it is a multicultural country, having all races in one country. It is a chance for me to learn and adapt other’s culture.

Thursday, July 28, 2011

Photograph or Production still

The task for this week is we need to explain or examine one photograph that I chosed.The photograph that I have choosen for this week task is a advertisement photograph for Adidas shoes.From the photograph,we need to describe how the photograph influence people .

 The communicators
 Definitions-Those who describe themselves as communicators in a professional sense include some academics, journalists, politicians, TV presenters, and people in development work with a communication officer title. In implementing the strategy outlined above, the water and sanitation sector may have need of all or any of these experts, especially as the current information and communication epoch has accelerated the drive to use the media more purposefully and systematically for development.In this advertisement the communicators is some academics or people in development in Adidas company that wants to promote their product through photograph or still picture.

What product or service is being advertised?
From the picture I have chosen the product that is being advertised in the picture above is shoes.You can see the person in the picture above is an athlete.From my point of view this advertisement shows that the athlete is jumping high and it makes her looks very light.The shoes is one of the reason why it looks easy for her to jump high.All of the characteristics on light weight is being projected through the picture above.

What are the demographic and psycho graphic characteristics of the audience at which the advertisement is aimed?
The demographic that the communicators and the psycho graphic characteristics of the audience at which the advertisement is aimed are the people who are active in sports.As you can see 40% people nowadays  are active in sports.The target audience are usually  15- 27 years old.This is because people around  28-50 are usually lazy to exercise based on the statistics that I have research in google.

Which needs and gratifications are addressed in the advertisement?
As you can see the woman is jumping and the posture of the body clearly shows that this is a sports advertistment.The shoes that the woman wearing is the main idea of this advertisement or the main thing that the communicator wants to sell to people.  I think this advertisement has succesfully delivered the message that they want to send.

Do the Non-verbal cues in the picture contribute to the non – verbal message?
In my point of view the Non-verbal cues in the picture definitely contribute to the non verbal message.This is because all of the chracteristics that is needed for advertise a sport shoes is clearly there without putting any words or description.

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Semiotic system in design/advertising/multimedia have effect on human behavior.

The term 'connotation' is used to refer to the socio-cultural and 'personal' associations (ideological, emotional etc.) of the sign. These are typically related to the interpreter's class, age, gender, ethnicity and so on. Signs are more 'polysemic' - more open to interpretation - in their connotations than their denotations. Denotation is sometimes regarded as a digital code and connotation as an analogue code (Wilden 1987, 224).

Connotation and denotation is involve the using of codes. Semiotic came up when the denotative relationship between a signifier and its signified is inadequate to serve the needs of the community. Connotation didn't represent originally of meaning, it is a context dependent.

Denotation is the specific, literal image, idea, concept, or object that a sign refers to. "In the case of linguistic signs, the denotative meaning is what the dictionary attempts to provide. For the art historian Erwin Panofsky, the denotation of a representational visual image is what all viewers from any culture and at any time would recognize the image as depicting (Panofsky 1970a, 51-3). Even such a definition raises issues - all viewers? One suspects that this excludes very young children and those regarded as insane, for instance.

Design give connotation or meaning in every design. It gives good or bad effect in people daily life.It depends on how people take or understand the meaning of the advertising, design or else. Because in every design, advertising, there is semiotic system in it. There is a meaning inside it.

Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Index, Symbol and Icon in Semoitic


So, what is Semiotic? Basically semiotics is the study of signs. A sign is something that stands for something other than itself.

One of the broadest definitions is the Umberto Eco, who states that ‘Semiotic is concerned with everything that can be taken as a sign’ Semiotics involves the study not only of what we refer to ‘signs’ in everyday speech, but of anything which ‘stands for’ something else.

Semiotic can be divided into 3 branches which are

  • Semantics : Relation between signs and the things to which they refer; their denotata, or meaning
  • Syntatics : Relations among signs in formal structures
  • Pragmatics: Relation between signs and the effects they have on the people who use them

Umberto Eco also proposes that every cultural phenomenon can be studied as communication. However, some semioticians focus on the logical dimensions of the science. They examine areas belonging also to the natural sciences. Syntactics is the branch of semiotics that deals with the formal properties of signs and symbols. More precisely, syntactics deals with the "rules that govern how words are combined to form phrases and sentences." Charles Morris adds that semantics deals with the relation of signs to their designate and the objects which they may or do denote; and, pragmatics deals with the biotic aspects of semiosis, that is, with all the psychological, biological, and sociological phenomena which occur in the functioning of signs.

Index in terms of Semiotic

Index in terms of semiotic is a mode in which the signifier is not arbitrary but is directly connected in some way (physically or causally) to the signified - this link can be observed or inferred: e.g. 'natural signs, medical symptoms, measuring instruments, 'signals', pointers, recordings, personal 'trademarks' and indexical words.

An Index signs is a sign where there is a direct link between the sign and the object. The majority of traffic signs are Index signs as they represent information which relates to a location (eg, a ‘slippery road surface’ sign placed on a road which is prone to flooding)

Symbol in semiotic

Symbol is a mode in which the signifier does not resemble the signified but which is fundamentally arbitrary or purely conventional - so that the relationship must be learnt: e.g. language in general (plus specific languages, alphabetical letters, punctuation marks, words, phrases and sentences), numbers, morse code, traffic lights, national flags;

Example of symbol in semiotic

Icon in semiotic

a mode in which the signifier is perceived as resembling or imitating the signified (recognizably looking, sounding, feeling, tasting or smelling like it) - being similar in possessing some of its qualities: e.g. a portrait, a cartoon, a scale-model, onomatopoeia, metaphors, 'realistic' sounds in 'programme music', sound effects in radio drama, a dubbed film soundtrack, imitative gestures;

An Icon sign is a sign that resembles something, such as photographs of people. An icon can also be illustrative or diagrammatic, for example a ‘no-smoking’ sign.