Perspectives Lecture [5] 'Brokeback Mountain & The Death of the Author'

The Canon- Cultural texts that are considered 'superior' "to or more significant than other" existing "examples of cultural product" within the same context. An example of this would be the superiority of a text created by the original 'author', as opposed to a fan watching/reading the show.
DWEM'S' - A category of people, 'Dead White European Males' used by social groups fighting for equality (i.e. feminism, multiculturalism, post modernism etc.), when referring to those in history whose writing, philosophy or significant work has been greatly exaggerated, because of a social/gender bias during their time.
All the while, equal, if not more capable contributors from a minority populace are disregarded because of cultural myths. Society, therefore, ultimately celebrates specific works according to social hierarchy.
Phallocentricism- The state of concentrating solely on culture and work made by males, for males. This belief is centered around the idea of male superiority biologically, and socially... leading to the segregation and social bias against women, who were seen as 'weaker' and, in some circumstances (returning from the war to find jobs 'taken' by women who worked just as efficiently, if not more so in some circumstances), 'threatening' to men.
Eurocentricism- The state of concentrating solely on European culture and history... This means disregarding culture/work from outside the 'Western World',  often with 'superiority' overtones.
Colonialism- The act of a powerful country gaining control (politically) over another country by occupying it with settlers, and exploiting it's resources, so to "increase it's own power and wealth".
Post Colonialism- A disciplinary field/attitude in response against 'Colonialism'. It indicts dominant social parties, by bringing to light the effect of segregation, racism, sexism (inequality of social groups), on individuals.
Multi-culturalism- A term indicating the "presence of, or support for" the presence of multiple cultural/ethnic groups within a singular society.
Feminism- A social and political movement that advocates gender equality, in response to domestic violence, the vote, sexual violence, equal pay, and other issues of gender bias.

'Moulin Rouge'
Fig. 1
Five ways 'Moulin Rouge' is considered 'Post-modern':

1) Pastiche
The 'Moulin Rouge' draws from and imitates a range of genres (comedy, tragedy), film and music references ("to capture the heavy excitement of the Moulin Rouge, Luhrmann and his collaborates blended modern pop, rock, techno, opera and Broadway show tunes spanning the entire 20th century", 1), across a range of cultures (Paris's 1900's historic entertainment industry, Greek tragedy of 'The Legend of Orpheus', India's Bollywood industry etc.), platforms (film, theatre, books) and visuals ("Baz kept describing that what he imagined when you saw that wall of petticoats coming towards you.... was like- um- a coral reef, filled with tropical fishes" 1, so sea-life, and the modern "equivalent of being at the most hard-core, techno club", '1 Backstory- Moulin Rouge', 2002), as a means of communicating the story itself.
It's the culmination of all these that allowed Baz Luhrmann to celebrate these texts, and produce a unique, ambiguous film that post-modernists may consider a more truthful depiction of reality.
Fig. 2

Fig. 3

Fig. 4
2) Appropriation
There are also moments when Luhrmann appropriates existing text from these influencing cultures/genres, as they are, and adapts the meaning to the character.
An example of which would be his decision to have Christian sing every notable tune we know, so to communicate his talent as a song writer.
Separate, they have a different meaning that if they were together, and composed by one, single person. This indicates that one person is more 'genius' than all respected artists who've each contributed their individual songs, one by one across history.

3) Hyperrealism and Self-Awareness
There are element of the film that lurch from one reality (a performing, entertainment industry, wherein the costumes and audience are seen in their involvement), to a more hyperreal one, where we are the audience, being entertained.
Fig. 5
Fig. 6
Fig. 7
At times it seems the characters aren't talking about 'Spectacular, Spectacular!' but rather 'Moulin Rouge' itself, as we find ourselves in a peculiar position of being an audience to a film (the 'Moulin Rouge'), about an audience and a theatre production ('Spectacular, Spectacular!'), which draws influence from the reality of Satine and Christian, who are lovers, WHICH also is split between a 'past reality' and the 'present reality'.  There are essentially 4 realities at play: our own, the films (i- past, ii-present), and the film's film.
Additionally, we even see the film's story through Christians eyes, which is also influencing the very 'text' itself- and arguably may not even be 'true'. 
Having a film be about a film brings to attention the very platform/entertainment itself. This is typical of many post-modern films, whose links to 'post-structuralism- see's it 'reflect' upon itself, and consider itself as influencing the text it's communicating.

4) Metanarrative
There's an overarching theme of 'Love' which runs throughout the entirety of film- something that's seen as able to overcome almost everything that stands in it's way. It possesses an "inherent purpose" and direction for our main characters, which culminates as 'leaving the Moulin Rouge'.
However, in true post-modernist fashion, 'death' manages to stop the romantic dynamic between Satine and Christian in the end.
With no reason or explanation, Satine is hit down with 'consumption', beyond all other character's knowledge and subjective influences (not even the Duke of Monroth knew about it).
Fig. 8

Fig. 9
5) Nonlinear Narrative
The film begins at the end, wherein Christian has experienced the plot already, and as an writer, begins to type away the events that lead him there to begin with.
There are also times where the 'present' reality, overlaps the 'past reality', and we see Christian as he re-lives/responds emotionally to these experiences years after. 
This non-linear narrative leaves a lot of room for ambiguity, and reader interpretation.

Fig. 10
Fig. 11 The performer screams out the same sentence in the 'past reality'. 

Fig. 1 'Moulin Rouge DVD Cover', (2001), [Online Image]. Available at: [Accessed Date: 21/10/2017]
Fig. 2 'The Moulin Rouge' the "warmest" place in Paris', (1900), [Photograph]. Available at: [Accessed Date: 21/10/2017]
Fig. 3 'Antique French advertising print - Moulin Rouge', (No Date) [Poster]. Available at: [Accessed Date:  21/10/2017]
Fig. 4 'Moulin Rouge', (2001), [Film Still]. Available at: [Accessed Date: 21/10/2017]
Fig. 5 'Moulin Rouge', (2001), [Film Still]. Available at: [Accessed Date: 21/10/2017]
Fig. 6 'Moulin Rouge', (2001), [Film Still]. Available at: [Accessed Date: 21/10/2017]
Fig. 7 'Moulin Rouge', (2001), [Film Still]. Available at: [Accessed Date: 21/10/2017]
Fig. 8 'Moulin Rouge', (2001), [Film Still]. Available at: [Accessed Date: 21/10/2017]
Fig. 9 'Moulin Rouge', (2001), [Film Still]. Available at: [Accessed Date: 21/10/2017]
Fig. 10 'Moulin Rouge', (2001), [Film Still]. Available at: [Accessed Date: 21/10/2017]
Fig. 11 'Moulin Rouge', (2001), [Film Still]. Available at: [Accessed Date: 21/10/2017]
selinakyle, (2011), 'Backstory - Moulin Rouge! Part 1'. Available at: [Accessed Date: 21/10/2017]
'Moulin Rouge', (2001), Directed by Baz Luhrmann, [Screenshot], USA: Twentieth Century Fox Film Corporation. 
Andrew, Geoff (2001), 'Baz Luhrmann', [Online]. Available at: [Accessed Date: 21/10/2017]
Botella-Ordinas, Eva (2015), 'Colonialism and Postcolonialism', [Online]. Available at: [Accessed Date: 21/10/2017]
'Cambridge Dictionary', (No Date), 'Colonialism', [Online]. Available at: [Accessed Date: 21/10/2017]
'Collins English Dictionary' (No Date), 'Colonialism', [Online]. Available at:  [Accessed Date: 21/10/2017]
Cox, Catherine (No Date), 'Postmodernity', [Online]. Available at: [Accessed Date: 21/10/2017]
Knox, Bernard (1992), 'The Oldest Dead White European Males', [Online]. Available at: [Accessed Date: 21/10/2017]
'Oxford Bibliographies', (2015), 'Colonialism and Postcolonialism', [Online]. Available at: [Accessed Date: 21/10/2017]
'Oxford Dictionary', (No Date), 'Dead White European Male', [Online]. Available at: [Accessed Date: 21/10/2017]
Schoenberg, Thomas J. and Trudeau, Lawrence J. (2006), 'Postcolonialism - Introduction", [Online]. Available at: [Accessed Date: 21/10/2017]


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