The Various Theoretical Approaches to Kate and Leopold Kimberly M. Radek, Humanities, Fine Arts, & Social Sciences

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  • The Various Theoretical Approaches to Kate and Leopold Kimberly M. Radek, Humanities, Fine Arts, & Social Sciences
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  • The Various Theoretical Approaches to Kate and Leopold A young man discovers a time warp and goes back in time, meeting a duke who would/was to become a successful inventor. The duke follows the man back to modern day New York, where he falls in love with a successful career woman who follows him back to the past, apparently to live happily ever after.A young man discovers a time warp and goes back in time, meeting a duke who would/was to become a successful inventor. The duke follows the man back to modern day New York, where he falls in love with a successful career woman who follows him back to the past, apparently to live happily ever after.
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  • Auteur Theory I.D. (2003) I.D. (2003) Kate & Leopold (2001) Kate & Leopold (2001) Girl, Interrupted (1999) Girl, Interrupted (1999) Cop Land (1997) Cop Land (1997) Heavy (1995) Heavy (1995) In his own words, on his style: Most of what I try and do is try and construct a story to tell that comes from my life, but also find something formal/ architectural, something structural, that makes it interesting to me cinematically, that makes it a different movie. It's not just some fresh spicy dialogue and a neat story. In his own words, on his heroes: They have much the same kind of tenderness and soulfulness... and much of the same kind of struggle to climb out of life's shadows and do something. James Mangold, Director
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  • Old Historicism Look at events in writers or directors life to see personal influences in the work.Look at events in writers or directors life to see personal influences in the work. Draw parallels between Mangold and the films main character.Draw parallels between Mangold and the films main character. Mangold is the son of artists, who went to film and art school, had a job at Disney at 21, but was let go for refusing to play the corporate politics game. After being unemployed, he went back to film school where he wrote and directed his first film, Heavy, which won him a best director award at the Sundance Film Festival. Leopold is a man who has a dream to pursue, as well, but reality (economics, class, etc.) appear to get in his way.
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  • Formalism The focus is on the work itself as a cinematic structure and it aims to discover the ways in which the work achieves (or fails to achieve) unity.The focus is on the work itself as a cinematic structure and it aims to discover the ways in which the work achieves (or fails to achieve) unity. No part of the work is (or should be) superfluous. Sees other contextscultural/sociological, biographical, historical informationas lacking importance or as secondary to the question of the films artistic quality.
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  • Structuralism There are two kinds, which are closely relatedThere are two kinds, which are closely related One concentrates of the patterns formed by the cinematic elements in the work and examines these patterns to find ones which unify the text and throw certain elements into relief. The other sees the cinematic conventions and forms as constituting a system of codes that contribute to and convey meaning. The special interest here is on the organization and function of the elements, on how meaning is conveyed rather that what meaning is conveyed, on how the cinematic devices function rather than how they imitate an external reality. (This branch is closely related to semiotics.)
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  • Semiotics The study of systems of rules and conventions that enable social and cultural phenomena, considered as signs, to have meaning. In film, this means an analysis of the film (or films in a related group) at the shot/frame level.The study of systems of rules and conventions that enable social and cultural phenomena, considered as signs, to have meaning. In film, this means an analysis of the film (or films in a related group) at the shot/frame level.
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  • Modernism Modernism dominated the arts and culture of the first half of the twentieth century. It challenged the old standards concerning how art should be constructed and what art is, favoring different and opposing conventions, such as the dissolution of harmony and melody in music, and the rejection of traditional realism in favor of experimental forms in literature and film.Modernism dominated the arts and culture of the first half of the twentieth century. It challenged the old standards concerning how art should be constructed and what art is, favoring different and opposing conventions, such as the dissolution of harmony and melody in music, and the rejection of traditional realism in favor of experimental forms in literature and film. Modernists view the break with tradition in favor of experimentation as mournful; they see it as leaving behind a longed for (and better) past.
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  • Post-Modernism Postmodernism is an answer to Modernism, as it celebrates the freedom of new forms of expression.Postmodernism is an answer to Modernism, as it celebrates the freedom of new forms of expression. A discussion of Modernism and Postmodernism would not be complete without some attention to culture, specifically high and low or popular culture. In brief, whereas Modernists privilege 'high' culture such as literature and classical art and music, Postmodernists refuse to put any art forms on a pedestal and revel in combining the everyday aspects of popular culture with what has been considered high art.
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  • Marxism Marxists see the base (material means of production, distribution, and exchange) as the driving force of society, and the superstructure (cultural world - ideas, art, religion, law) as being shaped by the base or as a reflection of events that take place within the base. This view of society is economic determinism.Marxists see the base (material means of production, distribution, and exchange) as the driving force of society, and the superstructure (cultural world - ideas, art, religion, law) as being shaped by the base or as a reflection of events that take place within the base. This view of society is economic determinism. Based on this description of art as a influenced by the economic base of society, general Marxist literary criticism maintains that a writer's or a directors social class and the prevailing ideology (outlook, values) thereof have major bearing on what s/he writes.
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  • Deconstruction Deconstruction, or Deconstructionsim, grew out of philosophy and, consequently, is skeptical concerning the existence of absolute truth or reliable knowledge. It sees a certain anxiety in the reliance on language, and thus on shots and scenes, etc., as the path to knowledge.Deconstruction, or Deconstructionsim, grew out of philosophy and, consequently, is skeptical concerning the existence of absolute truth or reliable knowledge. It sees a certain anxiety in the reliance on language, and thus on shots and scenes, etc., as the path to knowledge.
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  • Deconstructionists see meaning as fluid and emphasize the lack of attachment between the verbal sign and the idea or concept to which it is supposed to refer.Deconstructionists see meaning as fluid and emphasize the lack of attachment between the verbal sign and the idea or concept to which it is supposed to refer. This free play of meaning breaks down the concept of signifier/signified in that the relationship can be compromised when everything becomes a signifier (a sort of chain effect with no beginning or end) or when there are multiple elements on either side of the relationship.This free play of meaning breaks down the concept of signifier/signified in that the relationship can be compromised when everything becomes a signifier (a sort of chain effect with no beginning or end) or when there are multiple elements on either side of the relationship.
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  • The idea that words, and by extension shots, angles, etc., cannot be defined without viewing them in terms of their opposites also troubles deconstructionists because this relational way of acquiring meaning defies the possibility of pure or true meaning.The idea that words, and by extension shots, angles, etc., cannot be defined without viewing them in terms of their opposites also troubles deconstructionists because this relational way of acquiring meaning defies the possibility of pure or true meaning. In the same way that words are influenced by other words, they are also contaminated by their own histories. Since language does not take place within a vacuum, the very history or connotation of words influences how they are used in present day.In the same way that words are influenced by other words, they are also contaminated by their own histories. Since language does not take place within a vacuum, the very history or connotation of words influences how they are used in present day.
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  • Deconstructionists, then, attempt to show how meaning breaks down in a text because of the text; their goal is to deconstruct the text.Deconstructionists, then, attempt to show how meaning breaks down in a text because of the text; their goal is to deconstruct the text. A deconstruction of Kate & Leopold might, then, look at what the text says love is (using scenes, shots, angles, and definitions from the film) and show that Kate and Leopold do not really love each other, based on the films determination of love or it might show via the several different plot lines that the film cannot be pinned down to any m