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Film studies: signs and postmodernism

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  1. Introduction.
  2. Reality according to J. Fiske.
  3. Parts of Howie's house in L.I.E.
    1. The use of colors.
    2. Shots of the white kitchen with no food in it.
    3. Howie's bedroom.
  4. The difference in social class between Howie and Gary.
  5. The movie 'La Vie est Un Long Fleuve Tranquille'.
    1. Maurice's stay with the Le Quesnoy's.
    2. Le Quesnoy children and the Groseille children.
  6. Conclusion.

?L.I.E: Long Island Expressway. You got the lanes going east; you got the lane going west. You also got the lanes going straight to hell' Thus opens L.I.E., a film about a fifteen-year-old boy who becomes involved in an unusual relationship with a much older man. Here, the first words of dialogue imply a precise context for the story that is to follow. Indeed, we know that the action will be set in the wealthy New York City suburb of Long Island. We can also expect the film to tell us more about this boy's life, such as where he lives, how he lives, what his friends and parents are like and why, according to him, some lanes go ?straight to hell'. S. Sontag has suggested that film differentiates from print media in the sense that ?it establishes a proper context for the use of images' (Sontag, S. 1975: 66). In effect, film seems to be a successful medium for the representation of socio-cultural aspects of life since it allows the audience to read signs in a continuous and perhaps more explicit form. However, the conception that ? the value of signs in film depends on the social context pertaining at the time the film was made, at the time the film is seen, and by whom it is seen' (Bignell, J. 1994: 193) also adds to the signification of signs.

[...] In La Vie est Un Long Fleuve Tranquille, the affluent Le Quesnoy family, and the Groseille family, who is part of the underprivileged legacy of the closing of the coalmines in northern France, see their lives disrupted when they discover that two of their children, Maurice and Bernadette, were exchanged at birth. Two of the Groseille children, including Maurice, miss school and steal while another is seen coming back from prison. The family does not pay the electricity, which is paradoxically owned by Mr. [...]


[...] Sage: Thousand Oaks, CA, p Bignell, J.1994. Media Semiotics : An Introduction. Manchester: Manchester University press, pp. 187-194. Branston, G. Stafford, R The Media Student's Book. London: Routledge, p.6. Cook, P The Cinema Book, London: British Film Institute, p.120. Dogville Written and directed by Lars Von Trier. Main cast: Nicole Kidman, Paul Bettany, and Lauren Baccall. Fiske, J Television Culture. London: Methuen, p L.I.E: Long Island Expressway Written and directed by Michael Cuesta, Co-written by Stephen M. Ryder, Cinematography by [...]

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