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|Title:||The Mythic Monument and the Monumental Myth: 9/11 Through Film Posters.|
Department of Media and Communications
|Abstract:||Two films were released in 2006 that depicted the events of September 11, 2001. This thesis seeks to interrogate the interpretation of the events through the vehicle of the film poster, for United 93 and World Trade Center. The single image of the film poster calls on audiences to re-engage with the events of 9/11 by bearing witness through consumption in the realm of entertainment. Combining these powerful experiential imperatives with memorialisation and commemorative practices, representations are located in the nexus of the troubled binary of personal and the monument. This discussion will be levelled at the depiction of the personal/monument binary and how this binary is employed to make sense of the event, by disciplining the narrative to exist outside of terrorists’ aims. The use of mythic Hollywood images in the posters can be seen as interpreting the events of 9/11 for a movie-going audience. The posters draw upon mythologies using particular constructions of the binary of personal/monument in response to the role of public memorials, trauma and commemoration, and representations of grief, tragedy and heroism in mythic Hollywood images. Considering the strong national and ideological divisions inherent in the September 11 narrative, film posters from English and non-English speaking contexts are considered. While no claims are made on the individual national identities portrayed, a comparison of five posters English language posters, with four posters released to non-English speaking countries – Korea, Turkey, Germany and Russia – show distinctions between the internationally released posters and alterations made for audiences in the United States. This thesis will adopt a post-structural method of critique. As such, binaries must be seen as contextually bound. Apart from the conceptual apparatus of post-structural theory, the body of literature provides a conceptual and thematic form for analysis. This study develops its own context for analysis by drawing on previous literature concerning: 9/11 particularly in relation to concepts of the Real, taken from Žižek and Baudrillard, including work on pain, tragedy and mourning drawn from Sontag and Butler; previous literature on the film poster, an area of work that is limited and normally tied to advertising discourses, which is not of interest to this study; and mythologies and semiotics, drawing heavily on the work of Roland Barthes. This thesis will use Barthes’ description of “Leaving the Movie Theater” that engages with posters and the role of the cinematic space, as a point of departure. The aim of this thesis is to engage with binaries to find dominant meanings to question the various interpretations and understandings of 9/11, and to question whether these parties to the binary are truly opposed poles. Engaging with a large body of previous literature to theoretically and conceptually guide the analysis, this thesis seeks to further existing study to argue toward a new socio-historical understanding of 9/11 through an in depth analysis of film posters.|
|Department/Unit/Centre:||Department of Media and Communications|
|Appears in Collections:||Honours Theses - Media and Communications|
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