Friday, 1 April 2011

Explicit and Implicit Ideologies

In order to establish whether a film has implicit ideologies or explicit ideologies it is important to firstly acknowledge the definition of the word 'ideology.'

According to the online Oxford Dictionary, 'ideology' is a system of ideas and ideals, especially one which forms the basis of economic or political theory and policy.'

Similarly theorists such as Marx suggest that it is a 'production of ideas, of conceptions, of consciousness...politics, laws, morality, religion, metaphysics etc.'


Some theorists, such as Jonathan Rosenbaum suggest that what is created to makes people feel good at the movies is actually a reflection of their opinions of the world around them.


There are two ways in which ideologies can be expressed, implicitly and explicitly.  Ideologies which are expressed implicitly tend to ' tame down' the explicitness of the text in order for a larger audience to be able to watch it. Prime examples of such films are Disney films. Disney films aim to teach children morals, and in this sense, manipulate children, with implicit messaging. The lack of homosexuality in these Disney films not only is a prime reflection of the homophobia in American society today, but what is ‘not said in films’ contributes to the homophobia. Disney films tend designed to conform to ideologies of American society. There were complaints about the lyrics to the opening to the song of Aladin, Arabian nights, which had an Arabian singing “ when they cut of your ear if they don’t like your face, but that’s what I call home.” Yet still, the main character was an American accented, young man. This again expressed the racism in America at the time of the creation of the movie.


Similarly, Shrek, a Dreamworks animation, originally released in 2001, is famous for its innuendo and implicit messages. The censorship of this movie is a 'U' classification- which means anyone of any age is entitled to watch it. Not only has the film many rather obvious implications ( for the more mature audience to understand) it also has other underlying morals for children. These morals are not so obvious to the children. Morals, such as, ' it's not what's on the outside, it's what's on the inside that counts.' It also emphasises companionship, that friends should always stick together.


A more explicit ideological film is ‘V for Vendetta’ , a thriller released in 2006. This film approaches ideology in a different sense. Although the film’s main message, is loud and clear through the majority of the film- the government is not to be trusted- the irony is that the whole production of the film is governed by the logic of industrial capitalism. Although the theme of the film tends to be rebellion against the government, the film still uses other Hollywood conventions.

In this movie, a freedom fighter battles against the ruling government in order for justice to be served.  Therefore the whole concept of the narrative is blatant.  There is however, a side story line which is a romance. This does not override the main message of film.  


Internet Movie Database



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