We began the recitation by reviewing all of the important information pertaining to the final paper of the semester and its due date.
Next, we watched a clip from J.J. Abram’s 2011 film Super 8 and discussed the role of technology and nostalgia within the film. We discussed the paradoxes that present themselves in the films recreation of an era of American culture through digital means as it creates an appearance of more modern era of cinema while trying to capture the essence of an older one. The class also discussed the relation of nostalgia to fandom as it presents itself in the film, not only in regards to the characters fandom of films, but J.J. Abrams fandom of Steven Spielberg, to whom the director fills the film with homage.
Next, we discussed the dynamics of participation and interactivity in films and how they differ. We discussed how participation is external to the work and how interactivity brings the audience closer to the work, as well as how these two methods of experiencing narratives have grown dramatically through the advent of DVD special features (in regards to interactivity) and social networking (in regards to participation.) In relation to this idea, we viewed a clip from The Animatrix, a 2003 film that, through interactivity, grants viewers a greater understanding of the film The Matrix’s narrative.
Finally, we discussed Tom McGowan’s article “Left on Mulholland Dr.” and how it offers a broader understanding of the David Lynch film. The classed discussed our opinions of McGowan’s argument that fantasy driven by desire masks the trauma of reality and that reality is characterized by trauma, as evidenced by the film plot. In relation to this we discussed the relationships between fantasy and desire in the film as well as what in the film is reality if anything is, coming to the conclusion that the film requires several viewings to understand. Concluding the recitation, we discussed the relationship between acting and reality in regards to Mulholland Dr, and even Super 8, noting that when the characters act it seems much more naturalistic.