The Castle

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Introduction
A retreat from the global aims to remove oneself from the intense, irrevocable impact of the global and its values, in the desire to retain roots, traditional structure, autonomy, local authority and the belief in a cohesive value system based on one’s own community. Our increasingly globalised world is becoming irreversibly interconnected such that events in one part of the world affect people and societies in other parts. Thus the instantaneous nature of communications transcends time and national borders and engenders a supra-territorial effect tending towards a homogenous society. The writers of the texts in this module have alluded to the powerful forces shaping the world of the late 20th century but have also highlighted the complex dynamic and fluid relationship of the global and the local and varied responses of there changes, by examining the individual, their values and their lives. The prescribed texts, The Castle a film by Rob Sitch, Seamus Heaneys poetry “digging” and “funeral rites”. Additionaly the related texts Morimara’s image titled“Slaughter Cabinet II”, Star Trek: Voyager and David Suzukis Sacred Balance quintessentially enforce the local, global symbiosis.

Theories

Francis Lyotard recognises the complexity of establishing meaningful relationships within the global world. He explains that “the self does not amount to much, but no self is an island; we all exist within a fabric of relations which is now more complex then ever” He states that the collapse of the grand scale meta-narratives such as the Bible have left us without ethical, organising principles to guide individuals in life. This encourages a retreat as an ideological shift to local traditions and practices in order to establish meaningful relationships within an increasingly globalised world.

Multinational capitalism is an element of the metanarrative of “progress” which Rob Sitch challenges in “The Castle”. Theorist Francis Fukayama argues that it is the “economic system to which all the world aspires, it provides a system of private investment and a free market”. This economic system is tarnished however, as the immense amount of power corporations wield often undermines the rights of individuals and local communities.

The Castle
The Fathers Day scene is part of the initial recount by Dale of the Kerrigan family’s life and is presentation of the local, its values and traditions. The scene displays the interconnectedness of the family and conveys stability and meaningfulness in their world. The opening mid shot, fixed throughout the scene reveals the Kerrigan’s as a complete family unit with the father as the figure head of authority. The configuration of the family is seen as the responder peers into their living room, displays the family order, Darryl is seated in the centre of the family as they surround him adoringly for the occasion. His centre position displays his status in the family and the stereotypical leadership role of the father. The fixed visual suggests a moment of memories that is held in high regard by all family members. Their respect is displayed for Darryl and the family because through the celebration of Fathers Day, the scene is then juxtaposed with the introduction of the complication, with the voice over “one day in June” and the threatening hand of the corporate, external world knocking the door. This begins the complication of the story sets the ensuing struggling that takes place of the individual against the global. The audience sense their world is about to change and the corporate world is an evil force that is about to destroy their harmonious and serene cosmos. The audience feels empathy for the Kerrigan’s as they fear that the small world of the individual can have little power against such a greater force.

Darryl’s trip to the council
This scene is the first introduction of the impending global world is given a face but not a humanizing one at all, it is...
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