What Is Post Modernism?
Post modernism is a complicated term or set of ideas, one that has only emerged as an area of academic study since the mid 1980s. Post modernism is hard to define. This is due to the fact that it is a concept that appears in a wide variety of disciplines and areas of study, including art, architecture, music, film, literature, sociology, communications, fashion, and technology. Historically, it is hard to locate as it's not clear exactly when postmodernism begins. Perhaps the easiest way to comprehend post modernism is by thinking about modernism, the movement from which post modernism emerged from. Modernism has two modes of definition, both of which are relevant to understanding postmodernism.
The first definition of modernism denotes the broadly labeled aesthetic movement "modernism." Modernism is defined as the movement in visual arts, music, literature, drama and film which rejected the old Victorian standards of how art should be made and consumed, and what it should mean. The main characteristics of modernism include:
An emphasis on impressionism and subjectivity; an emphasis on “how” seeing, or reading or perception itself, takes place, rather than on “what” is perceived. A movement away from the apparent objectivity provided by omniscient third-person narrators, fixed narrative points of view, and clear-cut moral positions. A blurring of distinctions between genres
An emphasis on fragmented forms, discontinuous narratives, and random-seeming collages of different materials, thoughts, ideas and beliefs. A tendency toward reflexivity, or self-consciousness, about the production of work. So that each piece calls attention to its own status as a production, as something constructed and consumed in a particular manner. A rejection of elaborate formal aesthetics in favor of minimalist designs. Also a rejection of formal aesthetic theories, in favor of spontaneity and discovery in creation. A rejection of the distinction between "high" and "low" or popular culture. Post modernism follows many of the same ideas, such as rejecting rigid genre distinctions - hence the many sub genres available within the film industry - , emphasizing pastiche, parody, irony, and playfulness. Post modernism appears to favour discontinuity within narrative structures, whilst also exploring ambiguity, simultaneity, and an emphasis on the de-structured, often off-center subject.
Whilst post modernism would appear very much like modernism, it differs in its attitude toward a lot of these trends. Modernism, for example, tends to present a fragmented view of human subjectivity and history, but presents that fragmentation as something tragic - to be lamented and mourned as a loss. Many modernist works try to uphold the idea that these texts can provide the unity, coherence, and meaning which has been lost in most of modern life. In sharp contrast, post modernism doesn't lament the idea of fragmentation, provisionality, or incoherence, but rather celebrates that. The world is presented as meaningless. Those who explore post modernism within their works do so in a manner which understands that art cannot make meaning. Instead post modern film, literature, music and art can be likened to playing with and exploring nonsense. The ideas explored throughout the texts produced in this style accept that they are a false reality and as a result often play with the codes and conventions of a variety of genres so as to allude and intrigue the audience. Post Modernism In Terms Of Film
Post modernist film attempts to articulate post modernism through the medium of film. Post modernist films attempt to subvert the mainstream codes and conventions of narrative structure and characterisation, often choosing to either completely dismantle or toy with the audience’s suspension of disbelief. The French sociologist Baudrillard, suggests that what we are shown through the media is only one version of the event and the...
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