Question: Explain how media producers communicate a preferred reading to the audience and why alternative readings might be made.
Response: Media producers create texts with an audience in mind, and while they try to remain entertaining and original in most of their films they also need to ensure that the audience is able to understand and engage with the text, and thus with the preferred meaning, by using conventions and generally accepted techniques. Tom Tykwer’s independent, and unmistakably avant-garde film, Run Lola Run in many ways, defies Hollywood cinematic convention, but must also conform with audience expectations in order to convey its intended themes. Tykver conveys a preferred reading to his target audience that stereotypical gender roles are a limiting representation in much of contemporary cinema, through his subversion of traditional roles and accepted ideologies. Despite Tykver’s efforts to convey feministic ideologies and values, some viewers might form alternative readings to the ideas that Run Lola Run promotes about gender, feeling that it does not in fact, convey feministic values or else that the film creates a limiting representation of males.
Tykwer conveys the preferred reading that traditional expectations of gender are outdated, through the main protagonist Lola’s cinematically unconventional construction, and it’s juxtaposition with Manni’s character. Manni is shown throughout the film to be emasculated and reliant on Lola, through dialogue like ‘This could only happen to me! If you’d picked me up, it wouldn’t have happened’, which demonstrates his victimized attitude and dependence on Lola for care and decisions. For the majority of his time in the film he is confined to a telephone box, which is symbolic of his helplessness. This is reinforced by the use of low angles to view him inside the telephone booth, which allow the roof into the shot and create the feeling of entrapment. The use of frames within frames to view him...
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