Movies as manifestation of collective consciousness?

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Nokkonen
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Movies as manifestation of collective consciousness?

Postby Nokkonen » Sat Apr 18, 2015 4:10 am

Hi all, just yesterday one of my professors presented this idea that movies and popular culture are representations of what happens in collective (un)consciousness. I don't remember the exact words she used -- they weren't quite that new-agey -- but you get the point. She was arguing something along the lines of the collective gearing itself against Christianity as religion since almost never in movies do Christian characters appear as good guys, but rather the pervert murderers from hell. (As a side note, I argued that the good Christians are often found from popular horror flicks.)

Anyway, I'm interested in how you, lovely people, see this. Do movies indeed tell about deeper currents of though within our culture, or can they even be used in manipulating public opinion?
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Heith
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Re: Movies as manifestation of collective consciousness?

Postby Heith » Sat Apr 18, 2015 2:23 pm

Nokkonen wrote:
Anyway, I'm interested in how you, lovely people, see this. Do movies indeed tell about deeper currents of though within our culture, or can they even be used in manipulating public opinion?
Yes, I believe both are correct. Certainly the use of imagery can be done in such a way that affects the way we think, want. This is what commercials do.

I also believe, something which I mentioned on the games thread, that the archetypes that are eternal and present in stories, are smothered to appear only in games, films and the like in our times, as people consider them to be mere "stories for kids". Old heathen tales survive in this way, for example, in tidied up versions.

And when we think of the storytelling of films, it almost always has the hero, possibly a princess character, and then obviously the bad guys. As to films battling Christianity, well. Films are by default done for demand, so I guess if a film does that, it is what the public wants to see. But we could say the same about Muslims on films- are they ever the good guys? How about Satanists?

Looking from this side of the pond where Christianity is a rather mild phenomenon, I would have to say that I doubt films would make that big a difference here. But in the US, with huge production companies and quite a bit of Christian sects, I am sure they might turn a few heads. Sure, paganism for example is an option to more people here but I think it is the outcome of many things, not only films.

And then there's also the question of, will a director be good enough in their job to change someone's opinion. Some are, most are not.
Nokkonen
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Re: Movies as manifestation of collective consciousness?

Postby Nokkonen » Wed Apr 22, 2015 3:58 am

Heith wrote: I also believe, something which I mentioned on the games thread, that the archetypes that are eternal and present in stories, are smothered to appear only in games, films and the like in our times, as people consider them to be mere "stories for kids". Old heathen tales survive in this way, for example, in tidied up versions.
I know... I wonder -- and this is just my theory -- if the gap between a good story and a real life might be wider now than it has ever been before, considering what drab lives many of us lead. I mean, in folklore I have studied, there were stories of extraordinary things happening to ordinary people on the village road, and life in general may have seemed more magical for people than it seems to be today.

I remember how, when I was a teenager, banging my head against the concrete reality, I was extremely hurt by the fact that the world that childhood stories had promised me didn't seem to exist after all. When we grow up, we are so much told that there's magic and beauty and justice in the world, but when faced with the reality of a dirty little village life with it's petty gossip and gray box buildings, it's like a slap on the face.
Heith wrote: Films are by default done for demand, so I guess if a film does that, it is what the public wants to see.
I also think that movies are pushing the boundaries all the time, widening the selection of what is allowed to be shown and what isn't. I wonder what it means that in Game of Thrones, for example, almost all of my favorite characters are now dead whereas earlier it was inconceivable to have the likable characters, the heroes, killed in a highly graphic and violent way...

But yeah, religious people in general seem to be portrayed in negative way. My teacher is a Christian and she thinks there's this whole Hollywood conspiracy going on. And maybe it could be true in some cases. Movies are a great tool for propaganda, and as I see it, they are widely used for that, although I can't think that any of the [U.S.] propaganda movies would have done very well in box offices...
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RaktaZoci
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Re: Movies as manifestation of collective consciousness?

Postby RaktaZoci » Wed Apr 22, 2015 10:55 am

I was just about to bring up the topic, until sor Nokkonen mentioned:
Nokkonen wrote: Movies are a great tool for propaganda, and as I see it, they are widely used for that,
Once again I have to raise the nazi-card, but as it is a very good example, they knew how to exploit the people by using propaganda and obviously succeeded in it rather well. It is interesting to see how facts "bend" when something is pressed upon people long enough time and in many occasions, for example, if a certain historical even is repeated in movies and tv series long enough people start to believe this given reality, even though if it would be historically incorrect.

I do think, however, that the general consensus of Man is reflected in, not necessarily in movies alone, but in art in general. Art is "a straight conduct", so to speak. It shows something that not all people want to see, but it is still a side of reality which we can choose to close our eyes from or not. This impulse is present in all forms of art, painting, music, sculpting, films, literature etc.

I wouldn't really bring religion into this debate, but I'd say that the political opinions and the interests of different covernments dictate what is shown where and what is not. This is, of course, when talking of the big audience. There will always be underground film makers and artists that will present what they want, but from the point of view of the general opinion this has no effect.
Nokkonen wrote: I remember how, when I was a teenager, banging my head against the concrete reality, I was extremely hurt by the fact that the world that childhood stories had promised me didn't seem to exist after all. When we grow up, we are so much told that there's magic and beauty and justice in the world, but when faced with the reality of a dirty little village life with it's petty gossip and gray box buildings, it's like a slap on the face.
I must say that I generally disagree with this, but that is probably due to my idealistic stance when facing the world. I want to keep an optimistic view on the world, and on Man specifically, even though it is extremely hard sometimes. Life can indeed be A Wondrous Adventure and the beauty of the world can be seen if the right sensibility is found (in here I must quote a realization I made from Nefastos' text during my translations, which made me see that sensibility actually means 'the ability to sense').
die Eule der Minerva beginnt erst mit der einbrechenden Dämmerung ihren Flug.
-Hegel

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